Buying used or zero car is getting harder and harder

» VERA BATISTA » GABRIELA BERNARDES*

posted on 09/13/2021 06:00

  (credit: Daniel Fagundes/Trilux - 4/9/19)


(credit: Daniel Fagundes/Trilux – 4/9/19)

Inflation, energy and political crises, unemployment, high interest rates, the real devalued against the dollar and the lack of imported components that help interrupt production are keeping the common citizen, with an average salary of R$ 2,000 per month, away from buying a zero-kilometer car, simple, without any accessories, which currently costs around R$ 50 thousand. Those who think about used or used cars, too, may find the price higher than expected.

The process of advancing costs feeds back. With fewer new cars in the yards of assemblers and dealers, the demand shifts to used or used cars due to the longer wait for delivery due to the lack of parts. Then, prices rise and financing terms shorten. According to specialists, there has been no popular car in the square for a long time, with prices between R$ 25,000 and R$ 30,000.

“Consequence of the increase in the cost of living. High inflation makes the Central Bank raise interest rates. Direct Consumer Credit (CDC) rates, which account for 50% of vehicle financing, are 22% per year and are forecast to reach 26% by the end of 2021, with an increase in the basic rate of the economy (Selic)”, explains Luiz Carlos Moraes, president of the National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (Anfavea). To get an idea of ​​the impact on the worker’s pocket, according to Moraes, in the last 12 months ending in July, the price of new cars rose 8.3%. In used cars, the high reached 17.4%. Between 2011 and 2017, the latest data available, used vehicle prices rose, on average, 20% a year.

Among the villains of the high cost for automakers are imported devices that, with the pandemic, had their production reduced, mainly semiconductors — silicon chips or crystals, used in electronic circuits — with a 45% increase in the accumulated in 12 months until July. The high prices of new cars were also influenced by other products, such as resins and elastomers, with an increase, in the same period, of 109.8%, steel (from 84.5%, mainly steel), plastic (from 43.3 %) and rubber (16.9%). So, buying a new car today is much more difficult for the middle class.

The latest result of Anfavea points out that light utility vehicles — SUVs, with large size and spacious interior — are responsible for 40% of license plates. Specialized magazines call them a vehicle that is “between the car and the truck” — it has models between R$ 70 thousand and R$ 160 thousand. For those who have few resources, the solution, at the moment, according to the president of Anfavea, “is to rent by the day, for travel, or for a longer term”.

“The cost really concerns us. The drop in production of new ones has serious consequences for the consumer. We estimate that a possible return ‘to normality’ should only happen in the second quarter of 2022, if we have, until then, a serene political and economic environment”, says Moraes.

For student Rayssa Andrade, 20, owning a car is synonymous with improved quality of life. “It would help me to go to work, mainly. Before, I used to live near the internship location, but I changed my address and now it takes me much longer to get there, because I have to wait for the bus. Sometimes, the time even matches the class time”, he says.

Despite exorbitant prices and scarce credit, Rayssa has been saving to fulfill her dream of buying a vehicle and ensuring greater mobility. “I still haven’t checked in my car, but I’m looking to save a part of my salary,” he says. With the same dream as Rayssa, nurse Rafaela Dias, 24, has been trying to buy a vehicle for three years. “Since college, I felt the need to have my car, because I spent four hours on the bus. But, with my salary, I couldn’t do it”, he says.

Rafaela even tried for financing, but did not have access to credit with rates within her personal budget. “I thought I would be able to make a down payment with some money I had saved and pay the installments with my internship grant. When I went back, I saw that, even though it was paid in installments many times, the value was too high, so I gave up”, comments the student. After graduating, the nurse continues to look for dreams. “Now I have a better salary. With the pandemic, I had to postpone this dream for a while. But I didn’t stop saving and I hope one day I can”, he adds.

* Intern under the supervision of Rosana Hessel

Rental companies laughing for nothing

The impact of the pandemic did not completely stop the growing expansion of the car rental sector, which has been constantly growing since 2017. In the first months of the health crisis caused by covid-19 in 2020, the sector managed to surpass the 1 million vehicle mark, breaking your own record.

Last year, rental companies purchased 360,567 cars and light commercial vehicles, totaling a fleet of 1.007 million vehicles. This figure is above the previous record, from 2019, when the sum of cars for rental in Brazil was 997,416 units. The sector’s annual gross revenue was R$ 17.6 billion and the net, R$ 15.3 billion, according to the Brazilian Association of Car Rental Companies (Abla).

The type of rental that grew the most in the pandemic was long-term for individuals (from 12 months to 36 months). It became known as “car by subscription”, and reached 8% of the total rental fleet (the equivalent of more than 80 thousand cars rented through this type of contract). “The current moment, in which more people prefer to avoid public transport, has accelerated the demand”, evaluates the president of Abla, Paulo Miguel Júnior. The offer is varied. They can be rented from the most basic models, the so-called entry vehicles, to the most equipped and luxurious ones.

Car rental for travel is also growing. Those who leave to rent a car at the last minute for the upcoming holidays of October 12th and November 2nd may be left without a vehicle. With the relaxation of social isolation measures, even with the pandemic still in progress, the demand for rental, according to Abla, in the next two holidays, will have an increase of 20% compared to the same dates last year. The executive’s orientation is for people to program themselves.

“First, book your preferred vehicle as soon as possible. It is important to check if the National Driver’s License is up to date and valid, and note that, in most cases, the rental company offers progressive discounts. The longer the rental period, the lower are the daily rates charged”. Another important guideline is that the option to pay with a credit card facilitates registration approval and service. “It is worth remembering that renting a popular model costs the equivalent of a taxi ride from farther airports to the central regions of cities”, advises Paulo Miguel Júnior.

Record
The National Federation of Automotive Vehicle Distribution (Fenabrave) is also celebrating. With the significant volume of 1.439 million units sold in August, sales of used vehicles reached 10.234 million units in the year, a growth of 48.2% over the same period in 2020 – cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy vehicles and motorcycles , according to the entity.

“The low availability of new vehicles continues as the great challenge of the automotive distribution sector, and the offer of used vehicles appears as an alternative to supply this market”, evaluates the president of Fenabrave, Alarico Assumpção Júnior. Since 2004, the beginning of the historical series, the sector had never surpassed the barrier of six used light vehicles sold for each new license plate in a month. “This year, we reached a proportion of 6.5, in July, and reached 6.8, in August”, highlights Assumpção Júnior. (VB and GB)