2023 used car sales: Foot still on the gas


Ford Ranger continues to dominate model sales, widening the gap between the Toyota Hilux.

The foot has certainly not come off the gas in the used car market. In 2023 the number of used cars sold rose by 4.6% year-on-year. Overall, 367,075 used cars with an average selling price of R399,163 were sold, according to AutoTrader data.  

Sales of an additional 17,000-odd units in 2023 and increased average selling price helped drive up the total value of used cars sold by 7.7% year-on-year. Amounting to a whopping R146.5 billion, 2023’s figure outperformed the previous year’s by some R10.5 billion. 

The Toyota brand continued to fuel car shoppers’ passions. Like it did in 2022, the Japanese brand sold the most used cars (60,296) in 2023. Volkswagen and Ford remain in the slipstream, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz making up the top five. 

Asian brands continued to make inroads into the domestic car market. 

“Suzuki was the star of the brand used sales growth show posting the biggest year-on-year growth of 28.8%. Kia too was in the driver’s seat with growth of 16.6%,”  says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

German carmakers might find the data worrisome. Of the top ten brands, only German premium automakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi (which lost two spots in the ranking) posted a dip in sales. Even Volkswagen’s ever-popular VW Polo, the third most sold model in 2023, is coming under pressure with used sales slipping by -4.54% year-on-year.

Mirroring 2022, the most popular models were the Ford Ranger in first place with 20,156 used cars sold, followed by the Toyota Hilux, VW Polo, VW Polo Vivo and the Toyota Fortuner. In 2022 the Ranger bakkie just managed to clinch the win over rival Hilux. But in 2023, the Ranger widened the gap growing sales by 15.96% against the Hilux’s 2.25%. The model with the highest sales growth was the Kia Picanto. The Korean hatchback posted sales growth of 18%.

Volkswagen’s much-loved hatchback, the VW Polo 1.0TSI, bagged the variant sales crown selling 9,318 units ahead of sibling VW Polo Vivo 1.4, and a trio of bakkies in the form of the Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6, Ford Ranger XL and Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6. Adventure SUV Jeep Wrangler Sahara made a showing in 6th position with 3,007 sales.

Top 10 models sold in 2023

Ranked by most soldMost Sold ModelsUsed Car SalesAverage PriceAverage MileageAverage Age
1Ford Ranger20 156R444,02086,2065 years old
2Toyota Hilux17 555R453,621104,1256 years old
3Volkswagen Polo16 140R263,12065,4955 years old
4Volkswagen Polo Vivo10 990R192,98963,2365 years old
5Toyota Fortuner9 169R461,943103,6916 years old
6Mercedes-Benz C-Class7 850R438,69295,9568 years old
7BMW 3 Series6 855R372,799101,2098 years old
8Ford EcoSport6 032R242,05657,1165 years old
9Nissan NP2004 506R168,83381,5425 years old
10KIA Picanto4 460R168,31845,3864 years old

Source: AutoTrader Used Car Sales Data: 1 January – 31 December 2023 


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