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Current State of The Caravan & Used Car Market in Australia

Posted on Thursday 27th August 2020

The road ahead looks bright.

Nobody’s flying anywhere anymore, and you couldn’t pay most people to step onto a cruise ship. That’s the new normal, and it’s great news for road tourism.

Latest data from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia reveals more than 14 million caravan trips were taken by Australians in 2019. That number was up almost 10% in 2018, and our new world is only going to accelerate this trend.

The safest way to travel

Nobody thinks the world is going to snap back to the way it was in a hurry. So families, couples and groups of friends wanting to get away and see the great Aussie outdoors are adapting. A caravan is a COVID-proof bubble and a smart way around many of the frustrating restrictions in place.

Thriving Australian industry

People are pleasantly surprised to learn that many caravans and towable vehicles are manufactured in Australia. Around 20,000 new vehicles are produced by Australian industries each year and the sector is booming. Already some 60,000 people work across 6,000 businesses. We expect those numbers to increase over the next five years. We expect to see a lot more support for home-grown manufacturing in the near future too.

The future is not all grey

While the legend of the “grey nomads” holds some truth, the real surprise comes from statistics which show that the 30-54 age bracket represents almost half of all caravan camping trips. Tourism experts believe that one of the reasons for this growth is the improvement in facilities in and around camping hot-spots. As more visitors book and spend their money, there is more incentive for local councils and tourist industries to spend on infrastructure and amenities. This, in turn, creates positive experiences travellers share. Thus attracting more newcomers. It’s a very positive cycle.

How is the used car market faring?

While the March and April figures from the used car market painted a worrying picture during lockdown, the numbers for May, June and July have surprised many. A lower volume of used vehicles on the market has unexpectedly kept sale prices remarkably high. Auction clearance rates dropped as low as 20% during March and April, but new figures nationally show that traders are selling around 70% of stock at auction. These numbers are matched by private sales. One explanation is that when consumer confidence in financial stability is low, there is a shift away from buying new cars. This is likely driving the demand for used vehicles, which in turn is keeping prices and demand high.

A tinted window of opportunity

Smart consumers will do well to take note of the current trends in car sales. We will see many businesses, government bodies, councils and individuals facing financial restructuring. For many, selling off car fleets or relatively new cars will be an obvious early step. For savvy buyers, there will be great pickings.

For the young and the young at heart

Traditionally, young adults in that 18-30 bracket have looked to holidaying overseas or interstate, spending their limited funds on accommodation and flights. COVID is a game-changer, and these young adventure-seekers will quickly adapt to self-drive holidays and off-road experiences.

One thing is for certain - as soon as restrictions are lifted, thousands of Aussies are going to be desperate to get away. Getting away, for now, means hitting the road. Those reading the tea-leaves will set themselves up now with the wheels to do it. Waiting until the last minute to buy your next vehicle might be like shopping for toilet paper late March.

Start looking now. After all, roads point to your next holiday starting on wheels.

Want to join thousands of other Aussies caravanning around Australia? Get a quote on now.