Second-hand cars are having a moment. With our economy in the doldrums and consumers feeling increasingly uneasy about getting locked into pricey and long-term payment plans, used vehicles are doing particularly well right now. The advantage of buying a used car, of course, is that you get more car for your money. Only have R200 000 to spend?
You’ll get a lot more if you go the second-hand route. Or, similarly, if you have your heart set on a particular model, you’ll find it far more affordable if you opt for a used one. Then there’s the issue of resale value. When it comes to the resale value of a vehicle, it’s the initial owner who tends to take the biggest hit. Even if you buy a vehicle that doesn’t hold its value terribly well, you won’t lose nearly as much when you sell it on to a third owner. Below are some vehicles we found on Gumtree for R200 000. Some are great value for money. Others are tempting, but a bit of a gamble.
The Mud Lover – 2010 Jeep Wrangler
Buying a pukka 4×4 for R200 000 is just about impossible when buying new (you might just be able to afford a Jimmy, if you get a good deal). Second-hand, though, there are quite a few options. And few are more tempting than the iconic Jeep Wrangler. Wranglers hold their value well, so you’re not going to get a bargain, but you can get a decent example for R200 000. This particular vehicle is about 10 years old and has 177 000km on the clock. Also, it’s a Sahara – not a Rubicon – but it’ll still be plenty capable off-road. It’s going to be thirsty, of course, and a 2010 Wrangler is not as plush as the 2016 version, but come on, it’s an off-road icon!
Buy it because You want to hit the 4×4 trails.
Don’t buy it because The fuel bill will destroy your budget.
Before you buy Have it inspected thoroughly for mechanical issues. A serious 4×4 with 177 000km could very possibly have been put through the wringer by the previous owner.
Mileage 177 000km
Engine 3.8-Litre Petrol V6
The Sensible Choice – 2013 Kia Sportage
R200 000 for a 2013 Kia Sportage is a great price, especially if you consider that the vehicle’s done less than 100 000km. It’s attractive, reliable and practical. What more could you want? Sure, it’s not a trail toy, but it’s a great buy if you’ve got a young family.
Drawbacks? Well, the petrol mill isn’t thirsty, exactly, but also not as efficient as a diesel. Also, power of 122kW and torque of 192Nm is decent, but won’t blow your hair back. A Sportage with a oilburner could be a better option, provided you find a great example. Buying a used turbodiesel is always riskier than buying a naturally aspirated petrol.
Buy it because You’re a sensible, family-oriented person.
Don’t buy it because You’re selfish and put your own needs ahead of those of your family.
Before you buy See if you can find a diesel version that’s in excellent shape.
Mileage 87 961km
Engine 2.0-Litre Petrol
The Future Classic – 2005 Land Rover Defender
Yes, a car is technically an asset, but it’s a depreciating asset. Unlike your home, you’re not going to sell your car for more than you originally bought it for. Unless, that is, you invest in a ‘future classic’. What better reason, then, for buying a Defender? With the iconic Landy out of production, prices on the second-hand market are set to skyrocket, right? Perhaps. Definitely maybe. Your financial adviser probably won’t fall for this line of reasoning, but your family might…
Here is an excellent example: a 2005 model with 70 000km on the clock. Of course, you know what the drawbacks of a Defender are: they’re slow, basic, unrefined and have a bit of a reputation for breaking down. But they’re also iconic and cool and fun to drive. And now you can even call them an investment.
Buy it because You’ve managed to convince yourself that it will appreciate in value.
Don’t buy it because “Macho” is just not your thing.
Before you buy Make sure that odometer is correct. 70 000km on a 2005 model seems a tad low…
Mileage 70 000km
Engine 2.5-Litre Td5
The Beautiful Temptress – 2011 Audi Q5 TDI
The heart wants what the heart wants. Sometimes you know you’re saddling up a wild and unpredictable pony, but you just can’t help yourself. This particular pony is awfully tempting. After all, when this Q5 was new, if would have cost you about R440 000. Now it can be yours for a mere R200 000!
But hold on a moment. There are a few things to consider. Firstly, this is an SUV with a Teutonic badge, which means that servicing this old girl will not be cheap. And if something goes horribly wrong, you’re in for a huge bill. Add to this the fact that this is a turbodiesel with 125 000km on the clock, and there’s definite cause for concern. Of course, it could provide you years and years of trouble-free service. It’s not a bad buy, necessarily, but it is a bit of a gamble.
Buy it because It’s an Audi Q5 for R200 000.
Don’t buy it because Like an ageing trophy wife, maintenance can be prohibitively expensive.
Before you buy Have the vehicle checked out thoroughly. Make sure it has a service record.
Mileage 125 000KM
Engine 2.0-LITRE TURBODIESEL
The Immortal Workhorse – 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser 79-Series
Before we do anything else, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, this vehicle has 410 000km on the clock. By any standard, this is quite a lot. However, it is powered by Toyota’s 4.5-litre straight-six engine, and this powerplant has shown itself to be immensely reliable. Plenty of vehicles sporting this engine are running around with more than 500 000km on the clock. That said, some maintenance will undoubtedly be necessary. It won’t be long until you need to spend some money on it.
Apart from the reliability issue, you have to ask yourself if you’re a Cruiser kind of person. When someone asked Louis Armstrong what jazz was, he replied: “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” The same is true of a Cruiser bakkie. If you have to ask what the appeal of a 79-Series bakkie is, you’ll never understand.
Buy it because You are sick of the 4×4 club guys laughing at your soft-roader.
Don’t buy it because It’s thirsty – and it has 410 000km on the clock.
Before you buy Go to the mall and get yourself a two-tone shirt, preferably in khaki and dark brown – don’t get too experimental with those colour combinations.
Mileage 410 000km
Engine 4.5-Litre Efi
The Hooligan – 2007 Range Rover
Your eyes are not deceiving you. For R200 000, you can roll around like David Beckham – or, at least, the way David Beckham rolled around back in 2007. This is a 2007 Range Rover with a supercharged V8. It is plush. It is fast. It is cool. It is also a very bad buy.
It’ll cost an absolute fortune to run, and when something inevitably goes wrong, repairing it will completely bankrupt you. That said, every person is entitled to one rash and emotional car-purchasing decision in his or her lifetime. If this is yours, we salute you.
Buy it because You’re having a midlife crisis.
Don’t buy it because You like having a roof over your head and food on the table.
Before you buy Take a long, hard look at the current fuel price.
Mileage 174 000km
Engine 4.2-Litre Supercharged V8
Text: GG van Rooyen