Motoring Correspondent
4 minute read
2 Jul 2022
1:45 pm

VW Polo: Which is a better buy, nearly new or slightly older?

Motoring Correspondent

Used VW Polos on sale range from more affordable Vivos to ever-popular GTIs.

The VW Polo GTI is one of South Africa's most sought-after hatchbacks.

With fuel prices and general living costs on a continual upward trend, many car buyers are thinking twice about their purchasing options.

The VW Polo has for years been a favourite subcompact car choice among South Africans. Fuel efficient for the frugal, practical for everyday errands, capable, stylish and easy to maintain, the VW Polo is an obvious car choice for students, city slickers, and even sometimes retirees.

But from the plethora of VW Polos on the used market, plus a budget to keep in mind, how can a buyer make sure they get the best value for money?

Is it better to buy a “nearly new” car younger than two years, or is it wiser to buy a more affordable, slightly older car that is three to five years old?

AutoTrader is the largest and most digitally advanced motoring marketplace in South Africa, with its live market data providing unparalleled insight into car shopping trends.

AutoTrader recently released insightful data that compares the most inquired on two-year-old Volkswagen Polos with the most inquired on three- to five-year-old Polos.

Tough decision

Says George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO: “Buying a car these days can be a tough decision – especially considering the ever-increasing fuel prices. It’s no surprise therefore that second-hand car buyers regard the VW Polo as a good purchasing decision.

“Our recent comparative data aims to help car buyers in their search of getting the best value for money when buying a used VW Polo.”

VW Polo Vivo GT
VW Polo VIvos are generally the more affordable option.

AutoTrader’s data reveals that a buyer might, for example, find a nearly new 2021 Polo Vivo 1.0 TSI (with 20 750 km on the clock) is only about R18k more than a 2019 Polo 1.0 TSI with mileage of almost 65 000 km.

Though the Polo might be superior to the Polo Vivo in many respects, the Vivo would probably be a smarter choice since it is two years younger and, in general, has a better resale value.

ALSO READ: On a budget? Here are South Africa’s cars with the best fuel economy

A buyer with a flexible budget looking for a car with more power could find a 2020 Polo GTI with only 22 365km on the clock costing around R130k more than a 2017 model with more than 70 000 km on the clock.

Someone with the same need for speed (but a tighter budget) would however still get good value for money when opting for the five-year-old Polo GTI with its sub-100 000 mileage.

For a student on the other hand, who lives far from home and needs a reliable car to get from point A to point B, a good option might be paying R44k more for the 2021 Polo Vivo 1.4 with low mileage.

It might be a wiser move instead of the five-year-old VW Polo Vivo 1.6 – which might have a more powerful engine, but comes with a much higher mileage and average fuel consumption.

Nearly new VW Polo

The most inquired two-year-old VW Polos ranked by most inquiries received by the dealer or car owner on models listed for sale during the period 1 January 2022 to 31 May 2022 (model, average price, average mileage and registration year):

  1. Polo 1.0 TSI (R343,355 – 22 737 km – 2021)
  2. Polo GTI (R478 791 – 22 365 km – 2020)
  3. Polo Vivo 1.4 (R233 204 – 13 438 km – 2021)
  4. Polo Vivo 1.6 (R250 379 – 25 960 km – 2021)
  5. Polo Vivo 1.0 TSI (R291 712 – 20 750 km – 2021)
  6. Polo 1.6 (R268 519 – 27 795 km – 2020)
  7. Polo 1.4 (R224 554 – 21 790 km – 2020)
  8. Polo Vivo 1.0 TSI GT (R291 712 – 20 750 km – 2021)
  9. Polo Vivo 1.0 TSI GT (R291 712 – 20 750 km – 2021)
  10. Polo 1.2 TSI (R388 967 – 60 378 km – 2020)

Slighty older VW Polo

Most inquired three- to five-year-old VW Polos ranked by most inquiries received by the dealer or car owner on models listed for sale during the period 1 January 2022 to 31 May 2022 (model, average price, average mileage and registration year):

  1. Polo 1.0TSI (R274,338 – 64,759 km – 2019)
  2. Polo 1.2TSI (R185,125 – 106,682 km – 2016)
  3. Polo Vivo 1.4 (R146,925 – 95,449 km – 2017)
  4. Polo GTI (R345,270 – 73,282 km – 2017)
  5. Polo Vivo 1.6 (R171,245 – 97,740 km – 2017)
  6. Polo 1.4 (R168,348 – 122,463 km – 2017)
  7. Polo 1.6 (R189,970 – 83,915 km – 2017)
  8. Polo Vivo GT (R160,814 – 79,215 km – 2017)
  9. Polo 1.4TDI (R198,707 – 122,449 km – 2016)
  10. Polo 1.5TDI (R197,988 – 98,101 km – 2017)

For more insights on the South African pre-owned car market, see AutoTrader’s annual industry report.