This car type offers the best value for money in South Africa

 ·12 Feb 2023

Data from the 2022 AutoTrader Annual Car Industry report shows that SUVs were the fastest-growing body type globally, and SUVs had the most advert views in 2022 on the online car market.

In its annual Car Industry Report, the group noted that over 653 million searches were conducted in the 12 months between January and December of 2022 – a 94% increase compared to pre-Covid 2019.

Over 86 million were generated for SUVs, showing that while historically, Single and Double cab bakkies have generated the highest search volumes, when it comes to advert views, South Africans are mostly interested in SUVs.

BMW overtook Volkswagen as the leading brand in the body type-specific searches – appearing in 4 of the top 6 categories (out of 18) as well as appearing the most across the top 3 Body-Type ranks.  

The Volkswagen Polo remains the top car for consumers looking for a reliable hatchback, with its Golf variant in second and the BMW 1 Series in third. 

Despite the popularity of SUVs, the intersection between price, mileage, and body type shows that hatchbacks continue to offer the best value for money, given that, on average, it has the lowest mileage. The trade-off, however, is a higher average vehicle age.

The chart below considers all listings for 2022 – indicating average price and mileage by body type. This enables dealers to gauge whether or not their stock price is market-related, said AutoTrader.

Heightened car shopper interest in brands with a manufacturing presence in the country was also reflected.

Over 2022, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW were the top three most enquired-on brands. Together they generated over 41% of all consumer enquiries, said AutoTrader.

Other key insights from the report:

  • The Audi RS E-Tron GT was the top-searched and top-viewed electric vehicle.
  • Volkswagen was the most searched-for brand, bumping BMW into second.
  • The Toyota Hilux was the most searched-for and most enquired on model.
  • The Volkswagen Golf GTI continues to be the most searched-for variant.
  • BMW was again the most viewed car brand.
  • The Toyota Hilux was the most viewed model.
  • The Volkswagen Golf GTI was the most viewed variant.

AutoTrader noted a 16% year-on-year increase in average used car prices from R389,145 to R423,964.

It also noticed one of the trends going into 2023 is a growth in new-energy vehicles.

This was propelled last year with a 159% increase in electric vehicle advert views. Sales of battery electric vehicles breached the 500 units-per-year mark in South Africa for the first time ever in 2022 – more than double those sold in 2021.

Read: Good news for anyone looking to buy a used car in South Africa

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