Most popular used cars in Australia revealed

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As new-car sales prepare to break records, retained values of used cars are slipping – but Australians are still buying twice as many used cars as new vehicles. Here are the top models.

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Two-thirds of motor vehicles sold in Australia last month were second-hand – and each took an average of nearly two months to sell – as used-car prices continue to drop amid more plentiful stock of new cars.

More than 206,000 used cars, SUVs, utes, vans and buses were sold in November 2023, according to new data published by the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) – the peak body for new-car dealers in Australia – and research company AutoGrab.

The tally – which excludes vehicles more than 15 years old, as well as write-offs – is close to double the 112,141 new cars reported as sold last month, up 18 per cent on the same period last year.

The used-car sales charts were led by the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux utes – in the same first and second-placed positions they held in new-car sales last month – ahead of other new-car favourites including the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30.

While new-car deliveries are on the up despite high interest rates and economic pressures – as vehicles ordered by customers months or years ago arrive in greater numbers – used-car sales dipped by 2 per cent compared to the previous month.

And the data shows the retained value of used cars up to seven years old declined by between 0.8 and 2.4 per cent compared to the month prior, based on information collated from dealer sales.

However a variety of models continue to sell for close to, or more than their recommended retail prices when new.

In some cases these are cars which continue to face long wait lists when ordered new – including two to four-year-old Suzuki Jimny and Toyota LandCruiser 4WDs, which on average sold for 36 and 6 per cent more than their recommended retail prices when new.

In others, they were cars which are no longer available from new – such as the HSV Clubsport (selling for 20 per cent more than new).

There are also budget-priced city cars – such as the Mitsubishi Mirage, selling for 17 per cent more than new for a five to seven-year-old vehicle – as the prices of Australia’s cheapest new cars continue to increase, with just one new model left priced less than $20,000 drive-away.

The AADA data reports 206,417 used vehicles as sold last month – a 2.1 per cent dip compared to October 2023 – while at the end of the month 303,732 vehicles were listed for sale, compared to 306,778 a month prior.

On average it took 52 days for a used car to sell, which the AADA says is the highest it has been in the past 12 months.

While electric cars accounted for 8 per cent of new-car sales, only 0.6 per cent of used cars sold were battery-powered – or 1.25 per cent of used cars listed for sale – as electric-vehicle sales a few years ago were only a fraction of what they are today.

About 65 per cent (135,141) of used cars sold were petrol-powered (down 3 per cent on October 2023), compared to 30 per cent (62,813) with diesel (down 0.3 per cent), and 3.3 per cent (6755) with hybrid (down 1.6 per cent).

The top two sellers in the used-car market match the new-car sales rankings, with the Ford Ranger ute on the top of the podium ahead of the Toyota HiLux ute – followed by the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota Prado.

Interestingly – while total used-car sales exceed new cars two-to-one – the 4683 Ranger and 4066 HiLux utes reported as sold used last month are outnumbered by the 6215 new Ranger and 5766 new HiLux deliveries reported.

The data shows 62 per cent of vehicles sold occurred privately – compared to 38 per cent through dealers.

Meanwhile 86,985 passenger cars were sold (down 4.9 per cent on October 2023), compared to 78,097 SUVs (up 0.2 per cent), 35,064 utes (up 0.3 per cent), and 6094 light-commercial vans and buses (down 1.8 per cent).

The peak body for new-car dealers says there has previously been “no reliable and regular dataset” for used-car sales akin to the data published each month for new-car sales, known as VFACTS.

AADA CEO James Voortman said in a media statement that “after a number of years of tight supply, Australia’s used car market is seeing increased levels of stock with increases in the time it takes to sell a car and a gradual decline in retained values.”

Region Sales, November 2023 Sales, October 2023 Change
ACT and NSW 63,435 66,290 down 4.3 per cent
Victoria 49,885 50,411 down 1.0 per cent
Queensland 46,980 46,544 up 0.9 per cent
Western Australia 25,856 26,924 down 4.0 per cent
South Australia 13,701 14,073 down 2.6 per cent
Tasmania 4898 4822 up 1.6 per cent
Northern Territory 1663 1864 down 10.8 per cent
Total 206,417 210,928 down 2.1 per cent

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex MisoyannisLinkIcon

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