Australia’s next top models: Used cars to love in 2024

Amy Bairstow
Amy Bairstow
Australia’s next top models: Used cars to love in 2024

Quality used cars are very much in demand across Australia in 2024. So if you’re thinking of buying (or selling) a pre-loved car this year, what should you be looking out for?

Let’s explore the hottest makes and models with help from Carma’s Director of Buying, Peter Willis.

First - what were the top used cars in 2023?

To identify the top options this year, let’s first look in the rear view mirror. With over 2 million used cars sold in Australia in 2023, the most popular car types were passenger cars followed by SUVs and utes. The best-selling models were the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux - both hardy utility vehicles - followed by the zippy Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30.

Of Australia’s used car sales in 2023:

  • 96% were petrol and diesel
  • 2.7% were hybrid
  • 0.7% were EVs, and
  • 0.1% were plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs). (Source: The AADA’s Automotive Insights Report)

We could definitely see a bigger uptake of EVs soon based on Carma’s 2024 used car predictions - but more on this in a moment.

So what are the cars to watch in 2024?

Remember the serious shortage of new car deliveries during the COVID bubble? Carma’s Director of Buying Pete says this is still affecting the used car market. “We’re now entering a period where there is a very specific limited supply of quality 2-4 year old used cars as we see the knock-on effect.”

In other words, if you spot a great used car with low kilometres - you might want to snap it up before someone else does!

Here are the two big factors driving popularity right now.

Efficient & economical wins the day

The high costs of living aren’t disappearing any time soon, and lots of us are looking for efficient day-to-day driving. Pete says this is already reflected in the trend in car sales for 2024. “The top three car brands’ biggest sellers on in the last six weeks were Toyota RAV4 and Corolla, used Hyundai i30 and Mitsubishi ASX, demonstrating a desire for value for money and great quality.

Small can also be mighty. As Pete says: “In the budget segment, Kia Picanto are especially popular with huge volumes of people wanting to buy as an economical choice to get to work and back. It’s a huge demand point for us and supply is never enough for cars that are $15-25k, with decent warranty and speedo for people who aren’t fussed about brand or model preferences.”

Top picks for feature-packed fuel economy

Hot tip: If you already have one of these daily drivers and are planning to upgrade, now could be a great time to sell or trade in your car.

EVs and hybrids are picking up pace

As we covered recently, an influx of new EVs and hybrids to Australia means there are first generation EVs becoming available at appealing prices. Pete explains the flow-on effect: “Despite the low volumes of EVs, many brands are aggressively competing for market share on new EVs which is putting pressure on used EV prices, especially for EVs such as BYDs competing in price.”

Chinese brand BYD has just overtaken Tesla as the world’s top-selling EV maker, so expect to see this name gain momentum here in the future. And with new and updated electric models expected across SUVs and even the sports car segment, there are bound to be appealing opportunities for pre-loved models this year and beyond.

Top picks for fun & futuristic rides

Hot tip: Check out our guide to buying a quality used electric vehicle.

Whatever your make and model - seek value in 2024

Whether you’re looking for a compact commuter or a rugged transporter, value’s going to be key in 2024. Now that used car supply is stabilising, it’s going to be all about spotting those great opportunities. Fortunately with Carma, you don’t need to worry about being taken for a ride on price. As Pete explains:

“We’ve put our customers' needs at the forefront, and flipped the way pricing usually works within the used car industry. Our no-haggle model means prices are informed by up to date market data to ensure they are competitive and fair.”

We’d love to help you find your ideal car in 2024. You can start your search now, or get in touch with the team for help finding your new wheels.

To wrap things up...

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