December 20, 2022
8 min

Our five favourites for first timers

“New year, new me” is probably a phrase we’re all tired of hearing, but there’s no escaping the fact that the new year does present an opportunity for change.

New year’s resolutions are made (and not often seen through), we meet new people, start new jobs, join new schools, make new memories and of course, spend old money on new things. It’s safe to say that the festive season is also an expensive season.

The beginning of the year also seems to be by far the busiest time for buying cars, new and used.

👩🏼‍🎓 A lot of lucky students receive their first car as they leave the nest

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 Families upsize to cater for more backseat space for the school runs

💼 New jobs require an upgraded look

⛰ Perhaps more off roading adventures are on the horizon

Buying a car - as we have said before - is no small deal. Before the decision is made to swipe the metaphorical bank card, there’s a load of research to be done. What are my alternatives? What are the pros and cons of each car? Can I afford it? Do I even need it? What do I do with my old car?

First batch of questions answered, the more exciting part of the research begins - window shopping. This is a time spent driving around to dealerships in between the chaos of festive events, comparing offers and of course, endless test drives. If you’re buying a used car, these activities become infinitely more important.

You can’t afford to not have the sound advice needed to recognise a good deal when you see one.

Point being - buying a car takes up a lot of insight and time you don’t necessarily have, in or out of the festive season. But we bet you knew this already… Unfortunately, recognising the problem doesn’t automatically mean that you know the solution.

Staying true to the CarFling promise of doing the homework and the hard work for you, here are our Top 5 vehicle suggestions for you to consider if you’re on the hunt for a savvy, second hand purchase. Based on overall safety, quality features and resale value, we believe these cars should be on the top of your list regardless of what, why or who it is you’re buying for.

*Disclaimer: the prices indicated given are derived from various sources and may vary according to seller, location and other variables.

The ultimate slick and savvy city car; perfect for any student, high schooler, a family run-around or downsizing.

These cars are completely at home in the city so you can wave goodbye to the embarrassing third attempts at squeezing into a tiny parking bay as you turn the wheel a couple of times and in you go.

Small in stature and light on the wallet, these Korean gems don’t lack in features, particularly when you look at their safety highlights. You’ll never feel unsafe as you dart through traffic on the highways or leisurely drive through the suburbs.

It’s one of Hyundai’s most affordable hatches. Besides the purchasing price, the cost to own is equally as impressive -  a full tank will cost you +/- R700 and easily get you around for 1000kms.

Recommended for: Students / elderly folk/ anyone in the city

Average Price Range: R64 000 - R179 900 (2012 - 2018)

Average fuel consumption: 4.8l / 100km

We like to think this fan favourite as the distant cousin of the Hyundai i10 - different names but similar in build.

A fan favourite that is not a far cry from the Hyundai i10. Different brands, similar stature, same country of origin, Korea’s second favourite hatch is just as hot on South Africa’s shores as the Hyundai.

Much like it’s not so distant cousin, the Picanto is a dream to drive in the city. Similarly small but equally as impressive, this affordable and feature light package has ditched one of its characteristics, and we’ll fill you in on a secret, it isn’t its price tag.

Without impacting the affordability of this cozy ride, Kia have managed to jam pack it full of features:

Touch screen infotainment system ✅

Apple CarPlay ✅

Android Auto ✅

Countless other safety features ✅ ✅ ✅

The newer models may be a city slicker’s dream, but their slightly older ancestors won’t let you down. It’s got a strong platform, a wide wheel base, sturdy steering and solid braking making it a great seat to sit in behind the wheel.

The Kia Picanto has continued to evolve over the years as its later models sport a touch-screen infotainment system and air conditioner.

Recommended for: First - time car buyers and drivers

Average Price Range: R79 999 - R299 900 (2012 - 2018)

Average fuel consumption: 4.5l / 100km

For the young, working professional - a Ford Figo is the way to go. It has slightly bigger cabin space and an impressive amount of power for a car in this category. The Ford Figo can comfortably transport you from the sea to the city and home again very comfortably.

The go-to wheels for any young working professional, the Ford Figo has become just as common a sighting on South Africa’s roads as an out of order traffic light during loadshedding.

But what makes it so popular? Well compared to it the Fiesta, it’s got all the same features but in a smaller space. Comparing it to the rest of our contenders, it’s bigger, stronger and significantly more powerful.

From sea to city and back again, the Figo is going to get you exactly where you need to go, on time, safely and securely.

What’s better is that it’s amazing bang for buck too. It’s affordable, light on fuel and is easy on the eyes. So for any office newbie, the this hatch is more than acceptable to step out of for your first day on the job.

Recommended for: Young working professionals (and those wanting to sport the Ford badge but not follow the Fiesta fanfare)

Average Price Range: R59 900 - R249 950 (2012 - 2020)

Average fuel consumption: 5.7l / 100km

Looking for something slightly bigger than first three on our list but still not burn a massive  hole in your pocket? Well, look no further than the trusty Ford Fiesta. Much like its name, the Fiesta really is a fun-sized four-wheel package that promises a good time for anyone behind the wheel.

This snazzy, zooty and slick little number is what most of us grew up dreaming of getting as a first car, but they’re definitely not limited to first-time car owners. Equally at home in the parking garage of a corporate business as it is on the campus of a renowned university, these Fiestas undoubtably dominate our roads.

It is no coincidence that we’ve seen thousands of them cruising our streets for the last 20 years. We’re sure to see many more of them in the days to comes because simply put - it’s difficult to look past the round oval badge for a good, dependable car in this category.

They’ve been known to get spruced up or dressed down, much like a good sports jacket -  the Fiesta is built to thrill. Packed with features (whether that be for entertainment or safety), this model is set to keep you safe and satisfied on the road, no matter where you’re heading.

Recommended for: Literally everyone.

Average Price Range: R74 999 - R349 900 (2012 - 2020)

Average fuel consumption: 5.3l / 100km

What else could we possibly recommend to our followers than the vehicle that consistently ranks at the top of every car buying list? It has to be none other than the VW Polo.

The car of choice for many in the country. No matter your age, gender, profession, or driving ability, everyone looks right at home behind the wheel of Uitenhage’s favourite export.

The Polo has been around in various different forms, models, specs, trim levels and statures for over 25 years on the dealerships floors of South Africa. There’s no mistaking it when you see it on the road, yet with so many unique additions anyone can make, they still manage to stand out.

The Polo is truly an enjoyable drive for anyone and there’s no doubt that they’ll be around at the top of every buyers’ list for years to come.

Recommended for: Again, pretty much anyone

Average Price Range: R89 999 - R478 999 (2012 - 2020)

Average fuel consumption: 4.8 - 5.9 l / 100km

This list is by no means exhaustive, because we know that every car buyer has their own criteria. But we know that you’d be hard pressed to not find these on any lists when doing research.

This article covers the basics and some of the easier cars to find in the market - ones that will keep any prospective buyer happy. But we know there’s more to the market. We’ve been around for long enough to watch so many people make the good, the bad and the really bad decisions when it comes to buying cars. We’ve also been there ourselves.

Buying a car can certainly be a nerve wracking experience. We know that nobody wants to face the anxieties that are associated with such a decision at all, let alone by themselves. We’re helping you make the right decision, more often with the right information at your fingertips.

Consider this list to be your first step to better car-buying decisions as you embark on this exciting road ahead.

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