How much it costs to keep your car on the road in South Africa

The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the automotive sector, with the ramifications still being felt today, notes Gumtree, the classified advertisements website. Regular production has been impeded by factory shutdowns, stopped manufacture, and semiconductor chip shortages.

If that wasn’t enough, the situation in Ukraine has had a slew of unanticipated consequences, not only for the automobile industry but also for economies across the world.

Many of us have become accustomed to working from home over the last two years, saving considerably on motor vehicle costs such as fuel and maintenance. However, getting back on the road and managing the actual expenditures of automobile ownership must now be incorporated into what is already a tight budget for many, said Gumtree.

By that principle, affordability has become a focal point for the vast majority of South African motorists when in the market for a (brand-new) set of wheels. Models like the Renault Kwid and Datsun GO are popular frugal examples, it said.

Tight belts

Consider a typical entry-level vehicle (costing around R250,000) that drives about 2,500km each month. As a result of rising interest rates and petrol prices, the monthly cost of car ownership, which includes instalments, fuel, insurance, and maintenance, has increased to R7,715 in 2021 from R7,583 in 2020.

While this represents a year-on-year increase of 1.74%, the average cost in 2021 is 14.97% higher than it was five years ago, when it averaged R6,711 per month, the classifieds platform said.

All payments related to vehicle ownership are included in the overall basket of costs – they consist of the monthly instalment, comprehensive insurance premium, fuel, and maintenance fees. These costs are adjusted on a regular basis to account for changes in inflation, interest rates, and other charges.

The monthly total cost of vehicle ownership


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How much it costs to keep your car on the road in South Africa