2023 used car sales: Foot still on the gas

Ford Ranger continues to dominate model sales, widening the gap between the Toyota Hilux.

The foot has certainly not come off the gas in the used car market. In 2023 the number of used cars sold rose by 4.6% year-on-year. Overall, 367,075 used cars with an average selling price of R399,163 were sold, according to AutoTrader data.  

Sales of an additional 17,000-odd units in 2023 and increased average selling price helped drive up the total value of used cars sold by 7.7% year-on-year. Amounting to a whopping R146.5 billion, 2023’s figure outperformed the previous year’s by some R10.5 billion. 

The Toyota brand continued to fuel car shoppers’ passions. Like it did in 2022, the Japanese brand sold the most used cars (60,296) in 2023. Volkswagen and Ford remain in the slipstream, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz making up the top five. 

Asian brands continued to make inroads into the domestic car market. 

“Suzuki was the star of the brand used sales growth show posting the biggest year-on-year growth of 28.8%. Kia too was in the driver’s seat with growth of 16.6%,”  says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

German carmakers might find the data worrisome. Of the top ten brands, only German premium automakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi (which lost two spots in the ranking) posted a dip in sales. Even Volkswagen’s ever-popular VW Polo, the third most sold model in 2023, is coming under pressure with used sales slipping by -4.54% year-on-year.

Mirroring 2022, the most popular models were the Ford Ranger in first place with 20,156 used cars sold, followed by the Toyota Hilux, VW Polo, VW Polo Vivo and the Toyota Fortuner. In 2022 the Ranger bakkie just managed to clinch the win over rival Hilux. But in 2023, the Ranger widened the gap growing sales by 15.96% against the Hilux’s 2.25%. The model with the highest sales growth was the Kia Picanto. The Korean hatchback posted sales growth of 18%.

Volkswagen’s much-loved hatchback, the VW Polo 1.0TSI, bagged the variant sales crown selling 9,318 units ahead of sibling VW Polo Vivo 1.4, and a trio of bakkies in the form of the Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6, Ford Ranger XL and Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6. Adventure SUV Jeep Wrangler Sahara made a showing in 6th position with 3,007 sales.

Top 10 models sold in 2023

Ranked by most sold

Most Sold Models

Used Car Sales

Average Price

Average Mileage

Average Age

1

Ford Ranger

20 156

R444,020

86,206

5 years old

2

Toyota Hilux

17 555

R453,621

104,125

6 years old

3

Volkswagen Polo

16 140

R263,120

65,495

5 years old

4

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

10 990

R192,989

63,236

5 years old

5

Toyota Fortuner

9 169

R461,943

103,691

6 years old

6

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

7 850

R438,692

95,956

8 years old

7

BMW 3 Series

6 855

R372,799

101,209

8 years old

8

Ford EcoSport

6 032

R242,056

57,116

5 years old

9

Nissan NP200

4 506

R168,833

81,542

5 years old

10

KIA Picanto

4 460

R168,318

45,386

4 years old

Source: AutoTrader Used Car Sales Data: 1 January - 31 December 2023