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Used car sales surge as mobility and spending habits change

13:47 10/08/2020

Sales of used cars have surged since Belgium's coronavirus restrictions were gradually lifted, new figures show.

The increase - 21.8% year on year in June and 15.2% in July - comes after the car sales market came to a near standstill during the stay-at-home period.

While the rise is partly explained by buyers catching up on a postponed purchase, some are pointing to a bigger change in mobility and spending habits caused by the virus.

Olivier Duquesne, journalist at the Moniteur Automobile, said: "Apart from people who already wanted to buy a used car, some people who had planned to buy new have shifted to second-hand because they want a fast sale and they are uncertain what their economic future will hold.

"We're also seeing people buying a car for the first time, because they might be afraid of using public transport. These people, who were not really motorists before, have decided to buy a low-budget used car."

Meanwhile, sales of new cars fell 1.3% year on year in July. A further explanation is that many companies are delaying decisions on whether to renew their fleet of company vehicles because of the unclear economic outlook.

Written by The Bulletin