Being able to afford a luxury vehicle will remain a dream for many South Africans, but if you’re one of the lucky few, this will allow you the prestige of owning several luxury cars offered by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and even Bentley or Ferrari – among others.
Luxury cars have always symbolised status and success, which also holds true in South Africa.
These cars are also known for their quality and performance. Luxury car brands are synonymous with high-quality materials, advanced technology, and superior craftsmanship.
These factors can make owning a luxury car a more enjoyable driving experience. They are often perceived as more reliable and safer than the average car, employing rigorous safety standards in their manufacturing processes.
However, to afford any of the cars on this list is no small feat, requiring the buyer to earn almost double the average salary in South Africa, which currently stands at R26,032.
The cheapest car on this list is the Audi A1, retailing at R463,800 off the showroom floor.
Using Wesbank’s vehicle finance calculator, assuming no deposit and a 0% balloon payment over five years (60 months) at an interest rate of 11.25%, the estimated monthly repayment is R10,237 per month for the Audi Q5.
The abovementioned interest rate follows a recent controversial rate hike by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Thursday (30 March), taking the prime rate from 10.75% to 11.25%.
Industry experts still recommend that prospective buyers spend no more than a quarter (25%) of their monthly income on vehicle-related costs. So, if you earn R20,000 monthly, your total vehicle expenses should not exceed R5,000. And this should apply to the whole vehicle expense, including:
- Vehicle instalments
- Insurance premiums
- Fuel costs
Considering this recommendation, the minimum monthly salary required to afford the Audi A1 is R40,100.
This equates to just under R500,000 per annum, putting those that can afford the cheapest vehicle on this list in the top 8% of income earners in the country, according to the latest World Inequality report.
To put this in perspective, 92% of the population is poorer than those who can afford the A1, with the bottom 50% of working adults earning roughly R12,300 a year and the top 10% making more than 60 times that at around R780,300.
What’s more, those who can afford the cheapest Ferrari – with a price tag of R6,804,200 – would have to earn roughly R585,500 per month, putting them firmly in the top 1% of income earners.
The cheapest models South Africa’s luxury brands offer – including their cost, minimum salary required, and estimated monthly instalment – are listed below.
Alfa Romeo – Tonale
- Starting price: R739,900
- Minimum salary: R65,100 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R16,275
Audi – A1
- Starting price: R463,800
- Minimum salary: R40,100 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R10,237
Bentley – Flying Spur
- Starting price: R4,420,000
- Minimum salary: R386,980 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R96,745
BMW – 1 Series
- Starting price: R641,072
- Minimum salary: R56,500 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R14,114
Ferrari – 296
- Starting price: R6,804,200
- Minimum salary: R595,500 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R148,885
Jaguar – E-Pace
- Starting price: R1,087,000
- Minimum salary: R95,500 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R23,865
Lamborghini – Manage
- Starting price: R4,395,000
- Minimum salary: R385,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R96,202
Land Rover – Discovery Sport
- Starting price: R1,108,500
- Minimum salary: R97,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R24,335
Lexus – IS
- Starting price: R771,400
- Minimum salary: R68,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R16,964
Maserati – Grecale
- Starting price: R1,650,000
- Minimum salary: R145,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R36,176
Mercedes-Benz – A-Class
- Starting price: R794,509
- Minimum salary: R70,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R17,469
Porsche – Macan
- Starting price: R1,184,000
- Minimum salary: R104,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R25,986
Volvo – S90
- Starting price: R922,600
- Minimum salary: R81,000 p.m.
- Estimated monthly instalment: R20,270
Read: South Africa may look to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 – here’s why
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