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How long South Africans keep their car before selling

According to WeBuyCars (WBC), new-vehicle owners in South Africa tend to keep their vehicles for six years – while second-hand vehicle owners usually keep their cars for three years.

“Our data shows that a vehicle is most likely to change ownership five to six times during its lifetime,” said Faan van der Walt, WBC executive director.

His statement comes as WBC recently reached the 9,000-sales-per-month mark.

Provincial trends

WBC also provided information on its car buying and selling trends across South Africa.

Most of WBC’s customers in the last few months hail from Gauteng, the Western Cape, or KwaZulu-Natal – with 83% of all sales happening in one of these provinces.

“Gauteng accounts for 43%, while Western Cape accounts for 25% and KwaZulu-Natal for 15%. The rest are split between the other provinces,” said van der Walt.

He said that motorists in KZN buy new vehicles more frequently than in other provinces, usually keeping ownership of a vehicle for four years.

Thereafter, KZN motorists tend to upgrade to vehicles of higher value, relying on bank finance to afford these purchases.

In contrast, motorists in the Western Cape buy with cash more often than the other provinces, while also holding onto their cars for longer and maintaining the service histories.

Gauteng is a mix of the two, he said.

In terms of brand preference of WBC customers, buyers in Gauteng, KZN, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Mpumalanga prefer VW.

Those in the Free State and Limpopo prefer Ford, and those in the North-West and Northern Cape prefer Toyota.

Average price

“The price bracket in which most WBC vehicles are bought is between R40,000 to R80,000, with the R120,000 to R200,000 mark being a strong second,” said van der Walt.

Even though the majority of its vehicle sales are still offline, the company is experiencing a healthy ratio between online and offline sales across all eight branches.

Branches in Gauteng account for more than half of all online sales, while the upcoming venue at the Dome is expected to increase both online and offline sales.

Buyer age

The most prevalent age among WBC customers is the 30 to 44 bracket, with 37% of all purchases coming from this group.

Second in line is the 45 to 59 group, with these buyers accounting for 28% of all purchases.

“These age group trends do not differ across the provinces. We also see that the age group we buy the least number of cars from are the 75 to 89 age [group], which roughly accounts for 2.6% of all purchases,” said van der Walt.

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