MUNICH -- Buyers and sellers of used cars are increasingly exploiting the opportunities for cross-border deals in Europe.
Internet broker AutoScout24 plans to expand its presence outside Germany so it can profit from the trend.
One fifth of all car buyers in Europe search for offers outside their own country, said Alberto Sanz de Lama, AutoScout24's sales and marketing chief. "You have to move from national to international thinking," he said.
New car prices can vary up to 30 percent in price from one European country to another. The difference is also reflected in used-car prices.
Furthermore, according to an AutoScout24 survey, 60 percent of customers would travel up to 200km (about 120 miles) for the car of their choice, and 40 percent up to 500km or more. "That quickly puts you across the border," Sanz de Lama said.
About 18 percent of all customers on the AutoScout24 Web site already come from outside Germany, mainly Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, countries where are there are few high value used cars on the market.
By contrast, only 3 percent of all German customers are interested in looking outside the country since there is the broad range of offerings in the domestic market.
The Center Automotive Research (CAR) in Germany has researched 44 on-line used car exchanges in 18 European countries. Based on its study, Mobile.de is the current market leader in Germany, closely followed by AutoScout24.
On the other hand, AutoScout24 is the top exchange Europe-wide.