Car sales: BMW, Golf GTI, and Ford Ranger bakkie remain SA's favourite used vehicles


• Average used car prices have increased by R9 003 in the past year.

• AutoTrader's annual report details trends and insights into the local used car market.

• Verstappen could have won if Red Bull didn't pit him for fresh tyres.

• For more motoring stories, go to

A total of 401 million online searches for used cars took place last year, this is an all-time record and an almost 40% increase year-on-year. 

Furthermore, the average selling price of a used car in the last year was R289 312, an increase of R9 003 over the previous year.

These are amongst the key findings contained in the 2020 AutoTrader Car Industry Report, which was released on Monday, 3 August. This annual report details trends and insights into the South African used car market. As the largest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa, AutoTrader provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says: "Times might have changed, and so have car-buying trends, but one thing is certain about South Africans - they remain loyal to their brand. 

"According to AutoTrader's data,despite bakkies and SUVs being the most popular, and top-selling body-type with new vehicle sales, South Africans still love their hatchbacks in the used car market. The VW Golf GTI remains the most-searched model with 1.5-million searches equating to 0.4% of searches. The Polo Vivo is hot on its tail with 1.4-million searches (0.3%) - they are also the most-sold vehicles in the country.

"When it comes to bakkies, Hilux remains the kin in the new vehicle sales, but the Ford Ranger is the go-to choice in the used market, and has consistently proven to be the best-selling bakkie.The Nissan NP200 trumps the single-bakkie segment with an average price of R139 557.

"The Toyota Fortuner is the best-selling SUV, followed closely by the Ford EcoSport.

"The Golf GTI might be the most-searched and popular model, but its BMW which has a special place in the hearts of South Africans consumers as this remains the most-searched for brand. It's then no surprise that the 3 Series is the most sold, and searched-for model in the sedan segment.

"And how much do South Africans spend on used cars? According to the data, consumers search for the most cars with a  R200 000 budget."

Ford Ranger VS XLT

Image: Wheels24 / Lance Branquinho

The 2020 AutoTrader Car Industry Report is exceptionally comprehensive. It covers anything and everything from exclusive insights from industry experts such asGeorge Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, and Mike Mabasa, Naamsa CEO, to current data and statistics about the used car market. This provides insight into which makes, models and – for the first time in South Africa – which variants (including trim levels) are essential to car-buying consumers.

Fascinating findings on the impact of Covid-19 on the automotive sector are also contained within the 48-page document.

According to Mienie, the report is especially useful during turbulent trading conditions – because the data helps dealers to acquire stock in the right price bands that also meets consumer demand.

"It goes without saying that 2020 has probably been one of the most challenging years in the history of the automotive business; we have been on a rollercoaster ride.

"Our Retail Price Index confirms this: In Q3, ending September 2019, we saw a high of 2.4% year-on-year, and then it sank to a price deflation low of -0,9% year-on-year in Q1 ending March 2020," he explains.

While each section of the report contains relevant and extremely valuable data, here are some of its highlights:


The full report can be downloaded free of charge here.

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