Weblog – Only Poles were interested in my diesel car

Audi A4 Avant

The market for diesel cars is ‘collapsing’ in the Netherlands. At least, it seems very similar when we look at the sales figures and what, according to Bovag, mainly happens to second-hand diesel cars. The latter category is mainly good for export, the majority of the Dutch no longer want them. Something that I experienced firsthand with my Audi A4.

In my working life, except for the past two years, I have made more than enough commuter kilometers to be able to justify a diesel car financially. Yet I only bought my first diesel in 2020. An Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI from 2008. I prefer a specific model just above the cost, I especially wanted to have such an A4 for the door. The diesels, especially in combination with a manual gearbox, are the safest choice in terms of reliability. In addition, I still had the hope that we would soon be able to go to the office more often and that it could therefore be justified in terms of fixed costs.

It turned out a little differently than I had hoped. Six months after I bought the A4, we were still mainly at home because of corona and there was also a significant cost item because I was going to buy a house. Every financial bit would help and so it was not convenient to have the A4 in front of the door any longer. It was very expensive per month for how often I was on the road. I had simply misjudged a different course of the pandemic. I hoped to make a nice profit with the sale, because I could have bought it relatively cheaply. With good courage I put the A4 up for sale. It was on a fairly neat example with less than two tons on the counter, a timing belt version and without further flaws. Wouldn’t I have lost that?

The first week passed. Three interested parties had come forward. Each with an Eastern European name and only able to speak English or German with me. However, communication was short: ‘3,000 I come pick up tomorrow’ was followed by a deafening silence on my part. In the second, third and fourth week many of these people showed up. There was no one with a convincing offer and sometimes it was just a downright insulting offer. I started scratching my head and wondered if I had really misjudged it that much. How could I possibly get much less for it than I paid for it that same year? I already bought it for significantly less than most comparable A4s, would I still have paid too much?

Finally, after a month, I finally got a decent response from a young Dutch couple who wanted to come and watch. They thought the asking price was reasonable and if they liked the car, they were willing to close the deal. That’s how it happened and in the end I still sold the A4 for a nice amount. Still, it really felt a bit like a lottery ticket that they wanted the car. They were not looking for a diesel, but specifically found my A4 attractive because of the wheels and interior, they thought it was ‘a lot of car for the money’. I don’t want to know how long I would have had to wait otherwise and whether I would have finally agreed to an export story for a few thousand euros.

Anyway, it was a huge eye opener, because a comparable A4 with a (much less reliable) TFSI in the nose actually didn’t go for less than €8,000. At the moment they are even quickly asking €10,000 for it, about double the amount of one with a diesel engine. Moreover, the offer is much more extensive. Apparently hardly anyone is waiting for those diesels anymore and most of them are already gone. Rather an A4 with a proven scary petrol engine, sometimes also with the not much better automatic, than a reliable diesel with manual gearbox. I know it’s an anecdotal example, but the diesel actually seems to be out of favor here in the Netherlands.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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