You’d like a new car sir? No problem, that will be R600 000 and a kidney please…

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At the risk of harping on a subject I’ve already harped on about, I feel the need to vent about new car pricing in South Africa a bit, again…

Last week the new Ford Everest was introduced. I wasn’t invited to the launch because I am neither cool nor famous enough, or because I am an ignoramus who doesn’t know how to get invited to new model launches…

Nonetheless, the new Ford Everest is a cool looking car. It is based on the bestselling Ford Ranger bakkie. It comes with the 3.2 turbo-diesel engine and produces enough power and torque to do just about whatever you want with it. It has electronic 4×4 goodies to protect you from yourself and your bravado. So all in all it is a decent car then.

So what would you expect to pay for this marvel of modern engineering? Well, the base model comes in at, wait for it, R593 900… Five hundred and ninety three thousand nine hundred rand…

I’ll wait while you clean up whatever you just spat all over your computer monitor.

But wait there’s more…

If you don’t like the Ford Everest you can go to Hyundai and buy yourself a new Santa Fe’ for, ahem, R659 900, six hundred and fifty nine thousand nine hundred rand! And for that you don’t even get four wheel drive, you have to pay an extra forty thousand for that, which will take you to just short of seven hundred thousand rand.

Now, I am not privy to the costings of these vehicles and I have no idea how much profit the automakers are making on each car, but come on, seven hundred thousand rand for a Hyundai Santa Fe’? Are you drunk? Have you been eating special mushrooms from the forest behind your house? Has your imaginary friend been filling your head with ideas or has your German shepherd been telling you to eat peoples’ kidneys again? Madness, madness is the only explanation for the pricing on these two SUVs.

Sadly though they will probably sell, well at least the Ford will. I can’t see anyone buying a Hyundai Santa Fe’ when they could get a Toyota Fortuner, FJ Cruiser or Prado for a similar price or less, or a small flat which could generate you a bit of a return on your money. The people who buy them will be smacked in the forehead with massive depreciation and will lose a huge amount of money.

I know cars are not a logical purchase, hell, I’m thinking about swopping my sensible 2008 hatchback for a 1995 4.2l petrol Nissan Patrol and I already have an old FJ62 series 4l Toyota Land Cruiser sitting in the parking lot. Thing is though, I won’t have to spend a lot of money on the Nissan. They’re as tough as old boots and can easily trundle along for over a million kilometres. If you find one with less than 300 000 km on the clock you can consider it hardly used… It is a wonderfully capable vehicle and it looks cool too. Why on earth would I want to spend R7000 a month on a new car that isn’t as capable?

People say, oh, but what about fuel consumption? It must be so high! Well yes, but I don’t have to pay a car instalment every month do I? My insurance is less than a third of what you’re paying for your new car. Petrol… Pfft…

My advice? If you want a nice comfortable SUV that can go off-road a bit and won’t break down often, get a used Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3l diesel or a used Mitsubishi Pajero for between R150 000 and R350 000.

Use the rest of the money you’ve saved to go on holidays in it, or maybe invest that small flat….

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