The cost of owning a car in South Africa is at an all-time high

 ·21 Aug 2018
Petrol half

The average monthly cost to run a car in South Africa has increased by approximately R940 or 14% in the last year – and up 31% since 2013.

This is according to the latest data from WesBank, which found that despite prevailing interest rates remaining at low levels and favourable vehicle price inflation, the rising cost of petrol and an increase in VAT has added to higher overall costs.

Wesbank said that vehicle instalments and fuel spend remain the biggest components, accounting for 80% of monthly mobility spend.

This means that the average monthly cost of owning a vehicle is just shy of R8,000 when factoring in running costs, insurance, fuel and instalments.

These costs are reflected by the WesBank Mobility Calculator, a tool the bank uses to track and calculate historic motoring costs.

The total mobility basket comprises all fees that are involved with vehicle ownership: a monthly instalment, the insurance premium, fuel, and maintenance.

Over time, these costs are updated to reflect prevalent inflation rates and fuel prices, with the sample vehicle price based on an average entry-level car that travels approximately 2,500 km per month.

“The past year has been a rollercoaster ride with drastic fuel price fluctuations making it difficult for consumers to keep track of monthly budgets,” said Ghana Msibi, executive head of sales and marketing at WesBank.

“As a rule, we generally advise motorists to allow some breathing room in their budgets to help absorb these changing costs.”

WesBank’s data also indicates that the change in vehicle price inflation for new vehicles has had a favourable effect on purchase prices.

In July this year, WesBank’s average new vehicle financed deal was only 1.43% higher than the same time last year at R307,445, while the average used vehicle finance deal is 6.9% higher than that of last year at R216,309.

“International oil prices and local exchange rates continue to play a direct role in the monthly budgets for motorists, in both fuel and vehicle prices,” said Msibi.

“Although manufacturers are offering attractive marketing incentives to lure customers into dealerships, consumers still have to spend more on vehicles, fuel, insurance, and maintenance than ever before.”

Click on images to enlarge.

Read: 11 cars you can buy for less than R250,000 in South Africa

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