South Africa

70,000 pre-owned cars are looking for new homes on Gumtree

70,000 pre-owned cars are looking for new homes on Gumtree

SA vehicle sales may be down by nearly one third compared with winter 2019, but the market for used cars is growing, with SA’s perennially popular brands leading the virtual sales lot, according to Gumtree.co.za. 

Recent WesBank data suggests that new car sales remain 34.6% down compared with the same period last year, which means the new vehicle market has sold 120,960 fewer cars this year compared with 2019. However, the used car market is humming, with the online classifieds platform boasting more than 70,000 listings.

Gumtree Auto operations head Nunben Dixon says, “TransUnion insights suggest a new-to-used-car ratio of 2.31 used cars to every new car financed in SA over the last quarter, and we believe there’s never been a better time for buyers to negotiate a bargain on their future four-wheeled baby.”

With online shopping having surged since lockdown in March 2020, there’s been an increase in used-car listings as South Africans rework their budgets to future-proof their finances — but just because a downsizing might be required, doesn’t mean that car owners need to settle for second-best. 

Buyers seeking a second-hand vehicle that still has that new car aroma are spoiled for choice, with more than 10,000 cars and bakkies with mileage of less than 10,000km listed for sale. Those that are happy with an older vehicle with higher mileage can choose from the 4,715 vehicles older than five years listed, or the 2,333 vehicles older than 10 years looking for new owners. 

Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford vehicles were the three most popular brands before lockdown, accounting for more than half of all the second-hand vehicles listed on the online classifieds site. VW Polo (3,137), the unofficial vehicle of UberX; Toyota Corolla (2,475); and Ford Ranger (1,867) are the most popular models among sellers.

Dixon says, “New vehicle price increases are rising faster than inflation, which highlights the attractiveness of a preloved car. We all know that your new car loses value the moment you drive it off the showroom floor, and it will depreciate by 15%-20% more within the first year of ownership.”

Gumtree SA general manager Cobbledick says, “Corporate SA is under immense pressure, and with the reversal of SA’s economic recession being uncertain, we expect to see additional job losses and other budget cuts directly affecting our middle-class consumers over the next few quarters.

“Status symbols such as the car you drive and the house you live in are synonymous with South Africans’ collective culture, but we recommend prudent asset and liability considerations over the next financial year. The more consumers control their debt, the more likely they are to survive any post-Covid-19 aftershocks.” 

The 10 most popular manufacturers in the online classifieds’ site include:

Volkswagen — more than 10,600Toyota — 9,733Ford — 6,488Hyundai — 4,746Nissan — 4,446Mercedes-Benz — 4,152BMW — 3,695Renault — 3,045Audi — 2,159Honda — 1,470Other (various brands) 

This article was paid for by Gumtree SA.