BUYING A 4x4 FOR UNDER R200 000
Your recent articles on buying specific vehicles below a certain threshold, made me decide to write this letter about my own experience in buying a secondhand 4×4 SUV for below R200 000.
Towards the end of last year, I decided to decrease our fixed monthly expenses and the axe fell on my Amarok Double Cab 4Motion, which was the only vehicle on a lease in our fleet of five. My plan was to use whatever was left over after the bank had been paid off to buy another vehicle.
I sold the Amarok on the internet easily and with R200 000 in my bank account, I started searching for a vehicle over the Christmas period. My only way of finding a suitable vehicle was through the internet, as I live in Mossel Bay.
I HAD VERY SPECIFIC CRITERIA:
Maximum purchase price to not exceed R200 000. Must be a 4×4 with low range. Must have a full service history. Preferably less than 100 000km. Preferably diesel and manual transmission.
Any brand, bar Chinese and Indian, as long as the above criteria are met.
I looked at thousands of vehicles, across all brands on the internet and soon realised that most vehicles were either in very bad condition or had done in excess of 200 000km. It was mostly the brands with a lower resale value that met my criteria. I drew up at least three shortlists and commandeered all friends and relatives, living in Gauteng or the Western Cape to inspect and test drive the vehicles on my shortlist.
In the end, I settled on a 2009 Jeep Cherokee 2.8 CRD Limited for R196 000 and 97 000km on the clock. It was one of the few vehicles that met my criteria 100% and that was still in a very good condition. Sure, it is by no means perfect, with some scratches here and there, but it is mechanically sound with no rust, has not been in an accident and has 4x4 capability with low range.
SOME LESSONS THAT I LEARNT THROUGH THIS PURCHASE:
Never purchase a vehicle without a full service history. I found many instances where I was almost certain that the odometer was turned back and in every instance there was no service record.
Do not believe photographs as they can be manipulated to hide scratches dents and rust.
Insist that the vehicle be inspected by a reputable company, before you purchase.
Do not get fixated on a specific brand, there might be other brands with better value for money.
Draw up criteria and stick to it.