Second-Hand-Car Market

European survey on the second-hand-car market

The Market Monitoring Survey results published in November 2012 show that the second-hand-car market is the lowest scoring goods market for the third year in a row. Therefore, the European Commission is funding further in-depth research to explore the reasons for underperformance from a consumer perspective, and to investigate what actions the EU can take to strengthen this market. The second-hand-car market has traditionally faced problems in terms of low consumer levels of trust in second-hand-car dealerships and a lack of consumer knowledge about the second-hand car they are purchasing, thus leading to consumer disempowerment and dissatisfaction.

This study built on a large consumer survey with following objectives:

  • The establishment of the extent to which second-hand-car dealers are complying with the existing regulatory frameworks, at both EU and national levels
  • The exploration of the extent to which consumers are able to make informed choices when purchasing a second-hand car. This objective explored information received by the consumer in terms of transparency, accuracy, and level of understanding
  • The observation and understanding of the main problems experienced by consumers, and the handling of consumer complaints post-purchase

TML had an expert role and supported the survey setup and interpretation. TML was also involved in the subtask focusing on the development of an approach to quantitatively assess the consumer detriment in the second-hand-car market, using the survey results.


The final report is available here or you can download it from the website of the European Commission:


5 March 2015, Transport & Mobility Leuven was mentioned in an article in Het Belang van Limburg: Vier op de tien occasies vertonen snel defecten



funded by

European Commission, DG SANCO


GFK (project leader), Time.Lex, COWI, Significance


Kris Vanherle, Lars Akkermans


Lars Akkermans

+32 16 31.77.34
reference: 13.02