It will no longer be a status symbol as it once was, but the Italians of the private car continue to be unable to do without it. Especially after the pandemic. The data say so, which testify to a 60% higher car use compared to January 2020. The purchase of new cars, however, is experiencing the worst crisis since the 70s and therefore the growth of the car fleet is explained only by the massive use of old vehicles for travel. In short, a sort of “Cuba effect”.
According to the Aci in 2021 the average age of cars has increased to 12 years and 2 months (4 months more than in 2020) and the 0-1-2 euros (who are at least 19 years old) are just under 1 out of 5 (about 18% of the total). Why this situation? Certainly an important role is played by the shortage of new cars for sale, given the current shortage of microprocessors and basic raw materials for the automotive industry, but the increase in the cost of a private car is holding back the purchase. . And not just new. Now, with the product shortage, also used.
Of course, the “dear car” is nothing new: the trend has grown hand in hand with the ever increasing presence of electronics and safety systems for driving on board. But, with the pandemic, the war, the China lockdown and the skyrocketing fuel prices, the situation has further aggravated. The latest Aci Yearbook shows that in 2021 car spending grew by 16.2%, slightly exceeding 144 billion euros: about 20 billion more than in 2020. The largest expenditure (41 billion) is represented by purchase and amortization charge, up 9.1%. Followed by fuel (39 billion), which recorded the greatest increase (+ 33.3%), and maintenance and repairs (25 billion), up by 17.4%. Basically, in 2021, the average expenditure incurred to use the car was about 3,600 euros, up by about 500 euros (+ 15.9%) compared to 2020. The tax component, which produced a total revenue of just under 62 billion euros (+ 17% compared to 2020). Here the greatest income for the tax authorities is still that deriving from the sale of fuels (34.7 billion); followed by VAT for vehicle purchases (7.4bn) and motor vehicle tax (6.5bn).
According to a survey by Mediobanca’s Compass Observatory, fuel consumption (66%) is the first driver in the choice of buying a car, followed by maintenance costs (54%). In this regard, a research by Autopromotec shows that in 2021 in Italy the resumption of mobility on long distances after the lockdown also led to a significant increase in the expenditure for motorway tolls for cars, commercial vehicles, industrial vehicles and buses (increased by 23% to 6.1 billion euros) and for tires (increased by 16.5% to 2.4 billion).
At the crossroads there is also the increase in the cost of motor liability insurance. According to an analysis by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the main concerns in Europe is the rising inflation of the cost of claims in the auto sector. Since the start of the pandemic, one accident has increased by an average of 4% per year and in the course of 2022 a further increase is expected from 5 to 7%. In Italy in particular, growth of average cost of the claim between 4.5% and 7%, compared to 2.4% in 2021 and less than 2% in previous years. And in fact, according to the Easy.it Observatory, from January to April 2022 the average TPL premium, albeit with prices still far from the pre-Covid period, increased by 3.7%, reaching 443.07 euros. To aggravate everything, then there are the latest forecasts by analysts, who imagine a shortage of new cars lasting not only for the whole of 2022 but also for most of 2023, with a consequent rise in prices. Thus, the ‘Cuba effect’ on Italian roads looks set to last.
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