Marketing Team Author's Perspective
3 Minute read

India’s Second-Hand Car Market- Second to None

India Second Hand Car Market

The automobile sector in India has witnessed a slowdown, despite some exciting new car launches from brands like Kia and MG.

Interestingly enough, factors affecting the new car market do not seem to affect the used car market, with over 4M used cars being sold in FY 18-19, exceeding the new car sales in the same period.

While it’s unclear if the demand is indeed shifting heavily towards pre-owned market and whether  car buyers are seeing more value in replacing their old cars with pre-owned instead of buying new, the industry vertical seems interesting to take a deeper look into.

The organized space in the used car market is increasingly seeing growth of online players such as Cartrade, Cardekho, Droom, Car24, and many more. We analyzed this segment using Similarweb Market Insights to understand who the top players in the segment are, and identify their winning digital strategies, with top of the mind questions being:

  • Who are the top players in this space?
  • Which channels do they lead on?
  • What are the digital strategies which help them succeed?

And the insights are interesting to look at:

Cardekho, Carwale, Droom, Cars24 & Cartrade are the top players in this vertical with over 26.89M visits in July, mostly driven by Mobile Web traffic (83.89%).


The image below suggests Search traffic (Organic & Paid) to be the main growth drivers for the segment across the marketing channel mix.


Since online traffic to these sites and the category in general is driven mainly by Mobile Web search, the data and  analysis below focuses only on Mobile Web traffic (unless specifically mentioned otherwise). It constitutes a major portion of the overall traffic and seems to be the device preference across the category.

Similarweb’s Competitive Analysis Dashboards allows us to dig deeper into the search insights to help understand how these brands are performing not only across Organic search, Social traffic, Display segments but also Referrals, which is  a category most online players are leveraging deftly these days.

Search Traffic:

In July, Cardekho & Carwale accounted for 74.4% of the search volume with over 10.9 M visits driven by Organic Search.

Droom increased its search volume by 20.7% MoM, to sit at 540K visits.


Carwale was the engagement leader in the category with the highest visit duration and  pages per visit. While Droom saw a steep rise in Mobile Web traffic, it seems they still have a long way to go as far as optimization goes, with the highest bounce rate at 73%.


As expected, the new car launches from MG Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Tata dominated the top 20 search keywords, as Cartrade and Cardekho provide information, specs, reviews, comparisons and pricing details of cars across various types, trims and segments.


Referral Traffic:

The comparison segment got 713,834 visits across 596 referring websites with Droom (59.83%) and Cardekho (28.72%) being the major beneficiaries of Referral traffic. The top referring websites (possibly affiliates) were from news/media sites, car financing sites, and car enthusiast forums like


Traffic from Social Channels:

Social channels play a major role in driving traffic to online portals, with Youtube, Facebook and Whatsapp being the biggest drivers. Cardekho drove the highest engagement and traffic via social channels in July, holding 44.51% of total social traffic (Desktop only).


Display Traffic:

July saw a dip in Display traffic across the comparison segment, indicating slowdown or cuts in Display Ad spend, with a significant downshift in traffic share for Cardekho (-36%), Carwale (-81.4%), Droom (-66%) and Cars24 (-79%).


Cardekho and Droom invested the most in Display Ads, with GDN (Google Display Network ) as the biggest contributor of traffic from the Ad Networks (75% of total traffic).


Audience Interests:

Similarweb recently introduced a nifty feature called Comparison Audiences which allows analysis of audience interest within the comparison segment, i.e. an analysis of audience visits to more than one website and the percentage spread of visits across these websites. This is a good indicator of both the competitive landscape and audience niche(s) and preferences.


Wrapping up:

The festive season in India is approaching soon, which means we may see a significant rise in new car sales as it’s customary for automobile brands to launch offers and discounts during this time to increase conversion. Many car buyers hold their new car purchases until this period to get the best deal for their purchase.

It will be very interesting to look at the traffic trends during the same period for the used car market, and to analyze consumer behavior and trends via Similar Web Insights. Stay tuned!

Marketing Team Technical Lead | Altudo

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