CAIRO, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- In the Egyptian capital of Cairo, sellers and buyers sought best deals in a big market where hundreds of used cars lined up.
"I came to the market today because I cannot afford new cars at their crazy prices," Mohammed Ashraf, an accountant, told Xinhua as he checked a German car.
In November last year, Ashraf had a plan to buy a new car, but changed his mind due to the price hike of new cars.
"The prices of some car brands have tripled since 2022 due the scarcity of new cars in the markets as well as the depreciation of the Egyptian pound," said Osama Aboul-Magd, head of the Egyptian Automotive Dealers Association (EADA), adding high inflation and limited access to hard currency needed for the import of cars also contributed to the price hike.
Meanwhile, the shortage of new cars made some car dealers to demand an overprice, he added.
As a result of the low demand brought on by high prices, Egypt has witnessed a dramatic fall in new car sales.
New car sales plunged by 69.88 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2023, according to statistics released by the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) in Egypt.
"The global economic shocks and local challenges that Egypt is going through have had an impact on the car market in Egypt," said Aboul-Magd.
"All these challenges made the used car market boom in Egypt as it has been difficult for the majority of Egyptian customers to buy new ones," he noted.
Mostafa Hussien, an Egyptian car dealer from the Menoufia governorate north of Cairo, was busy negotiating with a customer who tried to bargain a deal with him to buy a car made in 1999.
"The market opens every Friday and it is always buzzing with buyers," Hussein told Xinhua as he cleaned his car, adding "people are now looking for used cars because they are more affordable."
Hussien said he came to the market every weekend to sell his cars, and would always find a buyer though prices of used cars have gone up significantly since the beginning of the year.
"I never went back home without selling my cars," he said, adding that hundreds of cars are sold every week at the market.
"As long as the new car market is unstable, the prices of used cars will continue to rise. However, people still have to buy cars despite their rising costs," he added.