According to global statistics 85% of car-buying decisions are influenced by women and with more vehicles in South Africa being sold in the second half of the year, chances are that many could be considering buying a new car right now.


August and September already reported steady sales gains according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). The momentum can be expected to continue, especially with those consumers who want to use their year-end bonus as a deposit to buy a new set of wheels.


A car is probably your most expensive purchase after a property. If you look at some of the top sellers in the local new passenger vehicle market for September, prices start at over R175 000 for a Polo Vivo Hatch Conceptline, while you will have to fork out well over R430 000 for a Toyota Fortuner.


Very few are fortunate enough to pay straight away for their vehicle in full, so chances are that you will apply for finance. Before you buy your new set of wheels, 1st for Women has some tips to keep you on the right track.


–        Are you meeting the criteria?

Financial institutions have criteria for granting vehicle loans to ensure you are able to honour the loan.


“There are, for instance, minimum earning requirements and you must have an unblemished credit record,” says Robyn Farrell, CEO of 1st for Women Insurance. “If your credit record shows that you pay your accounts regularly and on time, your chances of getting approval and a good interest rate, improve.”


Banks will also often require a deposit of around 10% and the vehicle must also be bought from a bank approved dealer.


–        Choosing the terms

“There are a variety of financing options available and you should choose the most cost-efficient one with the best rates and fees. Just remember that long-term loans are in general more expensive,” Farrell says.


For instance, if you choose to pay off your vehicle over 72 months, it will reduce your monthly instalment because you’ve financed it over a longer period but you end up paying more for your car in total. The shorter the finance period, the less you pay in total.


Basic cost example:

·       The loan amount: R180 000

·       Deposit: R20 000

·       Interest rate: 10%

Over 72 months:

Over 48 months:

Monthly instalment: R 3 335

Total payment:  R240 095

Interest paid:  R60 095


Monthly instalment: R4 565

Total payment:  R219 133

Interest paid:  R 39 133

–        Note: the amounts above are estimates and do not take any other costs into account.


Women often want to know if they have to use the car dealer’s financial consultant – you don’t have to and can apply directly for financing. Consultants however can be quite efficient as Legislation requires that they give you good advice. You have the choice to use the best quotation, if it’s one you applied for yourself or one of the consultant’s options.


–        Always keep your budget in mind

“In view of the worldwide economic slowdown there is a lot of pressure on the disposable income of consumers. It is therefore wise to apply for a loan within your means, rather than taking on too much debt,” Farrell cautions. “When budgeting for this expense, the related costs should be calculated as well such as maintenance, comprehensive insurance, fuel and the annual licence fee. Also, interest rates can go up during the loan period, so ensure you’ll still be able to afford your monthly repayments if this happens.”


–        Why insurance is a must-have

If you get a vehicle loan from a bank, comprehensive insurance is compulsory. You don’t however have to use the loan provider’s insurer, you can choose your own.


“If you take out insurance for your vehicle and home contents you should be eligible for a discount on your premium. Also remember that women, in general, get better premiums than men, because statistically they are better drivers,” Farrell says.


For example, when you switch to 1st for Women you could save up to R475 per month on car and home contents insurance, based on research that was done with women who switched.


1st for Women’s comprehensive insurance is an all-inclusive, all-encompassing insurance policy that will cover your vehicle against just about all risks and perils. You’ll be covered for your own damage as well as the damage, costs and expenses of any third party in the event of an accident that you caused. There are many added benefits like Guardian Angels roadside assistance if you run out of petrol, need help changing a tyre or help with a flat battery, or just some safe company while you wait for a tow truck.


For more information go to or join the conversation on Twitter: @firstforwomen, Instagram and Facebook: @1stforwomen at #JustInCase

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