Suitable price match

In the collective subconscious, it is quite clear to motorists that the price of a used item is higher if you buy it from a car professional, be it a dealer or a dealer, and not from an individual. Price increase, which can be justified by a guarantee that is systematically provided, checks are carried out, and maintenance is carried out.

But is it real? We have noticed, about ten years ago, that prices for private sellers, which were previously lower, tend to approach those of professionals. In question, more greedy individuals on the one hand, but also professionals who sometimes tempered their appetites, because they offered lower return offers, making it possible to resell at a lower price while maintaining a margin. A more moderate price offer allows them to sell faster, creating a turnover in their stock, without freezing in value.

So much so that I’ve personally noticed that on some mass market models, they’ve become less expensive (sometimes anyway, I’ll be remiss in generalizing).

A few years ago, individuals offered prices that were very close to those of professionals.

However, the current situation is quite unique. The lack of new cars since the start of the pandemic, combined with a lack of components, has left new sellers running out of cars for sale. The public turned a lot to the flea market, which exploded in 2021 (+8.2%), driving up prices.

But today, the flea market is also slowing down, having come to experience a certain exhaustion of supply. Especially among professionals whose stocks of used vehicles have decreased (however they have gone up in the last couple of months).

At the same time, individuals still sell as many cars as possible, and even more and more. It accounts for 48% of used transactions, compared to 39.2% for professionals (it was 46.8% compared to 41.8% in 2019).

So in theory, and according to the law of supply and demand, prices among professionals should rise, because demand is greater than supply, prices among individuals should remain stable..

So we went through the ads

We wanted to see what was happening on the ground. Not by trying to figure out who was up or not, because anyway, it’s pretty clear that everyone has raised their prices lately, both professionals and individuals (+13% on average on the autoscout24 scale). But by trying to see if prices are higher on average among professionals or among individuals, for a particular car model, with an equivalent year, mileage, and finish. Based on the ads posted in La Centrale and in the right corner.

The Clio 4 is very much in second-hand, about 5% less expensive among individuals for a 4-year-old model.
The Clio 4 is very much in second-hand, about 5% less expensive among individuals for a 4-year-old model.

let’s start with Renault Clio 4, is very present on the other hand. We chose a 0.9 TCE with 90 hp in an Intens finish, as of 2018, with an average of 45,000 km.

The average price for individuals is 11,700 euros.

The average price among professionals is 12,300 euros.

Victory for individuals with a difference of 600 euros or 4.9%.

At Peugeot, we chose a model 3008 II, before restyling, also from 2018, in diesel 1.5 BlueHDI 130 Allure. Average mileage: 50,000 km.

Among individuals, the average price was 24,400 euros.

Among the professionals, we came to 25,900 euros.

Victory for individuals with a difference of 1,500 euros or 5.8%.

The C4 Cactus is 11.6% more expensive in the Pros for the 2015 model.
The C4 Cactus is 11.6% more expensive in the Pros for the 2015 model.

Passing by Citroen, with a model C4 Aloe Verafrom 2015, in the 1.2 Puretech 110 Shine or Shine Edition, with an average of 85,000 km.

The average price for individuals is 9,900 euros.

The average price for professionals is 11,200 euros.

Victory for individuals at a lower price of 1300 euros or -11.6%.

Now let’s take a look at the very popular Volkswagen Golf 7. Let’s take a 5-year-old model, ie from 2017, in a 1.4 TSI 125 hp petrol version, carat or Carat version, with an average of 65,000 km.

For individuals, the average price displayed in the ads is 17,500 euros.

Professionals advertise on average at 19,100 euros.

Victory for individuals at a rate of less than 1,600 euros or -8.4%.

The 2016 3 Series F30 is about the same price on the professional as it is on the private.
The 2016 3 Series F30 is about the same price on the professional as it is on the private.

What if we were interested in a premium model, like BMW 3 Series ? Let’s take as an example a 2016 F30, 320d 190 hp, in a luxury saloon or finish. Average mileage is 100,000 km.

Individuals who want to sell it ask for an average of 20,800 euros.

For their part, professionals ask for an average of 21,500 euros.

A victory for individuals, but with a rather narrow gap of 700 euros, or 3.2%.

Now let’s see if the older models behave differently. So let’s go back to Renault Cliobut take a sample of third generation2007, Diesel 1.5 dCi 70, all finishes combined (rating varies slightly by finish at this age).

The average price offered among individuals is 3,300 euros.

Among professionals, the offered price is on average 3900 euros.

Victory for individuals with a difference of 600 euros or 15.4%!

A price difference of more than 18% to the upside awaits 5,008 pro buyers.
A price difference of more than 18% to the upside awaits 5,008 pro buyers.

And if we take for example a Peugeot 5008 From 2010, minivan version, in 1.6 HDI 110/112 version, all finishes combined, average mileage 170,000 km.

Individuals ask for an average of 5,300 euros.

In the meantime, the average price of the Pros is 6,500 euros in the list price.

Victory for individuals with a difference of 1,200 euros or -18.5%!

Today one can repeat the examples endlessly. With rare exceptions, individuals will always be cheaper. Sometimes it’s a little, as we’ve seen, but sometimes in great proportions. And the older the car, the greater the percentage difference in price.

More expensive in the pros, but safer?

Is the game then designed for professionals? Not sure about that! How do we explain that despite the higher prices, they are still able to capture nearly 40% of the market for second-hand sales? The answer was already mentioned in the introduction to this topic.

The professionals, by offering warranties on the used cars they sell, by guaranteeing (sometimes) a good return, by performing maintenance (most of the time, but not always) prior to resale, reassure buyers.

Buying from a reassuring professional, but is the extra price paid worth it?
Buying from a reassuring professional, but is the extra price paid worth it?

But is it worth the hundreds or even thousands of extra Euros that you have to pay today to buy from them? The answer is individual.

We, all we can tell you, make clear that not all professionals and all transactions are involved, of course, is that buying from a professional does not guarantee that you will not have any problems.

Sometimes it’s even the opposite, because they resell cars from redemption (or rental returns). And the problem of cars, do the owners resell them to individuals, or have they taken over by a professional so they won’t be bothered afterwards? The second option in most cases. And sometimes the professional resells without fixing anything, because “the car is guaranteed anyway.” But even those fears are guaranteed, you are the one who owns it after purchase, with all that presumably lost in time and confidence.

Therefore, sometimes it is not really safe to buy from a professional and not from an individual who knows their vehicle and its maintenance history and who will repair it in case of a problem so there are no concerns. with buyers!

So we have to think carefully, but one thing is certain is that in purely financial terms, individuals are, nowadays, offering better deals than professionals, in a clear and distinctive way, which was not always the case in recent years.

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