What are the most popular used cars in Romania?

12 March 2024

What are Romania’s favourite used cars? Ulmis Horchidan, chief editor at Eurotax Romania (now part of J.D. Power), analyses the best-performing models in the country as well as the wider market trends with Autovista24 editor, Tom Geggus.

In 2022, residual values (RVs) in Romania hit an all-time high as used-car demand soared and stock levels stayed low. Then in 2023, this trend reversed as transactions accelerated and values caught up with increased supply from the new-car market.

Global automotive production also continued its recovery after hitting a low point in 2021, due to the supply-chain crisis. More plentiful new-car stocks meant discounting campaigns and special offers could return in full force for both volume manufacturers and premium carmakers.

This availability put additional pressure on the used-car market. Some dealers faced losses as a more competitive market jeopardised inventory purchased during periods of low supply, when prices were higher.

Romania ranking

The following analysis concentrates on the performance of used cars up to seven years of age, a range in which professional dealer networks tend to operate. This timeframe can be divided into two categories: younger vehicles up to four years of age, and middle-aged models between five and seven years old.

A model’s entire catalogue is considered in this ranking, accounting for all available powertrains and trim levels. The values shown, including stock days and prices, are average figures. There are, however, differences when considering variables such as dealer location, stock composition, and sales staff skill.

Using these metrics, some interesting market trends and figures have recently emerged on Romania’s used-car market. Examining vehicles up to seven years of age, the following eight models recorded the highest number of used-car transactions across 2023.

  1. Skoda Octavia
  2. Dacia Logan
  3. Dacia Duster
  4. Volkswagen Passat
  5. BMW 5-Series
  6. Volkswagen Golf
  7. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  8. Ford Focus

Will these models enjoy such a successful 2024? Romania’s used-car market is already showing signs of change when considering advertised prices and days in stock.  

Pricing trends

When breaking down market-wide advertised prices, four-year-old models have seen values trend downwards, with a few important exceptions. Models such as the Skoda Octavia and the Volkswagen (VW) Golf have proven popular among used-vehicle consumers, with prices climbing between January 2023 and January 2024. The Skoda Octavia saw prices grow by nearly €2,000 in this period.

Considering cars at seven years of age, the Skoda Octavia and the Dacia Duster both enjoyed upward price momentum between the start of 2023 and 2024. However, for both vehicles only saw marginal gains of roughly €400.

Days in stock

Another important metric for measuring used-car market success is the number of days a model spends in stock before being sold. While days in stock do seem to be trending upward across Romania, the extent of this is heavily dependent on make, model, and year of production.

Certain models saw excellent stock-day reductions in January this year when compared with the same month in 2023. The Skoda Octavia was, once again, the leading used car in both the young and middle-aged categories. Its four-year-old models saw 21 fewer stock days in January 2024 than a year previously.

The BMW 5-Series managed a similar feat, with stock days falling for its younger used models, but remaining relatively stationary for those aged between five to seven years. Meanwhile, Dacia’s best-sellers, the Logan and the Duster, saw days in stock extend across almost all age categories between early 2023 and 2024.

Romania’s used-car market is facing some challenges in the years ahead. However, a growing need for personal mobility in the country will ensure that the situation remains dynamic. While transaction prices and stock days are fluid, the used-car market is a steady business area.

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