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Used cars account for the majority of car sales in 2023

Almost two-thirds of cars sold in Australia last year were used as used car prices continue decreasing and new car stock catches up with demand.

Last year 2,074,535 used cars were sold compared to 1,216,780 new cars. According to data from the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) in conjunction with AutoGrab, there were 2,013,465 used cars listed for sale.

The data excludes cars that are over 15 years old, write-offs, and heavy vehicles like trucks.

Used car sales increased by 34.4 per cent last year and peaked in November. The plateauing of sales is attributed to the falling used car prices as the stock of new cars improved.

Used car prices decreased by 1 to 1.5 per cent every month, supplemented with an increase in the time it took for used cars to sell. The average time to sell increased from 40.5 days to 50.9 days thanks in part to the improving stock of new cars causing buyers to turn away from the used car market.

It’s no surprise that the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux were the top-selling cars, mirroring that of their new car counterparts with 65,938 and 65,852 used car sales respectively.

Toyota proved to be the most popular car brand accounting for 16.6 per cent of sales with Mazda coming in second with 8.2 per cent and Ford with 8 per cent.

There were roughly 39 per cent of used cars sold through dealers while 60 per cent were done through private sales. The cars sold through dealers were less than seven years old however the majority of privately sold used cars exceeded five years in age.

Across all vehicle types, ages, and seller types, the price of used vehicles under ten years old declined by 11.6 per cent over 12 months compared to 67 per cent of their new value at the end of December.

More than 96 per cent of used cars sold were petrol or diesel-powered while only 2.7 per cent were hybrid. The time taken to sell a used electric car jumped from 50 to 75 days.

The AADA believes that the overall decline in values is due to new models on the market at lower prices and the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemptions which encourage electric car owners to sell their cars for new models that fall under the threshold.

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