Just under R200,000 is a reasonable amount to be spending on a car.
With a 10% deposit and R180,000 financed at prime for 60 months, it amounts to a monthly repayment of R3,824.
While this will buy you a range of new entry-level hatchbacks and sedans, there will inevitably be the suggestion to look for something second-hand.
Second-hand vehicles can often come with the previous owner’s hassles, however, particularly if the car is getting on in age.
For example: you can find an 11-year-old Mercedes-Benz S-Class with over 250,000km on the clock, but maintenance costs are going to be eye-wateringly expensive.
People typically buy new cars for the peace of mind it provides knowing that it has a warranty in place and a service or maintenance plan. Of course, the new car smell and lack of mileage is another big plus.
Fortunately, second-hand vehicles can come with the balance of their service plan attached, and are still eligible for an aftermarket warranty at purchase.
To provide an overview of what is currently available in the market, we listed six options below which cater to a variety of needs and come in at R200,000.
All these cars were eligible for finance and available through reputable dealers at the time of writing.
The Sensible Choice – 2015 Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prestige Automatic
Uber drivers can’t be wrong.
This versatile sedan is not the most exciting drive out there, but it will be comfortable for at least the next 5-10 years if you don’t change cars often and seek something that can grow with you well beyond your final payment.
The Prestige trim line level also provides leather seating and mid-tier touchscreen infotainment with a reverse camera, which are nice touches.
Parts and servicing should be very reasonable, too, due to the popularity of this car’s drivetrain. And with items like tyres around R1,250 each, the Toyota Corolla is a sensible, reliable choice.
The Popular Choice – 2017 VW Polo 1.2 TSI Comfortline
This car is a dime-a-dozen in this range.
It’s popular for a reason – being the Polo, not the Polo Vivo, it is built to a higher standard with better fit, finish, engine and safety options – including four airbags.
Despite the 66kW power figure, the turbocharged four-cylinder is hastier than it’s numbers suggest. It then provides charcoal cloth-seats inside, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity cover the entertainment options.
Depending on the driver’s risk profile, the Polo can be classified as higher-risk by insurers resulting in a higher premium than anticipated, which is important to keep in mind.
The Sportscar – 2014 Toyota 86 Standard
A R200,000 budget doesn’t have to mean boring or cute. There are some good driver’s cars out there in this range, too.
Low-slung, a grumbling exhaust, and handling dynamics that will excite anyone with driving enthusiasm – the Toyota 86 is the second Toyota on this list for a good reason.
Developed with Subaru, the 86 uses a robust 2-litre NA engine. It’s no robot-racer and there are a lot of quicker cars out there, but the 86 rewards in the curves and that’s where the beauty is.
It also the only rear-wheel drive car on this list.
For the enthusiasts who don’t often carry passengers, the 86 is a good option. Just be sure to budget extra for tyres.
The Versatile Hatchback – 2019 Honda Jazz 1.2 Comfort
Hatchbacks are extremely popular due to their versatility.
One of the most versatile options is the Honda Jazz, and when you look past its diminutive profile you’ll find a car that offers unrivalled space and reliability.
The Honda’s Magic Seats fold perfectly flat and lift in so many ways that the need for a bakkie or trailer is often forgotten. Of course, it’s built to last and comes with comprehensive safety and convenience features.
It’s the newest car on the list, dealer service costs are reasonable, and it’s also generally in a low-risk insurance bracket – which means it’s overall cost of ownership is sure to be one of the best long after it is paid off.
The SUV – 2018 Renault Duster 1.5dCI Dynamique
Decent low-mileage SUVs are hard to find in this price range, but the Renault Duster continues to be a popular choice.
The Duster is loaded with features and includes an infotainment system that provides navigation and cruise control.
The specification change in 2017 makes the interior of these models slightly nicer, although it is more utilitarian than luxurious.
Shop smartly, and you’ll find one with the balance of a service plan and warranty.
The Left-Field Choice – 2017 Fiat 500X 1.4T Cross
Why there are not more of these on the road is a mystery.
Sharing a platform with its brother the Jeep Renegade, there’s nothing small or cutesy about this Fiat 500 – it’s a crossover SUV, and it can fit full-size adults.
It’s a nice place to be inside with Uconnect infotainment, cruise control, and comprehensive safety features: including six airbags and the Traction+ system tailored for light off roading.
The 1.4 turbo engine is punchy – more brisk that most cars here – and with a 3-year warranty and maintenance plan, you will know its services are up to date.
Generally, the Fiat 500X falls into a low-risk insurance category.