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What Australian used car buyers really want

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When looking for a daily drive on the used car market, most Australians would choose a medium SUV in a lighter colour to stay cool in the sun, according to Carzoos research.

Does this sound like something you’d look for in a used car?

If not, maybe you’d choose a lighter coloured car to save on trips to the car wash or for its resale value. And you might choose a hatchback or a ute instead.

Three in four Australians would buy a lighter coloured car

We asked 1,275 Australians online if and why they would choose a lighter colour (eg. white, silver or grey) over a darker colour.

Nearly three in four Australians surveyed would choose a lighter colour (73.7%).

Global colour coating company Axalta also revealed that white has been the most popular car colour since overtaking silver in 2011.

Some states in Australia favoured a lighter colour more. Out of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, West Australia and South Australia, respondents who favoured a lighter colour most were Queenslanders (77.9%) while NSW respondents were on the other end of the scale (70.9%).

Temperature is a big factor for car colour in Queensland

Australian car colour preference heatmap

What’s a cool car colour - lime green or Ferrari red?

Not that kind of cool.

As most Australian drivers are aware of, lighter shades like white, grey or silver are significantly cooler in the sun than colours like black, blue or maroon.

Not surprisingly, QLD was among the top two states for respondents who would choose a lighter colour based on maintaining a comfortable temperature. Nearly three in five Queenslanders who would choose a lighter coloured car, would do so to stay cool.

WA respondents were also significantly in favour of choosing a lighter colour to remain cooler in the sun (59.6%).

Tasmania favoured darker cars the most - 45.1%.

One in three Australians think a medium SUV is most practical

Cars Australians think are most practical

When it came to considering what car would be the most practical, Carzoos research reveals that a Mazda CX-5 was the most popular car for Australians.

The research included a survey of 1,208 Australians and asked which car out of five was the most practical.

Cars were selected based on the top five manufacturers from 2018 VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and segmented into five popular classes of car:

Nearly one in three Australians chose the Mazda CX-5 (29.5%).

The next most popular car was the Hyundai Accent (21%), followed by the Ford Ranger (18.8%) and Holden Commodore (17.1%).

How different states prefer car types

Some states favoured other types of cars more heavily than others. A higher percentage of Queenslanders chose the Ford Ranger than other states in Australia. South Australians and West Australians also were more in favour of this ute.

One in four Victorians chose the Hyundai Accent, which is more than other states.

More South Australians and NSW respondents opted for the classic Holden Commodore than other states - nearly one in five.

Generation X really know what they want - a medium SUV

Cars Australians think are most practical, by age

Respondents in age groups close to Generation X were the most decisive when choosing a car they thought was most practical.

As many as 35% of Generation X respondents chose the Mazda CX-5, while just 27% of Generation Y and 25% of over 55 respondents opted for this car.

Being the age bracket that is most likely to have a family, it’s no wonder Generation X prefer the space and versatility of a medium sized SUV.

Generation X were also least likely to choose the Toyota Camry out of any other age group.

Over 55 respondents were the only age group that favoured the Hyundai Accent (28.5%) ahead of the Mazda CX-5. The Hyundai’s superior fuel efficiency may be something on the mind of Australians who are approaching retirement and looking to save.

Men and women think differently on what makes a car practical

The Mazda CX-5 was still the most popular for practicality among both genders but far more women chose the CX-5. Nearly one in three women (31.3%) went for the medium SUV compared to just over one in four men (27.8%).

The Ford Ranger wasn’t far behind the CX-5 for men, with 23.9% choosing the ute compared to just 13.4% of women.

The Hyundai Accent was the clear second choice for women with about one in four going for the smallest car from the selection. Men, meanwhile, chose a Holden Commodore ahead of the Hyundai, with just 17% going for the Accent.

Who could argue that utes or hatchbacks aren’t practical vehicles? It might be a personal preference on how the driver is perceived behind the wheel that makes the difference for men and women.

Respondents from the Northern Territory were not segmented in the survey analysis due to a small sample size.

Carzoos has created an entirely new way to sell and buy used cars.