With the CPI at 6%, the impoverishment of households has caused Spaniards to be more concerned with paying their electricity and gas bills than with changing their car. Although searches for new and used vehicles are recovering (4.5% and 3.8%, respectively), they are far from the growth of energy inquiries, which increased by 30% in the first quarter of the year, according to autoscout24 from the data provided by Google.
The concern of the Spaniards about the electricity and gas bill goes back a long way. At the end of the year, coinciding with the start of winter, they already shot up 108%, while those for new vehicles fell 14% and used ones a little more, 15%.
In this somewhat uncertain scenario of rising inflation and high interest rates, Spaniards think twice about changing their car and the one who does it is out of necessity. This explains why 8 out of 10 acquisitions are for this reason.
Instead, only 15% of current car purchases are aspirational. And not even the entry into force of the Low Emission Zones in 149 cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, and which fully affect more than 3.7 million unlabeled carshave still generated a large niche of demand, since they only motivate -for the moment- 5% of purchases.
All this results in a somewhat stagnant market with growth of 3.2% in used sales and 32.1% in new sales so far this year, but still far from the pre-pandemic figures (-24% ).
And it is that changing vehicles has become a true investment for families. If the average salary of Spaniards exceeds 25,000 euros (INE), the price to pay for a new car is more than 23,000 euros (Tax Agency), practically the same. What’s more, if we stick only to electrified versions, the amount even exceeds 30,000 euros.
Therefore, it is not surprising that, to respond to their mobility, the Spanish use “bridges”, resuscitating the sales of “mileuristas” vehicles over 20 years old or transforming combustion vehicles to LPG, the fastest and most efficient shortcut. economic to get the ECO label without changing cars, which registered a growth of 36.5% in our country during 2022.
According to Ignacio García Rojí, spokesman for Autoscout24, “paying close to 1,000 euros a year in light is more worrying than 8,000-9,000 euros a year in the bill of the car. There is a latent demand waiting for better prices to come. Now, that the searches for vehicles grow, whether new or used, is a sign that the aspiration remains.
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