French used car sales grow in Q4 2019 whilst diesel sales continue to fall
The French used car market sprung to life during Q4 2019 witnessing a strong uplift in online used B2C sales of both diesel and petrol vehicles. This was in contrast to the UK which saw a decline in the sale of used petrol, diesel and EVs.
According to INDICATA’s used market insights data for Q4 2019 for the Big 5 countries plus Belgium, the French market was buoyant during the quarter. Used diesel sales in France increased by 13% (13,234 vehicles) whilst petrol volumes also rose by 13.8% (10,048 vehicles). Meanwhile, used electric vehicle sales decreased by -17.5%, mainly due to market supply falling.
Contrast with rest of Europe
The uplift in diesel and petrol demand in France contrasted with Europe’s remaining Big 5 plus Belgium all of which witnessed significant falls in online sales. Experiencing the greatest reduction in sales volumes across both diesel and petrol, as well as in EV sales, was the UK.
UK used car sales fall across all fuel types
Petrol proved to be the biggest loser during Q4 with B2C sales down -23.9% (-42,856 vehicles), whilst diesel fell by -22.5% (-33,770 vehicles). Used EV sales also reduced by 23%, caused mainly by a fall in market supply.
Online sales of diesel used cars also reduced by -15% (-24,068 vehicles) in Germany; -18.6% (-12,569 vehicles) in Italy; -5.4% (-2,184 vehicles) in Spain; and -11.5% (-2,064 vehicles) in Belgium.
France and Spain report growth in used petrol sales
Petrol sales were also down by -16.7% (-43,702 vehicles) in Germany; Italy -19.5% (-7,081 vehicles); and Belgium -6.6% (-946 vehicles). Spain was the only other market alongside France to buck the trend and experience an uplift in used petrol sales during the period, increasing by 1.2%.
“Q4 often sees a slowdown in used car sales in the run up to Christmas, but the period in 2019 was perhaps a reflection of the wider changes taking place across Europe with demand somewhat unsettled across all fuel types,” explained Andy Shields, INDICATA’s global business unit director.
Diesel sales continue to take the biggest hit
“Diesel continued to take the biggest ‘hit’ across many markets while EV volumes fell primarily on stock shortages in most markets. Only the French used market reported healthy growth across diesel and petrol, with used car registrations increasing across the year by 2.8% to 5.79 million.
“France was also one of the few European markets to report a growth in new car sales of 1.9%, although diesel registrations fell again to account for just one in every three new cars purchased,” he added.