What Car Should I Buy?

What car should I buy? Literally ever car buyer asks this question first. This guide should help you narrow down your choices based on budget, lifestyle and requirements.

What type of car suits your needs?

As of 31 January 2020, there were 19.8 million cars registered in Australia. Toyota was Australia’s number 1 selling brand for the 15th year in a row with 3 million registrations. Petrol vehicles continued to dominate and accounted for 72.7 percent of Australia’s registered national fleet. Let’s break down your options by category.


Utes are often the top selling cars in Australia. This is also evidenced by our analysis on Shop for Cars. Australia’s favourite utes are the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Colorado, and Nissan Navara. Together, these five models lead Australia’s Ute segment.

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SUVs are the second most popular vehicle segment in Australia, mostly thanks to their practicality, spaciousness, and versatility. They are great for young, growing families and those who like outdoor adventures because of the additional storage space available. Interestingly, there are different SUV sizes, ranging from small (Mazda CX-3, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona), mid-size (Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Toyota Rav 4) to large SUVs (Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento). Seven-seater SUVs are also available to accommodate the needs of larger families.


Sedans used to be extremely popular in the past but have lost some of their sheen to SUVs today. Again, in this category, you will find small sedans (Mazda 3), medium sedans (Kia Cerato, Toyota Camry) and large sedans (Mercedes Benz S-Class).


Hatchbacks are another popular vehicle segment in Australia. They are best suited to budget-conscious, younger buyers who may not have the spends to splurge on more expensive vehicles. Some popular hatchback models include the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 2 and Hyundai i30.

What is the most popular passenger vehicle segment in Australia?

Sales of SUVs have grown significantly at the expense of more traditional passenger vehicles like hatchbacks, sedans and wagons. SUV sales in the first three months of 2021 saw a 19 percent jump compared to the first three months of 2020 while passenger car sales have fallen 9 percent in the same period. This is a complete turnaround from 2010 when SUVs had just 23 percent of the Australian market.

Should you buy a new or used car?

The decision is entirely based on your personal situation. If you are buying a used car, it is important to protect yourself with some quick checks ahead of time, so you know you are purchasing a vehicle that has not been compromised. A car history report is the perfect way to keep track of any vehicle you purchase. It offers checks like whether the vehicle has finance owing, odometer readings, stolen status, whether the car has been written off, regular service and maintenance and much more.

While Utes and SUVs dominate vehicle sales in Australia, it’s important to consider your own budget, lifestyle and needs before finalising what car to buy. So, if you are tossing between a hatchback or SUV for your family, check out Shop for Cars, your one-stop car shop for all your used car buying needs.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To read more articles like this, please visit the Shop for Cars latest news page here.

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About Shop for Cars,

Shop for Cars is Australia’s first car dealership-only online classified. Shop for Cars brings you the best quality new and used vehicles from trusted motor dealers Australia wide. Shop for Cars currently has over 12,500 cars listed for sale all from licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers ONLY.

Click here to begin your search.