Record rains that swept through the country during the peak vacation months of July and August have seriously hurt used car dealers and car rental businesses.
According to data by the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs on Wednesday, 273,776 used cars were traded in July, down 2.5 percent or 6,600 used cars from the same period a year ago. It was the first time since 2008 that used car sales declined year-on-year.
Market insiders believe that heavy rains have dented consumer appetite. Adding to the woes are predictions that the used car market will be swamped with vehicles that were damaged in floods. Around 10,000 cars were submerged in floods this summer.
A used car dealer said, "We've seen a huge drop in the number of customers recently due to concerns that they may end up buying a car that was salvaged from flood waters. The market situation is going to be even worse in September and October, when those cars will start circulating in the market."
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Korea saw 693.8 mm of rainfall since July of this year, up 31.4 percent from 475.6 mm last year. The Seoul metropolitan area in particular saw rainfall on 35 days in July to mid-August.