New car sales are down by a whopping 13% year-on-year, thanks to a struggling economy, a rock-bottom low Rand and rising interest rates. The strict rules of the National Credit Act plus the tightening lending rules of banks are making harder than ever to get access to vehicle finance, leaving the whole automotive industry to feel the pinch. The good news is that second hand car sales have increased by 16.8% in the same period, pointing to the fact that more people are opting for this choice.


 If you want to read more about the pros and cons of buying new versus second hand, click here. A lot of research has been done on which new and used cars are the most reliable. For example, check out this report on the most reliable new cars in the world in 2015, or this report on the 20 least reliable new cars for 2015. There’s also a lot written about which local second hand cars offer the best value for money and then there are international vehicle manufacturer ratings that classify the car brands in terms of their reliability as well.


In South Africa there is a little known report that is a real beaut for anyone in the market for a vehicle released over the last couple of years. Already in its 26th year, the Kinsey Report uses “real-life” figures it has obtained from full maintenance vehicle leasing companies which have massive fleets of vehicles to determine the costs of servicing and parts of recently-released passenger cars (with less than 100,000km on the odo).


So while we can’t guarantee that you won’t kiss the proverbial frog when buying a second hand car, we can offer insight into what the costs would be for servicing the car, replacing maintenance parts and even replacing exterior parts due to an accident.  Because no one wants to buy an “affordable” second hand ride only to fork out a fortune if you do have to replace something on it.


According to the 2015 Kingsey Report, the following cars are the cheapest to service and repair in South Africa:


Category 1: Entry level city cars

Cheap – VW Polo Vivo hatch

Cheaper – Nissan Micra 1.2 Visia

Cheapest – Datsun Go 2.1 Lux


Category 2: Super minis

Cheap – Peugeot 208 1.2 Active

Cheaper – Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge

Cheapest – Renault Sandero Turbo Dynamique


Category 3: Family hatch/sedans

Cheap – Alfa Romeo Guilietta 1.7 TBi

Cheaper – Toyota Corolla 1.6 Quest

Cheapest – Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prestige


Category 4:  Compact crossovers

Cheap – Renault Duster 1.6 Dynamique

Cheaper – Ford Ecosport 1.0T Trend

Cheapest – Toyota Avanza 1.5 SX


Category 5: Crossovers

Cheap – Toyota RAV4 2.2GX

Cheaper – Kia Sportage 2.0CRDi auto

Cheapest – Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D4D Auto


Category 6: Exclusive crossovers

Cheap – Toyota Prado 3.0 VX Auto

Cheaper – Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro

Cheapest – Volvo XC90 D4 Momentum


Category 7: Double cabs

Cheap – GWM Steed 6 2.0 VGT Xscape

Cheaper – Toyota Hilux Raider 3.0 D4D

Cheapest – Tata Xenon XT 2.2


Category 8: Single cabs

Cheap – Chevrolet Utility 1.4 Club

Cheaper – Nissan NP300 2.0 Hardbody

Cheapest – Nissan NP200 1.6 Stealth


Category 9: Executive saloons

Cheap – Infiniti Q50 2.0T Premium

Cheaper – Audi A4 2.0 TDI SE Auto

Cheapest – BMW 320i Auto


Armed with this information, you can make much more precise calculations regarding what the real cost will be of your second hand car (that may or may not still boast a motor plan).  Add these prices to your monthly vehicle finance repayment and throw in the cost of fuel for the car in question and you have the “real feel” of what the implication on your pocket will actually be… Now you can make an educated decision and safe guard yourself against purchasing an unreliable car that will just bleed you dry over time


If you’ve done this calculation on the cars in your preferred segment(s) and don’t like what you see, you can always just ditch your car altogether and Uber instead….