Aurélien Fleurot with AFP 7:03 a.m., January 18, 2023

The famous Argus rating has just been revised upwards to better reflect the sharp increase in prices charged on the market.

A very rare increase but which has become inevitable since the drop in production of new cars for more than two years, linked to the health crisis, has upset the automotive market.

But how do you calculate the rating of a car? 

The Argus announced on Tuesday an exceptional upward revision of its ratings for used cars, followed by automotive professionals.

While the supply of new cars remains slowed by logistical problems, "the selling prices of used cars have increased by around 30% in two years. This has never happened in such a short period of time" , explains in a press release Olivier Flavier, vice-president Mobility France of the Adevinta group, parent company of L'Argus and owner of Bon Coin. 

"As we noticed a gap which was becoming much too great between the selling prices of used cars and our ratings which are necessarily lower, we have rectified our depreciation curves to ensure that they stick more to the market" , underlined Mr. Flavier.

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The Argus rating, a benchmark

Launched in the 1930s, the Argus rating serves as a reference for the recovery of cars by a professional, indicating a depreciation curve for each type of vehicle from its new selling price.

The Argus rarely changes its ratings, but it has had to adapt to the upheavals the auto industry has experienced over the past two years. 

In the spring of 2020, the car market collapsed with the Covid-19 lockdown and the newspaper suspended its ratings for the first time since 1940. The second-hand market then had a record year in 2021, but s collapsed in 2022 (-13.5% with 5.2 million transactions).

The scarcity of recent cars has increased their prices, pushing buyers to turn to older models, indicated the firm AAAdata in early January.

“Today, this is an adjustment anticipated and worked on for several months by teams of experts and data scientists. It concerns all private vehicles, with different levels of adjustment depending on the energy and the age of the vehicle," says Mr. Flavier.

How is the rating of a car calculated?

The Argus rating is the benchmark for pricing used cars.

It is developed by experts in the automotive sector such as manufacturers, rental companies and distributors.

It has existed for nearly a century and allows you to anticipate the future discount of a car, that is to say the value it will lose over the months.

This work begins even before the marketing of a new car.

The rating of a car is calculated according to its engine, options and the number of kilometers travelled.

This gives the estimate of the price of trade-in of your car by a professional.

An estimate which is also used during sales between individuals, which are the majority on the market.

This is not a final price but a basis for negotiation.

The announcement of this very rare upward revision will make it possible to stick better to the market with prices which have climbed by almost 30% in two years.