If analysis of the motoring market only took into account the drop in sales of new cars, it would be ignoring the fact that people still need to get about and have to find another ways of resolving the problem. A recent study carried out by the MSI consultancy for Sumauto shows that the dramatic reduction in new vehicle registrations contrasts sharply with the purchase of cars which are over 20 years old. Years ago, these would have cost about 1,000 euros but the price has doubled or even tripled now because the demand is so high.
Malaga province has one of the highest numbers of sales of older cars. A total of 3,870 which were at least 20 years old changed hands between January and June this year, and this was 33% more than the same period in 2021. Only Seville comes close, with 3,388 and an increase of 21.8%, and Granada, where 2,890 were sold (21% more).
Nationally, 18% more vehicles over 20 years old were sold in the first half of this year, and one in every ten second-hand cars sold was built at least 20 years ago. Around 16% of cars on Spanish roads were initially bought with pesetas, although in Malaga the figure is higher.
This means the average age of the vehicle fleet in Spain is over 13 years, the second-worst in Europe after Greece. That has an impact on road safety and pollution, because a new car emits 99% fewer particles than one which is 15 years old, according to Anfac.
The reason, says Sumauto, is that many households are struggling financially and inflation is high, so people cannot afford a new car or even one that is only a few years old. An old vehicle is the only option for many families these days.
Carlos Oliva, president of the Malaga Motoring Association, says the situation is worrying. “I understand that people need mobility, but these vehicles are a risk: their safety features are very old, with no power steering, ABS or even airbags at times, and they produce 10 or 15 times more pollution,” he says.
Nor do such old cars last long, and they are expensive to maintain. At least, Oliva advises, if anyone is thinking of buying one, they should make sure it has recently passed its ITV.