22 online car searches every second in 2022, reveals new AutoTrader report


Every second, 22 online car searches are conducted, borne out by the over 349 million online car searches made in the first half of 2022, this according to AutoTrader, South Africa’s largest motoring marketplace.



Tellingly, the unique data leveraged from these searches and contained in the 2022 AutoTrader Mid-Year Industry Report, show a shift in car shopper preferences, among these rising interest in electric vehicles (EVs). The compelling report, which covers the period January to June 2022, reveals a 134% year-on-year increase in EV demand.

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A wide range of valuable car shopping insights, among them demand and supply trends in the South African used car market, are provided in the report. The study also sheds light on the wider automotive landscape. 

The vital automotive industry is a key contributor to South Africa’s economy and the in-depth report also covers the country’s seven carmakers with a synopsis of their new car sales. An intriguing discussion on the future of the EV in South Africa also makes its way into the report.

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Given the global move to EVs, local car manufacturing strategies have begun to shift. Interest in new energy cars is also being fuelled locally, helped in good measure by the introduction of several new EV’s domestically and the launch of the first locally-built hybrid electric car, the Toyota Corolla Cross.

“The significant increase of investment by auto manufacturers into the production of the first generation of hybrid electric vehicles in South Africa has been an important and necessary step towards future-proofing South Africa’s auto industry,”


states AutoTrader’s CEO George Mienie.

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Heightened car shopper interest for brands that have a manufacturing presence in the country is also reflected. In 2022, the top three most enquired on brands were Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW. Together they generated over 40.9% of all consumer enquiries.

Indicators of demand include searches (popularity), advertisement views (interest for a certain car, segment or feature), and enquiries (the car consumers are most likely to buy). Other key insights you can expect to read are:


- The Audi RS E-Tron GT was the top searched and top viewed electric vehicle.

- Volkswagen was the most searched for brand, bumping BMW into second.

- The Toyota Hilux was the most searched for, and most enquired on, model.

- The Volkswagen Golf GTI continues to be the most searched for variant.

- BMW was again the most viewed car brand.

- The Volkswagen Polo was the most viewed model.

- Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 was the most viewed variant.

- Over 56 million body-type searches were made. SUVs had the highest body-type searches.

- The three most listed used models were the VW Polo, Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. 

- 9% increase in average used car prices YoY (R389,145 to R423,964); 2% increase in used average car mileage YoY (75,830km to 77,147km); and the average year model is 2017 (2016 in previous period)

AutoTrader’s live market data means AutoTrader can provide insights on demand and supply trends in South Africa; it is the only business in South Africa with the scale to accurately do so. This data is further used to create tools for the automotive industry that solve problems for both buyers and sellers, such as Fuzion, Car Valuations, Instant Offer, and the AutoTrader Car Industry Annual Report

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Launched on 16 April 1992 as a print business publishing various magazines – is arguably the success story of the South African automotive industry. The largest motoring marketplace, the company has evolved into a fully digital business that attracts over 11 million visits each month to its online platforms, where car shoppers conduct over 55 million searches across more than 130 000 monthly  listings on  mobile, tablet, desktop devices and apps - that equates to 20 searches per second.

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Its world-class iOS and Android applications mean car shoppers can shop anywhere, anytime. Furthermore, it is effortless to search for the exact variant that a buyer wants; AutoTrader was the first digital motoring marketplace to introduce variant level keyword search by organizing VIN data and car taxonomy down to feature level. This enables car shoppers to simply type in part of the make, model or variant of the car that they are looking for, and the system instantly auto-populates the rest in a drop down.

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