NOTHING quite matches the thrill of driving a brand new car off the showroom floor for the first time.
But buying a used car that has preferably had only one previous owner, with low kilometres, a full service history and is in good physical and mechanical condition will leave your pocket bulging with the cash the first owner has already spent.
Between a third and half the value of a car is wiped out by depreciation in the first three years, depending on how well it’s looked after and how many kilometres are on the clock.
But the Australian used car market is awash with quality late model vehicles that remain popular choices with discerning buyers, at better prices than ever before.
A quick scan of popular websites reveals the makes and models that budget buyers are on the lookout for – and some of the most popular choices might surprise you.
Commodores and Falcons are number one and two on the list for the most viewed models on Australia’s largest used car website Carsales.com.au.
This is a double-edged sword for owners of these vehicles who are looking for a buyer. While the market for these cars is still large, there are more sellers than ever trying to offload them.
This means it’s tough to stand out from the competition and even tougher to get a quick sale. This got the team at Are You Selling thinking about which are the most popular used cars in Australia and why – and it’s not good news for owners of European cars.
The ever popular family car is one of the biggest selling cars in Aussie motoring history, since it replaced the iconic Kingswood in 1978. It’s five-door sedan and wagon models took pride of place on Australian driveways for more than 30 years and the two-door ute was a favourite with tradies. These days there are LPG models that sit alongside the six-cylinder and V8 petrol versions. All late model versions get a big tick from us.
Fewer new Falcons are sold these days than at any stage in their 50+ year history. Later model variations can be snagged at ridiculously low prices – from $3000-$5000 for good ones. They’re built for Aussie road conditions and the legendary straight six cylinder engine makes for a comfortable drive.
Built to race, the Skyline is popular in the under 30s market and one of the most searched-for vehicles amongst used car buyers on the Australian market. Scores of examples are available from private sellers for less than $20,000 up to 2008 or even 2009.
Despite reports of head gasket leaks in later models, the Subaru Impreza is also a popular choice among younger buyers looking for sportier performance. Noted for its All-Wheel-Drive technology, they have earned a reputation for reliability, quality and performance.
Much has been written about the sheer toughness and durability of the legendary Hilux – which remains a popular choice for tradies, off roaders and even family car owners who have migrated to the dual cab, fully featured SR5 models. They hold their value better than most of the competition, even though the Hilux is fast reaching the end of its model run before the all new models hit the streets later this year.
Another favourite with Australian new and used car buyers – and it’s no surprise why. They hold their value, they’re roomy, they’re economical to run and they are exceptionally comfortable for a small-medium car that comes in sedan and hatch models. You can’t go wrong owning one of these and you won’t regret the investment.