MADRID – Ten years ago, 3,580 used SUVs and CUVs changed hands in the Spain. That number increased sevenfold to 23,840 units in 2016, according to AutoScout24, a European online platform for used motor vehicle sales and market research.

In 2007 SUVs and CUVs comprised 5% of all used-vehicle sales, but that figure had tripled by 2016 as more vehicles in those segments became available.

“We must underline that in 2007, SUVs and (CUVs) represented only 9.6% of the registrations of new cars and now this figure has increased to 33%,” says Gerardo Cabanas, general manager of AutoScout24 Spain.

In recent years, car-rental and company fleet purchases have offset the relative weakness of new-car sales in the Spanish market.

“In both cases, SUVs and crossovers have been chosen as main options to renew the fleets, due to their versatility, as they not only adapt their driving to any terrain but also allow greater load capacity, while projecting a cutting-edge company image,” Cabanas notes.

Another factor in the growth of used SUVs and CUVs is the gradual reduction of their average purchase price, which in the past decade has fallen 15% to just over €19,000 ($22,600), which is 35% higher than the average price of a used car in the Spanish market.

There also is another reason for the increasing presence of used SUVs and CUVs in Spain: the global economic crash of the previous decade.

When the Spanish economy was healthy, banks encouraged customers seeking home mortgages to include loans for new vehicles – particularly SUVs and CUVs because of the prestige attached to them. When markets collapsed in 2008, many Spaniards no longer could afford house or car payments and had to relinquish both.