Most single-cab searches on AutoTrader’s website were for bakkies priced under R100,000. Picture: SUPPLIED
Most single-cab searches on AutoTrader’s website were for bakkies priced under R100,000. Picture: SUPPLIED

South African motorists are considering paying R50,000 more for a hatchback than for an SUV, and a considerable R300,000 more for a double cab than a single cab.

The findings by AutoTrader during level 2 lockdown also found that many motorists would prefer to pay R200,000 or less for a car.

“It is interesting to compare this information across body type and price brackets to reveal some of the sweet spots,” says George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO.

Five body types were selected: hatchbacks, SUVs, sedans, single cab bakkies and double cab bakkies. The AutoTrader team did a deep dive into these segments, and also examined price segments irrespective of body type.

According to the 2020 AutoTrader Car Industry Report, the most sold body-type is the hatchback, which accounted for 31% of the total cars sold in the past year. Hatchbacks are also the most listed used cars. South Africans shopping in this sector want hatchbacks that cost R250,000 or less.

When it comes to SUVs, which represent the fastest-growing body-type segment, motorists want vehicles priced at R200,000 or less. This price bracket constituted 22.8% of price-related searches for SUVs, making it the most searched-for section.

SUVs are the second most sold body-type, accounting for 27% of used car sales, ahead of sedans (17%).

The most searched for price bracket for single cab bakkies during lockdown level 2 was for vehicles priced at R100,000 or less, with the Nissan NP200 the most popular search ahead of the Toyota Hilux and Chevrolet Corsa Utility. When it comes to double cab bakkies, motorists have no problem spending considerably more — up to R400,000, says AutoTrader.

While buyers have very specific requirements in these five body-type searches, the market as a whole has demonstrated what Mienie terms “a polarised car-buying landscape”.

An analysis of year-on-year data (August 2020 vs August 2019) reveals the top three price categories are showing impressive growth: searches for cars priced at under R50,000 and under have grown by 56.9% while searches for cars priced at R600,000 and R700,000 and under have increased by 57.9% and 50.9% respectively.

“This is a somewhat unusual situation. But, then again, the used car market has been anything but ‘usual’ during lockdown,” Mienie concludes.

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