Cars now have to be looked for in the vastness of Russia and choose from what is. Buying a new car is now a lottery: with many models discontinued and popular manufacturers such as Renault or Volkswagen leaving the market, dealers are selling leftovers at prices never dreamed of before. The way out of this situation for many buyers was the used car market. Moreover, prices on the secondary market are returning to normal: a 7% increase in supply and limited purchasing power led to the fact that in April 2022, used cars, according to Drome, fell on average by 16% compared to March, and in May threw off another 12% compared to April.
But do not immediately grab the first car that comes across. Cars cost differently in different regions. And this is not about the average cost of all used cars in the region, but about comparing specific models of the same year of manufacture. A study by Auto.ru showed that prices for the same five-year-old model can differ by a quarter even in neighboring regions. This happened, for example, with the popular Lada Granta, which is much cheaper in Kuzbass than in the neighboring Novosibirsk region and the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
If you want to save money, then you should look at the offers in the Kemerovo region. Only to get the benefit you need to evaluate the costs of the haul. The offer and choice of cars also depend on the historical preferences of local residents. For example, the Samara region and the surroundings of Tolyatti cannot be imagined without an abundance of different Lada models, says Lilia Markova, General Director of Gazprombank Autoleasing:
- In general, supply is formed according to market scenarios, supply plays the main role here. In the same Samara region, Lada cars are traditionally widely represented due to the specifics of the region, because the main assembly facilities of AVTOVAZ are concentrated here.
But does a cheap car mean a bad car? Experts are sure not. Therefore, when choosing a car, you should not be limited to your home region. Representatives of Avtospetstsentr Group in a commentary for NI note that the most important thing in pricing is demand:
- A lower price for a used car in the regions does not always mean an unsatisfactory technical condition of the car. Most often, the affordable price of a car indicates that it is not in demand, so it is more difficult to sell. A more affordable car has low liquidity, such cars include premium segment sedans - Lexus LS, Cadillac CT6. They become cheaper by 20-40% already a month after purchase.
Denis Migal, General Director of the Fresh Auto car dealership network, believes that car dealerships now form the average prices for cars, and where their situation is more difficult, prices are lower there:
- There may be a misconception that cheaper cars in other regions are inferior in quality to the same cars in areas where the price is higher. Actually, it is not. Now dealers do not have enough freedom to form prices in showrooms, a lot of factors put pressure on the final price. Dealers need to pay salaries to their employees, pay rent and utilities. This needs money. And you can get them only from the sale of cars. Therefore, the price tag gradually falls, becoming optimal for both sellers and potential buyers. Thus, it may turn out that the same car, for example, in the Moscow and Rostov regions will have a different cost.
Also, according to the vice-president of the National Automobile Union Anton Shaparin, there are stereotypes among the people about the safety of cars in a particular region:
- Often in the regions you can find underestimated cars. Because it is believed that the operating conditions are worse there, and therefore the condition may be worse than that of cars that drive in Moscow. On the other hand, Moscow cars also have their drawbacks - because in Moscow, because of reagents, cars rot faster.
The Avtodom Group also believes that a trip to the provinces for a used car is not such a bad idea. The choice of cars in Moscow and St. Petersburg is large, but the technical condition of cars in the regions can be at least as good. At least this applies to simple models of the domestic auto industry, which are well known to most masters:
- There are objective disadvantages of buying a used car in the metropolitan area. First of all, this is the use of a large number of chemicals on the roads in winter. Unfortunately, they accelerate the corrosion process. In addition, the average car mileage in Moscow is higher than in the regions. Traffic jams in the capital have a negative impact on the condition of the gearbox and engine, which can have a lot of wear.
The main thing is not to forget that each region has its own risks associated with the purchase of used cars, says Dmitry Matveev, head of the My Car Rental company:
- There is an opinion that, for example, in St. Petersburg it is not worth buying cars because they quickly rot because of the climate and road chemicals. Reagents also scare buyers of used Moscow cars. Roads are worse in the province. In Vladivostok, there is a risk of buying a “drowned” car, and in the Caucasus, a stolen vehicle.
Separately, we will touch on the topic of right-hand drive cars from Japan. They were among the first to show the Soviet people what the benefits of civilization are like a comfortable lounge, automatic transmission, air conditioning and reliability. Until 2008, right-hand drive was extremely popular east of the Urals, and the Green Corner car market in Vladivostok was a cult place of pilgrimage for millions of motorists looking for a coveted car "without a run in Russia." But in 2008, the authorities introduced new import duties, then obliged buyers to install the ERA-GLONASS system. And the popularization of credit programs from official dealers finally pushed back the supply of "used" cars. Deliveries from Europe practically stopped, and only residents of the Far East, loyal to the right rudder, continued buying second-hand at Japanese auctions, generating supplies of 95% of used "Japanese women". In total, the supply of cars aged 1 to 5 years in 2010 (then the awareness of new prices came) decreased by 50%. Denis Kolosov, head of the “Let's buy your car” service, notes that sometimes right-hand drive cars became even more expensive than left-hand drive ones:
- Until 2008 , until they introduced protective duties on used cars, the right-hand drive car market was extremely interesting, since similar models with right-hand drive and left-hand drive had a difference in trim levels in favor of cars from Japan . After 2008, duties and increased interest in the RHD segment created a situation in which the price of similar models became the same, and in some cases, paradoxically, the RHD car became more expensive.
Now everything is changing rapidly. Until the end of 2022, there is a temporary provision that allows you not to install the ERA-GLONASS system, and against the backdrop of prices from official dealers, even customs clearance with delivery from Japan does not look expensive. Avtoteka service experts cite figures showing the explosive growth of the right-hand drive car market. Moreover, people are looking for a replacement not for cheap Zhiguli, but for foreign cars:
- Interest of buyers to cars without run across the Russian Federation has increased. According to Avito Auto, in the first quarter of 2022, the demand for cars imported from abroad increased by 127.4% compared to the same period last year, and by 6.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Among the key reasons for the interest of Russians in cars without mileage in the Russian Federation is the excellent build quality and the variety of the model range. In addition, it is believed that, for example, Japanese cars are operated in better conditions than in Russia (the quality of roads and gasoline, as well as a milder climate affect), and regularly undergo maintenance. Mostly Russians are interested in cars from Japan. According to Avito Auto, in the first place in the top of the most popular cars without mileage in Russia is Toyota Alphard. The share of the Japanese minivan in the first quarter of 2022 accounted for 5.63% of the total demand for cars without mileage in Russia. The second line of the rating was occupied by Honda Stepwgn (demand share - 2.34%). The third most popular was the luxury sedan Toyota Crown - it accounted for 2.16% of total demand. The five popular models also included Honda Fit and Nissan Leaf. In the Far East, over the past year, the demand for unused cars in Russia increased more significantly than in the whole country - compared to the first quarter of 2021, the demand for them increased by 193.8%. According to Avito Auto experts, due to the ongoing shortage and restrictions on the supply of a number of new foreign cars to Russia, interest in cars from abroad will continue to grow.
So car shop tours in Russia can be really exciting and useful - the benefits of buying in some regions cover the logistics costs. Passenger "Ladas" can be found in the Samara region, inexpensive SUVs like the "Niva" - in the Yaroslavl and Tver regions, where normal roads have only been seen in the movies, a number of different mass models - in the Kemerovo region, fresh foreign cars with right-hand drive (there will soon be no others will remain) - in Vladivostok. But Moscow will remain the main supplier of former taxis with space mileage salted with road reagents and premium brands.
Let's add in particular:
The only guarantee not to buy scrap metal under the guise of a "fresh foreign car" is to make a comprehensive and thorough diagnostics of cars from experts independent of the seller. It is also necessary to study the service and insurance history of the car. Otherwise, the risk of running into a rotten "bucket of nuts" or repair bills for hundreds of thousands of rubles increases many times over.