Used Car Guide

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Figuring out how to find a used car isn’t difficult. But buying a quality used car that won’t let you down and is worth the time and effort spent finding a car that suits your specific needs is a little trickier than you may think. There are thousands of pre-owned vehicles available to buy in South Africa, but how do you find and then buy that one car that’s perfect for you? From people advertising their old wheels for sale on social media to independent dealers and large-scale online best pre-owned vehicles platforms offering thousands of options, we’re spoiled for choice. But finding a quality used car can sometimes feel impossible. We look at what you need to know when buying a quality used car in South Africa. To understand where to look for quality second-hand cars, narrow down your list of potential candidates and what to think about before buying one, this article will get you started. Buying a used car in South Africa New cars are everywhere. But they aren’t getting any cheaper. Many of us simply can’t afford to spend money on the latest models, packed with features we don’t need. A car loses as much as 11% of its value the moment it drives off the showroom floor, so even a car with 1,000 km on the clock is classified as ‘pre-owned’ and costs much less than one that’s never been driven. Why used cars are a better option for many South Africans Used cars are often the most affordable option for people and, with so many on our roads and plenty of options to choose from, are quickly becoming the most popular choice among South African drivers. People spend hundreds of hours browsing ads, searching through inventories, and talking to sellers, only to find themselves back at square one with no car to enjoy. Finding the car right for you Whether you’re looking for a new day-to-day vehicle to commute to and from work, a weekend getaway ride for those trips up the coast or into the bush, or a reliable, spacious SUV to keep your growing family safe, how to find a used car that’s right for you is tougher than it looks. Steps to buying a quality used car Buying a quality used car may seem simple enough. But anyone who has actually done it will tell you that getting the most value out of your efforts means following a process that works. Anyone can get a car for under R50,000, but it’ll soon start giving you big problems that will likely cost more than the car itself. A deal on Facebook or Gumtree may seem too good to be true, but you’ll soon realise that is the case the moment you part with your deposit. Or, you can bite the bullet and spend much more of your hard-earned cash than you’d like to for a brand-new vehicle you likely can't afford anyway. G etting your hands on one of the many best pre-owned vehicles out there starts long before you even talk to a dealer. We’ve listed some of the essential steps every smart buyer should cover before committing to buying their next used vehicle. First, review your current car situation Buying a quality used car starts with taking stock of your current circumstances. This means getting a realistic view of your situation straight off the starting line. What car you currently have, and how much you can get for selling it or trading it in. If you don’t have a car to sell or large amounts of cash on hand to go towards a deposit, think about what you’ll need to get some money together. Some dealers don’t require a deposit to buy a used car, and there are many financing options you can turn to. Why you need a new car This means thinking about the reasons for going on the hunt for quality second-hand cars. Whether you require a work vehicle, want something to replace the rust bucket you’re presently driving or simply want to level up your status with a fresh set of wheels, knowing the reasons for getting a new car will help you figure out what you need. How long you plan to have it for Depending on what you need the car for, you may be considering holding on to it for only a year or two or keeping it in the mix for a decade or more. This information will play a big role in determining the brands, models and types of cars you'll choose from.   Then make lists of what you want vs what you need in a used car There is a big difference between wanting something and needing it. Needs should always be taken care of before wants or desires. Understanding which comes first matters in how to find a used car that’s right for you. Draw up a pros and cons list for buying a used car This list should compare the benefits of having a new used car (transport, working, investment) versus the disadvantages or drawbacks of getting one (extra monthly petrol cost, parking, insurance.) List the most important things you require in your car Then list, from most important to least important, the things your car has to have and the ones it cannot do without. Some people may need a bigger boot over strong performance. Others may require good fuel economy over luxuries and style. Then, shortlist the non-negotiables Take your pros and cons list as well as your important items ranking and shortlist the absolute essentials that you require in a used car. In other words, make a list of the things that, if a car doesn’t have them, would disqualify it from being considered.   Next, nail down a budget for your used car Next, you’ll need to know what you can afford towards your used car. There’s more to buying a quality used car than its sales price. The longer-term budget elements are often the most important ones. Financing or cash? Will you be paying for the car in cash, or will you need to finance it? Different banks and financial institutions will offer different interest rates and conditions, so be careful which ones you choose. Think about long-term costs From servicing fees to maintenance costs and taking care of insurance, drawing up a schedule of the long-term costs of buying a certain used car will affect which options you choose. These numbers can seem scary, but remember to spread them out over the time you’ll be driving the car. Pick a range, not a number Once you have a figure for how much you can afford to spend on your quality second-hand car in total, be prepared to allow for some leeway. Rather than limiting your choices to a fixed price, make room for a budget range with a top limit and a lower limit. This will open you up to more options.   4. Figure out what you want in your used car Once you’ve narrowed down the details about your existing situation, your future car’s ‘essentials’ and a budget, you can start looking around. But first, you’ll want to identify the type of car you’re looking for. Pick a style and type There are countless different models out there. Are you looking for a bakkie or a hatch? An automatic or a manual transmission? Do you prefer diesel or petrol? Rather than picking a specific combination, keep your options open by selecting more than one car style and type. Iron out the details Used vehicles have their own stories and service histories, which can severely affect your options when buying a quality used car. Consider what level of mileage you’d be comfortable with, how old the car can be, what its interior condition is, or how many features it does or doesn’t come with. Don’t forget about the colour OK, not only the colour but the other, less critical things, like additional modifications, if it has electric windows, where the car is from and whether there are security features already included. This will help you pick between options that are very similar.   Decide where you’re going to shop This is where the fun starts. Consider your options for who you’ll be buying a new used car from. While buying directly from a private seller does come with its risks, opting to shop with a reputable dealer or online means knowing who to go to. Consider the dealer or seller’s reputation This is an important factor that can make or break the success of buying a quality used car. Look at the reviews that a dealer has online, check if they’ve ever been investigated for anything illegal and establish if they’re a legitimate business or not. Look at the inventory Some dealers have fewer than a dozen cars available, while others boast inventories with hundreds or even thousands of vehicles. As a general rule, the more varied and diverse a used car dealer’s inventory, the more likely you are to succeed in working out how to find a used car that suits your needs. Watch out for suspicious pricing Some dealers and sellers add large markups onto their used cars, claiming it’s for quality when they are, in fact, boosting their profit margins. Watch out for any dealers charging significantly more than the general market values for their used cars. When in doubt about price, always ask.   Do your homework As you get closer to finding your perfect quality second-hand cars and you’re homing in on the best pre-owned vehicles for you, it’s time to get down to business. At this point, you’ve got your top candidates shortlisted, and you should be ready to meet your new used car. Try to inspect the car or ask for proof of quality It’s never advisable to buy something without the chance to see the goods first. While inspecting a car before buying it may be difficult or even impossible, being able to do so will help you decide whether it’s the right car for you or not. Some dealers can provide a full report or certificates, guaranteeing the car is as they say it is. Know what to look for and what to ask about Rust, previous accident damage, modifications, previous owners. All these things matter when buying a used car, so don’t be afraid to ask about them. While private sellers can get away with being dishonest, dealers are required by law to provide you with all relevant information. Ask for a full service history If the dealer can provide a full, up-to-date, comprehensive vehicle service history for the used car, you’re in business. Evidence of a car being serviced regularly by a quality vehicle service provider or service centre means the car has been looked after and is in good shape. T ake a test drive Test-driving a pre-owned vehicle will tell you a lot about the car itself when figuring how to find a used car. Two used cars with the same mileage and in the same condition can feel completely different behind the wheel. Taking your top candidates for a spin isn’t always possible, but if you can, it’s a great way to see if you’re a good fit for each other.   Things to watch out for on a test drive Aside from the vehicle’s power, general feel and handling, there are some other quality or condition-related elements to consider when test-driving the car. Listen out for any suspicious sounds the car may be making. Put the vehicle through its paces by accelerating, braking and turning (safely) and checking how it handles. Ask about any concerns you have. Don’t forget to ‘experience’ the car There’s more to the test drive than the car’s performance. Look around the interior. Feel the seats, the steering wheel and the dash. Get a sense of the space in the car and if you can see yourself enjoying actually being in it. Always be careful Don’t drop your guard when taking a car for a test spin. You’re in a car you’ve never driven before, so watch out for any quirks you’re not yet used to. If test-driving with a private seller, be aware of your surroundings. Check with your insurance before hopping into one of those quality second-hand cars you don’t own yet, too.   And Buy! Once you’ve found the best pre-owned vehicle for you, commit to buying it by making sure you’ve got what you need to do so. Put down the deposit so nobody else snaps it up, negotiate for a better deal if possible and don’t compromise on your budget limit. Remember to enjoy the experience too. It’s not every day you get to feel the rush of buying a quality used car and taking ownership of it.   Conclusion - Where to find and buy quality used cars in SA With so many different used car options to choose from, it’s easy to get lost finding and then buying the quality used car for you. Trying to balance price with your needs, convenience and shopping at the right places can seem overwhelming, but if you pick right, it’s easier than you think. Options like Auto Pedigree are one of the top players in the used car game. We boast an extensive selection of the best pre-owned vehicles that are easy to sort through, cover almost every category of car out there, and are fully checked, verified and have all their necessary documentation. How to find a used car that checks all the boxes has never been easier. Feel free to browse our inventory of nearly 3,000 vehicles or reach out directly and chat with us about buying a quality used vehicle that’s right for you.  
The used car you just bought has broken down. What do you do? Do you return to the dealer, visit your local mechanic or head to a manufacturer? Getting any car fixed – let alone a used one – means understanding your rights when it comes to who you can allow to repair your car without losing its warranty. Since 1 July 2021, car owners have been allowed to visit the independent service providers (ISPs) of their choice without the risk of having their vehicle’s warranties voided as a result. In this article, we unpack the Right to Repair (R2R) in South Africa and what it means for used car owners whose cars are still under the manufacturer’s vehicle warranty. We also look at what happens if something goes wrong due to bad repair work and how to enforce your rights as a car owner. What is the Right to Repair?  The Right to Repair is a guideline that affects the Competitions Act, Act 89 of 1998. It provides a legal basis for giving car owners (and anyone else looking to have their products repaired or serviced) the right to choose who can repair and service their cars without risking losing their vehicle’s warranty because they haven’t used the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) parts. The framework guidance affects how dealers and manufacturers are allowed to enforce warranties on the vehicles they sell and, if found to be violating their customers’ rights, list penalties and measures they could potentially face as a result. These guidelines specifically apply to vehicles still covered by their warranty periods. They relate to the sale of new and used vehicles, their servicing needs and any repairs required for them. The freedom to service or fix the products you paid for  Anyone who has ever owned an Apple product will agree that getting it fixed without having to pay the expensive prices charged by Apple itself is nearly impossible. This is because, for years, Apple was able to prevent other repair shops not affiliated with the company from getting their hands on OEM parts. They did this by engineering their products in such a way that customers were forced to turn to Apple for replacements or by simply voiding the device’s warranty if they found out that somebody else had managed to repair an Apple product. Providing convenience and affordability  Apple isn’t the only company to do this. Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung and many other tech, car and electronics companies either used to or still do design their products and sell them with policies that put pressure on their customers to depend on them to get things fixed. These practices not only caused customers to pay more for OEM parts but also unfairly prevented people from turning to cheaper servicing options that were just as effective as the manufacturer’s or from finding someone to repair your car just as well. How R2R applies to your car When it comes to cars, these restrictions have often led to much frustration among owners. While some models have parts manufactured locally, others must be imported from overseas, costing more and sometimes taking weeks to arrive. If people turned to an ISP to fix their car, manufacturers would simply void the warranties covering the rest of the vehicle’s components, claiming that they could no longer guarantee that the other parts would keep working because of the “outside” work done. The Right to Repair: Warranties and service plans So, how do these new guidelines affect you and the industry, especially when it comes to existing warranties and service plans? While most new car purchases come standard with manufacturer warranties, service plans are optional. Used cars, however, often come with pre-existing service plans included in the vehicle’s sales price and may or may not have warranties that have lapsed.  This presents a tricky situation to dealers and used car buyers alike in terms of what to do and is one of the main reasons that R2R has been brought into SA. Warranties and service plans are separate components of a used vehicle. R2R deals with both of them and provides a guideline on how they should be treated. What happens to warranties? Warranties are guarantees the manufacturer or dealer provides for new vehicles. They are agreements that they will replace certain parts if they fail due to being faulty or simply breaking down.  Warranties usually cover a period of time (like two or three years after the car was sold to its first buyer) or a predetermined distance (like 120,000km, for example). The warranty will lapse once one of these two conditions is met, whichever occurs first. Read this post explaining warranties in a little more detail. With Right to Repair, if a third-party service provider replaces another component in the car, and a part covered by the warranty breaks down, the manufacturer cannot void the warranty simply because another service provider worked on the car. They are still compelled to enforce it. How R2R affects existing service plans  Some used cars are sold or traded into a dealer with service plans that have not yet run their course. The buyer would previously have had no choice but to buy the existing service plan along with the vehicle. They would have been forced to use the same service provider to get their car serviced to preserve warranties and maintain the car's service history. The Right to Repair now requires that dealers provide the price of the existing service plan on top of the cost of the car, giving the buyer the option to take it or leave it. Since buyers can choose to opt out of these existing service plans, they can also choose to take their car to an independent service provider to get it serviced or repaired without the warranty being voided. Terms and conditions But these new guidelines do come with some conditions. If a part covered by your car’s warranty fails, you’ll still need to go to the manufacturer to get it replaced (and why wouldn’t you? It’s free anyway). Things like clutches, damage to the car and other non-warranty-covered issues are not affected by R2R. And, if the manufacturer can prove that poor workmanship or bad servicing by an ISP leads directly to a particular component being compromised, they can still void the vehicle warranty. Why we all need the Right to Repair   The Right to Repair isn’t just about the consumer. While these guidelines do provide some much-needed freedom to choose who can service and repair your car, they also help the vehicle industry to be more competitive and fair. Here are just some of the reasons why R2R is working for car owners, dealers and vehicle service providers. Because you’re constitutionally entitled to R2R Everybody should have the right to choose who can fix their products, how this can be done and where they can go to have them serviced. This freedom gives you a say in the products you pay for, no matter who made them or sold them to you. While this does open the door for car owners to visit cheaper private mechanics, it’s important to remember that this also potentially puts you at risk of compromising your car and, as mentioned earlier, may still lead to some warranties being voided. Check out this post explaining the difference between service centres and mechanics. Because you’re probably going to need it If you’re planning on buying a used car that is manufactured outside of SA or that requires expensive replacement OEM parts to be imported, you’ll likely want to be able to look elsewhere for solutions if something goes wrong. Some makes and models have also been designed to require special tools or “keys” to open up the car’s engine and other parts of the vehicle for servicing work. Right to Repair now allows independent service centres to request information from manufacturers about vehicle specifics to fully service a vehicle correctly. The framework also enables you to secure a quote for the repair work and parts from the dealer, providing an opportunity to find more affordable, more convenient alternatives. Take a peek at this list of the Top 10 Used Cars in SA that are the least likely to let you down. Because it will save you money Many car owners previously kept vehicle owners locked into using only their “original” OEM parts and services. For years, car companies insisted that they were offering better quality and guarantees by forcing their customers to use their services and parts, only to discover that people willing to lose their warranties were paying less for parts that were working just as well. R2R enables you to make your own decisions when it comes to getting your car serviced or repaired without losing your vehicle warranty. While this still carries the risk of choosing a supplier who delivers sub-par work or damages your vehicle, if you choose wisely, you’ll save a ton of money in the long run. Of course, you are still welcome to use the manufacturer or dealer to service or repair your car.  This article on the additional costs of buying a used car will give you an idea of how much to budget for over the long run. Because being able to choose a quality car service centre is important Repairs aside, ensuring that your car is properly serviced is an effective way to reduce the chances of something going wrong. This is where service centres come in. Most manufacturers have their own service centres. However, some dealers also offer their own in-house servicing options that the manufacturer doesn’t necessarily provide or which are prohibitively expensive. Before Right to Repair, many people were prevented from visiting some service centres, with either the dealers from whom they bought their vehicles or the manufacturers themselves likely to void the warranty for other components. This meant that even if you visited a service centre not recognised by the dealer or manufacturer to replace a smaller part and then wanted to claim for the warranty on one that failed later, you risked not being able to.  Service centres come in all shapes and sizes, but having the right to choose which one you want to take your car to allows you to have more control over your vehicle and your finances. Click here to learn more about some of those service centres you can count on. Because insurance can get complicated So what happens if bad workmanship or fitting a poor quality part causes damage to a component or system covered by the manufacturer’s vehicle warranty? Well, then, the dealer has the right to refuse to cover the cost of replacing that part. In this instance, you’d need to go back to the provider who did the shoddy work and speak to them about covering the damage. In this case, insurance becomes important. Liability insurance covers these situations, and any decent service provider should have their own, as should you. However, depending on the situation, sorting out these insurance claims can get tricky. This is why you should enforce your R2R rights using quality service centres. Check out this post discussing insurance and used cars, which will give you an idea of how it all works. Answering your R2R questions The Right to Repair isn’t absolute, but it does give much more power to car owners and even dealers. While the guidelines still leave a lot to be figured out, it’s safe to say that with R2R, people can feel better about getting their cars repaired and serviced on their own terms. Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your rights as a car owner in South Africa. Always check your warranty schedule When buying a used car, always ask about the warranty schedule. This will tell you how much more time or kilometres the car can cover before some of the warranties expire. Remember that there are different warranties for different parts, components and systems. This means that while one warranty may have run its course, another may still be valid. Understand what your car service needs are Cars need to be serviced regularly. Leaving even minor services too late or missing them altogether can void warranties and increase the risk of parts failing. Most warranties allow a little leeway for overdue services, but the longer you wait, the bigger the chances of something going wrong. Good vehicle service providers will spot developing issues before they become problems and even help you claim from the manufacturer. It’s not only about saving money While one of the biggest advantages of R2R is the opportunity to save on your car’s repair or services, it’s also about convenience, trust and extending the life of your car on your terms. R2R doesn’t mean you should abandon your manufacturer or dealer-recommended service providers either – they will always be able to offer among the best OEM parts and repair work. But now, you have a choice. Conclusion – Using service centres that support R2R Whether you bought your used car directly from a vehicle brand showroom or are the sixth owner of a trusty ride that just won't quit, your right to pick the repair and service providers of your choice without losing the vehicle warranty matters. Right to Repair is putting the power into your hands. But this means you’re even more responsible for your car’s maintenance and finding someone capable to repair your car. Always do your homework before choosing a service provider or repair option. Check that they know what they are doing, won’t compromise your car, and won’t leave you at risk of losing warranties because of shoddy work. Use only high-quality service centres and ask the dealer about existing warranties and service plans when buying a new used car.  You can find one of our trusted service centres near you by clicking here or check out our inventory of quality used cars. Because you have the right to drive and service the car you deserve your way.  
Car shoes. Wheels. Rims. Rubber. Whatever you call them, car tyres are one of the most important parts of your ride. They give us traction and provide grip. They are crucial to braking and can even stop our cars from aquaplaning in water. Most importantly, though, they are the only points of contact your vehicle has with the road. But there’s a whole lot more to these inflatable rubber tubes than meets the eye. Tyres are one of the most discussed issues when it comes to cars. These essential pieces of equipment are always degrading, can cost a lot and come in endless different designs and sizes. This guide explores the world of car tyres. From choosing the car tyre types that are best for your car and understanding their different shapes and sizes to proper tyre maintenance and replacing them, we unpack the ins and outs of vehicle tyres and your car.     Tyres: A quick history  The world’s earliest tyres were very different from the ones we use on our cars today. The first modern car had three steel wheels covered with a thin layer of inflated rubber. John Dunlop patented the first practical modern pneumatic tyre in the 1880s.  Since then, tyres have been used on almost every car on Earth, on aeroplanes, for tools, in industry and even on the Moon. In that time, tyres have evolved rapidly, with designers using different materials and new, innovative ways to make them stronger, more dependable and safer. Today, car owners can choose from many tyre brands, sizes, car tyre types and even colours. Why tyres are so important to your car Your car tyres are the only thing in contact with the road, and they suffer more wear and tear than any other component on your vehicle. But tyres can also affect your car’s condition, performance, and value in the long run, and bad tyre maintenance can lead to problems in your vehicle. They can affect your whole car  Car performance and your tyres are directly related. Wheels that aren’t aligned correctly can eat into your fuel efficiency and degrade your tyres much faster than they should. But tyres that are damaged or in poor condition can also affect your car’s other vital components. Your brakes, shocks, and even electronics can all be affected by your tyres. They impact your driving experience Tyres also play a big role in your driving experience. There’s nothing worse than having to correct a car that’s pulling off to one side all the time or a vehicle that feels slow and sluggish. Tyres can create too much noise inside the cabin, they can cause the ride to become bumpy or uncomfortable, and smooth tyres can often lead to wheelspin. They are your top safety feature Since your tyres are the only point of contact with the road beneath you, they are also your number one safety line of defence. Smooth tyres lacking grip can severely reduce braking efficiency. Punctured or weakened car tyres can lead to a devastating blowout at high speeds, not to mention the damage done to the rim and dangers posed by driving on a deflated or flat tyre.  Tyre treads disperse rainwater and help to prevent aquaplaning. They absorb much of the impact when going over large bumps or through dips in the road and can even reduce the risk of injury. Tyres are the first thing checked for car roadworthiness, and many police stops involve measuring tyre treads. Tyres aren’t cheap  Vehicle tyres cost a lot, not because they’re so essential but because they are expensive to manufacture. Tyre brands use as many as a dozen or more materials when manufacturing tyres. These include different types of rubber, chemicals like sulphur, oils and antioxidants and minerals such as rayon, polyester and steel. All vehicle tyres are carefully inspected and tested for faults before being shipped around the world to be sold. But cars have four wheels, and that’s where the big cost comes in. While we can buy each tyre separately, most of the time, we need to replace all of them at once. And four tyres cost four times as much as one does. Tyres: Types, sizes, makes and designs  Tyres come in many different options. Some are designed for going onto 4x4 or off-road vehicles, while others are made for speed. Some tyres optimise fuel efficiency, while others are designed to last longer. Most cars come with a standard wheel, or rim, that determines the size and specifications of the tyre you can put on it. Types of car tyres There are many different car tyre types available. These are some of the main categories used for different vehicles.  Regular – Standard radial tyres used on most cars. Sport – High-performance tyres designed for traction and speed. 4X4 – Heavy-duty tyres with large block tread patterns that can grip rugged offroad surfaces. SUV – Similar to regular tyres but made to fit larger vehicles. Whitewall – Classic tyres with white rubber sidewalls. We see them on many taxis in SA. Tyre sizes and what the numbers mean Next time you’re near your car or doing some tyre maintenance, pay attention to the numbers, letters and symbols on the sides of your tyres. This series of markings tells you all about your tyres. Here’s what they mean. Width – e.g. ‘205’. This is the width or thickness of the tyre, in millimetres, measured across the treaded surface from wall to wall. Profile – e.g. ‘55’. This number tells you how ‘high’ the tyre surface is from the rim. It’s a percentage of the tyre’s height-to-width ratio. Diameter – e.g. ‘R16'. Indicates the diameter of the wheel rim. It is the standard used for typical tyre size and is shown in inches.  Load index & speed rating – e.g. 91V. Tells us how much weight each tyre can handle in kg at a specific speed. Each number and letter corresponds to a maximum weight taken from a universal load index and speed rating table (91 = 615 kg) and speed (V = 240 kph). Your rims and your tyres  Car tyres need to be supported by rims – the wheel itself that attaches to the car via the face or hub. Rims determine the size of the tyre and come in different configurations, styles and materials. Different rims require different car tyre types. Rim types – This refers to the design of the rim. Solid rims are the most common rim type. They come in different styles and designs. Split or multi-piece rims aren't usually used on non-commercial vehicles. Rim materials – Here, you’re looking at what the rim is made out of. Usually stainless steel, alloys (like aluminium) or composites such as carbon fibre. Rim finishes – This details what the rim looks like. Hubcaps, chrome finish, or painted powder matte finish. Tyres: Maintaining your tyres Taking care of your vehicle tyres is an important task for car owners. Since tyres are prone to wearing down, punctures, cuts and leaks, it is important that we keep an eye on them. While a tyre losing pressure is a big red flag, there are many other things to look out for. Bald spots on the surface, vibrations or pulling on the steering wheel and the condition of the tyre tread are all things we should monitor. Rotating your tyres Rotating your tyres means swapping them out and moving them around into a different configuration occasionally. Since you can rotate your tyres yourself, this is a basic tyre maintenance task you should do regularly.  How to rotate your tyres – Simply swap out your front tyres with the rear ones and change the back tyres to the front. Here’s how to do it. Why you should do it – Rotating your tyres spreads wear out more evenly, keeping tread depths more uniform and extending their life. When to rotate your tyres – Once every six months or every 8,000 to 10,000km. Checking your tyres regularly Monitoring the condition of your car tyres can be done daily before getting in your car. However, adding a comprehensive tyre check to your weekly car maintenance routine is always a good idea. Inspecting your tyres – Every now and again, check each tyre, visually looking for any damage or wear.  Testing your tyres – You can check for leaks by submerging your wheel in water or by taking your tyres to a specialist to test them out for you.  Measuring your tyre tread – In South Africa, tyre tread cannot be less than 1mm. Click here to learn how to measure your tyre tread depth. Keeping your tyres clean Keeping your vehicle tyres clean is basic tyre maintenance. Keeping your wheels free of mud, dirt, grime and foreign objects not only keeps them looking great but also helps them last longer. Washing tyres – Clean mud, dirt, and grime off with a high-pressure hose or using soapy water. Protecting tyre walls – You can buy special paints and tyre protectants to protect your tyres from UV radiation and cold.  Repairing minor damage or leaks – While most tyre damage means replacing tyres, you can repair small punctures and damage yourself. Checking your tyre pressure Whenever you visit the local garage or petrol station, take a minute to check your tyre pressure. Low tyre pressures can decrease fuel economy and lead to serious tyre damage. But don’t forget to look out for overinflated tyres, too. High pressure can be caused by increased temperatures or errors made by the attendant. All car tyre types must be correctly inflated to the right pressure range. Know your pressures – Look on the inside of the driver’s door or refer to your car’s user manual for recommended tyre pressures. How often to check tyre pressure – Every time you put petrol in your car, take a moment to check your tyre pressure. Type of air or gas – Nitrogen is the safest and best type of air to use in tyres. Wheel Alignment  Wheel alignment relates to how straight your wheels are on your vehicle. Speed bumps, potholes and general wear and tear can cause your wheels to lose balance, degrading your car tyres and consuming more fuel. to check wheel alignment – If your car is constantly pulling off to one side, you likely need to check your wheel alignment. Where to get wheels aligned - You can take your car to most service centres or wheel specialists to check and correct your wheel alignment. Cost of wheel alignments – Prices vary depending on your car and service provider, but usually cost between R200 and R500.  For more on how to properly maintain your tyres, take a look at our blog on how to do so. Tyres: Replacement and Cost Many people underestimate how much it costs to replace their car tyres. New tyres aren’t cheap, and using old or second-hand tyres is a very bad idea. Most tyres are designed to go for at least 25,000km to 50,000km, though different car tyre types have varying lifespans. Some people can even safely extend their tyre life to over 75,000km before replacing them. While changing a wheel is pretty straightforward, you’ll need a professional to help you change the tyre itself, though. Knowing when it’s time to replace your tyres Most car service professionals will let you know when it’s time to replace old tyres. But rather than waiting for your annual vehicle service or getting caught by a metro cop driving on illegal tyres, keep track of your wheels yourself and watch out for tread that gets too low. Checking the tread – If your tread is less than 1.6mm (min. 1mm) deep, it’s time to get your tyres replaced. Damaged or weakened tyres – If your tyres develop a bald spot, are starting to crack, or have damage on their walls, replace them. Slow punctures and leaks: Always refilling a pesky tyre? You may have a slow puncture. Also, watch out for faulty air nozzles. How to replace your tyres While replacing your wheel with another one that already has a tyre on it is pretty straightforward, getting a new tyre onto the rim itself is a task only the pros can handle. There are various options you can pick from. Tyre specialists – These experts specialise in car tyres and wheels and can even check your brakes, shocks and exhaust system for you.  Car service centres – These are your best option since they are able to provide comprehensive checks on your car and complete a full service along with changing your tyres for you. Find one near you here. Private mechanics – While some independent mechanics can change tyres, many of them don’t have the necessary equipment to do so safely. Cost of replacing your tyres Getting new tyres installed means paying for more than the new rubber. You’ll also have to compensate the people doing the work. Price – Tyre prices range from budget tyres costing around R500 each for new tyres to premium tyres for larger high-performance vehicles, setting you back over R6,000 per tyre. Labour – Each service provider provides their own labour costs per hour or ask for a fixed rate. Warranty – Most vehicle tyres come with a fixed warranty, but you do have the option of buying additional cover for certain tyre risks. Tyres: Everything else  Car tyres are part of your car. But they are still equipment that can be removed and even stolen. While taking good care of the four tyres on your wheels is crucial to tyre maintenance, it’s important not to forget about that fifth tyre in the boot or the equipment needed to swap it out with a flat one in an emergency. The spare wheel  The spare wheel is there to help you out in an emergency. If you get a puncture or can’t fill up a flat tyre, the spare wheel is your go-to reserve. Most cars either have a spare wheel identical to the others or a different car tyre type that some people call a ‘Marie-biscuit tyre’ – a smaller, lighter spare wheel intended for short-term use. Don’t forget about your spare wheel just because it’s packed away in the boot. Maintain your spare wheel by keeping it pumped up and in good condition. Equipment  Changing a tyre means using the equipment and tools available to do it. There are various tools to do this, but all should be in working order. The jack is used to lift your car up so you can change the tyre. The wheel spanner is used to remove and replace the nuts holding your wheel in place. Check that these vital tools are working and are capable of being used for your car. Keeping them safe from crime In South Africa, we have to unfortunately deal with crime almost every day. And car tyres aren’t safe from criminals either. Keeping your car in a safe, secure location will help stop criminals from stealing your wheels in the dead of night. Cover up your wheel nuts and secure any hubcaps that people may want to snatch off your car. Warranties All tyres should come with a manufacturer warranty stating that if the tyre is faulty or fails before the warranty expires, they will repair or replace it. Ask about the details of your tyre warranty and don’t be afraid to claim on it if something not your fault goes wrong. Disposal  What do you do with your old vehicle tyres? While most service centres or tyre replacement outlets will offer to take them off your hands for you, you may have to dispose of your old tyres yourself. Always do so responsibly, never burn car tyres and try to recycle where possible. Conclusion – Finding the right tyres for your car and keeping them in good condition Car tyres are crucial to your car’s performance and are a vital safety feature. Ignoring tyre problems or observing proper tyre maintenance can lead to serious problems for your vehicle and even get you into trouble with authorities.  Like your car, take care of your vehicle tyres and ensure that you’re using the right car tyre types for your vehicle. But tyres need a car to go on. Find yours here from Auto Pedigree’s extensive inventory. If you’re in need of some tyre TLC, bring your vehicle into one of our 13 accredited service centres countrywide, and we’ll take a look at your tyres, too.  
How to Get Your Car Valued Before Selling It How much is your car worth right now? Most people have no clue what their car’s current value is. Figuring out your car’s value is the first step to selling it. But there’s more to a car valuation than estimating what you think you deserve for the car. From demand and market conditions to your car’s overall condition and even its colour, getting your car valued before selling it requires an understanding of how to get it right. If you’re considering getting your car valued, there are more ways than just getting a free online valuation. By establishing a more in-depth and comprehensive view of the existing worth of your vehicle, you can obtain a clearer idea of what else you can do to boost its value before selling it and how much you could really be getting for it. This quickfire guide on car valuation will help you get started nailing down a reliable number for your wheels. Whether you’re planning to sell or are just interested in finding out what your car is worth, calculating your vehicle’s value with accuracy and confidence is always a good idea. Why you need to get your car valued Before you sell a house, you must ask somebody to come and tell you what it’s worth. Nobody sells classic art without knowing how valuable it is. And if you’re looking to sell old jewellery, you’ll want to know what most people are willing to pay, rather than how much the one jeweller you visited is offering. The same goes for cars. Like a home, art or jewellery, cars are valuable items that are in demand and worth good money. Since people are willing to buy your vehicle and are prepared to pay a decent sum for it, you should know the value of this opportunity. Keeping track of an important asset Managing your money means knowing what you’re worth. If you can accurately tally up your assets, you can control your money more effectively and manage your finances better. This means understanding what one of your biggest ticket items – your car – is doing for your overall wealth. Getting your car valued will help you decide whether you even want to sell it in the first place. Find out your car is worth a whole lot more than you thought, and you’ll be able to upgrade to a nicer ride. Discover that your wheels are worth less than you hoped, and you may think twice before investing heavily in keeping it going. Insurance Another reason for getting your car valued is for insurance purposes. Insurance companies need to know how much they’d have to pay out to replace your vehicle if it is written off. So they take its value and calculate a premium you must pay every month that they believe will cover the risk of you claiming. What many insurance companies count on you to forget about, though, is depreciation. As your car gets older and you drive it more and more, its value slowly decreases. However, many people are paying insurance premiums based on the initial insured value of their car rather than the current amount. Getting your car valued allows you to revise this amount with the insurance company, lowering your premiums. Capital Cars are assets, and assets represent capital – money or leverage you can use to buy other things or pay off important items. These assets can be exchanged for cash (selling), swapped for something else (trade-in) or used to pay off debts. Either way, an asset is only worth as much as its value, so you will want to know how much that is before you can do anything with it. This capital can then be used to purchase new assets – like a new used car to replace the one you just sold – once it has been converted into cash. The difference between your car’s price and its value Many people confuse a car’s value with its price. The two are not the same, and they represent different measures of the worth of the car. Car price – What you paid for the car or the amount a dealer will likely try to sell the car for. Price usually includes profit margins, commissions and fees and any other costs and expenses. Car value – How much most people, dealers or institutions are willing to pay to you for your car if they were to buy it from you or you were to trade it in. This metric is determined by looking at many elements and changes over time. While a car’s price is a great guide to its value, it is not an accurate representation of a vehicle’s worth. It should only be considered later on in the car valuation process. Types of vehicle value There are various kinds of car value that it is important to understand. While you should be aiming to establish a single number for your car’s value, dealers, potential buyers, and financial institutions use different methods for calculating your vehicle’s value, across different valuation categories and for different purposes. Book value The book value is the general price guideline used by the automotive industry, financial institutions and insurance companies to assign an approximate value to a particular vehicle make and model based on M&M codes*. This value is pegged to a typical model in average condition and with an average mileage based on its manufacturing year. *M&M Codes - M&M codes are given to each car model and are used to track and update the general pricing guidelines. Data is constantly collected from the manufacturer, dealers and auction houses to update the book value of different models using M&M codes. Trade-in value The car book value is also often used as a trade-in value. In other words, how much a dealer is prepared to discount a new vehicle you want to buy using the value of your current one in exchange. The trade-in value is often very close to the car book value, but different dealers may change it based on inventory, demand, and your car’s condition. Here's a little more on what it means to trade in your car. Market value The market value for your car represents the actual price you could get for selling it. This value is determined based on your particular car. It is calculated by estimating how much you could stand to get for selling your car in a competitive or open market. The market value will generally be higher than the trade value of your car, but less than its retail value. Retail value This is the price that the dealer stands to get for selling your car to someone else. It is usually higher than the market value (what the dealer paid you for it) since it includes their profit, servicing, advertising and other investments the dealer has made to sell it. Things that affect your vehicle’s value While most dealers or buyers rely on the car book value of a model as a starting point in establishing a car’s value, each vehicle is different. Some have higher mileage than others, some have been involved in accidents, some are in high demand, and some are in bad condition. There are many different things that buyers consider when determining a car’s value, but some of the most impactful ones that make the biggest difference include: Mileage Lower mileage means more value. While some cars are built to last, other makes have developed reputations for starting to cause issues after having covered a certain number of kilometres. Mileage also indicates how much work the car has done by looking at its manufacturing year and calculating how far it travelled on average annually. Modifications Modifications and customizations kill car value. Spoilers, paint jobs, road kits, engine enhancements – all are bad news when trying to maximize your car’s value. Unless you’re driving a rally car, remove and repair any modifications or try to avoid them altogether. Some smaller changes are OK, but they’ll need to be declared and should only improve the car overall. Condition From dings and dents in the bodywork to the state of the seats and the health of your rims, the better the car’s condition, the higher the value. If you’ve managed to look after your vehicle or have replaced any worn or broken components, you’re likely to maintain a higher value for the vehicle. This is the big differentiator between used cars of the same model on the market. Demand Believe it or not, demand plays a big role in your car’s value and is an important influencer of those M&M codes. High demand for a vehicle model increases its value, as does lower supply. However, when demand drops, or there is an increase in the supply of a particular model, its car book value comes down. Economic climate The economy can impact your car’s value, too. When interest rates, inflation and unemployment are high, people are less likely to buy things like cars, meaning retail values are lower, bringing your car’s overall value down as well. How to get your car valued before selling it Getting your car valued can be as simple as using an online car valuation calculator, but you’ll only be getting a very rough estimate of its book value. Other online tools and companies will provide a free valuation for your car and even offer you an amount to buy it. However, investing a little more time and effort in getting your car valued before selling it will help you to ask for a fair price. Here are some useful ways to get your car valued accurately. Know how much you paid for it Remember the agreed price you settled on when buying the car. Whether you got it new or as a pre-owned vehicle, knowing this price as the starting point in your car valuation is critical. If you still have the original proof of transaction, keep it handy. Consider outstanding costs Is the car still being financed, or does it require any repairs or servicing work? These outstanding costs will need to be taken into account when valuing your car. While they won’t necessarily play a role in the physical value of the vehicle, they will affect how much you’ll make for selling it. Work out the car book value Look up the M&M code for your vehicle and find the corresponding car book value. There are different resources for doing this online – here’s a great place to begin - or you can ask someone to provide you with one. You should have your vehicle’s VIN on hand to make the process easier as well. Get a view of the model’s market value Establish the current market value for your car. Look at demand by searching for trends and vehicle sales data for preceding quarters. Look at supply by searching used cars for sale inventories. And you can simply ask by reaching out to a car dealership and engaging with them about what estimates they can give you for how much they’d pay for your car. Establish trade-in value  Once you’ve got a general idea of how much your car model is going for on the market, you can move on to narrowing down its trade-in value. Make sure that you have all your documents in order, including a full service history, previous ownership records and reports on any accident-related work. Then, approach a dealer to ask if they’d consider a trade-in for your car. The potential buyer or dealer will consider depreciation, inflation, your vehicle’s age, its history and any other elements (including what you’re considering trading your car in for) before giving you an offer. This will be your car’s trade-in value. Get your car professionally appraised Another car valuation option is to get your vehicle appraised by a professional. These people often don’t have a reason to over or under-inflate the value of your car and may charge you for coming to inspect it and assign a value. This is usually the most accurate car valuation option. Test your car’s value against the market Once you’ve got the most accurate idea of your car’s value, check if it’s in line with the typical retail value of the model’s similar used cars. Look at other vehicles for sale in a similar condition and with a similar mileage. This will help you to finally land on a realistic car valuation for your vehicle. Click here for a wide range of quality used cars you can use to get an idea of the market value of yours. Conclusion – Your car is a valuable asset Car values are always changing. As demand shifts, new models are launched, and your car gets older, its value will adjust. Staying aware of your car’s shifting value will help you to save on insurance, pick the right moment to sell and motivate you to keep your ride in good condition by getting it serviced regularly and keeping on top of any issues that need checking. Our extensive inventory contains quality used vehicles that have been appraised and listed at retail prices that represent their real value in a highly competitive market. Remember, your car is valuable, and when you’re ready, you can use it to cover your next ride.
Insurance. You may think you don’t need it, but when it comes to your car, you really do. Vehicle insurance is a sticky topic, especially for cash-strapped South Africans already trying to pay monthly instalments on their cars. Insuring your used car is the same as insuring a brand-new one. Or is it? From fully insuring your used car to taking out basic cover for accidents, injury and property damage, car insurance is important. In this article, we briefly explore the ins and outs of insurance for your used car. We’ll unpack the types of insurance available for pre-owned vehicle insurance, the benefits of having insurance and how to get the used car insurance process started. We also look at options similar to insurance for used cars and compare the need for insurance for pre-owned vehicles to having insurance for new ones. Insurance and your car: Why we need it In some countries, insuring your car is mandatory. But in South Africa, insurance is a choice. Since many South Africans cannot afford to own a vehicle, let alone take out insurance for them, many cars are uninsured, leaving drivers exposed. This article will help you understand how insurance and the law work in SA. Insurance allows us to replace a written-off car with a new one, repair damages that can often cost too much for us to afford, handle any medical expenses from being involved in an accident, and pay for damages to other people’s cars. Every month, you pay premiums to an insurance company to provide protection for you and to insure your second-had car. If something happens to you or your vehicle, they will either pay you a cash amount to fix it, pay for the repairs themselves or replace the car (if it’s a write-off). Insurance for used cars vs. new cars Many people wonder if it is worth insuring your used car since it has already depreciated in value. Most of us will be more willing to insure a new car over an old one because it’s, well, brand new, and we’d hate for anything to happen to it. But don’t we value used cars just as much? Of course we do, and insuring your used car, no matter if it’s new or old, is always a good idea. New models aren’t always worth more than used ones It's easy to assume that paying to insure your second-had car will cost less every month than insuring a new one. While this is generally the case, since it’ll cost the insurer more to replace a new car of equal value than an older model, it isn’t always so. Older used car models may no longer be manufactured, and replacing big parts or repairing accident damage may be more difficult and thus more expensive. Covering your assets – new and old Cars are cars, no matter how many different people have owned them before you. Insurance companies don’t necessarily discriminate between new and pre-owned cars, so you’re unlikely to save on your premiums just because you’re not the first owner of your vehicle. Premiums are based on drivers, location and more - not just cars Much of the risk that insurance companies cover comes from the driver, not only the car they’re driving. Age, driving experience, how often you’re on the road, where you park, and many other personal factors contribute to the bulk of your insurance premiums. That is why a fifty-year-old woman who works remotely will pay substantially less than a 21-year-old student who drives across town to campus every day, even though they drive exactly the same pre-owned models. Click here for more on vehicle insurance premiums. Benefits of insurance for your used car There are many reasons to take out used car insurance. Aside from the fact that some banks and financial institutions will require it before financing your vehicle, having insurance can help you out of an impossible situation when you need assistance the most. Here are some of the most important benefits of having pre-owned vehicle insurance. Insurance can replace your pre-owned car if written off If your used car cannot be repaired after an accident, some types of insurance will buy you a new one as a replacement. They will usually take the market value of your vehicle and provide you with a replacement of equal value. Financial lifeline Losing your used car or being on the line for expensive damages to someone else’s can leave you broke or in trouble with the law. Insurance can rescue you from impossible financial situations. Cover beyond your pre-owned vehicle Insurance isn’t just for cars. It can be used to cover medical expenses, provide benefits like towing services or safety escorts and even help you out in an emergency by providing a courtesy vehicle. Peace of mind Arguably the biggest benefit of insuring your used car is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be taken care of if something bad happens while you’re driving. Steps for getting your used car insured Getting your car insured is quick and easy. The pre-owned vehicle insurance process is almost identical to getting a brand-new car insured, just with a few extra documents (like previous ownership record and a roadworthy certificate) required. Many insurance providers allow people to purchase vehicle insurance products online and even do it over the phone. Here’s a quickfire guide on how to get your car insured. Find an insurer Contact an insurer and ask about the available insurance products they have. Do a little research beforehand and check out company reviews. Make sure you know what type of used car insurance you’re looking at, and remember to consider your monthly budget. Here's how to save on your monthly vehicle insurance. Submit your vehicle’s information and details Once you’ve got your candidate insurers, share the details about your car that they asked for. This will likely include: The value of your vehicle. Your car’s mileage, condition and if you’ve upgraded anything. Details about where you park your car, how often you use it and security measures. Personal details. Get insurance quotes Next, gather up the quotes they send to you and carefully go through everything. This includes looking at what is covered and what isn’t if you insure your second-had car, your expected excesses in the event of a claim, any benefits or conditions and how much your premiums are going to cost you. Compare insurance options Compare your insurance options by evaluating each one against the others. While one quote may cost more monthly, it may come with added benefits and coverage than the cheaper options. Some insurance products offer cashback bonuses for claim-free periods, while others promise not to change premiums, even if you claim. Review your premiums annually Once you’ve accepted a quote and taken out insurance on your car, don’t forget to update your information regularly. Cars decrease in value over time, which means premiums should drop since replacement values are less. Many companies will match competing quotes, so don’t be afraid to approach them with a better option. This article will help you save on your car insurance. Other options similar to insurance If you’re not sold on buying used car insurance, there are other financial options available to you. While similar to pre-owned vehicle insurance that either protects you and your car on the road or covers you in unfortunate or unexpected events, they are more affordable and can be suited to your specific needs. Personal and Financial Risk Cover Cars that have been financed but are not yet paid off are a big risk if they are written off or stolen. While insurance will pay for a replacement, you will still be on the hook for the money you still owe to the financial institution financing your now-totalled car. Products like ADCOVER® will pay any shortfall between the amount you still owe to the financial institution and how much your insurer paid out. Other options like Lifestyle Protection plans also handle outstanding vehicle debt in the event of a life-changing tragedy like a death. Road-Accident Fund (RAF) The Road Accident Fund is a South African state insurer that gives insurance coverage to every driver on South Africa’s roads in the event of injury or loss. If you’re involved in an accident, the RAF will settle a claim based on a percentage of the cost of the accident. Money collected through the fuel levy is used to fund the RAF. Component Cover Most insurance companies refuse to cover mechanical breakdowns. If you need to replace a part to avoid one, you’ll likely have to pay for it out of pocket. Component Cover acts as a small-scale insurance policy that provides financial assistance to policyholders in the event of a mechanical or electrical breakdown once their manufacturer warranties expire. Certain parts are covered based on the age of the used vehicle, and there are different levels available. Conclusion – Betting on insurance for your used car Insuring your used car is essential to covering the risks and dangers we face on the road. Cars are important assets, and losing one to theft, accidents, or hijacking can leave us unable to work and in a serious financial predicament. While none of us plan on being involved in accidents or falling victim to crime, these unfortunate events can happen anytime and anywhere, even to the most cautious drivers. Used car insurance not only helps us out financially when we need it, but it also provides a comforting peace of mind for how we are able to keep our used cars safe. Click here to learn more about what you can do to insure your second-had car or to get in touch with someone who can help you on the insurance front before you’ve even got one yet.
Your car just hit the 90,000km mark. It’s starting to make a strange noise, and you know it’s been a long time since you got it serviced. What do you do? Option one: Visit the local mechanic and see if you can negotiate with them for a good deal to service your vehicle. Option two: Call a local vehicle service centre and ask them to give your car the full service it deserves. Time to make a choice. The mechanic versus service centre debate has been around since cars started getting complex enough to need a professional to keep them running. Some argue that private mechanics are unreliable and will likely overcharge you for parts that don’t need replacing at all. Others complain that service centres in South Africa charge too much for something a mechanic can do for half the price. And yet, car service centres are authorised to service vehicles, while many mechanics can do excellent work. This article aims to get to the bottom of the service centres versus mechanics debate once and for all. We look at the pros and cons, the risks and advantages and the convenience that each option offers to the everyday car owner. Getting your car serviced in SA Car services are like going to the dentist. Nobody wants to have to do it, but if you do go regularly, you’ll enjoy a beautiful smile for your entire life. Servicing your vehicle is a necessary task. And while we’d all love to get stuck into checking, cleaning and replacing worn parts ourselves, most people have no clue what’s going on under the bonnet. South African roads are always testing your car South Africa’s roads aren’t the greatest. From potholes and dirt to long distances and hectic weather, cars in SA need a little more TLC than vehicles on smoother, cleaner roads elsewhere – especially used cars. While some countries require cars to be serviced regularly by law, others – like SA – don’t. This means we can still get our cars insured, sell them and buy new used vehicles without a vehicle service history. Why car services matter But servicing your vehicle extends its life, increases its value, keeps things running smoothly and provides you with the peace of mind to know that your wheels aren’t going to let you down. Regular minor services are recommended every 15,000km or once per year (whichever comes first), with major ones suggested every 30,000km to 45,000km or so. Even the best, most expensive, reliable car makes need to be serviced regularly. To learn more about the difference between a major and a minor service, click here. Picking the right car servicer We have many vehicle service options in South Africa. From the neighbourhood car enthusiast operating out of his garage to local vehicle service centre franchises spanning the country. Everybody is free to choose who services their vehicles. The trick is choosing right. Service Centres vs. Mechanics: Types Let’s explore the different types of mechanic and car service centres available in South Africa. Mechanics Private mechanics – These are the one-person shows who take care of everything service-related themselves. They are usually only able to work on one vehicle at a time and can take a long time to wrap up the service. It can be very difficult to ensure that the replacement parts they are using are authorised for your vehicle. If something goes wrong, there’s not much you can do to get your money back. Vehicle Specialists – These are smaller, privately owned mechanics who specialise in things like wheels, shocks, batteries or even bodywork but also offer car services as an additional product. While many of them have the necessary equipment and tools to conduct a service, they may lack the knowledge and qualifications to be as thorough and detailed to meet your car's servicing needs. Service centres Basic service centres – These are ‘light’ service centres in South Africa, which can check your car and let you know what needs to be replaced or cleaned. Basic service centres are a good option if you’re trying to understand your car’s current condition. However, they may lack access to parts or special tools to conduct a full car service. These car service centres are good for minor services. Dedicated full vehicle service centres – These service centres are dedicated service centres whose sole job is specialising in full, major vehicle services. They have everything they need to fully service your car and employ only trained, qualified service professionals. These service centres usually have multiple outlets around the country, and information on their performance and trustworthiness can easily be found online. Manufacturer service centres - Manufacturers of cars made in SA sometimes offer their own service options. There aren't as many of them as regular car service centres, and they can get expensive. They may also not be willing to service a pre-owned vehicle not purchased from the associated dealership. The Verdict While there may be many more private mechanics and vehicle specialists around than qualified service centres in South Africa, this doesn’t mean they are necessarily a better option. A mechanic could be a good option for a quick fix, doing bodywork, or even cleaning your engine, but lacks the knowledge, tools and accountability to give your car the attention it needs. Service centres, on the other hand, are part of registered franchise corporations that are required to adhere to strict regulations and laws. If they don’t do a proper job, they have the resources to correct any errors at little or no extra cost, and any local vehicle service centre relies on your positive reviews to stay in business. Winner: Service Centres Service Centres vs. Mechanics: Cost Car services aren’t cheap. People must spend hours inspecting, testing and replacing different parts and components during a service. This is why car service costs are often a big sticking point when comparing car service centres with mechanics.   Mechanics Cost certainty – Mechanics do not have to stick to recommended prices and fees for their services. They can set prices to cover their expenses, but they also determine their own profit margins. This leaves prices up to the mechanic, and when people receive a quote, they struggle to know if they are being over or under-charged. On top of this, there is nothing stopping a mechanic from charging you for added extras before you’ve agreed to them. Parts – Mechanics will often tell their customers that they can secure parts at cost prices or a discount. Unfortunately, you won’t know for sure if these parts are of high quality, are OK to install in your vehicle or if they even need to be replaced at all. So, while you may save on replacement parts, the risk of them failing soon after is high. Labour – Mechanics also charge for the time they spend working on your car. While some services can take many hours to service a particular model, others can be done quickly, with all checks and replacements taken care of in a flash. Mechanics will often charge labour costs based on how much time they claim to have worked on your vehicle. Service centres Cost certainty – Service centres are registered businesses. They must adhere to industry codes of conduct that govern how much they can charge for their operations. This means that car service prices are usually fixed and only updated periodically when necessary. Part of these rules also require car service centres to provide the total service cost beforehand and only begin working once you have given approval. Parts – Approved service centres have a list of the parts they stock or are authorised to order. These lists include the prices of the different parts they can use, which cannot be changed or increased. They may also not use parts not designed for specific cars, and any replacements are checked and tested. Labour – Walk into any local vehicle service centre and you’ll see more than one person working on the cars. Each specialist has their own area of responsibility, and they are almost always paid a salary instead of a per-hour fee. Nothing is outsourced to 3rd parties, and labour fees are usually fixed. Any additional labour costs will be communicated before being charged. The Verdict Private mechanics have a reputation for convincing people that they need to replace parts that are in perfect working order. They also have an unfortunate habit of adding costs that customers were not initially aware of. Some will even only return a car to the owner once all costs are paid in full, whether agreed upon or not. This can leave people out of pocket and sometimes even without a car. Service centres in South Africa operate on a cost model designed to cover the same effort, parts and time for all vehicle models, no matter how much work they have to do during a service for a particular car. This is possible because service centres are part of large businesses that have the resources to absorb any unexpected losses. Car service centres also offer periodic specials that customers can take advantage of to save money. Winner: Service Centres Service Centres vs. Mechanics: Availability Sometimes, an urgent service may be required, either to quickly sell a car or before a long road trip. People living in remote areas or who do not wish to travel far may also appreciate having a vehicle servicing option nearby. Mechanics Number in SA – There are thousands of mechanics around the country. From farming communities to small towns and big cities, finding a local private mechanic to service your car is not difficult. This is ideal for vehicles that can’t drive too far or customers struggling to locate a service option nearby. Hours – Many mechanics will be prepared to work outside of business hours (especially if the price is right). This means that anyone in need of a quick, urgent service can get one done whenever they require it. Mechanics may also be available over weekends and public holidays, so you won’t need to worry about getting hold of them. Mechanics can also, when requested, rush your car service, completing the job in half the time they would normally take - if the price is, you guessed it, just right. Accessibility – Private mechanics are usually happy to take on a service job, no matter how busy they are. With so many mechanics around, they usually don’t have many cars on the waiting list to worry about, meaning they are often more available during high-demand, busy service seasons than other options. Service centres Number in SA – There are fewer local vehicle service centres in South Africa than private mechanics. This is because an authorised full-service centre needs to get accredited and registered to operate. While most big cities have multiple car service centres, some small towns and rural districts don’t. Hours – Service centres in South Africa must stick to operational business hours per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. This means that most service centres are not open before 7 or 8 a.m., and they will often close by 5 or 6 p.m. On top of this, some service centres are closed over weekends and on public holidays, though a few of them are open. Accessibility – Service centres can get busy. This means that you may have to wait a few days or even more than a week before they are able to accept your car. Since service centres must follow strict procedures for each vehicle, this can lead to backlogs and waiting lists. This can be frustrating for people hoping to get their car serviced quickly. The Verdict Mechanics are flexible when it comes to their availability. As many of them are small businesses, they can operate outside of business hours and are often willing to work when other businesses are closed. With so many mechanics offering services in SA, finding them isn’t difficult. Service centres employ many people and are required to stick to business hours. Some towns and areas don’t have any car service centres, and the ones that do can sometimes get very busy. While many service centres do their best to accommodate everyone who comes to them, they are not always able to do so. Winner: Mechanics Service Centres vs. Mechanics: Quality of work The whole point of a service is to improve the condition of the car, check for any problems and replace any parts or components that are getting old or faulty. If any of these functions are compromised, the vehicle can quickly become dangerous to its occupants. Quality of work is a critical measure of how successful a service is. Mechanics Inspections – Experienced mechanics know where to look for issues during a vehicle service. If they are familiar with a model, they will have a good understanding of what parts and areas of the vehicle need the most attention. However, without the checklists and resources they need to review every component, they can sometimes miss important checks. During the job – When servicing a car, mechanics need to be extremely careful not to damage anything else or forget about anything while they’re working. Even missing a single nut or bolt can cause a car to break down or even crash. While most mechanics have their own checklists, it can be easy for them to miss something or to reinstall a part incorrectly. After-sales service – Once a mechanic is done servicing a vehicle, you pay and leave in your car. However, depending on who you’re working with, if something goes wrong later, it can be a challenge to get a refund or to get them to correct the error. This is a big problem in South Africa and around the world. Service centres Inspections – All service centres in South Africa are required to conduct a full assessment of the vehicle before beginning any work on the car. This includes running as many as 116 different checks on the car, each one carefully documented and recorded. A report of the car’s condition is then compiled, ensuring nothing is missed or overlooked. During the job – Service centres have different specialists for different areas of the car. Each of these professionals is tasked with servicing their particular area of the vehicle using specialised equipment to do so. Expensive tools are also used to test components and repair any problems, ensuring only the best quality of work is done. After-sales service – Once a service has been completed, the local vehicle service centre will often contact the customer to inform them of any additional issues or elements picked up during the job that fall outside the service itself. This gives customers the chance to ask for extra work to be done. Once a service is completed and you have taken your car home, most car service centres will follow up after a period to ensure that you are satisfied with the work and that there are no outstanding issues. The Verdict Although many mechanics are capable of high-quality work, using them to service your car does come with the risk that the general quality of service is lower than expected. Without any fixed procedures or protocols, reports or state-of-the-art equipment, the standard of the service may be compromised. This poses a risk, not only to your vehicle but potentially to your safety, too. Car service centres provide detailed reports and checklists on request, proving that they have covered all the elements of the car service. They also replace parts and components that don’t need to be swapped out as part of their protocol and will often leave the old parts in your car as evidence that you now have new ones installed. Any extra work will be communicated before they go ahead, and - with the expectation that a full service takes care of all issues – any later problems will be rectified, usually free of charge. Winner: Service Centres Service Centres vs Mechanics: The verdict Service centres take the win in the debate. While mechanics do offer extended business hours and are sometimes willing to work over weekends and public holidays, service centres take the crown in all of the other categories. There are different types of car service centres, but each of them must be registered and approved by various industry bodies while subscribing to strict codes of conduct and ethical practices. Private mechanics are allowed to operate independently and don’t face the same scrutiny that service centres do. While you may be able to snag a cheap service deal with a private mechanic, there is no way of ensuring they are doing a quality job on your car, leaving your vehicle at risk of breaking down. A local vehicle service centre will have far more resources than a private mechanic and employs many highly trained personnel, each focusing on a particular servicing area of your car. And don’t forget about the range of specials most service centres offer regularly, taking the heat off your wallet. Ultimately, you want the best for your car. Private mechanics may be a good option for fixing individual issues or replacing the odd component on a budget. Car service centres, however, are dedicated car service experts who specialise in fully inspecting, checking, and servicing your car. Conclusion – Find a service centre near you If you’re looking for a complete, detailed and comprehensive service for your car, service centres are king on more than one front. You can visit a local vehicle service centre near you, like any one of Auto Pedigree’s 13 service centres located nationwide.
Selling your car can be risky. While most people looking to buy or sell cars are happy to follow the rules, shake hands and go on their way afterwards, we unfortunately live in a world where some people choose to take advantage of a situation. Selling your car safely in SA means taking some steps to protect yourself while keeping an eye out for scammers and dishonest people posing as real buyers. With more than 50 cars1 stolen every day in SA, selling yours means being careful when doing it. This article looks at the risks when selling your car that people face in South Africa. From dangerous hijacking situations to people taking advantage of your goodwill, selling a car today has never been riskier. Thankfully, with a little common sense and by taking some seller precautions, you can protect yourself from thieves, hustlers and scammers when selling your car. Car scams are increasing Every day, we hear of new ways people are taking advantage of car sellers. Whether it’s fake deposits or a would-be buyer coming back and “taking ownership” of the vehicle before paying (or without you even knowing about it), everybody needs to be on the lookout for car scams. While we usually hear of the buyer getting the short end of the deal, car sellers are becoming victims too. Scammers are targeting sellers more and more, focusing on people trying to sell their cars quickly or those who haven't sold their vehicle before. This general narrative that it’s usually the buyers who get scammed can often lead to sellers dropping their guard to become the victims themselves. Why people are getting scammed when selling their cars There are many reasons behind the rise in car scams – especially ones involving sellers. Thanks to the internet, more avenues to sell privately, and smarter, more tech-savvy criminals, the risks when selling your car in South Africa are on the rise and can even present dangerous situations. This is why it’s so important to be on the lookout for potential red flags and dodgy buyers. These are just a few of the reasons we’re seeing an increase in car scams targeting sellers. More ways to sell From Facebook to Gumtree, online marketplaces and even WhatsApp, thanks to technology, there are now many different options to choose from when selling your car. This variety of platforms and communications options means that people are more exposed and vulnerable when using methods they don’t fully understand. More online fraudsters Being able to sell your car across so many different platforms means more exposure to an increasing number of scammers who are figuring out how to trick you. These criminals are located around the world and may seem like they’re local when they are not. It’s getting easier to impersonate  Identity theft is a major problem that allows people to pretend to be somebody they’re not. They can then pose as a legitimate buyer and may even encourage you to do a background check on them to ensure you’re selling to somebody you can trust, only to find out the person you think you’re selling your car to has no idea they just bought one. Poor policing South Africa’s policing capabilities aren’t exactly the best in the world, making it difficult for selling your car safely. With over 20,000 annual hijackings and road crimes like cash-in-transit heists on the rise, our people in blue are struggling to keep up. Sadly, this extends into police investigations, with many scams going unsolved due to a lack of resources, giving criminals the green light to continue plundering. Desperation Scammers love to target people they can see are desperate to sell their car. They will often approach sellers with an offer that sounds incredibly enticing, only to rip them off later on. People looking to emigrate, those in urgent need of cash and people trying to sell their vehicles to replace them with a cheaper alternative are a top target for scammers. Common car scams sellers should watch out for Here are a couple of the known car sales scams that target the seller. The "test drive and dive" This is where a prospective buyer insists on taking your car for a test drive before buying it. They will usually request to test your car at a time and place of their choosing, and once they’re behind the wheel, you’ll never see them – or your ride – again. Disappearing after the deposit This scam involves a person paying a deposit into your account as an act of good faith, indicating they are serious about buying your car. Many sellers then let their guard down and will even hand over the keys after being promised the balance of the money soon after. Naturally, this often never happens, leaving the seller with only a fraction of what they’d hoped to receive for selling their car. The "fake deposit" Fraudsters are using sophisticated methods to re-create or fake proof of payments, transfer documentation and invoices. They will often send the seller a document indicating that they have paid the deposit for a car, claiming that it will take a few days before showing in the bank account. While the documents look real, the deposit, of course, never arrives, and neither does the return of the car. The "overcharge repayment" This clever scam involves the buyer sending the seller a cashier’s cheque or money order showing that they accidentally paid too much for the car. They then ask the seller to refund them the overpayment difference, or even the full amount, only for the seller to realise that the original transfer was never real in the first place. The “after-hours comeback” This is a common South African car theft ploy. Scammers posing as buyers will visit your home to come and view the vehicle. While there, they will instead scout out the property, security measures and weaknesses. Then, later, when you’re not at home or asleep, they will return, either to steal the car or just to rob you. The "cold caller" In this scam, fraudsters target sellers advertising their cars for sale in a local newspaper or online. The cold caller calls up the seller, posing as a broker with several buyers already lined up to buy the same model as the car you’re selling. All they need from you is an upfront “finder’s fee” or commission before they introduce you to the buyers. They then disappear with your money, and the fake buyers they mentioned don’t exist or are not even interested in buying a car. Top tips to avoid getting scammed when selling your car Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and your car when looking at selling your car safely and privately. We’ve also listed the reasons these car scams are so dangerous and what you can do to minimise the risks when selling your car you’re likely to face. Be careful how you advertise Why: Don’t share unnecessary information about your location, name, details or financial information when advertising to sell your car. Giving too much information away is like ringing the swindler dinner bell and can even leave you exposed to identity theft. How: Only use secure platforms to advertise and, where possible, keep details like your name, number, and address confidential until you’ve lined up a good prospective buyer. Remove number plates for photos or block them out, and never provide sensitive vehicle information like VINs. Watch out for pretenders Why: People who don’t look like they’re legitimate buyers usually aren’t. While we should all be careful about judging people at first glance, paying attention to red flags and warning signs is necessary to avoid being scammed when selling your car. People with no online presence or those lacking verifiable information are often the most likely to be scammers. Always do a background check and ask your buyer for more details about them if you’re unsure. How: Take a seller precaution and try to contact them to talk in person on the phone and watch out for people pretending to represent a buyer who is unavailable or too busy to conduct the transaction. Some fraudsters will pose as brokers, with buyers lined up looking for a car like yours. While some may be real brokers, many are not, so be sure to check out their credentials before paying any fees to them. When in doubt, pull out Why: If your gut is telling you that something isn’t quite right, pay attention to it. If payments seem dodgy or the person you’re looking to sell to has provided contact information that isn’t working, think twice before handing your car over. If, at any point during the transaction, you feel like you’re in danger, walk away and report your concerns to the authorities. How: Don’t be afraid to pause the process to double-check everything. Always make sure that the money is in your bank account rather than relying on any documents sent by the buyer to prove that the transaction has taken place. It’s better to lose a potential buyer by walking away if you’re unsure than to get scammed by a phoney buyer and end up losing your car or your money – or both. Take safety precautions Why: Any person serious about buying your car should be more than willing to travel to where you are. This is a must for selling your car safely. After all, you’re the one selling. Scammers may lure sellers into unsafe or unfamiliar places to hijack their vehicle once they arrive. How: Always try to take somebody with you to meetings or let people know where you’re going and what time you expect to return to offset some of the risks when selling your car. If you are faced with a dangerous situation or find yourself in peril, don’t risk your life for your car. It’s not worth it. But taking seller precautions and ensuring you’re in a safe place at all times will minimise the chances for criminals to take advantage of you. Know who you’re dealing with Why: When selling your car, most people who approach you to buy it are complete strangers. They could be anybody – a legitimate buyer or a professional scammer. Having an idea of who you’re selling your car to before doing it will help you avoid potential criminals and spot obvious scammers. How: Run a background check by searching social media pages and following up with the information the buyer has provided. If something doesn’t check out, ask the buyer to explain or clarify. Watch out for criminal records or reports that the prospective buyer has scammed others before. Get paid upfront Why: Like any transaction, you should take a seller precaution and insist on getting paid before handing your property over. This ensures that a proper exchange has taken place and nobody ends up losing out. Scammers will often argue that they don’t have all the money with them but desperately need the car. Others will refuse to pay the full amount until they have the vehicle in their possession. How: Ask for a deposit to hold in escrow before handing over the vehicle and while taking care of all the admin. You can hire a registered financial intermediary to hold the money so the buyer doesn’t think they’re getting scammed or ask the bank to assist. Never give the car to a buyer until they have paid in full or you have a written commitment from a legitimate organisation or financial institution that they will do so. Get documents in order Why: Documents provide proof of money transfers, who owns the vehicle and is legally required to sell a car. While some people choose to skip these important pieces of evidence, they will inevitably end up exposed later on, not to mention risk facing a situation where they don’t actually own the car they’ve paid for. How: Verify your buyer’s identity with a bank, the police or even home affairs. Make sure that the buyer has bank-verified funds to pay you and that the transaction is legal and above board. Ensure that both parties sign all transfer of ownership documents and that everybody has copies of everything. Confirm that the buyer is now the registered owner before waiving your own claim and make sure all outstanding fines are paid off. Beware the test drive Why: Test drives are often where most car scams unfold. In South Africa, we all face the very real threat of violent hijackings and car thefts on a daily basis. Allowing a stranger to test drive your car presents scammers, hijackers and thieves with the perfect opportunity to steal your ride right in front of you. Plus, there’s the extra personal safety concern. How: Always be safe and take extra seller precautions to protect yourself and your car in a test drive situation. Never allow a potential buyer to test drive your car by themselves, so always accompany them on the road. Only agree to test drives in safe, public areas that are well-lit and try to have somebody you know and trust with you at all times. Don’t forget to check if your insurance policy covers third-party accidents. Conclusion - Why trading in your car or selling to an authorised dealer is safer Instead of risking dealing with strangers and possible car scams, consider selling your car safely to an authorised dealer or trading it in. This ensures that you are transacting with registered, official buyers who can be contacted afterwards if something goes wrong and are unlikely to defraud you. Trading in your car means you’ll have a replacement vehicle on the spot, and dealers will sometimes allow you to remain the official vehicle’s owner until they find a buyer or until they’ve paid you in full. If you're a buyer looking to avoid scams, check out this article. Don’t be a victim. Keep an eye out for the risks when selling your car. Take seller precautions, be safe at all times and avoid the selling platforms, communication channels and situations where scammers thrive. References & Resources Link References: Citations: These provinces have seen a big spike in hijackings in South Africa – hotspot areas and cars being targeted. General References:
Did you know that there are over 50 different car brands available in SA, including more than 3,000 various models and variants1, with nine2 of these manufacturers making cars right here in Mzansi? With so many local and international options, variants and ranges available, picking the best pre-owned vehicles can be challenging. And when you add in the countless makes and models that have been sold over the years and are now on the market as pre-owned vehicles, figuring out which one is best for you requires an understanding of the best used cars in SA. In this post, we check out 10 of our most popular top second-hand cars in South Africa. We look at their popularity, availability, price and overall options to help you figure out which options will meet your needs. Used cars in 2023 Second-hand cars were once seen as risky buys. Many people found their used car buys to be faulty, unreliable and in a worse condition than what they expected. But times have changed. Laws governing the sale of used cars and the used car industry have worked together to ensure that buying a used car in SA is now safer, more affordable and more dependable than ever before. Many people turn to the most popular used cars in South Africa instead of spending large amounts of money on brand-new ones. Many used cars are still essentially “new”, with thousands of kilometres to go before they start developing problems. Other used cars have clocked huge distances already but are still in excellent condition, while some brands of used vehicles are renowned for being amazing options for pre-owned rides, outlasting many of their competitors. Buying a used car in 2023 has never been easier – or more accessible. With innovative deal assistance programs available, guarantees that used cars have been serviced, checked and approved, and a bigger market than ever, getting your hands on a quality vehicle and one of the best used cars around, can be a better investment than buying a brand new one. But which used makes and models are proven to deliver quality and value to their buyers? Let’s take a look. Things to think about when buying a used car Knowing the ins and outs of the best pre-owned vehicles market means understanding what to look for when buying one. Whether it’s the reputation a brand has for making cars that last or the status as one of the most popular used cars in South Africa, there are many options to choose from. But finding the right combination that meets your requirements involves thinking about a couple of things to suit your needs. All second-hand vehicles come with their own story. Each car served someone else previously. Getting an idea of what that history is will help you choose a used car that’s right for you instead of a dud that costs you money. Thankfully, many used car industry players have made it their mission to provide accurate, transparent and complete information to prospective buyers, making your choice that much easier. Here are some of the things to look at when looking for the best used cars available in SA. If a second-hand vehicle is missing one or more of these bits of information, think twice before putting a deposit down or ask the seller to provide it for you. Vehicle history All quality used cars should come with a history. How many people have owned it before? Was it ever involved in a major accident? Has it moved around from province to province? Was it used for commercial or private purposes, or both? This important storyline will help you to develop a good idea of the car and what it has been through. There are various tools and apps to help you check a used car's info. Car mileage Many people will ignore a car if it has done above a certain amount of mileage in its life. But today’s cars are built to last longer, and a car that’s done three times as many kilometres on the open road could be in better condition than one that’s done far less in the city. Mileage isn’t as important as it used to be in a used car decision, but it still matters. Balancing budget with mileage will help in selecting the right quality used car. This article comparing a car's mileage with its age will help you understand why it matters. Car make & model Some manufacturers make only two or three models, while some produce dozens. Some brands are known for their cars’ looks, while others focus on reliability and performance. Whatever you’re looking for, there are dozens of makes, models and variants out there to choose from. Getting a good idea of what different brands mean for top second-hand cars is a helpful indicator of the option that works best for you. Quality service & checks Anyone can swap out a spark plug, pump the tyres and top up the oil. But nothing beats a high-quality, full-vehicle service performed by experts who know what to look for. Some used car dealers will take shortcuts and claim to have performed checks when they actually haven’t. Buying a used car from a company that performs services themselves is the safest and, really the only option. The price of the used car Price is a big issue when it comes to used cars. While most brand-new vehicles come with a fixed price tag, used car prices depend on many things, making it tough to know what is good value for money and what isn’t. If a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. At the same time, people must avoid being scammed or tricked into paying too much for a used vehicle. Reputable used car companies use economies of scale (where they keep prices manageable because they sell a lot of used cars) to the advantage of their customers. Top 10 best used cars We’ve identified the top second-hand cars available in South Africa based on our own data for 2023. While some excellent models haven’t made it onto this list, this Top 10 represents a range of vehicles that provide great value for money, are extremely popular on our roads and can be counted on not to let you down. In this list, we also unpack the different variants and options available from our list of best pre-owned vehicles, the general pre-owned car price range, who we think these cars will be most ideally suited for and the features that make them the best used cars in SA. Toyota Fortuner The mighty Toyota Fortuna is a common sight on our roads and one of the most popular used cars in South Africa. Ever since the World’s biggest car company released this iconic model, South Africans have been queuing up to get their hands on one. Type SUV Options 2.4gd-6 4X4 / 2.4gd-6 Automatic Price range R499,995 to R599,995 Best for Families, taking holidays, and general daily all-purpose use Top features Reliable, with modern features and excellent resale potential VW Polo & Polo Vivo The legendary Polo continues to dominate our roads and is the car of choice for many people. As VW’s legacy grows in South Africa, everyone from first-time car buyers to students, moms and dads, and the everyday worker can count on the Polo and Polo Vivo to get them from A to B with fewer issues. Type Hatch or Sedan Options 1.0 TSI GT / 1.0 TSI Trendline / 1.4 Trendline / 1.6 Comfortline Price range R210,995 (Vivo 1.4L) to R487,995 (Polo GTI) Best for Everyone Top features Easy to drive, locally available parts and exceptional value for money Mercedes-Benz C-Class For anyone interested in a luxury vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a status symbol like no other. Beautifully designed and boasting an ultra-luxurious interior, the C-Class is in high demand in the best used cars market and surprisingly well-priced for a vehicle of such high quality. Type Luxury saloon sedan Options C180 Petrol / C180 Automatic Price range R399,995 to R499,995 Best for Anyone looking for a luxury top-of-class vehicle to enjoy in style Top features Low emissions, world-class safety rating and stylish, iconic design Renault Kwid For borderline hatch and crossover, the Renault Kwid packs a punch for its affordable price range. This innovative French-made car is easy on the eye while impressing with its amazingly powerful 1.0 engine and different variants. Type Hatchback Crossover Options 1.0 Dynamique / 1.0 Dynamique Zen / 1.0 Climber / 1.0 Expression Price range R144,995 to R174,995 Best for Budget buyers looking for a great city car and the weekend away Top features Excellent fuel efficiency and smart tech for a budget vehicle Toyota Corolla Quest The top everyday vehicle of the Toyota fleet, the Corolla Quest has taken the market by storm. This dependable car is popular among workers and is a solid investment for anyone looking to balance budget with reliability and simplicity. Type Sedan Options 2020 Quest 1.8CVT Automatic / 2021 Quest 1.8 / 2022 Quest 1.8 Price range R244,995 to R269,995 Best for Work commutes, family shuttles, and general everyday use Top features Powerful 1.8L engine with top safety and excellent parts reliability Suzuki Swift This top hot hatch is quickly becoming an SA favourite in the best pre-owned vehicles category, rivalling the likes of the Polo Vivo, the Toyota Yaris and the Ford Figo. With a low price tag and nippy performance, the Suzuki Swift is a winner among young buyers and anyone on a tight budget looking for a ride that won’t cost them much over the long term. Type Budget Hatchback Options Swift 1.2 GA / Swift 1.2 GL Price range R177,995 to R196,995 Best for Everyday use, short trips and students looking to save on their car Top features Lightweight, saves on petrol, and shorter wheelbase for easy driving Toyota Hilux Everybody knows how much of a role the iconic Toyota Hilux has played on SA’s roads over the decades. The legendary bakkie continues to form the backbone of the economy, transporting materials, workers, and anything else across the country daily. Rugged, solid and durable, the Hilux will never let you down, no matter how many people have driven it before you. Type Single Cab Bakkie / Double Cab Bakkie / Diesel Options Hilux 2.0s / Hilux 2.4 GD-6 Double Cab / Hilux 2.4 GD-6 srx 4X4 Price range R302,995 to R549,995 Best for On-site work, farmers, contractors and transporting Top features Removable canopy, impressive weight capacity and solid build KIA Rio As KIA continues to grow in the SA market, more of these cars on the road means more used options available to buy. The attractive Rio is a class above the ever-popular Picanto, and it fills a hatch segment that is already a competitive one. The Rio is a hot prospect and will soon rank as one of the most popular used cars in South Africa with high demand for this South Korean ride. Type Hatchback Options Rio 1.2 IS / Rio 1.4 IS Price range R219,995 to R259,995 Best for Mid-range budgets and as an everyday vehicle also good for long trips Top features Stylish, spacious interior, excellent safety and nice handling Toyota Urban Cruiser Another Toyota on this list, the Urban Cruiser has been a smash hit in the local market for some years now. This high-quality crossover is the ideal car for city driving with the added benefit of being able to take on the typical dirt road or weekend away. Type CrossOver Options Urban Cruiser 1.5 xi / Urban Cruiser 1.5 xs / Urban Cruiser 1.5 xs auto Price range R257,995 to R298,995 Best for Multipurpose use, commuting and taking a family or friends holiday Top features Spacious boot and interior, excellent fuel economy and many variants Hyundai Venue And finally, the Hyundai Venue. This stylish crossover is often mistaken for belonging to the SUV category, and for good reason. Easy on the eye and larger than a typical crossover, the Venue is surprisingly powerful for its 1-litre engine. All things considered, the Venue boasts an amazing price for what you get. Type CrossOver Options 1.0 tgdi Motion / 1.0 tgdi Motion Automatic / 1.0 tgdi Fluid Price range R239,995 to R379,995 Best for Drivers looking for a crossover that feels like an SUV Top features Upmarket appeal, good fuel economy and pleasing ride height Conclusion - Why buying a used car from Auto Pedigree works With so many options to choose from in a busy best used cars market, finding the segment, make, and model that checks all the boxes can get complicated. Thankfully, at industry players like Auto Pedigree, we are able to put our extensive inventory to work in providing a long list of different top second-hand cars that many others can’t match. With so much on the line and even more used cars becoming available every day, finding ways to ensure used cars are more accessible, reliable and affordable is a top priority for anyone looking to stay on top as a provider of the most popular used cars in South Africa. That is why all our used cars are meticulously checked, serviced and listed along with all relevant vehicle information to ensure you know what you’re getting. This, coupled with our amazing deal assistance offers and financial services, makes for a dependable choice of best pre-owned vehicles. Our more than a dozen reputable service centres nationwide ensure the cars we sell stay in top shape (even after we've sold them), making our selection of quality used vehicles hard to ignore. Browse our ever-expanding inventory of vehicles here and find the top used car that’s perfect for you. References & Resources Link References: Car listing & number of available vehicles on AP (07/11/2023): Toyota Fortuner (100) VW Polo & Polo Vivo (100) + (235) Polo: Vivo: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (82) Renault Kwid (153) Toyota Corolla Quest (70) Suzuki Swift (245) Toyota Hilux (135) KIA Rio (181) Picanto add-in: Toyota Urban Cruiser (526) Hyundai Venue (109) Link References: (Continued) Citations:,there%20are%20plenty%20of%20choices! General References:
Deal assistance. Too good to be true? Can it be trusted? Is it worth it? Deal assistance is becoming more and more popular with car dealerships looking to empower their customers and among people looking for a helping hand in buying the car they deserve. But deal assistance is often misunderstood, leaving people to miss out on the many benefits these innovative programs have to offer for vehicle financing. In this post, we take a look at the ins and outs of deal assistance, what it is, how deal assistance works and why it is helping more and more people to realise their dreams of owning a vehicle of their own. What is deal assistance? Deal assistance is also called trade assistance. It is designed to help people fund and pay for a car. It is a form of financial assistance that provides breathing room to secure more funding, lessen the impact of a big cash payment or reduce the amounts owed in the immediate future. Deal assistance benefits the buyer. It is structured in a way that prevents additional interest or costs from building up. It supports car finance needs while empowering people with more flexibility and opportunities to purchase vehicles they either couldn’t afford or would otherwise have to wait for before being able to use them. Deal assistance is not a loan. It doesn’t cost anything to take out, and you don’t need to provide surety or collateral or get pre-authorised before receiving it. Types of deal assistance Deal assistance is also flexible. It can be tailored to suit the specific vehicle financing needs of the buyer and can be used for more than simply helping them to afford their car. There are various deal assistance options available to people. These include: Cashback offers This is where people receive deal assistance in the form of a cash amount. They can use their deal assistance to pay off more urgent debts, take a holiday, buy something they really need (other than a car), or simply to save up. This frees up their future money to be used for paying off their car. Learn more about Cashback here. Deposit contributions This type of deal assistance can be added to vehicle deposit amounts. This is especially helpful for people who maybe don’t have enough to cover their new car’s deposit and don’t want somebody else to snap it up. Using deal assistance to boost the deposit could also assist with reducing instalment amounts down the road. Find out about using deal assistance as a deposit here. Supplementing trade-ins This form of deal assistance can be used towards settling the outstanding amount on the trade-in vehicle. This significantly reduces the difference in amount owed and helps the beneficiary to either pay off their new vehicle sooner or to save on interest. Click here to discover the power of trade assistance during trade-ins. Deferred payment Also known as a “payment holiday”, deferred payment deal assistance is where the amounts are used to take care of the first couple of monthly instalments. This popular deal assistance type is ideal for people who are worried that they will be under enormous car finance pressure in the months immediately after buying a new car. Deferred payments generally cover the first three to six months but can be customised for longer periods. Follow this link for more on deferred payments and how deal assistance works with this popular option. Who needs deal assistance? Anyone can take advantage of deal assistance. You don’t need to be financially insecure to qualify for deal assistance, and even if you can afford to buy a car, you can still ask for deal assistance to support vehicle financing. Deal assistance is there to benefit and empower people. It is designed to be available to everybody. It is a useful tool for helping people realise their dreams of owning a car while easing the financial pressure in the process. The benefits of deal assistance There are many advantages to getting deal assistance. Aside from making it easier to buy a car, it opens extra doors to other, more expensive vehicles you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Deal assistance comes with many benefits and is essentially risk-free. Here are some of the valuable benefits that trade assistance brings to the table. Depending on your unique situation, goals and needs, you may want to take advantage of more than one of these benefits. Deal assistance is very flexible Deal assistance is all about flexibility. Customers can tailor their deal assistance to suit their precise car finance needs. Whether to delay when payments are due or to shorten the total vehicle repayment period, deal assistance is very adaptable. Deal assistance loves customisation While flexibility is a big pro, the ability to customise amounts, terms and options means deal assistance is designed to please each beneficiary on a personal level. One person may only need a small amount to get over the purchase line, while another may require much more money to do it. Deal assistance can take care of both. Reduced financial pressure Times are tough, and not being able to afford a car that you could have a year ago can be difficult to come to terms with. But with deal assistance, those higher interest rates, inflation pain and increased taxes don’t feel so bad. By providing extra time to pay, reducing instalment amounts and shortening payback periods, deal assistance can take the pressure off vehicle financing challenges. More combination options You don’t need to pick only one deal assistance option. In fact, you can combine multiple options to structure your own deal assistance “package” that offers the benefits of each one individually. Time One of the biggest pros of trade assistance is the time it gives you to better manage your finances around your new car. Whether you’re settling into a new job, waiting for that 13th cheque or just need a financial breather, with more time, you can manage your car’s finances with ease. You don’t need a trade-in vehicle That’s right. You don’t need an existing car to trade in before receiving deal assistance. While many other in-house vehicle finance programs require that you sell your current vehicle before benefitting from trade assistance, with deal assistance, you don’t need to put anything on the table to get started. How to do deal assistance These steps in the deal assistance process will give you a good idea of how deal assistance works. Find your car Search for the car you want by browsing through the inventories of all the vehicles out there. Once you find it, reach out to the dealership. Review your current situation Take stock of your vehicle financing situation. Do you 1) Have a deposit available? 2) Know how much you can afford to pay monthly, and 3) need deal assistance? Once you have these answers, move on to the next step. Speak to a consultant and explore deal assistance options Engage with a consultant or financial specialist to find out about which deal assistance options would ideally suit you and how deal assistance works specifically. Learn more about what is available and consider different combinations. Establish your deal assistance amount After engaging, you’ll be able to establish how much deal assistance is available to help you get your hands on your car. You could receive R10,000, R20,000 or even as much as R50,000 in deal assistance – money that can go a long way to helping your car finance journey become a smoother one. Choose how you want to use your deal assistance Next, figure out how your deal assistance is going to be put to work for you and which areas of your financial situation will benefit the most from it. Remember, trade assistance is flexible, so you can always tweak things later on to suit your changing situation. Enjoy your new car! Once approved, you’re good to go! Using your deal assistance, you could be driving your dream car in no time without the stress and concern that come with financial pressure. Conclusion – Where to find deal assistance that works Why wait for other people to snap up the car that was destined for you? Now that you understand how deal assistance works, start searching for the vehicle of your dreams. Browse our extensive quality used car inventory, speak to us and explore some of the exciting and innovative deal assistance options we have available. References & Resources Link References: General References:
Refurbishing your car before selling it is a great way to increase its value and earn more. But where do you start, and just how much effort (and money) should you put into your car before placing it on the market? Brand-new cars lose around 10% the moment they leave the showroom floor, and most cars depreciate at approximately 15% to 20%1 each year during the first five years of their life. But how do you get the most of your ride’s remaining value before passing it on to someone else? While you obviously won’t be able to recover the depreciated full value of your car when the time comes to sell it, you can boost its worth a little by putting some effort into the vehicle. Most buyers will appreciate a car that’s recently been fully serviced and damage-free with all its paperwork in order. But learning how to refurbish your car is a smart way to ensure you end up closer to your initial asking price than the buyer’s offer. This article unpacks some of the DIY refurbishing tips, tricks and recommendations that have been shown to work in helping sellers increase their cars’ value. While many of these quick fixes may seem minor, together, they can transform your car’s appeal and add a pretty sum to your overall asking price. What it means to refurbish your car We’re not talking about a full overhaul here. Rather, refurbishing your car before selling it aims to increase its value and make it a more attractive option to potential buyers. This means finding the right balance between touching up some of the ageing and worn areas of your car yourself and leaving the rest to the pros, like mechanics and service centre specialists. You’re not rebuilding it It’s important to remember not to go overboard when refurbishing a car to sell. Refurbishing means cleaning, polishing, repairing, and replacing the smaller, less expensive bits. You’re not rebuilding your car. All you’re working towards is improving its general appearance and fixing the easy things that buyers will definitely spot. Don’t break the bank Spending too much on refurbishing your car could leave you with even less money than you could have had if you’d just left it alone. Set a budget and add the value of your car refurbishment to the final price when the time comes to sell. Stay on top of any expenses that are getting difficult to control and, if replacing or repairing something costs too much, rather leave it. Refurbishing isn’t a vehicle service Understanding how to refurbish your car should begin with focusing mostly on the things you can see. Bodywork, upholstery, surfaces, and covers are your targets when refurbishing your car before selling it. Leave the advanced technical stuff to the professionals and visit a service centre to get the important mechanical components checked out. Even things like your aircon and other electronics should be left for the specialists to handle. You can always send your car in for a full service once you’re done with the car refurbishment. There are many top service centres around who can take care of your engine, shocks, brakes and even aircon quickly and affordably. Start with the pre-refurbishment basics Before getting stuck into your car’s makeover, start with the basics. This includes inspecting your car, cleaning it and making notes of what else needs to be done. This is an essential first step when refurbishing a car to sell. Inspect – Review your car front to back, from top to bottom Start at the front and work your way back, noting all the things you can fix or replace inside. Don’t forget to examine all the switches, handles, lights, and levers. Seatbelts and even loose door panels should be tested and checked, too. Check the outside, looking for any damage on the bodywork, chips, dents and scratches in the paint. This inspection will form the basis of your refurbishing efforts, so make sure you don’t miss anything. Clean – Tidy your car, inside and out Remove all rubbish, personal items and any stickers or ornaments. Vacuum the seats and floor and check the boot for any sand, dust or grime that may have collected over the years. Check the spare wheel well and get into the nooks and crannies with a cloth or brush. Wipe out air vents, shake out your mats and get rid of your old slips, coins and any bits of food (don’t worry, we’re all guilty of the odd chip or sweet getting away from us). Wash – Give everything a good washing From your dash to the gearstick and even the headrests, wash your car. You can use soap and water for your seats, floor, roof and all surfaces. Be sure to allow your car to dry out fully, or you’ll risk mould setting in. Give the exterior a good washing too. This wash isn’t for any buyers yet; it’s to help you spot any chips, scratches or dents on the bodywork and glass and to aid in spotting what needs work on the inside. Once you’ve refurbished your car and are ready to sell, you can take it in for a valet. Refurbishing the interior of your car Now that you have an idea of what needs to be refurbished and have a clean car to work with, it’s time to get busy inside the vehicle on the how to refurbish your car process. This is where most of your car refurbishment efforts are going to pay off. The interior covers everything inside the vehicle. This includes your car’s ceiling, seats, floor, dash, cubby hole and boot. Lights – Cabin light and dashboard indicators For those who don’t use their cabin light, there’s a good chance that they don’t work anymore. Remove the cover to check the little globes to see if they’re still OK, and if they are, test out the setting that turns the lights on when you open a door. Check to ensure all your dash warning lights are working. If you don’t know how, you can ask the mechanics to test them out during your next service. Replace any cracked or loose covers and polish up the screen covering your dashboard display. Upholstery – Seat covers, floor, roof and doors Faded, torn, or worn upholstery is one of the biggest telltale signs that a car is either old or hasn’t been looked after. Whether your seats are leather or cloth, after years of use and sunlight, even the best coverings can start to take strain. While it may cost you a pretty penny in refurbishing a car to sell, consider replacing any upholstery that is badly stained or torn. Don’t forget about the floor and roofing – this can be replaced with new fabric, too. You may not have noticed it before, but even these surfaces can get damaged. Steering wheel and gearstick – Yes, they can be replaced Your car’s steering wheel and gearstick (for manual vehicles) are two of the most-used parts of your car’s interior. Over time, friction caused by your hands can lead to wear and tear or to these important controllers coming loose. Use a detergent or a polish to give your wheel a new lease on life, or consider replacing the gear indicator and its boot (the soft part covering the lower half of the gearstick). You can speak to your car’s manufacturer about affordable replacement parts. Switches, knobs & buttons – All the little things Test out all of the dials, switches and buttons on your car to ensure they illuminate properly, can turn or slide as they’re supposed to, and are doing their job. While a full vehicle service will check up on the most critical ones, you’ll need to check all the others to see if any should be replaced. Emergency equipment – Wheel spanner, jacks and spare tyre Although these things are required to be in your car by law, they must also be in good working order. Older jacks can get sticky and struggle to support your vehicle. If your rims or wheels have been replaced, the nuts fastening them may not properly fit your standard wheel spanner. And your reflective emergency triangle may be missing altogether. Nobody said car refurbishment was easy. Think about refurbishing these important tools or replacing them. You can even consider adding a basic first aid kit, along with an emergency blanket and tow rope, to give your breakdown kit an extra valuable edge. Don’t forget to make sure your spare wheel is inflated fully and that it is in good condition. The exterior revamp Depending on how old your car is or the condition it’s in, with a little bit of effort, you can get the exterior of your car looking like new as part of refurbishing a car to sell. There are many tricks and hacks for getting your paintwork sparkling. You can use the many products available to polish the body or revert to traditional, less-expensive solutions using DIY products and home solutions. Repair accident damage – An important refurbishing item This is a must when embarking on the how to refurbish your car journey, no matter how serious the damage is. If you want to get a good price for your car when selling it, you’ll need to do everything you can to repair and refurbish any lingering accident damage. Replace broken, dented or cracked bumpers, smooth out big dents and check for any issues under the car on the chassis. Most major accident damage will need a specialist to fix. Take your car to a panel beater for the heavy repair work and rope in someone who can do a good paint job. You are obligated to inform the buyer of any accidents and work done, so don’t try to hide anything. Honesty is the best policy here. Paintwork – Polish, buff, and fix to reinvigorate the paint job Your paintwork is the first thing a buyer will see when they meet your car. Deal with all dents, chips and scratches in the paint by buffing them out or touching up any areas that are looking a bit worse for wear. Investing in fixing these elements up is worthwhile and can really improve your selling prospects. Take a cloth, mix a little Handy Andy with water and work a small 10cm x 10cm area of your car’s body to see just how much better you can make it look. Over the years, dust and grime will work their way into the microscopic gaps in your paint, making your car look dull and worn. Wheels – Rims & tyres If your tyres are still OK, you don’t need to replace them. This can cost you a lot of money and isn’t always a requirement of buyers. Clean your tyres and ask the people at the valet to “paint” them, using a special mix that makes your tyres look newer and protects their walls. Check your rims for any damage (especially on the inside) and repair any cracks or loose edges in the wheel well. Even old or loose mudguards can be swapped out for shiny new ones to give your car an extra edge. Polish your rims and try to buff out any scratches. Wipers – Check the blades and the arm Windscreen wiper blades are prone to cracking and warping as they get older. The delicate rubber may also come loose or not be fitted properly against the glass. Swapping out your wiper blades for new ones and refurbishing the arm by straightening, painting and tightening them ensures you’ve covered an important car refurbishment base, too. The advantages of learning how to refurbish your car before selling it Refurbishing your car before selling it may take a little time, effort and money, but it’s worth it in the long run. A refurbished car for sale is likely to: Sell faster than other for-sale cars that haven’t been refurbished. Earn more money since many of the parts and surfaces are new or have been revamped. Attract a wider market of potential buyers looking for cars that are ready to drive. Help you to negotiate a higher price by refurbishing a car to sell and using your efforts as motivation for negotiation. Remember to tell any potential buyers about what parts of the car you’ve refurbished, or you’ll be making an effort for nothing. Keep all the invoices and slips proving you’ve invested in refurbishing your vehicle, and don’t forget to add any car refurbishment expenses to your overall price. Conclusion – Get a post-refurbish service Once you’re done refurbishing your car, take it to a local accredited service centre, like one of Auto Pedigrees', located around South Africa, for a complete service or a quick checkup before selling it. We’ll take care of anything you may have missed or items that are a little too advanced or technical. Come check out our service centres here and take advantage of some of the hard-to-miss promotions on offer. References & Resources Link References: Citations:, General References: