Top Tips to Buy and Sell Cars in South Africa

Who doesn’t love the smell of a new car, right? But there is no denying that second-hand or used cars offer much more value for money. For instance, a used car usually attracts a much lower insurance premium than a similar new car. Also, if you compare a pre-owned car and a new car feature on feature, the latter will probably offer you more bang for the buck.

The used car market in South Africa is quite robust and allows you to buy and sell cars with minimal hassles. You can upgrade to a better model by selling off your current car or buy a used car that is well-maintained and an absolute charmer.


These buying and selling tips will help you in your quest for either selling or buying cars.


  • Don’t let your heart do the thinking

It might be the one from your dreams but do not let emotions get the better of you when deciding to buy a car. A smart dealer will recognize that you’re smitten and will try to close the deal without even showing you other cars. Avoid this easy mistake. Instead, gather yourself and ask to be shown other models. Even better, you can search the web for all the cars that your money can buy. Shortlist a few before weighing the pros and cons of each. Finally, you will end up with the perfect car for you. It might not be something that your heart melts for but your wallet will surely love it.

  • Staying mainstream helps

Buying a new car that stands out from the rest is fine. Do the same second-hand and you’re likely to burn your fingers sooner than later. This is because used cars typically have minimal to zero warranty. So any maintenance cost will be borne by you. Imagine the cost of spares and service for a car that is rare on the streets or worse still, is no longer in production. To give you an example, the oil filter for a Toyota Corolla costs around R60. For a Renault, the same is likely to cost in excess of R200!


These are probably the two most important tips on buying a used car in South Africa.


  • “How do I sell my car?”

The simplest answer to that question is to look for online marketplaces or dealers. Selling your car online is not as daunting as it might sound. You can increase your chances of getting a good deal by including as much information as possible about your car in the ‘To Sell’ listing. This means detailed info about your car’s make, model and most importantly, the year. The latter determines the price you can set for your car in the market. If you are absolutely clueless about how to price your car, refer other listings for the same car as yours and see the pricing trends. Also make sure to count in the effect of your car’s overall mileage. Higher the mileage, lower is the price you can ask for.

  • Get your car in order

One of the most important things you must do before putting your car for sale is getting it serviced and sorting out its documents. The former refers to getting the car thoroughly inspected and serviced at an authorized service station. This is the time to fix any issues with your car. Do not let potential customers test drive your car before taking care of the service part. As mentioned before, the South African used car market is quite healthy so you can easily lose a potential customer because of bad-smelling interiors or a notchy gearbox.

This is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of selling a car. Ensure all the documents of your car are in order. To increase the chances of getting a good sale, take your serviced car for a roadworthy test. A potential buyer is likely to be impressed at the sight of a serviced vehicle that has a roadworthy certificate to boot. And of course, make sure to pay off any fines that are unpaid.

Following these tips will greatly increase your chances of getting a good deal regardless of whether you’re buying a car or selling one. As a closing tip, try insisting on a mutually-signed document that records the transaction when you’re selling or buying a car. Doing so keeps you prepared in case of any unforeseen legal troubles attached to the transaction.

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