The best-selling vehicle among private buyers in Australia in 2023 was electric.

    The Tesla Model Y topped the charts, despite being the sixth best-selling vehicle overall and starting at $65,400 before on-road costs.

    Tesla sold 28,769 Model Ys in Australia in 2023, with 20,577 of these – or 71.52 per cent – going to private buyers. It’s the first time an electric vehicle (EV) has topped the private sales charts.

    That’s in contrast with Australia’s overall best-selling vehicle last year, the Ford Ranger, of which 63,356 examples were sold but only 17,176 of which – or 27.1 per cent – went to private buyers, with the rest going to business, government and rental car fleets.

    Of the 1,216,780 vehicles sold in a record 2023, 630,297 were sold to private buyers, 429,634 to business fleets, 71,274 to rental fleets, and 33,803 to government fleets.

    Sales to private buyers therefore accounted for 51.8 per cent of total new car sales.

    The top 20 best-selling cars among private buyers looks quite different to the overall top 20.

    The top-selling Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max drop to fourth, eighth and 11th place, respectively, when you take out fleet sales.

    The MG ZS pushes past the Toyota RAV4, the Hyundai i30 widens its lead over the Toyota Corolla, and the Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Everest drop out of the top 20 entirely, with the BYD Atto 3, Mazda CX-30 and Kia Seltos instead joining the list.

    The Atto 3 had a particularly high private sales percentage of 97.7 per cent, with none recorded as going to government or rental fleets.

    ModelPrivate salesPercentage of overall sales
    Tesla Model Y20,57771.5%
    MG ZS20,30369.4%
    Toyota RAV417,86160.3%
    Ford Ranger17,17627.1%
    Mazda CX-515,57767.5%
    Hyundai i3015,05973%
    Hyundai Tucson13,93263%
    Toyota HiLux13,73822.5%
    Tesla Model 313,10975.6%
    Mazda CX-311,60573.6%
    Isuzu D-Max11,41536.6%
    Mitsubishi Outlander11,38247%
    MG 310,82770.2%
    BYD Atto 310,79497.7%
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado10,41450.3%
    Subaru Forester10,28462.8%
    Mazda CX-3010,21077.8%
    Kia Sportage919358.4%
    Kia Seltos879884%
    Toyota Corolla844242.2 per cent

    MORE: VFACTS 2023: All-time Australian sales record, Ford Ranger tops charts

    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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