It’s not just new cars: Used car sales rise in NZ

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Words: Matthew Hansen
8 Apr 2021

It’s been an explosive start to the year for local new-car distributors, with record sales of new cars in both February and March. But, the surge in interest doesn’t just concern fresh motors.

Interest in second-hand cars is also on the rise according to new data for the month of March. While 15,498 new cars were registered last month, a credible 11,008 used imports were also registered.

The figure represents a 28.5 per cent increase on the 8565 sales recorded in March 2020, a month admittedly impacted by the arrival of Covid-19 into New Zealand.

The positive sales data makes for an interesting contrast to the country’s declining number of second-hand car dealers. For the seventh month in a row, the amount of car dealers indicated on the Kiwi Motor Vehicles Register shrunk (in March it dropped from 3068 to 3058).

Toyota were able to claim both the crown of most popular new car and most popular imported car for March, with the latter top honours going to the Aqua hybrid hatchback.

Seen as being one of the cheapest ways to get into an electrified vehicle, a total of 787 Aquas were sold locally in March. Second and third on the list went to the Mazda Axela (3) and Toyota Prius, with 512 and 491 sales respectively.

The Honda Fit, Nissan X-Trail, and Volkswagen Golf were fourth through to sixth on the list. The presence of two Toyotas in the top three helped ensure the Japanese manufacturer was the most popular import brand, leading Nissan and Mazda.

The news comes in the same week as renewed calls to ban internal combustion engine imports came to light. The calls came from Drive Electric, with support from the New Zealand Green Party; both factions fearing that without a ban New Zealand might become a ‘dumping ground’ for the rest of the world’s unwanted ICE machinery.

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