Auto King - Private Finance - Used Cars Cape Town

Buying a used car in SA: 5 tips to get the best deal


Cape Town – Not everyone can afford a new car, well, with exception of the 36 794 fortunate South Africans who registered their new cars in January 2017.New car sales in SA  have flitted around the 35 000 mark for the last five years, even though that means that 547 442 units were sold in 2016, compared to 617 648 in 2015.

But new vehicles sales are clearly the junior partner when compared to used car sales.

SA car industry

According to WesBank, data showed that application volumes for new vehicles amounted to 38 343, versus 89 390 for used vehicles in May 2016.

Sure, everybody loves that new car smell but a second-hand car offer better value, while leaving your wallet intact, if you follow a few simple steps.

Used cars are also likely to attract a much lower insurance premium than new cars, and feature-for-feature, you can usually get more bang for your buck.

Yes, let’s set aside your fears of being stuck along the side of the road with these tips on how to pick your new (used) car, without having someone take advantage of you.

Even you have an ‘OBD2 code’ reader, some sellers are able to clear codes without fixing problems.

Step 1: Don’t think with your heart

The first step is often the hardest; don’t fall in love with a car. For a used-car dealer, a smitten customer makes for easy pickings and they will easily sell you a rolling disaster. It could be the vehicle you dreamt of owning as a child, the car of your first kiss, or that sports car you loved when it came out… don’t think with your heart.

When you set out to buy a car, the trick is to search far and wide and consider all your options. The internet can be your friend in this regard.

This might not work for everyone, but I’ve purchased a lot of cars and have a rule of not even considering the first three cars I look at; In fact, those viewings are minimally more than scouting expeditions.

Find out what’s there and weigh-up each vehicle’s pros and cons.

Step 2: Stay mainstream

If you’re buying new, by all means go berserk and purchase something exotic. If you’re searching the second-hand market, mainstream is safer, and here’s why; You may have minimal or no factory warranty so the cost of maintenance will come straight out of your pocket.

An oil filter for a Toyota Corolla can cost as low as R60 but for a Renault more than R200. This escalates if you own a high-performance model.

But it’s more than simply considering the cost of parts.