YK Poudel  

There are more vehicles for sale than buyers going by the market situation today. While there are no statistics or studies to prove, many say thousands of Bhutanese leaving for abroad have saturated the market with used or second-hand vehicles.

Over 10 vehicles are put up on sale daily in the various “vehicle buying and selling” social media groups. Most of the sellers, according to brokers, want to sell for cash as they leave or plan to leave for abroad.

With the moratorium on the import of select vehicles, those selling expect good price for their used cars, but with many used cars put up for sale, sellers are not happy with the price they get.

Wangyel from Paro put her Honda WR-V on sale on a Facebook page two months ago.  “My son is going abroad for studies and we need additional cash. Although I received numerous calls earlier, the price offered was not what I expected. These days, I do not even get calls,” she said. “There are so many vehicles for sale and buyers have choices that have led to sellers not getting money as expected. I might as well have to sell at a low rate if the situation continues,” she said.

Sonam Choden who advertised her Hyundai EON on Facebook a month ago is still waiting for a buyer. “There are people asking, but the price offered is not good,” she said.

Another seller, Jigme Wangchuk who is in need of cash to process his study abroad is trying to sell his Santa-Fe. “I did not receive any calls. Most of the buyers just send messages or comment on the post,” he said.

Those in the business of selling used cars say sales of vehicles have reduced drastically this year. Field Manager of Jordan Asset Brokers, Suman Thapa said he could sell only 15 vehicles this year and the price was not good. The broker used to sell at least eight to nine vehicles of all kinds in a month. “Today, we can hardly sell three vehicles in a month – five vehicles are still on sale,” he said.

Another broker said that the market for vehicles in Bhutan has gone down after the pandemic. “We used to sell a minimum of five vehicles in a month, most at our expected price. After the pandemic specifically, this year we sold only three in a month – a total of 12 in four months,” he said.

In between January and April this year, there are over 200 second-hand vehicles on sale posted on Facebook that are unsold due to an imbalance in market forces of demand and supply of vehicles.