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Thursday / 20 June 2024
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Most popular used cars in South Africa

Toyota was the most sought-after car brand on the pre-owned market in South Africa in 2023, selling more than 60,000 units in the 12 months from January to December, according to AutoTrader’s latest Annual Car Industry Report.

However, while Toyota was the best-selling brand in the country, it didn’t have the number one car.

That honour goes to the Ford Ranger, which managed to rack up 20,156 sales on the second-hand market last year, putting it roughly 2,500 units ahead of the second-best-seller, the Toyota Hilux.

Even though Ford had the most popular car, it was still only the third best-performing brand overall as VW was able to grab second place on the back of its Polo and Polo Vivo hatchbacks.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz were then able to claim fourth and fifth place, respectively, thanks to their well-regarded sedans like the 3 Series and C-Class.

You can see a full breakdown of the top 10 best-selling car brands on the used-car market in South Africa in 2023 in the table below:

Brand Units sold Average Price Average  Mileage Average Year
Toyota 60,296 R413,050 85,126km 2018
VW 50,340 R321,022 63,736km 2018
Ford 40,183 R364,036 84,994km 2018
BMW 24,821 R566,445 63,754km 2017
Mercedes-Benz 21,019 R557,470 91,429km 2016
Hyundai 20,630 R257,544 77,830km 2018
Nissan 17,120 R254,896 83,814km 2018
Kia 13,446 R253,959 57,032km 2019
Suzuki 12,811 R216,028 35,347km 2021
Audi 12,764 R476,838 84,137km 2017

The second-hand market has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, with AutoTrader reporting a 97% increase in its site traffic since 2019.

In 2023 alone, the online trader saw 127 million unique site visitors, 467 million car searches, 304 million advert views, and 830 million separate pages opened.

The average price of a car listing over this period actually decreased year on year by 7.6% to reach R399,163 in 2023, compared to R432,407 in 2022, though the average mileage increased slightly from 75,939km to 77,783km.

New-energy vehicles, including hybrids and battery-electrics, saw a 132% jump in sales, which AutoTrader attributes to advancements in battery technology and general affordability as new models enter the market at more affordable prices.

Pre-owned bargains

Out of all the activity on AutoTrader in 2023, these were the 10 most popular pre-owned cars that South Africans purchased:


Ford Ranger – 20,156 units

  • Average price – R444,020
  • Average mileage – 86,206km
  • Average model year – 2019


Toyota Hilux – 17,555 units

  • Average price – R453,621
  • Average mileage – 104,125km
  • Average model year – 2018


VW Polo – 16,140 units

  • Average price – R263,120
  • Average mileage – 65,495km
  • Average model year – 2019


VW Polo Vivo – 10,990 units

  • Average price – R192,989
  • Average mileage – 63,236km
  • Average model year – 2019


Toyota Fortuner – 9,169 units

  • Average price – R461,943
  • Average mileage – 103,691km
  • Average model year – 2018


Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 7,850 units

  • Average price – R438,692
  • Average mileage – 95,956km
  • Average model year – 2016


BMW 3 Series – 6,855 units

  • Average price – R372,799
  • Average mileage – 101,209km
  • Average model year – 2016


Ford EcoSport – 6,032 units

  • Average price – R242,056
  • Average mileage – 57,116km
  • Average model year – 2019


Nissan NP200 – 4,506 units

  • Average price – R168,833
  • Average mileage – 81,542km
  • Average model year – 2019


Kia Picanto – 4,460 units

  • Average price – R168,318
  • Average mileage – 45,386km
  • Average model year – 2020


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