These are the cars you can afford with your salary in South Africa

 ·11 Jun 2022

We are continually bombarded with advertising messages persuading us to dress a certain way, or drive a certain type of car to live our best life. These messages are further amplified across social media platforms by influencers and ambassadors who represent and punt specific brands.

According to Kutlwano Mogatusi, WesBank Retail communications specialist, if you are making your purchase choices responsibly because it is what you can afford, rather than what you desire, you are making the best life choices.

“The priority for young graduates when purchasing a car should be that they are able to realistically afford it, while ensuring that this additional asset does not compromise their financial situation. Instead, it should contribute positively to their new work lifestyle and sense of independence.”

The general rule is that you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your total income on car repayments, said Wesbank. “It is also important to budget for the other expenses that come with vehicle ownership such as fuel, insurance, maintenance and service costs – in addition to keeping up with all other financial commitments to maintain a positive credit history,” the lender said.

Being financially responsible could mean opting for a more affordable car, while putting your dream car on hold until you can afford it. It is unwise to put yourself under unnecessary financial strain as you start out in the workplace.

“Choosing the car you can afford – and not necessarily the one you really want – is an indication of exercising financial maturity, discipline and independence that can only benefit you in the long run. Remember that when you’re buying a car, you should buy with your head and not your heart. This means knowing your budget, sticking to it and being realistic about the car you’re looking at.

“Managing all the expenses that come with owning a car should never get to a point where you feel that you have bitten off more than you can chew,” said Mogatusi.

Here’s what you can afford

BusinessTech looked at what you can afford to buy on your monthly salary – based on the assumption that people are not spending more than 25% of their gross monthly income on vehicle financing.

The following calculations were completed using Wesbank’s repayment calculator and include the assumption of a 0% deposit for car financing. Additional fees which could be incurred during the inception of the loan are excluded from the calculation.

For purposes of these calculations, the cars are financed over five years (60 months) at an annual interest rate of 9%.

These calculations are purely for comparison purposes and are not meant as financial advice.

Price of car Monthly repayment Gross monthly salary required
R150 000 R3 207.82 R12 831
R200 000 R4 245.74 R16 982
R300 000 R6 321.57 R25 286
R500 000 R10 473.24 R41 892
R750 000 R15 662.83 R62 651
R1 000 000 R20 852.42 R83 409
R2 000 000 R41 610.78 R166 443
R5 000 000 R103 885.84 R415 543

Below is a list of cars you can currently buy at each of the listed price points in South Africa:

Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL – From R156,900 

Baic D20 hatch 1.3 Comfort – From R149,990

Kia Picanto 1.0 Start – From R195,995

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL MT From 204,900

Corolla Quest Plus – From R298,400

Mazda 2 1.5L Active – From R289,100


Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Premium AT From R519,900

Subaru Forester 2.0i CVT – From R496,000

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 d – From R776,769

Toyota GR Yaris Rally – From R761,200

Hyundai Palisade 2.2L Elite – From R1.025 million

Audi 45 TFSI Quattro S Line – From R1.015 million

Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe – From R1.97 million

All-electric Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD S Black – From R2,029,800

Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD coupe – R4,840,000

Read: These are the best cars in South Africa – across the major categories

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