The French pay less for a car that consumes more

For a long time, the conclusion of the robot portrait of the average car in France that draws up each year Argus concluded with this fatality: the French devote an ever greater part of their budget to their automobile. A new record was even set in 2017, with an average purchase price of 26,717 euros, up 889 euros (+ 3.4%) compared to 2016. This headlong rush was explained by the growing popularity of the SUV , more expensive by a few thousand euros on average than the minivan or station wagon it replaces.

The popularity of the SUV is not waning, so great is the surprise to learn that the price of the average car has fallen in 2018. And not a little! No less than 682 euros less (at 26,035 euros), if we are to believe the figures scanned by The Argus.

The ecological penalty discourages buyers of large engines

The experts of this magazine explain this decline by the growing impact of the ecological penalty, the grid of which is tightened each year. Its amount goes to many the desire to afford a “big engine”. “The share of models over € 25,000 has thus fallen in one year from 49% to 44%”, underlines L’Argus, who again cites this explanation: “The conversion premium (1,000 euros in 2018, or even 2,000 euros for non-taxable households) caused a craze for small models ”. Sales of city cars were up 24% last year.

This disaffection is encouraged by consumer mistrust of diesel engines. The fear of a ban on driving in the city or – more prosaically – of a severe discount on the second-hand market are encouraging more and more French people to turn to a petrol engine, often cheaper to purchase but more fuel-hungry (60% of the new market in 2018).

The effect is felt on the volume of fuel consumed in 2018 (0.1 liters per 100 km more) and the grams of carbon dioxide emitted (113 g / km in 2018 against 111 g / km in 2017) .

The company car is larger than that of Monsieur Tout-le-Monde

For the first time, L’Argus distinguishes the composite of the average private car (49% of sales) from that of the company (21% of sales). The first is more modest, with an average length of 4.16 m (or 6 cm less than in 2017), a mass of 1,197 kg (- 52 kg), a power of 109 horses (- 5 hp) and, above all, an average price of 23,418 euros, down from 2,617 euros.

The Average Company Car is longer (4.33 m, + 17 cm), heavier (1.325 kg, + 128 kg), more powerful (126 hp, + 17 hp), and more expensive: 30,772 euros, or 4,547 euros more than the Average Car in France, and 7,154 euros more for the Average Car for individuals. Finally, companies remain loyal to Diesel for 68% of their purchases, against 24% for individuals.

This explains this paradox: despite physical parameters in all superior points (size, weight, displacement, power, etc.), the Average Car of companies seen by Argus consumes less (4.6 l / 100 km) than the Average Private Car (4.8 l / 100 km)!

Households spend 13.6% of their income on cars

According to the latest Aramisauto barometer produced by Kantar and published on June 11, the automobile represents the second largest item of household expenditure, after housing (26.2% of income). This growing weight forces the French to make sacrifices (three out of ten households), to postpone other expenses in order to ensure the maintenance of their vehicle. According to this study, the quest for lower prices explains the growing popularity of smaller and cheaper models. Hence the success of the compact SUV and crossover, which compensates for their size with good roominess.

No less than 30% of consumers have had to postpone the renewal date of their car, the time to gather the necessary budget. Others preferred to wait to meet the criteria giving rise to the right to the conversion bonus.