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AUSTRALIA’S used car market has stabilised, showing a steady decline in supply and firm customer demand, according to the Automotive Insights Report (AIR) for April released by the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) and AutoGrab.

In assessing the report, AADA CEO James Voortman said there has been a trend of declining used-car listings since the end of 2023.

“It will be interesting to see if this trend persists given the record number of new cars being sold,” he said.

April saw 183,575 used cars sold, a slight 0.3 per cent decrease on the previous month. Vehicles listed for sale fell by 3.8 per cent; still slipping from the end of 2023.

There were a total of 276,719 vehicles listed for sale, a decrease of 3.8 per cent compared to the previous month, with listings down in every state and territory except for the ACT and South Australia which recorded minor increases. 

Against this slip in the listings of all used vehicles, Mr Voortman notes that the used market for hybrids and electric vehicles is strong.

“For the third consecutive month, sales of hybrids (5.7 per cent growth) EVs (9.5 per cent growth) and PHEVs (2.7 per cent growth) all outperformed the overall market,” he said 

“There is still a significant oversupply of EVs relative to other fuel types, but the mismatch between demand and supply seems to be reducing with EV sales growing at the same time as EV listings decline.”

Mr Voortman said that further proof that the market had stabilised was the fall in the average time it takes to sell a car.

“The average time to sell a used car has remained around the 44-day mark for the past three months,” he said.

James Voortman

James Voortman

“This is significantly down from the 12-month high of 52 days in November and shows that the market is stable.”

“Retained values continue to decline gradually across all segments with passenger vehicles holding up slightly better than SUVs and LCVs.

“Given the fact that the gap between used car supply and demand is reducing, it will be interesting to see what the effect will be on retained values and length of  time to sell.” 

Australia’s most popular used car remains the Ford Ranger which has topped the sales ladder for the first four months of the year.

“In April, it  built on that dominance, increasing its  lead on its rivals with sales growing by an impressive 7.4 per cent,” Mr Voortman said.  

“The Hilux came in second on the sales charts, one of four Toyota models in the top 10. This cements  the Japanese manufacturer’s status as the Australian market leader in both new and used car sales.

“While sales volumes underline Australia’s love for utes, retained values show that the most in-demand cars in the two-year to four-year category were sports cars and smaller passenger cars while in the four-year to seven-year category, small and large SUVs rule the roost,” Mr Voortman said.

By Neil Dowling

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