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Buying second hand in tough economic times


Times are tough and with the Rand falling against just about every other currency on a daily basis, it is becoming difficult for people to achieve their goals of driving off the showroom floor in a brand new car.

Should you be upset about this? No, not at all. Just move your goal posts, think used cars. I was browsing our website, recently, and came across a number of second hand cars that were basically brand new but without that new car price tag. Here are my thoughts on why you should buy used.


Our website has nearly thirty thousand used cars for sale on it, that is, by any standard a huge variety. Buying used has its advantages in that you now have a wider variety of cars. Let me use the Golf R for example which carries a standard price tag of R581 800.

Searching our website, I found cars ranging from big luxurious German SUV’s like a 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 to a 2011 BMW M3, which has the 4.0-litre V8 engine. I also found a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, that’s the one with 1 000 Nm of torque, all for under the price of the Golf R. These cars new will set you back over R1 million, double that for the SL65.

Thinking about a reasonable vehicle would mean that for the price of a new BMW 3-series, you could get a slightly older 5-series or better yet, just save some money. Just because you have a budget doesn’t mean you need to spend it all.


Okay, now we all know that buying second hand does come with some risks involved, especially when reliability comes into question. This is why I recommend you seek out a reputable dealership who is recognised by the top financing institutions in South Africa.

These institutions, as I recently discovered, work by a stringent code which forces dealerships and customers to undergo tests as well as sign many documents, all there to protect you and the dealership. They also require that the car goes for a number of safety and reliability checks before the deal can be finalised.

I suggest you shop around and don’t dive into the first car you find. Do some background checks on the dealership with the bank to find out if there have been any past issues.



Some second hand cars still have service plans and warranties active, which means that if you can get one that still has a few kilometres to go before it reaches the end of its plan, you score. I’d suggest that you decide on what you want then shop around.

Most new car dealerships have an approved used section, this does not always mean that the second hand cars they have on offer are the best examples, but you might be able to find a great deal there. It also helps in the event that something were to happen to the car, the dealership will have the ability to repair it, unlike a purely second hand dealer who will have to send it away to some random guy, who according to the dealership, does decent work. We’ve all heard that one.

The deals are out there and the market is becoming very competitive. I think it is time that we stop thinking about the latest and greatest because those tend to empty our bank accounts very quickly. Hunt around for a good second hand deal, figure out what it is that you need and try stay below budget.

Do some homework on the car that you want to buy, find out about running costs and repair costs. Also, shop around because there is always a better deal out there, you just need to find it.

Article written by Justin Jacobs
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