Used car sales in Northland on the up in 2012

By Brendan Manning

Northland's used car market is thriving with nearly 30,000 vehicles sold last year.

Motor Trade Association figures show 27,858 used cars changed hands in the region last year, 20 per cent more than in 2011.

Nearly 20,000 of those were sold privately.

All Kars salesman Brett Weir said due to the range of second-hand cars sold on his yard, there was no standout model.

Some customers leant towards smaller five-door hatchbacks "for running around town".

"Then you've got the recreational guy that wants the big four-wheel-drive for towing the boat."

Mr Weir said he still sold the occasional car from the late 1980s, but most were early 2000s models.

"People want even newer than the'04 stuff but it's all about affordability."

Customers had been opting for smaller cars for greater fuel economy. However, larger cars could be more economic on the open road, he said.

Nationwide, 782,575 used cars changed hands last year - up 23 per cent year-on-year. Most were through private sales such as Trade Me.

MTA spokesman Ian Stronach said the number of new cars imported (100,795) had been steadily growing and now outstripped used imports (81,827).

The Toyota Corolla, Suzuki Swift and Mazda 3 were the highest selling used imports respectively last year.

Unlike the early 2000s when New Zealand was importing two used imports for every new car, used imports had now dropped off - due to a combination of tougher exhaust emission standards and the proliferation of used cars already in the domestic market, he said.

"There's almost no used trucks being imported now because they don't meet the standard, or buses, and they used to be big - small trucks particularly."

- Northern Advocate

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