So, you’ve finally completed the extensive driving theory and practical tests and have obtained your drivers’ licence. You have also gathered a considerable amount of money to make a deposit but aren’t quite sure which car will be your new partner on the road yet. Worry not, we know it can be slightly stressful and confusing to pick your first car, so we hope this guide will help you select your first four-wheel baby – new or second-hand.
First, What to Look for In a Car
Insurance companies recommend that you begin your car search with your insurance premium in mind. It is advised that you should think like an insurer when it comes to choosing your packages. This is where you will find your greatest buying power as it forces you to not only prioritise your overall safety but economic factors as well. Here are some factors to pay attention to:
- The number of safety elements present in the vehicle, including seat belts, central locking systems, ABS brakes and airbags.
- The size of the engine is crucial as the strength of the engine influences your risk factor. The bigger the engine, the higher the premium. Essentially, the smaller the vehicle, the safer the car and the lower the insurance cost.
- Pay attention to the additional add-ons that your ideal vehicle model may have. The more high-tech elements present in the vehicle, the higher the associated risk factor. Try to avoid unnecessary add-ons that don’t already come with the vehicle.
When buying a used car, go for the car dealership that will offer you a full list of the car’s features, mileage, and other servicing things you will need to know before buying, so make sure you thoroughly research.
Now, in no particular order, here are some of the cars to look at when you’re buying your first car:
Join The Polo Club
If your heart is leaning more on the Volkswagen side of the dealership for your first car, then there are affordable one’s for you. Go for the much-loved VW Polo or Polo Vivo. Everything about the new Polo will give you the drive to go further. The sharpened body design and IQ. LIGHT matrix LEDs reflect confidence in true Polo style. The fresh design and new exterior features are just the start of the Polo’s innovation. And replacing the iconic VW Citi Golf that ended production in 2009, the Polo Vivo offers the same affordability, with more features and more fun. The Polo Vivo 1.4 features driver and passenger airbags, an immobiliser and safety features such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).
Don’t Quit on The Kwid
Renault has been known for affordable cars, but the Kwid has been a favourite since its launch in 2016. Powered by a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine with 50 kW and 91 Nm of torque, this vehicle offers exceptional power and driving ease. It comes packed with nice-to-have elements, namely its infotainment touchscreen system that continues to get all of the praise. It also features front electric windows and spacious interiors. The Renault Kwid is also particularly fuel-efficient, as it claims to consume 4.4 L/100 km.
Another option from Renault, if you are looking for something slightly bigger, is a Renault Duster. The Duster makes for an excellent first car. It is not the cheapest but offers incredible value for money as you get a lot of car for the money you have. It is safe, stylish, and packed with decent tech, which will appeal to first-time buyers.
Go Forward with Ford
Sophisticated, modern, affordable for student budgets and a pleasure to drive, the Ford Figo is a winner, voted CAR magazine’s Budget Car of the Year in 2012 and 2013. The Ford Figo hosts features such as Anti-locking Braking System (ABS), Electric Brake Force Distribution (EBD), dual front airbags, immobiliser and central locking. Another exciting feature by the Figo is that you can connect your phone to your audio system via Bluetooth, which allows for smarter and safer ways to answer calls and switch between radio, CD/MP3 and your iPod easily if your phone is compatible with the system.
How can we talk about Ford without mentioning the Fiesta? This is another favourite among first-time buyers as it offers good fuel and mileage performance. The Ford Fiesta also has a nice selection of features such as a turbocharged EcoBoost engine, attractive interiors and ample space for you and the family. For more information visit greetingsus.
Much like the Ford and VW cars, Toyota cars are quite favoured in South Africa. Because it is one of the most affordable vehicle brands in South Africa, many have even opted to make their Toyota cars transportation businesses. However, if you are looking for something as a first-time buyer, the Aygo is your best bet. Despite being mechanically identical to the Peugeot and Citroen, the Aygo gets a longer five-year warranty, and Toyota’s ‘Relax’ warranty programme means the company will now cover any model until it’s 10 years old or reaches 100,000 miles if you keep it serviced at a main dealer. Used models are good value too and make a fantastic first car because the small 1.0-litre engines are cheap to insure. The small engines also mean fuel economy is impressive, so running costs overall are really low. The Aygo should be a reliable car, too.
Another Toyota favourite to look at has to be the Etios. Comfortable and spacious enough for all your friends, the Etios is a beauty. It has a 1.5-litre engine, impressive fuel consumption, and dual front airbags.
Keep It Cute in A Kia
The Kia Picante has proven to be an economical choice as its 1.2-litre petrol engine is low on petrol consumption. Its warranty is also excellent, which is ideal for those planning on taking their car for longer drives. The upmarket Picanto is known for being incredibly spacious despite its small size, offering passengers a roomier interior experience. This base model also comes with top-of-the-range luxuries, including a full-colour touchscreen.
There are a lot more affordable options for you to choose from when it comes to buying your first car. However, these picks were chosen based on insurer recommendations, car dealerships and stats based on popularity. When you’re on a mission to get your first car and are looking for great value for money and affordability, there are used car dealerships that offer amazing prices on used cars that have been properly taken care of. Don’t forget to also consider getting vehicle finance or graduate finance for your first car should you be in need of a financial boost. Also, note that it is important to get insurance on your car. Ensure that you hit the road in style and comfort the first time around. See you on the road.