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Australian car market landscape and statistics

The Australian car market has experienced its share of ups and downs, particularly with the used car market, supply chain issues, growing demand and lack of supply to keep up with consumer demands.

The following is a snapshot of the Australian car market landscape and insights into vehicle ownership.

New car sales in Australia

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Australia’s peak body for the broader vehicle industry, there was a total of 105,023 new cars delivered in February 2024, which was a 20.9 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023.

The most popular car brand in January 2024 was Toyota with 19,374 units sold followed by Mazda (7,350), Ford (7,275), and then Nissan (6,617).

SUVs were still the most popular type of car with 55.01 per cent of sales while utes accounted for 22.63 per cent.

There were 11,447 hybrids delivered in February 2024, ahead of the 10,111 electric cars. Electric cars experienced an increase of 70.4 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Used cars in Australia

The average price for a used car during 2022 was $37,000, which was a $10,000 increase compared to 2020. Factors that impacted the price increase were rising interest rates, supply chain issues and overall inflation.

January 2023 saw a decrease in prices by 2.1 per cent, the first time prices eased since record highs were hit in May 2020. Economists predict that a further 10 per cent decrease is imminent as the economy rebounds, supply chains lighten up and the marketplace experiences stability.


New car loan value in Australia

According to the lending indicators from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the monthly value of new fixed-term loan commitments totalled over $15.6 billion across 2023, beating the previous total in 2016.

The lowest value across any month in 2023 was recorded in January with $1.154 billion while the peak was attached in October at $1.433 billion. This peak was the highest monthly value ever recorded by the ABS for fixed-term car loans, which was higher than the $1.355 billion seen in March 2016.

Average car loan repayments around Australia

The average Australian who lives in a capital city spends on average $190.23 a week, which is $9,892 a year, on their car loan as reported in the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) data from the last quarter of 2023.

These figures have jumped significantly when compared to the same quarter in 2022 with an overall increase of 22 per cent on average.

Perth had the highest average for car loan costs with $10,020 per annum spent per household. In second was Sydney with $9,937 followed by Melbourne with $9,913. Brisbane spent the least on their car loans with $9,818, beating Hobart with $9,835 and Darwin with $9,845.


Car owners in Australia

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Transport Census from June 2022, 91.3 per cent of households reported that had at least one registered car while 55.1 per cent said they had two or more.

More than half of respondents drove their vehicles to work, making it the most popular form of transport in each State and Territory. This survey did not include motorbikes, motor scooters and heavy vehicles.

Number of registered cars in Australia

By the end of January 2023, the total number of registered motor vehicles in Australia reached 21.2 million, an increase of about 2.3 per cent compared to the previous year. This figure excludes approximately 4.7 million units of caravans, trailers, and various equipment types such as construction vehicles and all-terrain vehicles that were registered.

There were 79,700 registered battery and fuel-cell electric cars, which was a 100 per cent increase compared to January 2022. Hybrid electric cars also experienced an upswing with 362,700 units registered by January 31, 2023, which was a 31 per cent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

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