Japanese vs Korean cars – which have the best resale value in South Africa?

Korean cars are growing in terms of stature, quality and appeal, but South African motorists still prefer Japanese vehicles.

This is according to vehicle evaluation group, True Price, which has released a new report on the resale values of Korean and Japanese cars in South Africa.

The report is based on data from thousands of vehicles sold through bank repossession auctions in the country.

“We analysed all the vehicles in four odometer categories: 0 to 50,000 km completed, 50,000 to 100,000 km completed, 100,000 to 200,000 km completed and over 200,000 km completed,” said Darryl Jacobson, MD of True Price.

“In three categories, the Japanese vehicles came up trumps,” he said.

The percentage shown relates to the price achieved on auction versus the original list price of the vehicle when it was new.

Selection criteria include vehicles registered from 2010 to 2018, while bakkies and commercial vehicles were excluded.

Kilometres Japan Korea
0 – 50 000 70.3% 68.9%
50 000 – 100 000 60.0% 59.3%
100 000 – 200 000 49.2% 49.3%
200 000 – 500 000 43.2% 38.8%

Picking favourites

Jacobson said that more mature buyers are probably giving the Japanese cars the edge when it comes to resale values.

“The Koreans have actually been producing cars since 1955. The very first Korean car – the Sibal – was produced back then. It was based on the Willys Jeep and it was mostly used as a taxi.

“Brands such as Hyundai commenced production in Korea back in 1967. However, it was only in April 2000 that the company entered the South African market.”

In comparison, Toyota started producing vehicles in South Africa back in June 1962, he said.

“It follows, therefore, that older buyers are more comfortable with Japanese products – because they have known them and have been driving them for many decades.”

Right now, if you’re undecided as to whether to purchase a new Japanese or a Korean vehicle, the safer bet (when considering resale values) would be a Japanese product, said Jacobson.

“Chances are good that the vehicle won’t depreciate as much as the equivalent Korean product,” he said.

“On the other hand, a Korean vehicle will probably represent slightly better value for money if you’re in the market for a used car.”

This is because it will have depreciated more than its Japanese counterpart, said Jacobson.


Read: These are the bakkies with the best resale value in South Africa

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Japanese vs Korean cars – which have the best resale value in South Africa?