Toyota and VW lead in the ‘previously owned’ market



Volkswagen (VW) and Toyota dominate the used market. Flaws are certain when buying an older car, but these reputable brands bring a host of strengths, not least of which is accommodating the pockets of people with a budget.

These two brands make up 39% of sales in new car volumes and 35% of used-car volumes, according to TransUnion.

Why do they lead the market?

The owner of Zido Cars in Benoni and Auto Showroom in Brakpan, Zaahid Hajat, says that the longevity of these cars is unmatched, the depreciation is slow and they are reliable, so people tend to lean towards them. Michelle Mull of Kwikfit in Johannesburg concurs.

Fuel economy and power

When buying a second-hand vehicle, fuel consumption is a huge consideration, especially if your budget is holding out for a vehicle of less than R100 000. The Polo Vivo baseline entertains an exciting 55kW power output, but consumes just 5.7 litres/100km. This makes it an economical car to drive, but ensures that it is no slouch and can freely move into the fast lane if it needs to.

But Toyota fares better than VW when looking at power to fuel consumption.

The Japanese brand’s day-to-day cars, such as the Etios and Yaris have a 66kW power output, but consume between 5.8 to 5.9 litres/100 km, while the Aygo produces 53kW of power at 4.3 litres/100km, meaning that it offers almost as much power as a Polo Vivo, but has more than a litre-and-a-half to spare on the VW per 100km.

Build and maintenance

A used car will most likely not come with any motor plan, unless bought from an accredited dealer.

Services are recommended every 15 000 km for VW and Toyota. Apart from that, you never know when you might need some spares.

Hajat says that this will not be an issue, because of the availability of parts for these cars.

“VWs and Toyotas are much more affordable to repair. You don’t have to go look for an agent to buy parts, it is easier to find parts privately and it will cost you half the price when doing this instead of taking it to an agent,” he adds.

An additional perk with these vehicles is their spaciousness and comfort, says Hajat.


A pre-owned Polo or Polo Vivo model, made before 2011, can be picked up in the R50 000 price range with just over 100 000km on the clock, whereas a 2010 Yaris can be bought for R75 000 with the same mileage.

Adding an extra R50 000 and pushing the budget to R125 000 can hook a 2016 Aygo with just over 50 000 km on the clock.

Aamir Laher, who does repairs and maintenance at Veedubtech, assures that at R50 000, a driver’s money has been well spent for a Polo, and that they will not have to spend on another car in a long time as Polos are known to go past the 400 000km mark.

Mull says that options are good to have, but for R100 000, she would definitely consider these two brands.

“I think it is always better to stick to the big names such as Toyota and VW. It doesn’t matter which one I buy. The Toyota offers me more strength and safety, but both brands are relatively cheap to maintain and that is the main aspect,” she adds.

High risk

But, with these two brands also leading the list of vehicles most at risk of theft and hijacking, according to data released by tracking company CTrack, consumers can expect inflated insurance premiums.

This is a factor that is allowing brands such as Renault and Hyundai to enter the second-hand budget market successfully.

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Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia is a member of the Mail & Guardian's online team.

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