Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

Are you spoilt to the extent that you'd rather buy a pre-owned, larger and probably more luxurious, car over a brand-new, smaller one for the same price?

If you answered no, you are probably not being true to yourself, say market analysts. This trend is apparently widespread in Mzansi and is one of the factors that have seen the pre-owned car market doing so well in sales performance over that of new cars.

As a pragmatic enthusiast, I too would opt for a second-hand BMW 330i instead of a brand-new 120i.

Today, being April Fool's day, is no laughing matter for new car buyers. A number of manufacturers will hike their prices by between 3percent and 5percent. This is said to be the result of the volatile rand. The exchange rate and low car demand make it very difficult to maintain steady prices. This will be followed by more car price hikes soon. So if you are planning on buying new, now may be the best time.

However, the pre-owned market will benefit directly from these increases. I hope this trend in used cars will not urge dealers to do away with the now popular "cash back" offers.

As usual we have been out there searching for some sweet deals you should consider.

The first one is from the newly developed, hyper-busy Melrose Arch in Birnam, Johannesburg.

Norman's Toyota has a used Tata Telcoline 1-ton bakkie they are trying to get rid of. It has a paltry 8000km on the clock and sells for R60000.

While still on Toyota, many dealers countrywide have launched an offensive in this critical period.

There are many specials from Toyota dealers and you are likely to find more than just a couple of juicy deals.

McCarthy Toyota in Midrand has two 2008 Corolla 1.6 Professionals at low mileage for R145000. That's a lovely price for a car as large, reliable and current.

Down the coast, fans of the Renault brand should visit Renault in Pietermaritzburg, which has cut prices on the 2009 Megane 2.0 Shake It hatchbacks. The normal price is R222100 but it is selling for R194600.

McCarthy Audi in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, is selling the new Audi 3.0TDI Q7s at prime minus 3percent.