Car Sales Figures and Statistics In Australia 2024

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Australia is a nation where the love for the open road is deeply ingrained. Despite there being more sales in China every year for new cars than there are people in the Great Southern Land, Aussies rank right up there when it comes to buying cars, at least in person anyway.

Don’t believe us? Well, according to per-capita data, it’s true. In this article, we will showcase some pertinent stats that highlight how significant the Australian car market is in the global automotive scheme of things.

If you love cars, you should find it fascinating reading.

 

Quick Stats

Before getting into the guts of this post, here are some quick stats to get your head around.

  • Sales of new cars dropped below 1 million for the first time in 11 years in 2020, most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2020, sales of new cars were also at their lowest level since 2003.
  • For the fifth year running, the Toyota HiLux ute was the best selling new car in 2020 in Australia.
  • The second best selling new car in 2020 was the Ford Ranger, while the third was the Toyota RAV4.
  • Australia has around 789 cars for every 1000 people
  • One in every five new cars sold in Australia in 2020 was a Toyota, making it the year’s best selling car brand.
  • Sales of electric vehicles increased by over 69% in the 12 months from December 2019 to 2020.

 

Number of Cars Sold Annually in Australia

Around 11.247 million new vehicles were sold in Australia during the period of 2011 and 2020. The distribution of these sales were as follows:

  • 2011 – 1 million
  • 2012 – 1.112 million
  • 2013 – 1.36 million
  • 2014 – 1.113 million
  • 2015 – 1.155 million
  • 2016 – 1.178 million
  • 2017 – 1.189 million
  • 2018 – 1.153 million
  • 2019 – 1.062 million
  • 2020 – 0.917 million

 

The prediction for new car sales was to grow past the one million mark in 2021.

 

Figures for New Car Vehicle Sales in Australia

Despite positive signs in January 2021, the Australian new car market is yet to recover from declining sales. Predominantly, this is because car dealers reported stock shortages due to an increase in consumer demand and restricted production levels, which are just a couple of examples of the challenges the country’s car market faced.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several reports on car purchasing intentions highlighted that the amount of Australians planning to buy a new motor within the next four years had lessened by some 19.1%. This was due to a number of factors including the economy and housing market struggling and money lenders being tighter with their approval criteria.

While COVID-19 and lockdown limitations further affected these intentions, many car critics and experts believe the industry will witness new car sales topping the one million mark in 2021 as restrictions are reduced and the economy begins to recover.

 

Used Car Sales Statistics Australia

The used car market in Australia is significant, even though it’s difficult to track due to a lack of reporting and the ability to track used car sales.

According to ABS data collected in early 2018, the average age of an Australian car is 10.1 years old, despite high new car sales. Additionally, the Manheim Used Car Report of 2015 found that the Australian second-hand car market saw sales data movements of approximately three million units per annum – further indicating a very lively used car market.

 

Hybrid & Electric Car Sales Statistics

Electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.

In 2018, an estimated 1,336 purely electric vehicles were sold in Australia, while hybrid cars saw sales of 30,641 in 2019. In the first nine months of 2023, that figure had risen to 65,894 for electric vehicles and 81,786 for hybrid models.

 

10 Best Car Brands Sold in Australia in 2022

Here are the 10 best car brands that were sold in 2022 in Australia by sales.

1. Toyota – (231,050)

2. Mazda – (95,718)

3. Kia – (78,330)

4. Mitsubishi – (76,991)

5. Hyundai – (73,345)

6. Ford – (66,628)

7. MG – (49,582)

8. Subaru – (36,036)

9. Isuzu Ute – (35,323)

10. Volkswagen – (30,945)

 

As you can see, there are twice as many Toyota’s sold in Australia than any other brand of car.

 

10 Best Car Models Sold in Australia in 2022

Here are the 10 best car models that were sold in 2022 in Australia by sales.

1. Toyota HiLux – 64,391

2. Ford Ranger – 47,479

3. Toyota RAV4 – 34,845

4. Mitsubishi Triton – 27,436

5. Mazda CX-5 – 27,062

6. Toyota Corolla – 25,284

7. Toyota Landcruiser – 24,542

8. Isuzu Ute D-Max – 24,336

9. MG ZS – 22,466

10. Hyundai i30 – 21,166

 

Types of Passenger Vehicles Sold by Type

According to sales data on passenger car sales by type in Australia, it appears that SUVs are highly preferred by Australians.

As of the start of 2020, four out of the top 10 vehicle types were SUV models. Looking at the overall data for 2019 by segment, SUV sales constituted over 50% of total vehicle sales, with the remaining sales being divided between light commercial and non-SUV passenger cars.

Here are the top 10 passenger vehicles sold by type in Australia.

1. SUV Medium – (203,223)

2. Small- (163,701)

3. SUV Small- (139,250)

4. SUV Large- (122,333)

5. Light- (63,055)

6. Medium- (42,885)

7. SUV Upper Large – (18,572)

8. People Movers – (12,543)

9. Large – (11,531)

10. Micro – (6,505)

 

Number of Passenger Vehicles Sold by State

According to early 2018 ABS data, New South Wales had the highest passenger car sales among all states in 2017.

Here is how the figures broke down across all states.

  • NSW – (398,010)
  • VIC – (336,523)
  • QLD – (233,047)
  • WA – (98,034)
  • SA – (72,507)
  • TAS – (19,825)
  • ACT – (18,555)
  • NT – (10,709)

 

During this time period, NSW accounted for more than one-third of all car sales in Australia. This suggests that NSW has a higher rate of car ownership per capita than other states.

 

Number of Passenger Vehicles Sold by Month

Data from the car industry shows that demand for passenger cars sold by month is significantly lower in the early months of the year. This seasonality phenomenon can be attributed to various reasons, such as the post-Christmas and holiday slump.

Here are the figures for vehicle sales in Australia on a monthly basis for the year 2017.

  • January – (96,747)
  • February – (96,915)
  • March – (97,577)
  • April – (98,515)
  • May – (99,390)
  • June – (99,925)
  • July – (100,027)
  • August – (99,791)
  • September – (99,531)
  • October – (99,473)
  • November – (99,565)
  • December – (99,756)

 

International Comparison

Australia has one of the highest rates per person of car ownership in the world. According to the 2018 data, there were around 19.2 million registered vehicles in Australia for a population of 25.18 million people. This means that there were 776 vehicles per 1000 people. As of 2020, this number has increased to 789 vehicles per 1000 people.

To give you a comparison, China has 372 million motor vehicles as of January 2021, the highest in the world. However, they only have 200 motor vehicles per 1000 people.

Here is how other countries stack up

  • San Marino – (1263 people)
  • Monaco – (899 people)
  • United States – (838 people)
  • New Zealand – (837 people)
  • Iceland – (824 people)
  • Australia – (789 people)
  • Liechtenstein – (773 people)
  • Malta – (766 people)
  • Finland – (752 people)
  • Brunei – (721 people)

 

Australian Electric Car Sales in Comparison to the World

By the end of June 2023, the number of electric vehicles sold in Australia reached 46,624, which is almost three times higher than the same period in 2022 (a 269% increase). Electric cars now represent 8.4% of all new cars sold in Australia, which is a 120.5% increase compared to all of 2022.

However, despite the increase in EV sales in June, Australia is still lagging behind the rest of the world in adopting electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Agency, only 3.8% of new car purchases in Australia were electric last year, in comparison to 8% in the US, 23% in the UK, and 25% in Europe.