How much it costs to replace tyres if you buy one of SA's 5 most popular vehicles

  • Did you know it might cost nearly R20 000 to replace four tyres on a Toyota Corolla Cross?
  • Polo Vivo Tyres can cost as low as R4 800 per set, but we're not sure about going for unknown tyre makes.
  • Suzuki Swift replacement tyres remain affordable, even if you buy the range-topping Sport model.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

According to Naamsa, 37 107 new vehicles were sold in South Africa in April 2022. That's a 4.3% improvement in the market compared with the same month last year, despite the rapidly rising cost of cars and living in South Africa. 

Toyota remained the king of the hill for the month in first place (8 952 cars sold), chased fiercely by Volkswagen SA (5 084 cars sold), Suzuki Auto SA (3 696 cars sold), Hyundai Automotive SA (2 847 cars sold) and Renault (2 400 cars sold). If you're in the fortunate position to have welcomed a new car home from one of these carmakers last month, congratulations.

We thought we'd take a look at the top five cars from each brand this month, particularly what it might cost to replace the tyres on these new vehicles. You might be interested in buying one of these models as a used car at some point too, so this handy guide will let you know if you can budget for decent rubber come replacement time.

Renault Kiger
Renault Kiger is one of the brand's best-selling cars in SA.

5. Renault Kiger

Renault's best-selling model is the Kiger, which replaced the Sandero. It's a compact crossover with eye-catching styling and sufficient seating for four adults. Boot space is limited, but you get a decent ride height, a feisty and frugal petrol engine, decent standard features across the range and an awesome five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty.

Our pick of the bunch is the range-topping 1.0 Turbo Intens auto priced at R299 900. It comes standard with 195/60 R16 inch tyres wrapped around slick alloy wheels.

In the past, 16-inch tyres would cost a small fortune to replace, compared with 15-inch or 17-inch tyres, but more carmakers are using 'sixteens' these days, so the prices have come down. Expect to pay around R1 100 per tyre for unknown brands, while name brands like Bridgestone and Michelin will set you back around R2 200 per tyre.

Hyundai Venue
2022 Hyundai Venue 1.2 Motion manual

4. Hyundai Venue

Quickly rising in the ranks to become Hyundai's best-seller in SA, the Venue comes to town with keen pricing and loads of practicality. But, the nice ones can get pricey (you'll pay around R425 000 for a range-topper). Fortunately, there are many models to choose from, including an affordable entry-level model that's one of the most excellent small cars you can buy. The Venue also comes with a fantastic mechanical warranty that covers you for seven years or 200 000km.

READ: 5 Budget-friendly cars under R300 000 for empty-nesters and retirees in South Africa

Our pick is this frugal entry-level model, priced at R266 500, called the 1.2 Motion derivative. It comes with 195/65 R15 tyres that are wrapped around steel wheels with plastic wheels covers. You'll pay around R800 per replacement tyre if you go for one of the unknown brand names. But if you want to stick to something like a Continental or Dunlop tyre, expect to pay around R1100 per tyre, depending on the retailer.

Suzuki Swift Sport
2020 Suzuki Swift Sport

3. Suzuki Swift

Although Suzuki Auto SA has numerous newer models in its portfolio, the venerable and capable Swift remains its best-selling car in South Africa. We love the Swift because it's light on fuel and easy to drive - and we're talking about both the entry-level model and the range-topping Sport version. Regardless of the Swift you buy, you are getting a good value proposition, and although it might be a bit dated inside, we can't find fault with it. They come with decent mechanical warranties, too; five years or 200 000km.

READ: Here's how much you'll pay to fill up the EcoSport, T-Cross and five other popular SUVs

Our pick of the Swift range is the 1.4T Sport (priced at R377 900 for the six-cog manual). Yes, it's the most expensive, but it's fitted with affordably priced tyres. The car comes with 195/50 R16 rubber dripped on magnificent 15-inch alloy wheels. These are high-performance tyres, so you won't want to fit cheapies here, as you won't get the best driving experience, trust us. Expect to pay around R1 300 per tyre if you go for something like Michelin Pilot Sport 3. Alternatively, you can consider some decent mid-range tyres from Sumitomo or Pirelli around R1 100 per tyre.

vw polo vivo gt,polo vivo
VW Polo Vivo GT

2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Why are we not surprised that the Polo Vivo remains Volkswagen SA's best seller. After all, the locally-made hatchback has been the company's bread and butter model since the day it took over from the legendary Citi Golf. There are numerous Polo Vivo models, and the entry-level model remains the most popular version. All models, however, are fitted with reasonably sized tyres that aren't going to require a second bond to replace.

Our pick in the range is the Polo Vivo GT, priced at R317 400. Its 1.0-litre turbo engine will keep you smiling if you like a bit of oomph in your car, and it will also please you with decent fuel consumption if you respect the throttle. Nevertheless, the vehicle comes with 215/40 R17 inch tyres wrapped over stunning five-spoke alloy wheels. Expect to pay around R1 200 per tyre if you go for an unknown rubber make. Goodyear and Yokohama's brands we know can set you back around R2 200 per corner.

Toyota Corolla Cross
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Xr

1. Toyota Corolla Cross

The Toyota Hilux outsells the Corolla Cross, but the raised body hatchback is now the company's best-selling passenger car, despite its premium pricing. The really nice Corolla Cross, the hybrid XR model, is almost half a million bucks. However, the popular one (priced around R360 000) comes with a decent petrol engine that's light on fuel. Of course, you get the legendary Toyota engineering and a decent mechanical warranty of three years or 100 000km.

Still, our pick is the R461 700 1.8 Hybrid XR which uses less than four litres of fuel per 100km if you drive it appropriately. This car is fitted with the largest tyres on this list, 225/50 R18, wrapped around gorgeous polished alloy wheels. Expect to pay around R1 500 per tyre for these bad boys if you opt for an unknown brand. If you go for the famous rubber makers like Bridgestone or Michelin, you can pay up to R4 000 per tyre.

Important considerations when shopping for tyres

We've covered 15-inch, 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch tyres in this list. These are the most popular sizes of tyres for cars sold in South Africa: 

  • 195/65 R15
  • 195/50 R16
  • 195/60 R16
  • 215/40 R17
  • 225/50 R18

You can spend little on tyres, and you'll compromise handling and braking. We've tested tyres with leading OEMs in the past, and we can attest to this. Most cars, these days, are designed with a specific tyre in mind, and it doesn't have to be a supercar.

As an example: Hybrids and EVs require low-rolling-resistance tyres, but because these vehicles have so much torque, the carmakers work with specific brands to tailor-make compounds for particular cars. You must consult your car dealer or your vehicle's owner's manual to ensure you're fitting the tyre designed for your car if you are to achieve the best performance.

Try this handy tool if you're looking to compare tyre prices or for more information on larger tyre sizes for your car.

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