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2014-06-04 12:32

NEW CAR GRIPES: Reader HAMILTON NEIL says buying a second-hand premium vehicle is preferable to purchasing a relatively expensive new model, especially considering our poor roads and high crash rates. Image: Shutterstock/lcswart


New car prices are way above affordability levels for your average-income earner. The new cars one can afford are small and cramped, while for the same price you can get a fairly reasonable mid-size or luxury or sports sedan (or whatever takes your fancy) which is in good nick and a few years older.

Trade-in prices dictate that my vehicle, old as it is, is worth more to me in my possession and on the road than it is if I used it as a trade-in.

After-sales service and parts prices on new vehicles amount to highway robbery.


If I can buy the same vehicle in its country of origin for less, why the premium prices in SA (even taking into account service plans etc) AND in some cases we don’t receive the top spec models or engine choices.

Lastly, why should I take the knock of depreciation if I can buy the same car two or three years later in good shape at 50-75% of the sticker price when new - ie, I’m looking at a 2008 Jaguar X-type, full house 3.0 SE which costs R365 000.

I can get it as a six/seven-year-old vehicle with reasonably low mileage at just a smudge above 25% of its original price... Volkswagen Polo money for premium luxury.


Unless you have a car allowance or a top-earning job, buying new means being stuck in a wheezy 1400 box on wheels. In the Northern Cape, where I live, these little city cars don’t last due to the vast distances we cover to get to neighbouring towns.

Again, for the same price, one can buy a 530D BMW and enjoy frugality and luxury.

Often service centres such as Shell and Bosch perform better jobs at service and repairs than the agents at much more competitive prices.

New car for me? Would be nice but I’d rather buy a house (or at least use that heap of money as a deposit on one)

More readers' articles:
New cars not 'worth it' in SA
6 reasons why South Africans aren’t buying cars
Reader: Why South Africans aren't buying cars

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