The 10 most popular second-hand vehicles in South Africa – including price, year, and mileage

 ·15 Apr 2023

AutoTrader’s annual industry report revealed the most enquired-about vehicle models on their platform – including the average price, mileage, and year of manufacture.

The cost of living crisis and heightened interest rate hikes has meant that many prospective car buyers in South Africa are considering the second-hand car market for their vehicle purchases as their disposable income remains under pressure.

In March 2023, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) hiked rates by 50 basis points – against the market’s expected 25bps – taking the prime lending rate of 11,25%.

Commenting on the rate hike, Wesbank said the increase directly impacts people paying off loans such as vehicle finance.

“In a weak economy with slower inflation, a high cost of living and increasing food prices, many South Africans are struggling to stretch their already-strained budgets to reach month’s end,” it said.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) added that the rate hike already impacts South Africans’ shrinking disposable income purses and will impact consumers’ decisions when deciding to purchase a new vehicle.

According to Naamsa’s new vehicle sales report for March 2023, new passenger vehicles declined from 33,788 units sold in March 2022 to 31,631 units in March 2023 – a year-on-year decrease of 6.4%.

Naama said that this resulted from severely financially constrained consumers’ affordability to purchase vehicles or to service their car loan repayments amid the cost of living crisis in 2023.

Most enquired cars

Year-on-Year, the most popular second-hand car remains the Toyota Hilux, which has been the case since the second half of 2019, said the report.

The Toyota Hilux was also the best-selling New Car in 2022, selling a total of 29,647 units. This is over 10,000 more than another notable favourite, the VW Polo Vivo, which sold around 19,445.

Looking at the broader listing on AutoTrader, the report showed the average price and mileage by body type listed on the vehicle trader’s platform.

The average double-cap bakkie with 83,071km on the clock was listed at an average price of R501,886, while the average hatchback with 63,877km was listed at around R239,462 on average.

The most expensive average price was noted in the Coupé segment, which showed an average price listing of over R1 million with an average mileage of 66,556km.

Of these segments, AutoTrader’s report then listed the most enquired-about models. The top 10 models contributed 30% of all enquiries on AutoTrader, said the report.

Unsurprisingly, of 30% of all enquiries, the most enquired model was the Toyota Hilux, generating 17.8% of enquiries.

The Volkswagen Polo represented the 2nd most enquiries with a 16.7% share, while the Ford Ranger generated a 12.2% share of enquiries.

A standout is the Ford Fiesta, which didn’t feature in both the Top 10 Searches and Top 10 Viewed lists but comes in 10th on the enquiries list.

This shows, once again, that in some cases, consumers start their car shopping journey by searching for popular and trendy brands and models, but after some careful research, decide to purchase a “good value for money” vehicle, noted the report.

The top 10 most enquired models, including the average price, year, and mileage, are listed below as outlined by the report.


1. Toyota Hilux

  • Average year: 2018
  • Average mileage: 96,943 km
  • Average price: R465,178


2. VW Polo

  • Average year: 2019
  • Average mileage: 54,502 km
  • Average price: R284,179


3. Ford Ranger

  • Average year: 2018
  • Average mileage: 96,806 km
  • Average price: R422,402


4. BMW 3 Series

  • Average year: 2015
  • Average mileage: 99,909 km
  • Average price: R375,374


5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

  • Average year: 2016
  • Average mileage: 88,791 km
  • Average price: R475,010


6. VW Golf

  • Average year: 2016
  • Average mileage: 95,646 km
  • Average price: R389,468


7. VW Polo Vivo

  • Average year: 2019
  • Average mileage: 62,058 km
  • Average price: R194,994


8. Toyota Fortuner

  • Average year: 2017
  • Average mileage: 110,217 km
  • Average price: R478,553


9. BMW 1 Series

  • Average year: 2018
  • Average mileage: 92,494 km
  • Average price: R353,205


10. Ford Fiesta 

  • Average year: 2016
  • Average mileage: 85,593 km
  • Average price: R189,383


Read: New Nissan X-Trail launches in South Africa – features and pricing

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