Sales of used cars were down in December 2023, mirroring Australia’s new car sales results for the same month – and the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux took the top two spots on both charts.

    Across Australia, 276,268 vehicles were listed for sale in December and a total of 169,312 were sold according to data published by the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA).

    Petrol and diesel vehicles accounted for the lion’s share, with electric vehicles (EVs) accounting for 0.7 per cent and plug-in hybrids making up less than 0.2 per cent. The AADA says the market for used EVs is still immature but is expected to grow.

    The average time to sell a used car sat at 50.9 days, down slightly from November (52 days). However, there’s a broader trend that is seeing used vehicles take longer to sell.

    “Despite a reduction in days to sell from the previous month, we are still seeing a trend of used vehicles taking longer to sell with December being the second month in a row that average days to sell is over 50,” said AADA CEO James Voortman.

    “The retained value of cars continues to reduce, indicating an improving supply situation which should
    bode well for consumers.”

    Starting in November, the AADA partnered with used car market data specialists AutoGrab and started publishing a monthly Automotive Insights Report.

    It’ll publish an annual report in the coming weeks.

    The figures are based on data about the number of used and dealer demonstrator cars listed as for sale around Australia at the start of the month, which are compared with the number of those listings that have been taken down at the end.

    The AADA and AutoGrab offer the following definitions.

    • For Sale: Level of available used and demo cars listed online by dealers and private sellers nationally at the time of reporting. AutoGrab processes and de-duplicates listings to identify and eliminate repetitions, ensuring that vehicles listed across multiple platforms are counted only once.
    • Sales: Total vehicles delisted from online marketplaces, serving as a close proxy to actual sales and recorded monthly. The delisting count also reflects unique vehicles, as AutoGrab processes and deduplicates listings to identify and eliminate repetitions, ensuring that vehicles listed across multiple platforms are counted only once.

    Best-selling used cars

    ModelDecember salesChange from NovemberAverage days to sell
    Ford Ranger4159-11.2 per cent51.3
    Toyota HiLux3379-16.9 per cent50.4
    Toyota Corolla 2874-14.7 per cent34.5
    Hyundai i302166-17.5 per cent37.5
    Toyota Camry2142-7.8 per cent38.9
    Mitsubishi Triton1973-15.1 per cent50.1
    Mazda 31954-17.0 per cent35.2
    Toyota RAV41850-14.3 per cent43.2
    Mazda CX-51729-14.5 per cent43.2
    Volkswagen Golf1717-5.8 per cent44.2

    Overall used car sales figures for December 2023

    A total of 276,268 vehicles were offered for sale in December, 55.5 per cent of which were advertised privately and 44.5 per cent of which were advertised by dealers. This was an overall decrease of 9.0 per cent compared with November.

    A total of 169,312 vehicles were sold – 61.7 per cent privately, 38.3 per cent via a dealer. This was a decrease of 18.0 per cent compared with November.

    Both listings and sales were down in every jurisdiction.

    State/territoryVehicles listedVehicles sold
    ACT & NSW85,59053,081

    Sales by vehicle type

    While there were more listings of SUVs than any other vehicle type in December, passenger cars outsold them overall. That’s in sharp contrast with the new car market, where passenger cars accounted for just 16 per cent of vehicles sold in December.

    Passenger cars98,53869,982
    Vans and buses92634516

    Sales by fuel type

    Petrol-powered vehicles were by far the most popular, with diesels a distant second.

    In terms of used car sales, petrol-powered vehicles accounted for almost two thirds – 64 per cent – of all sales. In contrast, petrol vehicles accounted for 42 per cent of new vehicle sales in December.

    Sales of all fuel types were down from November, though there was a 6.3 per cent increase in the number of plug-in hybrid vehicles listed for sale.

    Plug-in hybrid322133
    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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