Young South Africans buck the trend and opt for car ownership

Millennials and Gen-Zs in South Africa are increasingly prioritising private transport, according to WesBank data, debunking previous assumptions about their preferences.

Recent data from WesBank reveals a notable trend among South Africans aged 35 and younger: a growing preference for owning private transport. Despite predictions suggesting a shift towards alternative transportation methods like e-hailing services, millennials and Gen-Zs have demonstrated a steady increase in vehicle finance applications for both new and pre-owned cars over the past three years.

The upward trajectory began in 2021, with 722 505 vehicle finance applications from young individuals, which climbed to 806 458 in 2022 and further to 826 088 by 2023. Lebo Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communication at WesBank, highlights this as a shift from previous industry assumptions.

“While there has been a slowdown in vehicle purchases among this demographic, the data indicates that it’s not due to a lack of desire for personal cars,” explains Gaoaketse. “Rather, it reflects the challenges posed by a struggling economy and financial constraints affecting consumers of all ages.”

Lebo Gaoaketse.

To stimulate car sales, stakeholders in the automotive industry have introduced incentive programmes, including discounts, innovative finance options and extended loan terms. WesBank’s Graduate Finance programme, for instance, offers recent graduates access to vehicle finance even without a credit history.

Gaoaketse emphasises the importance of financial management for maintaining a good credit record, which influences lenders’ decisions and interest rates. He suggests exploring more affordable options in the pre-owned car market or considering value-oriented importers to meet the aspiration for safe and reliable private mobility.

In conclusion, Gaoaketse urges young South Africans to pursue their goal of car ownership responsibly, navigating economic challenges while accessing the mobility they need for personal and professional success.

Source: MotorPress


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