Which (used) car should I buy as my first car?

Buying your first car is one of those moments you won’t easily forget. It doesn’t matter whether your parents helped you out or you bought it all on your own, there is a sense of pride and responsibility that comes with owning a car. Buying a car is the easy part but the maintenance and upkeep thereafter is considered the most important.

First cars are generally cheap, light on fuel and have easy parts accessibility, which is why most older folk will almost always recommend going for the old faithful – the Volkswagen MK1 Golf. It lacked a variety of nice-to-have features like air-conditioning, electric windows and even power steering – but parts were cheap and most importantly, it was reliable.

The great thing about a MK1 Golf is that just about any mechanic worth his or her salt can carry out repairs without denting the pocket. Even though its production officially ceased in 2009 in South Africa, there are a many examples still in operation.

Gumtree lists a few options (other than a Citi Golf) that can serve as an ideal first set of wheels:

Ford Figo

The Figo is currently in its second generation in South Africa that Ford still sells as brand-new, but it is the first generation model(s) under the spotlight here. The 1.4 Ambiente is model to go for with an estimated book value of R60 000 and comes standard with airbags, power steering and air-conditioning.

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

The Polo Vivo was wildly considered as the successor to the MK1 Golf and judging by how many of them are still on the road, it was an able deputy. Volkswagen still sells the Polo Vivo as brand-new but not in the 9N chassis. Parts are accessible and they are cheap as well – giving owners bang for buck.

Toyota Etios

Just like the Polo Vivo was the successor to the MK1 Golf, so was the Etios to the Tazz. Both the hatchback and sedan sold pretty well because it had the basics like driver and passenger airbags, air-conditioning and electric windows, and a decent example could be picked up for R60 000 or sometimes even less.

Hyundai i10

More people are going the way of the Korean brand because they have a variety of small passenger offerings in their line-up. One of them is the i10 and even though it wasn’t the biggest, it had the modern basics.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local service information close to home.

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