AutoTrader Mid-Year Car Industry Report reveals fascinating findings

17 Used Car searches per second, and over R65.7 billion in sales. Is the SA used car market returning to normal?

Which used cars have the highest demand in South Africa in 2023? Which is the most in demand brand? And how many car searches happen every second? The 2023 AutoTrader Mid-Year Car Industry Report reveals the answers to these questions..

This report – which covers the first six months of 2023 – delves into used car sales data, providing several interesting local in-market car shopping insights.

Toyota is the leading brand in the local used car market in 2023, selling an impressive 28,061 passenger cars and achieving a 17% share of the used car market.Theaverage price of the sold Toyota vehicles amounts to R420,021, with an average mileage of 86,373km and an average model year of 2018.

However, Toyota does not reign supreme when it comes to the top-selling used car model in South Africa this year. That honour goes to the Ford Ranger, which has an average selling price of R433,371, with an average mileage of 90,659km and an average model year of 2010. Impressively, the Ranger has accounted for over 9,301 used car units sold this year, constituting 6% of the overall sales figure. To provide context, this number surpasses the total sales of Nissan, Audi, KIA, and Renault, highlighting the Ford Ranger's exceptional performance in the market.

The Toyota Hilux does, however, emerge as the second most sold used car in South Africa. The Volkswagen Polo, in third place, fills the remaining podium position.

The list of the top 10 most sold used cars is similar to that of  new cars sold and the top 10 most enquired used models – but it is far from identical. Four vehicles – the Polo, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Ford EcoSport – appear on the list of top-selling used cars, but not on the list of top-selling new cars.*

In addition, there are four cars on the list of top-selling new cars that don’t make an appearance on the list of used top sellers. They are the Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Hiace, Toyota Starlet and Suzuki Swift.

The top 10 most sold used models collectively represent 29% of all used models sold, which interestingly aligns with the same share of the most enquired models. But a fairly significant disparity in rankings becomes apparent when one compares the most sold to the most enquired used models.

For instance, the Ford Ranger ascended from position three in enquiries to position one in sales while the Volkswagen Polo Vivo moved from position seven in enquiries to position four in sales. The Toyota Fortuner climbed from position eight in enquiries to position five in sales. 

According to AutoTrader’s Used Car Sales Data, when it comes to Brand sales, Toyota emerged as the leading brand in the local used car market with approximately 28 061 used passenger car sales. Volkswagen took second position with 22 640 used passenger car sales and finally, Ford took the third spot with 18 836 used passenger car sales. 

The report also contains some staggering figures. For instance, it reveals that – 

“In the first six months of 2023, over 263 million vehicle searches were conducted on AutoTrader. This translates into over 17 consumer searches per second! This is, of course, indicative of a segment of the automotive industry that is gaining momentum,” comments George Mienie,AutoTrader CEO.  “Despite numerous challenges, the South African automotive industry has shown remarkable resilience and progress. Collaborative efforts among automakers, dealerships and tech giants have accelerated demand and supply, ensuring the industry's competitive edge on a global scale,” he concludes.