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According to the index, total financial agreement volumes in the passenger market decreased by 6% from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018. New passenger finance deals, however, increased by 6%, while used decreased by 10%.

TransUnion also found that the South Africans were buying noticeably fewer used cars, as the used-to-new ratio decreased from 2.49 in Q1 2017 to 2.09 in Q1 2018.

In the used vehicle market, the make-up of used vehicle sales has shown that 46% are under two years old and 9% were demo models which indicates consumers are opting for under two year old vehicles, the bureau said. Citing Naamsa, it said there has been a year on year increase of 3.7% in new passenger vehicles and a decrease of 2.3% of new light commercial vehicle for March 2018.

The percentage of cars (new and used) being financed below R200,000 has remained consistent to last quarters numbers with 43% in Q1.

“This has shown a marginal increase in used car loans which has being consistent at around R242,000. This indicates a shifting emphasis on the value proposition that consumers place on their vehicles, as they look for the maximum amount of value from a car,” TransUnion said.

When it comes to the types of cars, unsurprisingly, Toyota and VW dominate both the new and used space, capturing more than 35% of the new and used passenger financed volumes, through vehicles including the Polo and Vivo range, the Fortuner and Corolla models.

“We have seen a shift in the vehicles financed under R200,000. The percentages have changed from an average of 40% in 2017 to 43% in Q1 2018,” said Kriben Reddy, head of auto information solutions at TransUnion.

According to AutoTrader, usually those cars that sell well new, will continue to sell well in a second hand market. Volkswagen rules the roost, followed by Toyota. “If you want a quality vehicle with an excellent re sale value, a Volkswagen Polo or Polo Vivo is a sure bet,” AutoTrader said. “Not only will the resale value be excellent, but you will also sell these vehicles faster than any others.”

The Polo was among the most searched-for vehicle on AutoTrader in 2017.

Most models of Toyota still hold their value – including the Aygo, Corolla Quest, Etios, Avanza and Yaris, which boasts a good reputation and they’re perceived to be reliable too.

In the hatch category, the best option is the Volkswagen Golf – the third most searched for vehicle on AutoTrader in 2017.