What cars do Eastern European consumers prefer?

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 27/09/2022 | 10:12

Mogo Romania, the company specializing in second-hand car financing, has conducted a comparative study between 5 countries in the CEE on its portfolio of funding granted to individuals between 2019 and 2022 regarding European preference for second-hand cars.


According to this study, most clients look for vehicles between 10 and 15 years old, and Romania has registered the most significant rate, 70%, compared to other countries that stand between 50-65%.

The study focused on five markets in Central and Eastern European markets where Mogo operates, such as Romania, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The company analyzed the consumers’ preferences in terms of main acquisition criteria, such as car age, preferred brands, type of fuel, and transmission. According to the extracted data, clients prefer german producers, BMW, Volkswagen, and Audi being the most acquired.

Customers in Lithuania and Estonia favor BMW, which accounts for over 14% of total sales, even though Volkswagen leads the table in Romania and Moldova with over 24% and 10% of total sales, respectively. Audi is becoming increasingly popular in Lithuania, where demand has increased from 19,20% in 2019 to 24,90% this year. In Lithuania, more and more clients choose Audi, having a growth rate since 2019, from 19,20% in 2019 to 24,90% this year.

Romanians lead the purchasing top of 10-15 years cars, running on diesel

“One of the critical criteria for acquiring a vehicle is fuel consumption. Most want a car that consumes as little as possible, so they often turn to diesel cars. Regarding the local market, Romania is in second place in the top sales of diesel vehicles, with 80,5%”, stated Ionuț Badiu, General Director of Mogo Romania.

The green mobility market is growing at the European level, especially in the context of the new strategy of the European Union to combat accelerated climate change and the pressure to use fossil fuels. According to a press release launched by the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, electric cars have doubled their market share compared to last year, and diesel vehicle registrations have dropped by 33% at the European level, analyzing the first trimester of 2022.

Although the trends demonstrate increasing consumer interest in buying electric or hybrid vehicles, diesel and petrol vehicles dominate consumer choices in Central and Eastern Europe for the second-hand car sector.

The most representative rate of diesel cars sold this year was in Lithuania – 84,2%. Conversely, Latvia reports the lowest rate of diesel cars sold – 43,4%, and the most extensive growth in the sales of electric vehicles, at 13%. Lithuania and Romania report a slight increase of up to 1,9% of the total sales from 2019 to 2022.

Although the average lifespan of a vehicle is approximately eleven years, most Romanians are looking for cars between ten and fifteen years, with a 70% rate of the total sales. In Romania, Moldova, and Lithuania, most clients buy thirteen years old cars, while Estonians prefer 12-year-old vehicles.

Starting with 2021, more and more clients have purchased fifteen years old vehicles for their reliability and low costs. Romania registers the most considerable percentual growth in total car sales in the last years, at 5%. Thus, from 8% in 2019, it grew to 13% in 2022.

Manual transmission, in top preferences

Regarding the transmission, many still prefer manual vehicles. However, the number of those oriented towards automatic transmission is growing. In Latvia, for example, the rate of those automated cars purchasing has increased from 38.5% in 2019 to 77% in 2022. In other countries, there were increases between 4% and 13%, meaning consumers are increasingly interested in this type of transmission.

Estonia is the only opposite scenario, as automated vehicles peaked in 2021 at 62,60%, then decreased to 59,60%.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 12/04/2024 | 17:28
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