The Mazda CX-3 came out top in the pre-owned crossover category last year. Picture: GUMTREE
The Mazda CX-3 came out top in the pre-owned crossover category last year. Picture: GUMTREE

Following last year’s inaugural Gumtree Pre-Owned Awards, which assess two-to three-year-old vehicles from a variety of segments, the awards will be back again for a second year later in 2018.

With many people still looking for well-maintained pre-owned vehicles, the organisers of the awards say they are there to assist buyers in making an informed decision about the quality and condition of the vehicle they have an interest in buying.

The judging panel will consist of 12 members of the motoring media, including yours truly, who will score each car based on a number of factors and how relatively well each vehicle has managed to withstand the rigours of daily use.

Overall, there are 16 criteria spanning 11 categories that will be evaluated in the scoring system, with the "value for money" criterion carrying the most weight as it is one of the main driving factors of the pre-owned segment.


Other factors that will be scored include overall quality and degradation of both the exterior and interior of the vehicle, standard convenience and safety features, engine performance and fuel economy, out-of-maintenance costs/risks, as well as valid service and maintenance plans.

"Chances are that those looking for nearly new models in the pre-owned environment are looking at cars that are not more than two to three years old. Therefore, our award system involves comprehensive testing and evaluation of vehicles in this age bracket with awards made in 11 categories. They cover all major segments in the passenger car and light commercial vehicle markets. Only 2016 models with at least six months of value depreciation data will be eligible for the 2018 competition," says Johan Nel, director-GM of Gumtree SA.

Once again, TransUnion, which provides all the vehicle pricing data, will be involved in this year’s awards. To give you the gist of how it all works the TransUnion data is used to find the top five vehicles with the most favourable depreciation in each of the 11 categories, which in turn puts these models forward for further assessment. Representative examples of these 55 finalists are then sourced and tested, not by the judges themselves but by the convener of the awards.

This year’s awards will see a new category being added to the SUV category while the sports car category has been removed. According to Gumtree SA, this will be more in line with the buying trends of the pre-owned segment as well as to make the awards even more relevant to consumers.

The average price of the combined categories will be kept below R400,000 as the TransUnion statistics indicate that 67% of used vehicles are within the sub-R300,000 price range.

"Gumtree SA is firmly committed to the local automotive industry. We’re committed to our customers, the individuals and dealers who have been buying and selling vehicles on out Gumtree Auto site for more than a decade now. Part of that commitment includes promoting and improving the knowledge, image and ease of transacting when it comes to buying and selling pre-owned cars and light commercials, which currently outsell new ones by a factor of nearly three to one, which is why these awards are so relevant," says Nel.

Once all the scoring from the judges has been received, collated and vetted by an independent panel of auditors, the winning vehicles from the various segments will then be announced at a gala event at the end of the third quarter of 2018.