The most sold vehicle on AutoTrader’s website is the Ford Ranger. Picture: SUPPLIED
The most sold vehicle on AutoTrader’s website is the Ford Ranger. Picture: SUPPLIED

The AutoTrader website reported a record 401-million online searches for used cars in the past 12 months, a 38.5% year-on-year growth.

This is according to AutoTrader’s “2020 Car Industry Report”, which reveals detailed trends and buying patterns in SA’s pre-owned car market.

It is noted in the report that the average selling price of used cars on the website increased to R289,312 in the 12 months to June. This was a 3% increase over the year before, and resulted from increases in average used-car prices in February and March.

Another key finding was that during Covid-19 lockdown levels 5 and 4, consumers became more price conscious, says George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO.

The AutoTrader report includes the ten most searched used-car variants, showing local buyers have a taste for high-performance models. Picture: SUPPLIED
The AutoTrader report includes the ten most searched used-car variants, showing local buyers have a taste for high-performance models. Picture: SUPPLIED

During the lockdown period, searches shifted to include under R50,000 as one of the top five most searched price ranges, he said. This normalised as restrictions were lifted and the market operated under level 3 lockdown.

The under R200,000 price range continues to be the most searched price point for used-car shoppers.

According to the report, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused used-vehicle sales to plummet 11.9% in the past year, having been on track for a 9% increase.

Mienie stressed the importance of digital retailing to the future success of car dealers, as social distancing has caused car buyers to limit visits to physical dealerships.

The 48-page report provides insight into which makes, models and variants (including trim levels and colours) are important to car-buying consumers. Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  1. The most searched for brand is BMW, ahead of Mercedes-Benz, VW and Toyota.
  2. The most sold vehicle is the Ford Ranger, followed by the VW Polo and Toyota Hilux.
  3. The most searched for variant is the Volkswagen Golf GTI, followed by the VW Polo GTi and Mercedes-AMG C63.
  4. The most searched for price range is R200,000 and under.
  5. The average mileage of all cars sold was 74,923km, an increase of about 607km on the previous year.
  6. White is by far the most popular car colour with more than double the number of searches than second-placed silver, followed by grey, black and blue.

The full report can be downloaded free here.

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