Hybrids & low kms: Carma’s 2024 used car market forecast

Amy Bairstow
Amy Bairstow
Hybrids & low kms: Carma’s 2024 used car market forecast

Can you find good value with a used car in 2024? All signs are pointing to YES in Australia, with more choice, lower mileage and some neat opportunities for hybrids and EVs. We’ve sat down with Carma’s Director of Buying, Pete Willis, to see what to expect.

Here’s the Carma used car market forecast for 2024.

First up, used car prices are changing for the better

You might remember that when the pandemic affected the new car supply in Australia, the used car market went gangbusters and prices soared. Luckily in 2024, supply is looking better across the board.

As someone who deals daily with vehicle pricing, Pete says, “New car supply chains are freeing up which is starting to take the pinch away from the used car market, resulting in lower prices. We’re seeing a more consistent reduction in prices compared to 12 months ago, when prices were artificially buoyed due to a lack of supply.”

More stock = better prices

With new and used car stock replenished for many makes and models, this is set to keep prices competitive for used car sales in Sydney and beyond. Pete’s car price outlook for 2024 is that, “A genuine movement of the market is now occurring, which will lead to price reductions and depreciation of cars over time.” That’s a positive sign for anyone looking to purchase a second-hand vehicle this year.

Price changes could depend on what you’re buying

It’s worth noting the forecast for used car prices varies for different market segments. Pete notes that there’s typically been more depreciation in cars over $80,000, with up to 30-40% price reductions in some cases.

Mid-range cars in the $20,000 to $80,000 range are seeing less of a drop in price, as these family-friendly options are always popular. Which brings us to…

Value is key as interest rate hikes put the squeeze on

There’s no doubt that many Aussies are seeking cheaper cars and lower running costs as the cost of living has bumped up. The most popular car brands purchased on Carma in 2023 were Toyota, Hyundai and Kia, showing that people are hungry for good value.

Pete predicts this trend will continue in 2024, even if we see interest rates drop. “Popular models like the Toyota RAV4 Cruiser or Toyota Corolla will maintain their popularity thanks to their fuel economy and high-tech features.”

Explore used Toyota RAV4 cars

Second-hand EVs and hybrids are more affordable

If you’ve been thinking about going electric for your next car, 2024 could be the year for it. Pete says that there are a few elements shaping his used car predictions for electric vehicles in 2024.

Firstly, government incentives and grants saw more people making new EV purchases in 2023. Pete notes that major brands like Tesla brought in a steady supply of new EVs, while there were some delays in new hybrids from brands like Toyota. It’s only recently that some orders from 6-12 months ago are hitting the market, freeing up second-hand stock from the first wave of hybrid models.

Happily these factors are helping to soften the price of used EVs and hybrids, with price ranges dipping below $40,000 and even down to $35,000. As Pete explains, “​​This is the first time we’ve seen hybrids available in this price category.”

And in other good news - expect lower mileage

Here’s another unexpected effect from the pandemic. Thanks to everyone staying closer to home in the early days, we expect that as many as 20-30% of used cars listed in 2024 could have surprisingly low kilometres on the clock.

Pete says this can take the shape of three-to-four-year-old cars with mileage more typical of a one-to-two-year-old vehicle. “For example, three- to four-year-old cars might have logged 20,000 or 30,000 kilometres instead of the usual 40,000 to 60,000 kilometres.”

Lower wear and tear on these vehicles could offer great opportunities for savvy car buyers who know what they’re looking for.

Time to start shopping?

The used car market is in motion, and 2024 could be a great time to be buying second-hand. Here at Carma we’re constantly assessing prices so we can offer the best possible value to buyers. Add to that our pre-listing inspections, free delivery and 7-day returns policy, and buying a used car has never looked better.

We’ll be dropping another article soon about the hottest makes and models to look out for in 2024. In the meantime, why not start searching for your next car?

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