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Mining boom may cut used car prices

Small cars and utilities were the favourite choice, with the Mazda3 the most popular.

The latest VFACTSs report has found the resource states - in Queensland and Western Australia - are driving a sales bonanza in new cars bought as rentals, meaning there should soon be a flood of quality used cars hitting the market.

While the nation has recorded a 5.2 per cent increase in new car sales so far this year, Queensland is scorching ahead with a 13.5 per cent rise, ahead of Western Australia on 10.1 per cent. Adam Le Fevre, boss of Suzuki Auto Co which imports Suzukis to Queensland, said the growth in vehicles sales was mainly in rental vehicles which were up 91.6 per cent in Queensland and 65.3 per cent in WA.

''If you look at where the growth is, it's in the rental market and that's from the mineral and energy boom,'' he said. ''Companies would appear to be renting vehicles on demand rather than holding the asset. ''They are probably being sold at a corporate level in NSW or Victorian company headquarters and registered in Queensland and Western Australia.''

Mr Le Fevre predicted the boom in rental cars would lead to a flood of bargain-priced used cars in the next few years. ''These cars have got to come back into the market at some stage as good-quality, low-kilometre, well-maintained cars.'' While that might be good for buyers, Mr Le Fevre said it would have a negative impact on new car sales.

''Unless we can find a market offshore for these vehicles, like New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, then it is going to make it difficult for new car dealers,'' he said.

Mr Le Fevre said the rental boom more than offset the 3.9 per cent decrease in government spending on cars as departments put sales on hold during the Queensland election campaign. The Queensland increase came after three years of being one of the worst-performing states.

Small cars and utilities were the favourite choice with the Mazda3 (1306 sales) the most popular, ahead of the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Navara, Toyota HiLux and Hyundai i30. The Holden Commodore languishes in sixth place in Queensland.


  • Mazda3 3733
  • Holden Commodore 2991
  • Toyota Corolla 2991
  • Holden Cruze 2880
  • Hyundai i30 2433
  • Toyota HiLux 2272
  • Nissan Navara 2017