Business Maverick


Toyota and Ford are SA’s most popular second-hand vehicles – AutoTrader

Toyota and Ford are SA’s most popular second-hand vehicles – AutoTrader
Last year’s biggest-selling second-hand brand was the Ford Ranger. (Photo: Ford SA)

The marketplace says customers bought and sold 343,737 vehicles through its platform last year.

South Africans in the market for second-hand vehicles love Toyota and Ford, says leading online marketplace AutoTrader.

Last year’s biggest-selling brand was the tough and versatile Ford Ranger. 

The most popular brand was the trusty Toyota.

AutoTrader’s latest Car Industry Report for 2023 shows 60,296 used Toyotas and 20,156 Ford Rangers were sold.

Consumers are also snapping up electric vehicles, sales of which were up by 132% on the previous year.

The automotive classifieds website, which attracts more than 11 million visitors a month, has noted that e-commerce is increasingly popular among car buyers in South Africa as customers do their research, compare prices and even purchase vehicles from their devices, which is encouraging dealerships to take the sales journey online. 

Another key trend is the growth of the used car market: while Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council has noted tough times and a steady decline in new car sales in South Africa, the economic downturn and rise in prices of new cars are making used cars more attractive to consumers. 

Naamsa’s latest data, released on 4 March, shows that in February 2024, 28,857 new passenger cars were sold in SA — down 925 units, or 3.1%, compared with the 29,782 new cars sold in February 2023. 

However, domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses were up 2.5%, at 13,306 units in February 2024, compared with the 12,978 light commercial vehicles sold during February 2023.

Autotrader says that last year, 343,737 used cars were sold through its platform, with an average selling price of R399,163. 

The platform’s George Mienie says that 304 million advert views were opened and about 830 million pages were opened on AutoTrader last year.

“It was interesting to observe an apparent change in the most popular model last year – with the Ford Ranger claiming the most-sold new and used car over the Hilux and Polo, respectively.

“I’m curious to see if the Ranger maintains this dominant position in 2024.”

Volkswagen was the most searched-for brand, while the VW Golf was the most searched-for model.

South Africans love window shopping, and here, BMW fended off the competition to be the most viewed.

Consumers were expecting better value too, and they weren’t afraid of slightly higher mileage: Average sold prices were down 7.6% to R399,163 in 2023 (from R432,407 in 2022), while average sold mileage was slightly up, from 75,939 to 77,783 km.

Second-hand car market has potential 

WeBuyCars (WBC), which announced last month that it would be separately listed on the JSE, is also banking on the success of a thriving second-hand market. 

It buys and sells an average of 14,000 units a month. The WBC website boasts a monthly average of 5.7 million visits, with 1.8 million unique visitors.

It sees huge potential in the second-hand vehicle market due to the rise in the cost of living, which is enticing consumers to opt for more affordable used vehicles.

Naamsa has noted that with the growing and persistent strain on household incomes, the new vehicle market was weak, which suggests that middle-income households were holding off on making big financial commitments at the moment.

The situation is helped in no small part by the effect of higher interest rates, higher fuel prices, no relief for taxpayers and the upcoming general election, which is driving uncertainty in the economy. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Michael Forsyth says:

    Are the figures correct? AutoTrader’s latest Car Industry Report for 2023 shows 60,296 used Toyotas and 20,156 Ford Rangers were sold. How can they claim that Ford is the most popular brand? Or am I missing something?

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