While used-car sales in South Africa in May mimicked floundering new-car sales, consumers are demonstrating increasing interest in buying used cars, says digital motoring marketplace, AutoTrader.
More than 17 000 used cars were sold on AutoTrader in May compared with more than 36 000 in the same month last year – a decline of 52.11%.
But the big news is the fact that a total of 37.7-million vehicle searches took place in May, compared with 25.1-million in the same month last year, which is a substantial increase of 49.78%.
“We have to remember that trading resumed halfway through the month [May] and that licensing departments remain closed – so the sales figures are quite encouraging given the circumstances,” says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.
“The search results indicate pent-up demand, which is great for the economy and could indicate a return to normal.”
For the year to date, however, the cumulative value of used-car sales shows a dramatic, but understandable, decline compared with 2019, says Mienie.
A cumulative selling price of R4.8-billion was recorded in 2020 on a year-to-date basis – versus R10.2-billion over the same period in 2019.
The Ford Ranger was once again the most-sold used car in May, but the two other podium positions changed completely when compared with April this year.
The Kia Sportage and Jeep Wrangler (number two and three in April) were replaced by the Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Hilux.
“This is interesting to see,” notes Mienie. “This indicates that the market is normalising. The Polo and Hilux are perennially popular.”
In a similar vein, the vehicle in the number four spot in April – the Kia Picanto – was replaced by the Volkswagen Polo Vivo in May.
“This is what we have come to expect from used-car buyers. The Polo Vivo is always a top performer in the used-car market,” says Mienie.
He adds that Gauteng was the most active province during May, accounting for 61% of the total used-car market share in South Africa.
The Ranger reigned supreme in this province, with more than 10 000 sales in May.