REPORT. Car: in concessions, “90%, we only rent”

the essential
In the space of two years marked by the forced fall of diesel and two major global crises (Covid and the war in Ukraine), the car market has changed radically. In the face of rising prices, both new and second-hand, sellers are increasingly turning to long-term rentals and buyers are getting their money’s worth.

On the outskirts of Muret, south of Toulouse, the national road crosses the commercial area as a straight line that cuts it in two. On both sides, the signs follow one another and some impress the retina with its familiarity. Renault, Citroën, Ford, Opel … Almost no brand is missing. Here, when you are a buyer and want to compare prices in the car market, everything can be done in one afternoon.

This is what has attracted Cédric this Wednesday. “I’ve been thinking about moving away from my vehicle for a few months now because I usually have minor problems. see what they can offer me “. For this 30-year-old from the outskirts of Toulouse, an employee who exceeds 2,000 euros a month with a current mortgage, there is not much room for maneuver. After a few visits, the observation is clear: “To have a suitable car, big enough for a small family like mine and even second hand, we have almost nothing in concession for less than € 20,000.” , blows the father of a 6. year old girl.

The risk of buying

It’s too much for your finances. There is the rental solution, which was offered by all the dealers he met. “But it’s still an investment,” says Cédric. it remains to be seen, but it will be this or nothing “, he concludes. The seller who just received it promises: “Today, with us, we only do long-term rent, 90%. This is what we often recommend to people in other places. With the uncertainty associated with fuels, there is the risk of acquiring a thermal vehicle that is no longer worth anything in three or four years. So I could also rent it out, ”argues the seller.

A truth that is even better because the cheap car, even second-hand, no longer exists in dealerships. “The second-hand market has literally exploded,” says one of the area’s distributors. “With the pandemic closing the factories, people have jumped to second-hand ones. The most interesting models have gone away quickly. And we are not crazy: if we only sell used, prices will go up. Anyway today. if I have a customer who breaks down in front of my house, I can’t get him to leave with a new car, we don’t have any left. “

Uncertain deliveries

“In most models we have a minimum of seven months to wait. In others we no longer have visibility: part of what is manufactured for these cars is made in Ukraine or Russia,” adds this announcement of a major American brand. Within its dealership, models with hybrid engine or possible bioethanol compatibility have been rapidly consolidated in recent weeks. As everywhere.

“Today, because at the state level we made it clear that we no longer have to bet on diesel, we constantly have customers who come to us to give away their diesel vehicle to go with gasoline. Selling gasoline that consumes 9 liters per 100 seemed unimaginable to us. “Five years ago. We don’t even produce diesel today. The market has completely turned around,” said a salesman from a major French brand. “We must not be fooled, in a few years we will only make hybrids or electric,” concludes another. But will prices continue?

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