Motorists struggle to pay for their cars

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

More than 1000 vehicles a month are being repossessed by the country's largest vehicle finance company.

Wesbank revealed yesterday that the average monthly repossessions during 2007 of 600 vehicles had increased in the first quarter of this year to 1000.

Chris de Kock, sales and marketing director at Wesbank, said: "Consumers are under pressure to meet their car obligations, which is brought about by a substantial portion of their vehicle payments coming from other usage elements including increased interest rates, fuel costs and maintenance."

The majority of vehicles repossessed by Wesbank are re-financed and sold on auction as a last resort to recover the vehicle financier's money.

De Kock said Wesbank had found that a person who had bought a vehicle four years ago was only spending 33percent on the capital repayment, compared to 45percent in 2004.

"People are delaying the purchase of new cars and corporates would only replace their fleet when they are forced to. Those that already own vehicles are desperately trying to hang on to them."

Wesbank said it had noted that the used car market had also not increased as it usually did with current economic conditions, which it said indicated consumers were under too much pressure.