Holiday Period Sees Used Car Sales Soften in December Automotive Insights Report

The December edition of the Automotive Insights Report (AIR) has been released today.

AIR shows that used car trading softened in December compared to the previous month, most likely due to seasonal factors. The average time it takes to sell a used car is increasing over time, while the retained values of used cars is edging down. 

“In December used car sales and cars listed for sale contracted from the previous month as Australians fell into the Christmas and New Year holiday period,” said AADA CEO Mr James Voortman.

“Petrol and diesel cars dominate the used car market making up around 95 percent of cars sold and cars for sale. The market for used electric vehicles is immature but is expected to grow as new EV sales make their way onto the used market,” said Mr Voortman.

“Despite a reduction in days to sell from the previous month, we are still seeing a trend of used vehicles taking longer to sell with December being the second month in a row that average days to sell is over 50,” he said.

“The retained value of cars continues to reduce, indicating an improving supply situation which should bode well for consumers,” he said.

The Automotive Insights Report shows that in December:

  • Across Australia 276,268 vehicles were listed for sale and in that period 169,312 were sold.
  • The data shows that the overwhelming majority of used cars being bought and sold have petrol or diesel engines.
  • The used market for electric vehicles remains very immature with battery electric vehicles making up 0.7% of total cars sold and plug-in hybrid vehicles making up less than 0.2%.
  • The average time to sell a used car is 50.9 days which is a slight reduction from the previous month, but the trend shows days to sell increasing.
  • Retained values continue to decline after the record highs of recent years.
  • Some popular used cars are worth more on average today than when they were sold new – examples include the Suzuki Jimny, Toyota Yaris/Yaris Cross, Toyota Landcruiser, Toyota Rav4 and Honda Jazz for vehicles aged between two and four years.
  • The list of top selling cars in the used market closely reflects preferences in the new car market, with the Ford Ranger taking out top spot ahead of the Toyota Hilux.

The 2023 Annual Report rounding up the full calendar year of used car sales will be released to the public in the coming weeks.