4 Affordable vehicles you can buy to start a school or college transport business in 2022

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2022 Toyota Rumion
2022 Toyota Rumion
  • Consider these models if you want space and can't spend more than R300 000 on a new vehicle.
  • Toyota comes out strong with offerings, but Suzuki and Mitsubishi are in there too with great vehicles.
  • These cars can work as family vehicles, or you can use them to transport people to earn a bit of extra income during these challenging times.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24


If you're looking to start a new business or just a side-hustle to improve your disposable income in 2022, why not create a people-mover business? You've come to the right place because, in this piece, we're taking a look at four excellent vehicles you can buy in South Africa that can serve as decent family cars, or you can use them to transport your neighbourhood's children to school or college and earn an income from it.

While Covid-19 has put numerous South Africans on the back foot due to the impact of its variants on the economy and disposable incomes, 2022 is shaping up to be a much better year as the country emerges from the festive period and tries to put omicron behind it. This list aims to help you decide if one of these four vehicles hit a sweet spot for you in terms of personal mobility as well as a revenue generation tool.

To ensure the vehicles we selected are affordable, we've capped our budget for this shopping trip at R300 000. Here are the four cars we think you can consider as family cars and child or teen transporters:

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Toyota Rumion
2022 Toyota Rumion

1. Suzuki Ertiga GA

Kicking off this list of affordable family cars that you can use to transport people to earn money is the Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GA. Priced at R241 900, the entry-level Ertiga might be the only vehicle you can consider if you want something new and you want to spend less than R250 000 that's able to carry up to seven people. It measures 4 395mm long, 1 735mm wide, and stands 1 690mm tall. Ground clearance is a respectable 180mm, and you get a neat five-door hatchback layout.

Getting in and out of the vehicle is easy, and it offers a good driving position with comfortable steering weight and easy to modulate brake and clutch pedals. It also provides a decent turning circle of 10.4 metres, which you'll appreciate if you regularly negotiate tight spaces.

Powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, you get 77kW of power and 138Nm of torque. It might not seem like much on paper, but thanks to efficient use of its gearing, the Ertiga is spritely, even when laden. Suzuki says you'll use 6.2-litres/100km in a combined cycle in this model, which is theoretically good enough for up to 726km per tank (45 litres).

Suzuki's decent warranty of five years or 200 000km and a standard four-year or 60 000km service plan is also a nice touch considering this is an entry-level version of the car. Don't expect a thumping stereo or corner-chasing dynamics here, but do look forward to no-frills motoring that can help you earn additional income.

Suzuki Ertiga
2022 Suzuki Ertiga

2. Toyota Rumion 1.5 S

Second on our list is the relatively recently introduced Toyota Rumion - or 'Roomy One' as we like to call it internally at Wheels24 - priced at R245 600. The vehicle is based on the same engine and platform as the Suzuki Ertiga mentioned earlier, and it is built in the same factory in India, so you can expect both these cars to offer decent robustness and reliability.

It measures the same as the Ertiga (see above), which means good space inside for up to seven people, or you can fold all its rear seats flat to make room for up to 803 litres of cargo. You can easily find happiness using the Rumion to bolster your income, while it could also work well if you like to chuck mountain bikes into the back of the car and go for a ride sometimes.  

We test drove the Rumion at its South African launch in Johannesburg last year - which you can read by clicking here - and came away impressed. We experienced the high-spec models, but the way the car drove gave us confidence that it would provide years of fuss-free motoring.

Although the entry-level Ertiga and the entry-level Rumion are very closely matched on price (there's less than R4 000 difference in asking price between them), you might want to consider Toyota for the brand's expansive dealer network. However, the Rumion does come with a shorter warranty at three-years or 100 000km.

2021 Toyota Rumion
2022 Toyota Rumion

3. Toyota Avanza 1.3 S

Surprisingly, in a good way, we see that the Toyota Avanza 1.3 S is still listed for sale as a new vehicle in South Africa, which means there might be stock floating around at Toyota dealerships in South Africa if you're interested in acquiring an arguable legend when it comes to motoring nameplates.

The Avanza measures 4 190mm in length, 1 660mm wide, and it stands 1 695mm tall with a ground clearance of 180mm. It offers a tried-and-tested five-door layout with a hatchback-style tailgate that's light and easy to operate. Inside, it's not as up-to-date or as cleverly packaged as the aforementioned Ertiga and Rumion, but there's nothing wrong with it. The Avanza can be turned around in 9.4m, so it's ideal for tight parking spots and slinky driveways.

Toyota's sought-after 1.3-litre fuel-injected four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine does duty here, and it's suitable for 71kW of power and 121Nm of torque. Compared to the Ertiga and Rumion, it's down on grunt and engine capacity. Toyota says it sips 6.1-litres/100km in a combined cycle, which should get you 738km on its 45L fuel tank.

The Toyota Avanza 1.3 S comes with a three-year or 100 000km warranty from the manufacturer and a four-services or 60 000km service plan. The Avanza is priced at a premium compared to the Ertiga and Rumion in this list at R267 100, but we think it's worth it if you consider that it follows in the iconic tyre tracks of the Toyota Venture and Toyota Condor.

2022 Toyota Avanza

4. Mitsubishi Xpander 1.5

Hitting the top of our list here that's capped at R300 000 is the new Mitsubishi Xpander 1.5 that comes in at R299 995. It arrived under lockdown last year, so we haven't had much time to get out there and explore with it, but we can tell you that it's feature-rich and could make for a fantastic business and family solution in 2022.

The beefy Xpander measures 4 475mm in length, it's 1 750mm wide, and it stands 1 695mm from the tarmac with a ground clearance of 200mm. It offers, arguably, the most eye-catching presence on the road of this lot, and it provides the most space for people or cargo. With a turning circle of 10.4 metres, it's not as nimble as the Ertiga, Rumion or Avanza, but it's hardly cumbersome, we'd say. You also get space for seven people, like the other vehicles here, but if you fold all the rear seats down, you get a whopping 1 608L of cargo volume to move large items.

It is powered by a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that punches out 77kW and 141Nm of torque. This shunt level should be more than enough to propel passengers with comfort and efficiency as Mitsubishi says the Xpander will sip 6.9-litres/100km in a combined cycle. With a 45L fuel tank, you could achieve up to 652km per tank here.

Mitsubishi's dealer network might not be as expansive as the other manufacturers' in this list, but you'll be pleased to note that the Xpander comes with a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a two-year or 30 000km service plan. Although the other cars on the list offer better warranties and after-sales support, we must mention that we hardly ever receive emails from readers who experience mechanical challenges with their Mitsubishis, which bodes well for future ownership.

2021 Mitsubishi Xpander
2022 Mitsubishi Xpander

Consider this when shopping for a vehicle

The cars in this list come in under R300 000, so you will pay less than R6000 per month for one of them depending on your specific deal (deposit, residuals taken, etc.) Don't forget to factor insurance into your monthly commitments, but again this depends on your previous claims history.

All the models we featured here are manuals, as you'd have to spend more than R300 000 for a decent auto. You could consider the Renault Triber and Datsun Go as seven-seater alternatives to transport kids to school or people to college too, but we think those models might be slightly underpowered to drive with a full load all the time.


KEEP UP TO DATE with the latest motoring news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, 'LET'S DRIVE'.


Renault Triber
2022 Renault Triber

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