Used vehicle listings soaring over 3-year period

As we commemorate Transport Month, we have to reflect on South African vehicle listings, particularly the used car market, a booming sector in the automotive space. 

For reference, we’re looking at used vehicle listings over the past three years and comparing H1 of 2020 to H1 of 2023. According to AutoTrader – the largest used car platform in South Africa – data shows that 573,083 used cars were listed for sale in H1 of 2020 by 105 different brands, a staggering amount. When comparing this with data from H1 of 2023 we see a 10% increase of used cars listings bringing the total used vehicles available for sale on the platform to 652,198 from 116 different vehicle brands. 

These figures show an increase in the number of used cars in the market as well as an expansion of vehicle manufacturers trading in South Africa. Over the three years 18 new brands have entered the market, and according to AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie, "the increase of brands trading in South Africa is partially due to stronger ties with China. We've seen brands like Chery make a triumphant return, as well as other Chinese brands like Proton expanding production in the South African automotive space." 

During this period, three  brands saw the largest growth in cars listed for sale, one of them being Chery with a 997% increase in listings on the used car market. Proton is not far behind with a 875% spike. British brand, Lotus saw a 620% increase, while luxurious German firm Mercedes-Maybach increased by 369% followed by Haval with a 176% bump.

Looking at some more historically popular brands, in 2020 Volkswagen had the most used car listings on AutoTrader accounting for 13.8% of total listings. Toyota followed closely (12.2%) with Ford (10.92%) in third place. The same players continue to dominate in 2023 with a slight reshuffle of order. Toyota listings now take up the largest slice of the pie at 15.3%, switching positions with VW taking second place at 12.98%. Ford's listings have remained consistent over the three-year period at 10.60%. 

There has been an increase of rare imports on the platform as well, however, these niche cars account for a small portion of the overall pie.