E-commerce platforms selling pre-owned cars likely to see traffic, growth surge

With multiple players betting on online pre-owned car sales in the country, experts estimate the segment is likely to continue clocking 15-20 per cent growth over the next one year.

The number of pre-owned vehicles sold using various online platforms is also expected to grow ten-fold to around 20 million over the next 10 years.

According to estimates by CarTrade.com, one of the major players in this space, the segment sells around 2.5 million vehicles annually.

“Growth in the segment is likely to be fueled by the increasing internet penetration,” Vinay Sanghi, founder and chief executive officer of CarTrade.com said. “The trend will also be supported by a year-on-year increase in demand for used cars and reduced ownership lifecycle of a car.”

Sanghi expects CarTrade.com to grow three-fold this year. The platform attracts 4.5-5 million unique visitors per month.

Almost 55 per cent of used car sales in India take place in five cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai. Several experts also hope the segment will pan out on the lines of China, which now sells 20 million used cars in a year, up from 3.5 million six years ago.

The rising buyer interest in the segment was reflected in the 'Online Auto Mela' by Amazon India's price comparison portal Junglee.com earlier this month. Junglee.com witnessed a three-time rise in demand for automobiles during the one-week event.

The event had on offer over 30,000 pre-owned cars and 5,000 bikes from online and offline automobile sellers across the country. Automobile players like CarWale.com, CarTrade.com, Mahindra First Choice, Gaadi, CarDekho.com and Zigwheels participated in the festival. Seeing the response, Mahendra Nerurkar, general manager at Junglee.com, had said, “There is every reason to believe we might try it again.”

In view of the potential, several marquee investors have bet on companies in the segment. In February, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed amount in CarDekho.com.

Players in the segment are looking to offer improved services to attract buyers. For example, CarTrade.com offers a 'condition certificate' for cars registered on its websites that helps buyers take more informed decisions. Around 45 per cent of the 180,000 cars listed on the portal have been given these certificates.

According to Bengaluru-based Zoomo, a seven-month old start-up backed by SAIF Partners, quality assurance that start-ups provide have changed user behaviour in the used car segment. The start-up provides a complete report about the history of the vehicle to prospective customers based on an in-house 150-point checklist. “Customers find it a convincing application,” said Arnav Kumar, co-founder of Zoomo.

2.5 mn vehicles annually:
The used-car online segment sells, according to estimates by CarTrade.com

4.5-5 mn unique visitors:
CarTrade.com attracts per month

20 mn
The number of pre-owned vehicles sold using online platforms is expected to grow to over 10 years. This is a 10-fold jump