WeBuyCars sees record figures for March as buyers search for more affordable cars

WeBuyCars continues to see strong interest from customers looking for value and selection in the used-car space, although it is seeing a shift in buying patterns as a result of current economic pressures.

Rikus Blomerus, Chief Marketing Officer at WeBuyCars says it’s a buyer’s market with current low prices being good news for consumers who have become more price sensitive.

“Year-on-year the average used-vehicle price on WeBuyCars’ floors has dropped with about 21% due to a combination of factors, primarily the combined impact of socio-ecomonic factors. As a result, prices have been decreasing due to the supply and demand of used vehicles. As customers are more price sensitive and the demand is low, it makes for ideal circumstances to now purchase a used vehicle.”

“However, our volumes continue to grow and we are expecting March to be a record month as we forecast to sell 13 000 vehicles, clearly bucking national used car sales trend,” said Blomerus. This is against a backdrop of NaTIS used vehicle registrations comparing 2022 and 2023 which show a 1,97% decrease year-on-year.

Blomerus said customers are focusing on affordability, downsizing to smaller cars and there is still strong interest in SUVs, as indicated by February statistics. 2022 saw increases in prices for the following vehicle makes: Toyota Hilux by 32.28%, Ford Ranger by 32.21%, Ford Escort Sport by 24.81%, Isuzu KB by 22.71%, and Toyota Fortuner by 17.64%. 

Blomerus says the recent 50 basis point increase in the repo rate by the Reserve Bank took the prime interest rate to 11.25%, its highest level since 2009, which may negatively impact the new vehicle market in favour of used cars.  “It is likely that the rate hike will exacerbate an already-stressed economic environment. It may have a material effect on affordability of current and future new vehicle purchases and the ability for buyers to finance new deals, making the used car sector more attractive and attainable for consumers.”