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

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

Research by analytics group Lightstone shows the value of the car you can afford on your monthly salary in South Africa.

Previous data from the group showed what house price one could afford – and in which types of neighbourhoods – based on a gross salary in the country.

The assessment assumes that 30% of a person’s gross salary would go towards paying a mortgage over 20 years.

Read: What house you can afford to buy with your monthly salary in SA

Now the group looks at cars – the value of the car you can afford based on your monthly salary, assuming 20% of the gross goes towards the vehicle, financed over 5 years.

According to Lightstone’s findings, a salary of R49,900 could get you a R1.5 million property in Noordheuwel, and you could add a vehicle worth R442,000 – like a brand new Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD AT (2014), or a second hand Mitsubishi Pajero BK 3.2 DI-DC.

A salary of R41,600 could afford a R1. 25 million property in Parkhill in KwaZulu Natal, and a brand new MINI Cooper convertible 1.6 MY16 worth R368,000.

The table below shows how much you could spend on a car based on your monthly salary – as well as examples of both new and second-hand cars in the given price range.

The pricing is based on:

  • Assumed allocation of 20% of a person’s salary (as a broad average, taking into account the fact that 30% of a person’s salary went toward mortgage repayments)
  • An interest rate of Prime + 2% (12.5%) on Vehicle Asset Finance
  • Car repayments made over a five year period
  • Stock price of a vehicle with no extras
  • 100% financing with no deposit made in purchasing the car, but initiation fees and other related costs are excluded.
Gross monthly salary Car value* Types of cars in range Types of second-hand cars in range
R327 800 R2 914 000 Maserati Grandcabrio MC Automatic Cabriolet Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 (2014)
R213 000 R1 893 500 Jaguar F-Type 5.0 V8 R Coupe AWD (2016) Porche 911/997 3.8 Speedster Cabriolet PDK
R106 500 R946 750 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2.0 SI4 Autobiography (2016) BMW 750i (2012)
R89 900 R799 185 BMW 440i Gran Coupe 8-SP Sports Model (2016) Mercedes ML 500 Blue Efficiency 4×4 Automatic
R66 600 R592 050 Subaru Outback 3.6 RS AWD CVT (2016) Toyota Landcruiser Prado 3.0 DT VX (2013)
R58 200 R517 380 Audi A4 2.0T FSI Sport S-Tronic (2016) Jaguar XF 3.0D S Premium Luxury (2012)
R49 900 R443 600 Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD (2014) Mitsubishi Pajero BK 3.2 DI-DC GLS (2012)
R41 600 R369 800 Mini Cooper Convertible 1.6 (2016) Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4×4 DSL Limited Edition
R33 300 R296 000 Mazda 3 2.0 Individual 5-DR (2014) Audi TT Coupe 1.8T FSI
R23 300 R207 130 Hyundai i20 1.2 Motion 5-DR (2015) Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost Titanium
R16 600 R147 570 Toyota Etios SD 1.5 XI (2015) Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance Automatic
R10 000 R88 900 Geely LC 1.0 GS 5-DR Kia Picanto 1.0 5-DR (2011)
R6 300 R53 340 Chery QQ3 0.8 TE 5-DR

*Financed over 5 years at 20%

“We weighted 30% of a person’s gross monthly salary on mortgage repayments and 20% on car finance, but this ratio could quite easily be adjusted for individual needs and investment preferences,” the group said.

“A person at the coast may opt to spend less on their car as the perception of humidity and salty sea causing substantial damage to it in the long run increases; whereas a person living in Pretoria and travelling to JHB each day might opt to spend more on a more comfortable car to provide more comfort during the long daily commute.”

“At the end of the day individual home and vehicle buyers will have to make informed decisions based on their personal affordability assessments on how much they are willing to spend on each.”

R2.9 million car – Maserati Grandcabrio MC Automatic Cabriolet
Needed gross salary: R327,800 per month

Maserati Grandcabrio MC Automatic Cabriolet

R946,750 car – Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2.0
Needed gross salary: R106,500 per month

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2.0

R592,050 car – Subaru Outback 3.6 RS
Needed gross salary: R66,600 per month

Subaru Outback 3.6 RS

R369 800 car – Mini Cooper Convertible 1.6 
Needed gross salary: R41,600 per month

Mini Cooper Convertible 1.6

R207,130 car – Hyundai i20 1.2 Motion
Needed gross salary: R23 300 per month

Hyundai i20 1.2 Motion

R88,900 car – Geely LC 1.0 GS
Needed gross salary: R10,000 per month

Geely LC 1.0 GS

More on cars

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These are the most popular classic cars among SA millionaires

Top 15 best selling cars in South Africa in 2015


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Snowlock2.0

    How much were you guys paid for this advert?

    • SpiritOfNehanda

      Yah that’s a good question…

  • SpiritOfNehanda

    Then you find the Chery QQ types driving the Subaru Outback… and you can only wonder…

  • James Dean

    Metro rail it is for me then.

    • walif_p

      metro fail you mean

  • Jude

    According to the stats, I’m driving a car people in a salary bracket below mine can afford.
    Thinking of trading it in for something cheaper to pay off quicker

  • Skerminkel

    I am so glad that there are people who buy new cars. That way I can afford to drive a second hand vehicle at least three notches above my pay grade.

    • chacma

      I normally buy 9 month old cars from Avis, saves about 20% on a new one

      • Dale

        Made sense until that Top Gear episode with the rental car racing the catamaran… not sure I’d buy an ex-rental now.

        • chacma

          Have bought 3 Avis Cars, City Golf 14 years ago with 17, 000 ks on clock sold it with 198,000 km one clutch ,tyres and exhaust pipe in 10 years. Toyota Condor had it for 11 years got it with 43,000 km , sold it last week for R53,000 . has 217,988 km on clock, paid R145k for it. Wife has 5 year old Figo from Avis as well, saved R22,500. Avis normally sell cars round about 17,000 km they include the manufacturer’s warranty and guarantee balance

  • Yahya Atiya

    These articles really are the biggest load of BS. Firstly, NO ONE should be budgeting on gross salary, for anything! Secondly, anyone who make a cost calculation as simple as this, without taking into account individual circumstances, is a financial moron and doesn’t deserve to be given any money to manage, ever.

    • Willow

      Well said.

    • Well… I still don’t understand how and why anyone would do the above :-/

    • Agreed. Anyone who spends 20% of their salary on a car deserves to remain poor. My wife and I share a car, and we use Uber to fill in when the other one needs transport. Much cheaper than a second car. Combined costs *including* petrol and servicing: 13% of my gross salary.

      • Nomthandazo Nangu

        Wisdom right there….👍

      • Maestro

        That’s all relative on what you earn. If you earn R10000 and require a car because you live more than 30km from work, a car becomes a necessity.

        Removing the status factor out of consideration, a car is also dependent on household need, therefore if a family hatchback would be best suited for the purpose, then a person may well need to spend around 20% of their salary to satisfy their need. A reliable and suitable car for the average family costs money, which will vary around the R200 000 – R300 000 rand mark.

        We don’t live in an economy that has a reliable public transport infrastructure. Unless you’re only city bound then a car is a real necessity.

  • Willow

    Articles like this is quite irresponsible. If anyone is silly enough to go according to this type of analysis in buying a car, they will be in deep financial trouble. Factoring in the maintenance and fuel cost, as well as insurance cost on top of the repayment of financing, is far healthier. It should also be based on net salary, not gross.

  • Hiren Patel

    Geely LC – never even heard of this one

  • Aragon

    it’a sad day when the car under your bracket is a geely!

  • rouxenator

    Wasting 20% of your income on car finance – a depreciating asset – well that’s just dumb.

    • Konstabel Koekemoer

      I agree, with the exception of low income earners who often have no choice but to spend 20% (or more) of their income on a car.

      • Nomo2

        Some of them are not really low income earners, the problem is they want to buy cars they do not afford and they are forced to finance it. Someone can earn 40K and want to buy 800K car.

    • sleepingdog

      I concur wholeheartedly. My idea of the ideal car; small, nippy, light on fuel, light on the environment. The small car bit is doable because I have no kids …and I’m old enough not to allow ego to factor in. My observation is the 80% of car ownership is mostlt about ego stroking, hence the 20% of income thing.

      • Gerrit Kellerman

        The ratio is actually, 80% keeping up with the Jones’s, 15% what car you actually want and 5% what you can actually afford.

  • Nicolaas Geldenhuys

    Or you could first save up for a few years, like a person with just a little grain of common sense, and put a big deposit down on a car which will save you money in the long run. Concerning buying brand new cars, unless you really can afford it, I believe you’re an idiot and wasting your money. A car is the worst investment you can make.

  • Konstabel Koekemoer

    Anyone earning a higher income should not finance a car at all. If you start by buying a more modest car cash, you can then invest the money you save on interest and you will be able to upgrade your car every few years without any loans.

    • Well said – but why upgrade your car at all…

      • Wollie Verstege

        To prevent your family from being wiped out in an accident by having the latest safety tech?

      • Nomo2

        Car value depreciates unless you want to drive it until it is irreparable.

  • Cheesy 2.0

    Somebody pass me a razor blade. This is too depressing.

  • DDynasty

    So i need close to R70k/pm to get a Golf R? damn there is a lot of people earning huge salaries 😛

    • Treezle

      Especially in Fourways, Boet!

  • Chris

    Really MyBB? What sort of BS are you dishing up for us. I can afford a M5 BMW, but do I want to drive one? No. Im happy with my bakkie and dont need to waste 20% of my salary on a car.! I’ll rather spend it on something a bit more usefull

    • NeonPigeon

      No one said anything was compulsory or even average or even wise.

  • Mike Lee

    Firstly, when buying a new vehicle using bank finance you don’t own the vehicle until the last payment has been made. Over that period depreciation will have diminished its value considerably as a quick visit to your local dealer will show…. Should you get into financial difficulty you will probably have to surrender it to the bank and it will join others at the auction houses…where the trade will try and buy it below book and you might still owe the bank!
    Now, if you have a bond on your house – you can usually borrow back up to the original amount agreed upon – which means that if you buy the car for cash it’s yours – not the banks! We have been doing this for ten years now and with careful perusal of the market it is possible to reduce depreciation to a negligible amount, making use of lower interest rates and waiting for the right car to come along. Stick to vehicles that are affordable, popular and therefore more easily disposed of…

    • Wollie Verstege

      Just make sure to pay back the car component of the money you take out of your bond in less time than 20 years

      • Mike Lee

        Ha! ha! Goes without saying…

  • Led

    These are the basic cars one should be able to afford with those salaries, but not a given. I’ve had offers and approvals for that are double the price of what I should be able to afford (according to the above article that is). In fact, when I bought my Mazda 3 (R200,000 then), I was a bursary student with a basic monthly income.

  • This is backward…I don’t know why people always start by looking at how much they can afford to spend on a car. You should be looking at the cheapest car that meets your requirements….Just because you can afford R3000/month on a car doesn’t mean you should spend R3000/month on a car….

    • Wollie Verstege

      Fully agree.
      For me it is – in order: best safety features available, fuel economy, long distance cruise comfort (spend between 20k ks and 30k ks on the road a year), maintenance cost and resale value.

  • se-aramo

    basically here, it is our people’s salaries laid bare comrades.

  • Nomo2

    I like this article and the one brought out the other day about What house you can afford to buy with your monthly salary in SA. I will save these articles on my PC and use them as a guidelines for my next purchase of a car and when buying a house. Keep it up mybroadband.

  • Nomo2

    The problem is that some folks out there thinks if a bank can grind a way to finance a car for a buyer then one can afford it. It does not mean if a bank approves finance one can afford it. Banks don’t care they know you’ll be paying interest on your purchase

  • TheZenOfZen

    I think the author left out the ‘t in the heading.

  • walif_p

    only time i’ll spend 20% of my gross salary is when they bring the model 3 to south africa…

    dammit who switched off the electricity again, ESKOM?
    dammit who stole the battery banks that linked to the solar panels on top of my roof, battery thieves?

    o k then scooter it is -_-
    get knock, dammit insurance!!!

  • Jerry leroux

    Unfortunately, the reality is something completely different. It it was as simple and predictable as this article suggest there wouldn’t be so many people in debt in this country.

  • S’nyakanyak

    Bottom line is; anything you buy on credit is something you cannot afford!

  • Nomthandazo Nangu

    Who spends 20% of their salary on a car really?😯😯

    • Treezle

      I know people who spend much more than 20%…

      • Stealth_Za

        I know people who spend more than their salary…

  • Ohlongjohnson

    “Business” journalism at its best, rather read Daily Sun, their stories are more reasonable

  • Gima

    Car enthusiasts will gladly spend 20% or more of their salary on a car. Not everyone is a generic “it gets me from A to B” type of person that worries about fuel economy. Also, at the moment i drive a 2006 Fiesta and i do spend 20% of my salary on it, because i fall into the very last salary category that says i must drive an awful second hand Chery QQ that’s more dangerous than a unicycle on the highway. Some people have no choice so people here shouldn’t be so judgemental.

  • Cubstrain

    Real Question.. why would anyone, regardless of pay grade, want a mini cooper convertible. Why was the car you used for reference?

  • mjmapi

    Now im depressed 🙁

  • chacma

    a car is a means of transport. I do not care what you think about what I drive as I don’t have to impress anybody as I don’t give a continental sh.. about your opinion. My car is a Chevy Aveo L, comes with abs,ebs, A/C power steering, a huge boot for storing lost stuff in. It does the job, basic transport thats all you need.

  • Annon

    In my very humble personal opinion anyone who thinks buying a new car is a good idea should rather invest in seeing a shrink, I earn a modest salary but have never believed in buying a new car… EVER! Besides most of the “cool” cars available these days are second hand in any case, these day the manufacturers have taken it apon themselves to produce watered down “green” vehicles that are way over priced, that’s not to say they are all bad but gone are the days you can afford to buy a Supra with a Blue collar income, any Car worth while having these days are all in that 1% bracket where exclusivity affords you a car with street cred.

    I am happy with my 15 year old 300hp monster and in most cases that will flatten most of the cars in the list above apart from the supercars that is… and my car is paid off so i don’t owe anything on it.

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