Russian businesses increasingly lease used cars

In 2022, the overall demand for auto leasing increased in Russia: according to research by Carcade analysts, the number of vehicles leased by the company’s clients during the past year increased by 30% compared to 2021.

Alexander Kryazhev / RIA Novosti

However, when you look at the trends by segment, the picture is not so unambiguous. In 2021, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles accounted for 78% of the number of the leasing company’s deals, while in 2022, their share decreased to 55%. Conversely, the demand for heavier commercial vehicles and special equipment doubled. While in 2021, the commercial vehicle segment (including trucks, tractor heads, trailers and buses) accounted for 15%, and the special-purpose vehicle segment, for 7% of the total number of all leasing transactions, in 2022, their shares amounted to 31% and 14%, respectively.

Due to the shortage of new vehicles, SMEs began to increasingly opt for used equipment: in January-December 2021, used vehicles accounted for only 7% of the total number of deals in Carcade’s portfolio; in 2022, their share grew to 20%. In terms of the number of vehicles, growth was evident in almost all segments of both used and new equipment, with the exception of new cars: these deals plummeted by 24%. In quantitative terms, sales of used vehicles in all segments grew by 270%, with commercial and special purpose vehicle segments growing the fastest – the increase in transactions involving used vehicles amounted to more than 292% of commercial and 300% of special equipment. The by-piece increase in sales in the used car and LCV segment amounted to 256%.

The preferred lease terms remained unchanged for all types of wheeled vehicles. As in 2021, used vehicles were most often leased for three years. As to the second most popular option for used vehicles in 2021, it was a two-year lease in the commercial and special purpose vehicle segments, while in 2022, it was five years. In other words, the share of long-term leases of used commercial vehicles in the company’s portfolio is on the rise. And in general, all segments have shown a noticeable increase in the number of over-36-months lease transactions.

In 2022, the most popular used car brands in Caracde’s portfolio were BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai, accounting for 15%, 14% and 8% of the number of cars, respectively. The BMW 5 series and the X5 were the most popular BMW models. As expected, various GAZ models were bestsellers, accounting for 36% of the LCV segment. Kamaz 5490 was the favorite model in the used trucks segment. It was also interesting to note the 294% increase in the number of used Kamaz 5490 truck deals compared to 2021. Among used semi-trailers, the leader was the KRONE SD curtain side semi-trailer, which showed a 733% increase in the number of transactions compared with the 2021 level. The bestseller among used backhoe loaders was the 3CX, an iconic representative of the JCB family.

“The above dynamics and the changes in the leasing market make perfect sense considering the events that occurred in 2022. Active market players were forced to adapt and rearrange their portfolios. Carcade identified a significant increase in the demand for used vehicles last year and is working intensively to meet that demand, providing services through official auto dealers as well through individuals and its clients after the contract expires.

In fact, the demand has not actually grown. What we are witnessing is a redistribution of demand between various segments: a shift from small to large vehicles; from new to used ones; from European to Chinese and Russian brands; from premium cars to commercial vehicles and special equipment. With fewer options to choose from, client appetites tend to shrink and their purchases become as functional as possible rather than spontaneous. Pragmatism and balance, especially when it comes to prices, is precisely what the huge used vehicle market can offer,” Carcade CEO Dmitry Chernyshev commented on the company’s research findings.

Previous ArticleNext Article