December registration reports

Public news

In December, South Australia produced a total (new and used) of 30,213 registrations. This corresponded to a 5% decrease year-over-year with 1,720 less vehicles registered than in December 2017 and a 10% decrease on November 2018.

Total registrations for 2018 hit 407,499. This is only 0.75% down on 2017 which saw 410,564 registrations. This includes new cars, dealer and private sales of used cars, trade in transfers and wholesale transfers.

New Vehicle Sales

In regards to national new vehicle sales, December 2018 produced 87,528 units, down 14.8% year-over-year. December was down 6.7% on November 2018. This takes the total for the year to 1,153,111, down 3% on 2017, a difference of 36,005.

According to VFACTS, South Australia was down 1.5% year over year (6,508 compared to 6,611 in December 2017) and up 5% on November 2018. However, DPTI’s data of actual new car registrations shows only 6,124. Regardless, this takes the total to 71,027 units for the year, down 2% on 2017, a difference of 1399 units.

Sport Utility Vehicles took the greatest percentage of the market share in 2018 with 43.8%, passenger cars taking 32.7% and other vehicles taking 23.5%.

Used Vehicle Sales

In December, used light vehicle registrations, including first time registered in SA, which could be made up of interstate transfers, for example, totalled 23,832. This was 5.6% down on December last year by 1,428 units and 12% down on November 2018 by 3,318 units.

From the data that the MTA receives from DPTI, we can assume that Dealer transfers to combined Private and Business entities are an accurate representation of licensed vehicle dealer sales in the used car market. Business entities are recorded by DPTI as any ABN holder that is not a licensed vehicle dealer.

Dealer sales

Dealer sales totalled 4,915 for the month. This is down 609 units on November 2018 and down 3.6% units Year-over-Year (5,097 sales in December 2017).

Private sales

December’s private market totalled 12,141 vehicle transfers. This is down 9.5% Year-over-Year (13,405 units transferred in December 2017).

Even though the total volume is down, it is positive that the gap between dealer sales and private sales slowly decreased in the back half of the year.

Click here to access December’s full Vehicle Registration Report.


In regards to motorcycles, there were 1,642 total registrations (new and used) in December 2018. This is 6.7% down on December 2017 (-118 units) and 14% down on November 2018 (-265 units).

New registrations, which doesn’t count bikes registered to dealers, totalled 284 units. This is down 57 units on November 2018 and 27 units on December 2017.

December’s used registrations of 1,348 (including those sourced interstate) were 5.9% down (-84 units) on December 2017 and 13% down (-202 units) on November.

Positively, Dealer to Private registrations had its lowest month for the calendar year at 96 units.

When we look at the full year analysis for motorcycles:

New bikes registered in South Australia:

  • 2017 = 3,611
  • 2018 = 3,365 – down 7%

Used bikes transferred or re-registered in SA plus motorcycles sourced from interstate:

  • 2017 = 16,590
  • 2018 = 16,965 – up 2%

Please note that in this data set, any bike more than two years old is treated by DPTI as Used.

There were approximately 2,500 used motorcycles sourced from interstate.

The source data (who sold what to whom) shows that in 2017, 82.7% of transfers were from private to private. This includes “business” entities which are simply any Pty Ltd company owners of motorcycles that are not dealers. In 2018 that reduced slightly to 81.87%.

Dealer transfers to private and business customers grew slightly from 9.4% in 2017 to 9.7% in 2018. This represents 75 more used motorcycles sold by SA dealers to the public.

Click here to access December’s full Motorcycle Registration Report.

If you have any questions in regards to either reports, click here to contact our Industry Engagement Specialist, Nathan Groves.