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Cost of living boosting used ute, car market

Used utes Australia

Cost of living pressures may have boosted used car sales to record levels but the Australian favourite, the large ute seems to be around for the long term.


The Australian Automotive Dealer Association and AutoGrab first annual Automotive Insights Report into the used car sales market showed more than two million or almost two used car sales to every new vehicle were sold in 2023.

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The data which in many ways mirrors the new vehicles sales, with Toyota as the top seller and the Ford Ranger the most popular vehicle, shows that 2,074,535 used cars were sold in Australia in 2023.

The demand for used cars showed 34.4 per cent growth over the year, hitting its peak in November 2023.

The stock of used EVs remained small with used sales totalling less than one per cent as well as taking longer to sell, while hybrids amount to only 2.7 percent. Combined the two types make up 15 per cent of new car sales.

The race at the top between the Ford Ranger selling 65,938 units and Toyota Hilux (65,852) continues with a gap of only 86 vehicles. These strong sales also reflected that utes largely retained their value on the secondary market.

A second (or third) life

Toyota was the top selling used car brand with 16.6 per cent market share, followed by Mazda 8.2 per cent and Ford 8.0 per cent.

AutoGrab Chief Commercial Officer Saxon Odgers said the growing population and cost of living pressures had contributed to the strong used car market.

“The good news for those looking to purchase a used car is that we’ve seen a clear downward price trajectory since March 2023 following a surge of new vehicle supply, with this pattern anticipated to persist through the first half of 2024. This represents a win for consumers who now have a choice when looking to buy their next car as new cars are available for delivery and used cars are more accessible,” Odgers says.

AADA CEO Mr James Voortman says the record figures shows the important role the used car market had in continuing choice for buyers.

“The combined new and used car market saw almost 3.3 million cars sold in 2023 and it is important for industry participants, regulators and policymakers to look at the entire market when making decisions” Voortman says.

“When diving into retained values of vehicles, we can see that across all age groups, utes and light commercial vehicles held their values above the average. Passenger vehicles across all age groups tracked close to the average, while SUVs were the worst performing vehicle segments in terms of retained value, sitting well below average for all age groups.”

The full results can be read here.

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