- Consumer inflation is the highest in more than four years, placing added pressure on motorists in particular.
- New car prices continue to rise, making it challenging to buy a new vehicle for many South Africans.
- AutoTrader has hundreds of vehicles listed for sale for less than R100 000.
- For motoring news, go to Wheels24
Did you know that annual consumer inflation in South Africa accelerated to its highest reading in more than four-and-a-half years in November? Driven chiefly by rising transport costs, Statistics South Africa (SSA) says the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI) was 5.5%, up from 5% in October and September.
"This is the most significant annual CPI increase since March 2017 when the rate was 6.1%. The transport category continues to be the essential factor behind inflation, recording an annual increase of 15% in November. This makes transport the only major group in the inflation basket with an annual rate above the 6% upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank's monetary policy target range," SSA notes.
Fuel prices increased by 7.1% between October and November, taking the annual rate to 34.5%. For instance, the inland 95 octane petrol price was R19.54 per litre in November 2021 compared with R14.59 in November 2020. The diesel index increased by 35.1% over the same period. The average diesel price was R18.75 per litre in November 2021, compared with R13.89 per litre in November 2020.
If you're a new motorist looking to buy your first car, or if you're a veteran behind the wheel looking for a change for 2022, now might not be the right time to buy a vehicle. Just look at the economic situation, the rising interest rates, the increasing new car prices. We love cars here at Wheels24, and sometimes even we battle to come to grips with the cost of motoring in SA.
To lighten things up amidst the doom and gloom of the rising cost of mobility in South Africa, we went in search of cool cars that you can buy for less than R100 000 that have low mileage. We found five cars on AutoTrader that proved that you can still find interesting vehicles in South Africa for less than R100 000.
1. Alfa Romeo Spider
This 2002 Alfa Romeo Spider is listed on AutoTrader for R95 000. Now, it might not have the V6 powerplant that Alfistis rave about, but it does offer a decent amount of poke (115kW/180Nm) from its 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. The dealer says this Spider retains its original alloy wheels and that its interior is in good shape, with no cracks in the dash, no rips in the original cloth seats and no stains on the carpet. They also say that the car drives well with no pull in the steering, and the brakes work correctly, and so does all the equipment in the vehicle, including the aircon, electric windows, electric side mirrors and electrically adjustable headlights.
The dealer has also highlighted that the car's soft-top roof opens and closes manually and is not operated electrically. The Spider retains its original spare wheel, jack and other critical equipment. "The engine starts every time with no smoking and pulls strongly. The transmission is in good working order, shifts through all the gears without popping or slipping and changes smoothly under load," they add.
The Spider's safety features include dual front airbags, ABS brakes and power steering; decent for the 2002 vintage. This car represents an excellent opportunity for a sports car enthusiast who wants a classic roadster, daily driver or weekend cruiser. The 2.0-litre engine won't use too much fuel compared to a V6 version of this car, and you get all the looks and the appeal that come with a rare sight on the road these days.
2. Nissan 1400 Champ bakkie
This Nissan 1400 is, arguably, what they refer to as hen's teeth. With 29 000km on the odometer and from 2003, it looks as though it's been preserved in bubble wrap. The dealer wants R99 995 for it, which is by no means cheap considering what they sold for new back then.
The Nissan 1400 was once the most popular half-ton bakkie on sale in South Africa, favoured by entrepreneurs, logistics businesses, artisans and even the Automobile Association (AA). Its fuel-efficient 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine was the star of the show here as it proved highly reliable. The versatile nature of the Nissan 1400 means you can use it as a vintage daily run-around, or you can use it in your business.
As this bakkie is nearly 20 years old and its design is even older than that, it's not going to be the safest vehicle you can buy in 2022, nor does it have any form of creature comforts. This one does have a CD/Radio system, but that's it. The Nissan 1400 remains a cool car, and it's a rare sight on the roads these days, and you can use it for work or play. Due to its rarity, you might have a genuine collectable on your hands here if you keep the mileage low and maintain it properly.
3. Suzuki SJ 410
If you can't afford the new Suzuki Jimny, but you really want to go on off-road adventures next year, you might want to consider this awesome vintage 1984 Suzuki SJ. According to the dealer, this model has a mere 33 400km on its odo, and it's fitted with a few off-road accessories.
Priced at R95 000, the SJ 410 is not cheap, but it's a rare example that looks to be in good shape. It's not often that you see these vehicles for sale at dealerships, which does add some peace of mind as it's an older vehicle. The car comes with a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a four-speed manual gearbox with a low range mode.
Period reports of the SJ 410's capabilities prove that it is a capable 4x4 despite its diminutive proportions. It can also carry up to 350kg of payload, so you can use it to transport adventure gear or supplies or use it as a mascot vehicle for your artisanal business. The SJ 410 driving experience might be dated, but it's one heck of a cool car that we hardly see on the road anymore, and it might be just the right thing to bring some cheer into your life in 2022.
4. Toyota Tazz
What's cool about a Toyota Tazz? Well, what's cool about a Toyota Cressida? We recently reported on a million rand Cressida, which proves that any car can be a cool car and that money can be no object when you want what your heart desires. This Tazz will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings if you grew up in the 2000s and are looking for an affordable vehicle to buy, pay off, and keep.
Priced at R99 900, it's selling for close to what Toyota asked for it when it was brand new, but this car only has 35 000km on it, and by Toyota standards, it's barely run in yet. The engine here is a 1.3-litre carb-fed unit sporting four cylinders and 55kW of power with 110Nm of torque. It won't set your heart on fire as the Conquest RSi models did back in the day, but you can expect sub-7 litres per 100km from it if you plan on using it as a daily.
Finding a Toyota Tazz with low mileage is challenging, and when you do, they are usually pricey, as we can see here, but if you have the cash, it's certainly a no-brainer as far as fuss-free motoring is concerned. It might not have power steering or voice-activated audio systems, or full leather, but it's an honest car that's proven itself in South Africa, and it should keep mobile for many years to come.
5. Volkswagen Jetta (a wildcard)
The Volkswagen Jetta has probably moved as many families in South Africa as the popular Toyota Corolla. However, South Africans have fallen out of love with the Jetta, so they don't sell the new ones here. Our favourite Jetta of all time has to be the Jetta II CLI 16V, but we also really appreciate the comfort and serenity that the Jetta III provided.
As an oddball here, if you're looking for something under R50 000, we found this Jetta with 35 000km on it. The pictures show us that it requires some work, as it's missing some lights up front and at the back, and it does not have its original wheels. If you're mechanically savvy or don't mind spending a bit of money refinishing the car and giving it a thorough mechanical blow over, this sort of Jetta might be the perfect family-friendly car to consider for 2022.
This 1.8-litre four-cylinder CSX model hails from 1994 and is priced at R39 900. Under the proper ownership, you can breathe new life into the car with a set of original VR6 or CLI wheels and fit those fantastic leather seats with the square headrests. The CSX, in its heyday, was known for strong mid-range performance and frugal fuel consumption, and if this one is in good condition, it might be worth considering if you need personal transport in 2022, and you don't want to break the bank on a brand new car.
At the top of this piece, we highlighted that motoring and mobility in South Africa will become a lot more expensive in 2022. We'd all love to buy a cool brand new car, but we all have different financial circumstances. The vehicles in this list aren't cheap by any means, but they do stand out in terms of what's available in the pre-owned market.
It's essential to do your homework when buying any pre-owned car, particularly older models like the ones we've presented here. Take a mechanic with you when you're going to test drive a car or ask if you can have the vehicle independently assessed at a Dekra centre. You might have to pay for the test, but you will get peace of mind before you buy.
If you're in the market for a budget-friendly vehicle for 2022, be sure to regularly check the AutoTrader website for more mainstream cars and cool cars under R100 000 by using the website's custom search function.
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