Did you know that there’s almost one car per household in Australia? The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 93.1% of households have at least one car, with 55.1% saying they have more than one. Even when we think we’re at saturation point (21 million cars among a population of 27 million), we buy at least a million more cars each year! This has a flow on effect to the used car market. Over 2023-24, people have been feeling the pinch of the cost of living and inflation. Thanks to supply chains coming back online, used car prices have eased since the height of the pandemic. 

So, what are the state of used car sales in Australia? What are the most popular models? How can you approach dealers to get a bonafide bargain? We reveal it all in this post.

Used car statistics in Australia

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Australian used car market is worth US$69.90 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach US$113.19 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 10.12% over 2024-2029. 65.8% of all used cars sold were petrol-driven, followed by 30.6% using diesel, and 2.7% being hybrid vehicles. 

Two million used cars were sold during 2023, with 169,312 used vehicles sold in December 2023 according to the Australian Automotive Dealer Association. 61.7% were sold via private sale and 38.3% via dealers. This was also down 9% compared with the previous month’s figures. Overall, sales of used cars increased by 34.4% over 2023, hitting a peak in November.

The channel for shifting the largest used car numbers is through online classifieds sites, which is highly competitive. The top five used car market leaders are Car24, CarsGuide, Gumtree, Cartopia, and Carsales.com. Some specialist dealers, such as Brighton Suzuki and Toyota Certified Pre-Owned are also major players in selling used or certified used vehicles online. Many end-to-end digital used car platforms also provide convenient value-added services such as offering finance and delivery to a buyer’s home or office.

Popular used cars in Australia

The top selling used cars in Australia were unsurprisingly, utes: the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux. This was followed by the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, and Hyundai i30. The top five used car makes were Toyota with 16.6% market share, Mazda on 8.2%, Ford on 8%, Hyundai on 7.5%, and Holden on 7.2%.

How to get a better deal on used cars

As most cars are sold privately versus through dealers, the most important part of getting a deal is to be confident and set a firm maximum budget – don’t budge on these aspects. If there are genuine aspects of the vehicle that may warrant a cheaper price, use this as your bargaining chip. Make mention that you have loan pre-approval that’s ready to go (you can use this as your maximum price; if they can’t meet it, you walk.) Remember to always check the VIN and logbook – if your seller is avoiding your questions or refuses a quick test drive, walk away, and find something else!

Source: Explore

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