Taking the step from commuter to car owner

Moving from public transport to car ownership may be possible for more commuters

Reuben Van Niekerk
new car owner
first time car buyer
car on a budget

Public transport is not necessarily cheap and the monthly travel expenses of a commuter using multiple taxis, trains and busses or travelling long distances might very well be on par with the cost of an entry-level car. Besides the cost, owning their own car is a dream for every public transport commuter.


“Research indicates that COVID-19 and the associated health and personal safety risks that commuters are exposed to when using public transport has encouraged many commuters to explore buying their own vehicle,” says the CEO of Motus Retail and Rental, Corné Venter.

“Owning your own vehicle gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want safely. Buying a car is a serious commitment but with a myriad of finance options to consider, buyers might be pleasantly surprised at what they can afford,” commented Venter.


Everyone’s financial situation differs, but as a general guideline one should not spend more than 25% of your monthly nett income on your total vehicle expenses. Be realistic about what you can afford and stick to your budget. A car loan is a long-term commitment and car-buyers should thus consider both current and future expenses when estimating their budget.

If you earn less than R7 000 per month, monthly instalments may still be a little too much for your current budget. However, if you earn between R8 000 and R10 000 per month, you could certainly look at buying a pre-owned vehicle, keeping in mind that your total monthly vehicle expenses should not exceed R2000 to R2500. Saving up for a deposit will also help lower your monthly instalments.


The current low interest rate also means that it is a good time to sign a vehicle financing deal and locking this in to a fixed interest rate for the contract period.

Buyers need to remember that the cost of the finance agreement is only one of the expenses of car-ownership. Your total vehicle budget needs to allow for monthly insurance, maintenance and fuel.

While maintenance or services might be covered on new vehicles or pre-owned vehicles with valid plans, items like tyres will not be covered and need to be budgeted for.


“The majority of pre-owned vehicles advertised on motus.cars are between one and five years old, which means that the mileage of these vehicles is reasonable and that in many cases they still have a service or maintenance plan in place. Entry-level shoppers will also not be disappointed, with the vast variety of quality budget-friendly options,” added Venter.

Your insurance premium will also be dependant on how long you have had your licence and how long you have been accident free. A good idea is to get your driving licence as soon as possible, even if you are still months or years away from being financially able to purchase a car.

Vehicle prices continue to rise, so as time goes by it gets more and more difficult to get into your own car. The TransUnion SA Vehicle Pricing Index for Q4 2020 indicates an increase in the costs of both new and pre-owned vehicles. The VPI for new vehicles rose to 9.6% in Q4 2020, from 2.9% for the same period in 2019, with the pre-owned vehicle price rising from 2.9% from 1.2% in Q4 of 2019. With the CPI sitting at 3.3% for Q4 2020, new vehicle price increases remain above inflation and are forecast to increase further in the coming months, according to the latest TransUnion SA VPI data.


Online calculators on websites such as motus.cars aid in determining the cost of finance and the cost of ownership, permitting consumers to make an informed decision. Car-buyers can even apply for finance online, and finance applications are sent to all major banks ensuring that the customer gets the best deal in terms of repayments and interest rates.

Factors that influence your credit rating include how long you have been working for your current employer, how long you have lived at your current address, whether you own property and whether you are married.


Banks make it possible for you to structure your finance contract in a way that suits your affordability. This means that you can choose the contract term, the type of interest rate you want, whether you want to pay a deposit and if you would like to use a balloon payment.

“Motus also promote a variety of specials on a monthly basis that offer exceptional value for money,” concluded Venter.

The most important thing to do when looking to buy your first car is to shop around to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Motus offer a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, thanks to nearly 250 dealerships they always have around 10 000 vehicles in stock. Easy to use websites such as motus.cars and motusselect.co.za with a myriad of search filters make finding the right vehicle a pain-free experience.


The following specials available through the Motus dealer network during the month of March are ideal for buyers looking at getting into their first car.

Pre-owned entry level Hatchbacks under R120K

Motus.cars offers a large selection of top quality pre-owned entry-level hatchbacks with low mileage (below 50 000kms) and under R120 000. Click below for more:



Demo Deals

Buying a demo vehicle gives the buyer the value for money expected from a good quality pre-owned vehicle, but with the new car smell. On motus.cars car shoppers will find almost 1 000 demo vehicles for sale, from all major brands and available nationwide. Click below for more:



Toyota Agya from only R1 999pm

Motus Toyota dealers are making the most of the high demand for the newly launched Agya model with a special offer at only R1 999pm. This incredible deal is available from any of the 10 Motus Toyota dealerships in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Click below for more:



2018 Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Motion

Motus Select dealerships are offering the 2018 models of the ever-popular Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Motion from only R2 380pm. Even better news is that the deal can be structured with zero deposit payable. Click below for more: