The second-hand vehicle market, particularly in France, exhibits robust activity, with sales volumes of second-hand vehicles surpassing new vehicle sales by a ratio that has historically been above 2.5. The market benefits from increasing household motorization rates, with 83.9% of French households owning at least one vehicle, and a higher proportion of multi-vehicle households. Online platforms play a significant role, with Aramisauto leading internet sales and Le Bon Coin dominating peer-to-peer transactions. Growth in the global used vehicle market is projected, with a forecast of 128.42 million units by 2021 according to RMS Automotive, indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7% in 2021.

The French market faces a trend of professional channels gaining ground over private sales, as well as a diversification and rejuvenation within the available vehicle offerings. Environmental concerns and corresponding regulations such as the Conversion Premium are influencing market dynamics, with an uptake in second-hand electric and hybrid vehicle sales. Despite a slight decline in growth rates for second-hand registrations and a more balanced trade in used vehicles, the market size for second-hand vehicles in France showed an expenditure of 16 billion euros, marking substantial growth over recent years.

Auctions remain a niche for older, collectible models, indicative of a varied market structure accommodating a range of consumer preferences. Overall, the second-hand vehicle market is characterized by steady growth, changing consumer habits, and evolving digital landscapes that influence purchasing behavior.

Analysis of Demand Trends in the Second-Hand Vehicle Market

The second-hand vehicle market exhibits robust and multifaceted demand trends, characterized by varying preferences across the French consumer base. With an impressive scale where the sales volumes of second-hand vehicles notably outpace those of new vehicles—typically by a factor of two to three—it represents a vastly preferred option for consumers. One driving force behind this trend appears to be the rise in household motorization, with over 80% of households now owning a vehicle, and a significant number, about 30%, possessing more than one. Urban-rural disparities do exist, however, with rural areas showing higher rates of motorization.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of new second-hand registrations demonstrates a slow yet consistent growth, with millions of registrations per year, illustrating the continuous demand for second-hand vehicles. Factors such as the price of the vehicle, which is a paramount consideration for approximately 80% of buyers, along with mileage and general condition, shape consumer purchases. Comfort and model, while still important, rank lower on the list of purchasing criteria. Regional differences also emerge, with areas like Île-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes leading in terms of transaction volume, indicative of a correlation between population density and second-hand vehicle transactions.

Furthermore, the internet has significantly influenced demand, with a staggering majority of second-hand car buyers utilizing online resources during their purchasing journey. Online platforms are not only information sources but also serve as transactional marketplaces, broadening accessibility and options for consumers.

Finally, it's notable that segments of the market, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, are gaining momentum, particularly with incentives like the Conversion Premium prompting consumer interest in more environmentally friendly options. This trend is evidenced by thousands of electric cars and hybrids being traded in the second-hand market, with specific models seeing marked increases in registration.

Overall, the second-hand vehicle market in France reflects a complex interplay of consumer preferences, socio-economic factors, and evolving regulatory incentives, resulting in a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.

Key Players in the French Second-Hand Vehicle Market

The French second-hand vehicle market is home to a diverse array of companies that play various roles in the ecosystem. Here are some of the most prominent players mentioned in the provided text:

  • Le Bon Coin: As a titan in the online classifieds space, Le Bon Coin has established itself as a leading platform for private second-hand vehicle sales in France. It is renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive reach, catering to both private sellers and professional dealers. While purchases are generally made directly between individuals, Le Bon Coin facilitates the connection between buyers and sellers with lower costs compared to many of its counterparts.
  • La Centrale: This is another key player in the French used car market, offering an online portal where a multitude of second-hand vehicles are listed. La Centrale provides a comprehensive platform for both private individuals and professionals to buy and sell vehicles, although it operates on a paid model that competes with its more cost-effective counterparts.
  • Aramisauto: Arguably the leader in the online sales of second-hand cars in France, Aramisauto has carved out a unique niche for itself. Its business model involves purchasing second-hand vehicles, reconditioning them, and then selling them to customers. Aramisauto's relationship with the automotive group PSA, underscores its significance in the market.
  • Auto-infos and Argus: While not directly involved in the sale of used cars, Auto-infos and Argus are two entities that provide invaluable resources and information to the second-hand vehicle market. They offer insights and data such as pricing trends, market analysis, and much more, assisting consumers and professionals in making informed decisions.

As these companies illustrate, the French used car market is not only large and dynamic but also well-serviced by a mix of traditional dealerships, online platforms, and information providers. Their contributions help to create a vibrant and competitive environment that caters to the needs of a wide range of consumers looking to either buy or sell second-hand vehicles in France.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

A vehicle is said to be used when it has been in use for more than 6 months (from the date of first registration) and driven more than 6,000 km. France's used car market is incredibly dynamic: sales volumes of used vehicles are 2 to 3 times higher than those of new vehicles. By 2022, the used car market will account for 77% of the vehicle fleet.

The used vehicle market experienced a period of growth from 2010 to 2020, with the number of used vehicle registrations increasing by 20%. A number of factors are contributing to the dynamic demand for used vehicles, first and foremost the economic benefits, since a used car sells for less. Nevertheless, after a record year in 2021, the market is struggling to return to growth. In 2022, registrations were down 13%, and the start of 2023 saw a 6% drop in sales, the worst start since 2013. These difficulties can be explained by a number of factors: a difficult economic context with soaring prices, an ageing fleet...

The used car market has been revolutionized by the arrival of the Internet, enabling it to re-invent itself. Today, there are some twenty physical and digital players in this market, and more than half of used car buyers have done their research on the Internet beforehand. When it comes to online sales of second-hand cars, Aramisauto is the leader in France, with which PSA has been associated since 2015. Aramisauto's particularity has made it a success: this market player buys used vehicles, maintains them and puts them back on sale.

The used vehicle market is unique in that it covers only the resale of vehicles between private individuals or through professional resellers. This means you need to take precautions regarding the condition of the vehicle (mechanical condition), as well as its origin (tampered with, stolen), to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. This is why many people are gradually turning to professional dealers for greater security. Today, the trend is towards electric vehicles, although the purchase of electric vehicles is still very much concentrated on the new-build market.

1.2 The global and European used car market

According to a report by research website, the used car segment will reach a market size of *,*** billion USD by **** . This result is the culmination of several years of growth. Indeed, demand for used cars from developing countries continues to grow, while supply is increasing. China now joins the ...

1.3 National market: increase in used vehicle registrations

The website of the French Ministry of Ecological Transition reports data on vehicle registrations. In ****, there were *.* million new used vehicle registrations, compared with just *.* million new car registrations. In ****, therefore, three times as many used vehicles were purchased as new ones.

New and used car registrations France, ****-****, in millions ...

1.4 Foreign trade in used vehicles

International trade :

There is a clear trend towards exports of used vehicles from developed to less developed or developing countries. This trend is notably influenced by the fact that environmental standards in these importing countries are not as stringent as in the developed world. Car fleets that are no longer allowed ...

1.5 The impact of Covid-19: a boon for the market?

According to an article by Capcar, the used car market performed very well after the first confinement. Used cars have always been popular with the French, and are becoming an increasingly attractive solution. In June ****, after the first decontainment, a **.*% rise in the number of used cars sold was recorded, followed ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Used vehicles star of demand

Data from the French Ministry of the Environment and Ecological Transition enable us to establish which types of used vehicles are experiencing the greatest increase in demand.

*since January *, ****, vehicles with fewer than ** seats have been counted as passenger cars. ** VASP: Specialized Self-Propelled Vehicles*** Trailers with GVW > * tonnes; registrations of ...

2.2 Household motorization and used car purchasing factors (price, mileage, etc.)

Household motorization

Share of motorized households France, ****-****, % of total Source: ****

The proportion of motorized households in France has been rising since the turn of the century, and will continue to do so until ****. In ****, **.*% of French households had at least one vehicle, compared with **.*% in **** and **.*% in ****. The market is ...

2.3 Behavior of used car buyers

Which car brand is best?

In ****, according to an OpinionWay survey, Peugeot tops the list of the French people's favorite car brands, followed by Renault and Audi. The top * favorite brands were as follows:

Peugeot Renault Audi Citroën BMW

It's clear that French brands are well known among the public, ...

2.4 Electrics gain ground

New trends are changing demand and the used vehicle market. The democratization, albeit still in its infancy, of electric and hybrid vehicles is already beginning to make itself felt on the second-hand market; although it is mainly affecting new vehicles.

Used vehicle sales by energy France, ****, in Source: ****

Sales of used ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The brands most present in used car sales

French brands :

Brand penetration by origin in the used vehicle market France, september ****, % Source: ****

French brands are gradually losing their dominance of the used car market. In ****, they already accounted for just **.**% of registrations on the market, which was already down -*.*% in volume terms on ****, but they were still in ...

3.2 Several sales channels compete for market share

Only the automotive market in its entirety by sales channel is available, giving an idea of car customers, even if it could conceivably be different for used cars:

Automotive market by sales channel France, August ****, in percent Source: ****

The chart is based on sales in the first * months of ****. at that ...

3.3 Used car distribution channels

Source: ****

C*C sales habits are changing. While the value of the property was for a long time the main criterion for the seller when reselling, it is now relegated to second place. In ****, people are looking for convenience above all else. in fact, **% of those surveyed prefer unencumbered transactions when ...

3.4 The Internet: an integral part of the used car buying process

In recent years, the Internet has taken on a central role in the used-vehicle buying process, either because it is widely used as a source of information and comparison, or as the final purchasing platform (***).

Distribution platforms

Among the latest developments in used-vehicle distribution platforms is, which has just ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The ageing of the used vehicle fleet

As the years go by, the used car fleet continues to age. While public authorities are keen to eradicate older, polluting models from city centers, they tend to focus on new cars, to the detriment of used cars. For example, the ecological bonus has long been inaccessible to second-hand buyers, and ...

4.2 Wide price differentials between different used vehicle segments

The consumer price index for used cars :

Used car consumer price index France, ****-****, base *** in **** Source: ****

The selling price of used cars has seen two peaks over the past ** years, one in **** and the other in **** (***). After a period of stability in the CPI for used cars, the index began ...

4.3 Supply trends: used electrics

In ****, **% of respondents to the Kantar - AramisAuto surveyplanned to acquire a "hybrid or electric" vehicle. Among those intending to buy a used vehicle, this percentage drops to **%.

Electric vehicle purchase drivers France, ****, in percent Source: ****

Barriers to buying an electric vehicle France, ****, in c Source: ****

While the reduction of environmental ...

4.4 The new market in trouble, an advantage for the second-hand market?

The new car market is struggling to regain momentum, with only *% of households buying a new car each year in ****, compared with *% in the mid-****s[***].

We have already mentioned the O/N ratio, which has been rising for several years in *.* and we've also talked about the closure of factories ...

5 Regulations

5.1 The Conversion Bonus

The "Prime à la conversion" is a government subsidy designed to encourage the replacement of old vehicles. This aid is paid up to a limit of one per person until January* , ****, when purchasing a low-polluting vehicle if the old vehicle is sent for scrapping. The conditions for awarding the Conversion Bonus have ...

5.2 Selling a used vehicle

Regulations governing the sale of used vehicles by professionals

Vehicles for sale must bear a visible label containing the following information:

Sale name: make, type, model, version, month and year of *stregistration; Total mileage covered, if this can be justified by the seller, or odometer reading with the words "not guaranteed"; Sale ...

List of charts

  • Size of the used car market by volume and forecast
  • Average used car prices by country and channel
  • Brand penetration by origin on the used car market
  • Top 10 best-selling used vehicles
  • Used vehicle market share by brand
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Latest news

Philippe Chainieux at the helm of La Centrale - 28/03/2024
  • - Year the company (originally "La Centrale des particuliers") was founded: 1969.
  • - Launch of online transaction platform: 1999.
  • - Number of vehicles listed on the site: 300,000.
  • - Number of unique visitors per month: 7 million.
  • - Number of used car sales transactions to private individuals in 2023: 800,000.
  • - Number of free quotations: 20 million, covering half the French car fleet.
  • - Year of sale to US fund Providence Equity Partners: 2021.
  • - Number of company employees: 300, half with technology profiles.
Aramis Auto relies on former consultants - 03/02/2024
  • Aramis Group was founded in 2001.
  • Aramis Group is present in 6 European countries. Aramis Group went public in 2021.
  • The company became a subsidiary of Stellantis with a 60% stake.
  • Aramis Group sold 14,000 reconditioned vehicles in 2020.
  • Aramis Auto acquired two online used-vehicle sales sites, Onlinecars (sales €168m) and Brumbrum (sales €19m).
  • In 2023, Aramis Auto posted sales of over €800 million, up more than 10% on the previous year.
  • The company has 750 employees and 33 physical agencies.
  • The used car market suffered in 2022, with a decline of 14%.
Leboncoin: a $12 billion bid for the classified ads parent company - 22/11/2023
  • A consortium led by Blackstone and Permira has offered 141 billion crowns (12.1 billion euros) to buy Adevinta.
  • The transaction values Adevinta at €14 billion.
  • In 2021, Adevinta bought eBay's online classifieds business for $9.2 billion.
Automotive: Autohero opens France's first reconditioning center in Oise - 13/11/2023
  • Autohero has opened its first reconditioning center in France at Montataire, in the Oise region.
  • Autohero plans to recondition 25,000 vehicles a year on its site.
  • Autohero intends to recruit 250 employees.
  • Autohero aims to achieve sales of over one billion euros by 2022.
  • Autohero has 70 branches in France.
  • Between 2021 and 2022, Autohero increased its sales in Europe by 50%, with 64,000 vehicles sold.
  • Autohero plans to recondition 180,000 vehicles a year from 2024 at its ten European sites.
  • The company is opening two further reconditioning centers in Sweden and Austria this year.
Leboncoin coveted by two investment funds - 23/09/2023
  • Leboncoin is owned by Adevinta, a Norwegian company specializing in online ads.
  • Adevinta has received a non-binding takeover offer from a consortium led by Blackstone and Permira, two investment funds.
  • Adevinta's two main shareholders are eBay, a US company, and Schibsted, a Norwegian media group, which are supporting the takeover bid.
  • In 2021, Adevinta bought eBay's online classifieds business for $9.2 billion.
  • Adevinta was worth almost 93 billion kroner (8.1 billion euros) at the close of trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Automobile: Société Générale enters the second-hand market - 07/03/2023
  • Founded in 2014, Reezocar was acquired by the banking network at the end of 2020.
  • Today, the site is able to "offer all types of vehicle financing
  • This includes leasing with purchase option with car credit specialist CGI, but also long-term leasing thanks to fleet management expert ALD.
  • Société Générale also provides conventional credit and insurance.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Leboncoin (Adevinta Group)
Aramis Auto Groupe
Reezocar (Société Générale)
Spoticar (Stellantis)
La Centrale Groupe
Carizy (Renault Groupe)
Sonic Automotive

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