Company News

Belgian dealers have to offer used cars in other European countries

Friday 25 January 2019- Nearly 30% of the used cars currently for sale in our country have been waiting on a new owner for more than four months. This accounts for unsold stock at a total market value of 805.2 million. This was established through research conducted by Gocar DATA, the data analysis specialist on the vehicle market. Four months is really long, especially when you realise dealers usually expect a car to be sold within two months at most. In the meanwhile, the costs to keep them in stock keep on rising – up to 840 euro per car – so more and more dealers have been forced to look towards other European markets. That’s why Gocar DATA entered into partnership with OPENLANE, the international online auction website for the car trade.

These days, Belgian car dealers have great difficulty in controlling their stock of second hand cars. An analysis by Gocar DATA indicates that 34,192 vehicles are currently for sale (29.2%) for four months. Two out of every three online car dealers have such vehicles in stock. If you realise a dealer aims to sell a used vehicle in less than two months, then a period of four months is pretty long. Furthermore, this concerns a collection of cars with a total market value of over 805.2 million.

“Diesel vehicles in particular, are currently difficult to sell. Although Belgium happened to be the diesel country par excellence for quite some time, Belgians have developed a so-called ‘diesel fear’ and they are currently looking at other propulsion systems, such as petrol or LPG. That fear is based on a misconception. A lot of drivers think they may no longer enter the city with a second-hand diesel vehicle. However, there are many nearly-new diesel cars on the second-hand market, with which you are perfectly able to enter the low emission zones (LEZ).”

Derek d’Ursel, founder Gocar DATA

2, 840 euros loss per car

In the meantime, the used diesel vehicles remaining in stock for an extended time cost the dealers a lot of money. For instance, in one year, the value of a single diesel car dropped by 11% – or easily 2, 000 euros.

“It also easily costs seven euros a day – or 840 euros for four months – to maintain and store one such a diesel vehicle. In addition, the diesel vehicle on the parking literally takes up the place of, say, a petrol vehicle, which might currently be selling faster. Dealers therefore increasingly look towards foreign markets to get rid of their diesels faster.”

Marc Gros, analyst Gocar DATA

An analysis by OPENLANE – the international online auction website for the car trade – shows that especially Central and Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal are popular markets. Belgian dealers sometimes get more money for a diesel vehicle there than in Belgium and the demand over there is huge. As it turned out, recently the market value of a three-year-old VW Golf 1.6 TDI with 125,000 kilometres on the odometer was 28% higher in Portugal than in Belgium.

Unique collaboration

Because the offer of Belgian second-hand diesels vehicles for the foreign market has strongly increased over the past few weeks, OPENLANE entered into partnership with Gocar Data.

“It is no easy job to offer the right vehicles at the right time on the right market. Thanks to Gocar DATA’s expertise, which constantly analyses the market situation throughout Europe, potential foreign buyers will see the local market price of each vehicle. When they compare this price with our price barometer, they may actually discover bargains they might otherwise never have noticed.”

Gino Vleminckx, Chief Commercial Officer OPENLANE

Currently, all Spanish and Portuguese buyers on the OPENLANE platform can see at what price they can sell a ‘Belgian’ car on offer, in their own country. In other words, they get to see right away how big a margin they have to work with. This increases the chance of multiple bids, and therefore a higher price for the Belgian seller. Gocar DATA ultimately has price data available from more than 20 other countries, and will also launch this in phases on the OPENLANE platform.

“As from 1 February, Belgian, Dutch, French, Italian and Luxembourg buyers will also be able to see at what price they can sell a car offered in Belgium, on their own market. By the end of 2019, the so-called consumer market price will be launched in at least 15 other countries. We are convinced that our cooperation will help Belgian dealers selling their cars in the right place, at the right price, in just a few days’ time.”

Derek d’Ursel, founder Gocar DATA