Infographic
Automotive Consumer Survey
2018 Results

Learn valuable insights from SA's automotive consumers

Overview 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Overview

We ask South Africans to spill the beans and answer our survey questions.

In 2018 more than 4000 people participated in the Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey from all 9 provinces in South Africa, this was our very first survey and valuable insights was gathered from the 60+ questions answered!

Our questions were direct, with focus on all the major touch points a consumer would experience with car ownership, from doing online research, broker vs direct insurer, electric car ownership, driverless car technologies to their preference when selling their used car.

Here's our infographic snapshot of the 2018 Automotive Consumer Survey data.

2018 Automotive Consumer Survey Infographic

Key takeaways this year:

  • Most transactions and servicing of cars are still happening at OEM Car Dealerships.
  • Most consumers are aware of the RMI.
  • Most households have more than one car.
  • Long standing insurance companies are preferred.
  • Used car buying is preferred over new.
  • South Africans are willing to explore new technologies and advances like driver-less and electric cars.

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Overview 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Consumer Profile

Gauteng province led the pack with the most respondents, mostly mature males and many people have owned a car for more than 15 years. Most households have 2 cars, automatic is preferred over manual cars.

Gender

Male

  • 85.3%

Female

  • 14.7%

Age

20 Years - 35 Years

  • 47.1%

45+ Years

  • 33.8%

35 Years - 45 Years

  • 19.1%

Province

Gauteng

  • 48.5%

Western Cape

  • 33.8%

KwaZulu-Natal

  • 7.4%

Eastern Cape

  • 4.4%

Northern Cape

  • 4.4%

Limpopo

  • 2.9%

Free State

  • 1.5%

Mpumalanga

  • 1%

North West

  • 1%

When did you purchase your first car?

More than 15 years ago

  • 55.9%

About 10 years ago

  • 20.6%

Less than 5 years ago

  • 14.7%

About 5 years ago

  • 8.8%

Do you prefer a manual or automatic car?

Automatic

  • 54.4%

Manual

  • 45.6%

How many cars does your household have?

2

  • 50%

1

  • 22.1%

More than 3

  • 19.1%

3

  • 8.8%
Car Servicing 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Servicing

OEM brand dealerships is the preferred choice for servicing, but consumers feel the servicing costs are too high. Most respondents are aware of the RMI, they also feel extended motor warranties are not worth the purchase.

What do you think of the servicing costs at a car dealerships?

Expensive - I think it's quite high

  • 64.7%

Rip-off

  • 22.1%

Average - I can afford it

  • 13.2%

What do you think of the servicing costs at a car dealerships?

Expensive - I think it's quite high

  • 64.7%

Rip-off

  • 22.1%

Average - I can afford it

  • 13.2%

Where do you service your car?

Brand Dealership - e.g VW, KIA

  • 48.5%

I maintain my own car

  • 29.4%

Private Mechanic (works from home)

  • 26.5%

Independent Workshop (RMI approved)

  • 22.1%

Would you prefer over-the-air software updates to your car without taking it in for for repairs?

Yes

  • 73.5%

No

  • 26.5%

Do you expect to be dropped off and picked up while your car is being serviced?

Yes

  • 89.7%

No

  • 10.3%

Do you research the servicing costs before buying a car?

Yes

  • 52.9%

Sometimes

  • 25%

No

  • 22.1%

Do you know the difference between a maintenance plan and a service plan?

Yes

  • 95.6%

No

  • 4.4%

Have you bought an extended warranty before?

No

  • 55.9%

Yes

  • 44.1%

Do you think extended warranties are worth it?

No

  • 44.1%

Yes

  • 36.8%

If you can afford it

  • 2.9%

Unsure

  • 3%

Not fair to comment as I have never bought an extended warranty

  • 1.5%

Haven’t had to use it yet

  • 1.5%

Depends on type of vehicle. N/A vs

  • 1.5%

Somtimes, depends on the reputation of the car

  • 1.5%

Depending on the cost & cover included

  • 1.5%

Sometimes - needs to be more specific to each car

  • 1.5%

Are you aware of the RMI?

Yes

  • 69.1%

No

  • 30.9%
Car Servicing 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Insurance

Majority of respondents have car insurance and prefer full comprehensive cover. Most think insurance premiums are high and excess fees are too expensive. Older insurance companies are preferred, Santam being the favourite.

Do you have car insurance

Yes

  • 92.6%

No

  • 7.4%

Do you have car hire with your car insurance?

No

  • 54.4%

Yes

  • 45.6%

Do you think it's important to have car insurance?

Yes

  • 97.1%

No

  • 2.9%

What do you think about the cost of car insurance?

Expensive - I think it's quite high

  • 48.5%

Average - I can afford it

  • 38.2%

Rip-off

  • 8.8%

Cheap - when one considers repair

  • 1.5%

For BMW - very expensive, most other brands are affordable

  • 1.5%

I get a good rate due to my age and record

  • 1.5%

Do you think insurance excess is expensive?

Yes

  • 64.7%

No

  • 32.4%

I choose the excess free option

  • 1.5%

It's a balancing act of trying to reduce a premium and have affordable excess.

  • 1.5%

What type of insurance cover do you prefer?

Full Comprehensive Cover (accidents, roadside assist, theft, hail, damage to others)

  • 98.5%

Theft or Hijackings

  • 1.5%

Do you think the panel beaters insurers use provide good service?

Yes

  • 55.9%

No

  • 26.5%

Sometimes

  • 3%

At times

  • 1.5%

Yes - but pricing is excessive whe insurance is involved

  • 1.5%

Have had good and horrible panel beaters. Mostly OK.

  • 1.5%

What company is your favourite insurer?

Santam

  • 28%

Mutual & Federal (iwyze)

  • 13.2%

Discovery Insure

  • 11.7%

Outsurance

  • 10.3%

Miway

  • 5.8%

Hollard

  • 4.4%

Alexander Forbes

  • 4.4%

Auto & General

  • 4.4%

Momentum

  • 2.9%

Dail Direct

  • 1.5%

Indicuty

  • 1.5%

Pineapple

  • 1.5%

Standard Bank Insurance

  • 1.5%

Phoenix Risk Management Solutions

  • 1.5%

Garrun PTA

  • 1.5%

Would you prefer a usage-based insurance premium over fixed monthly?

Yes

  • 45.6%

No

  • 27.9%

Maybe

  • 26.5%

Do you use an insurance broker?

Yes

  • 55.9%

No

  • 44.1%

Do you compare multiple insurance quotes?

Yes

  • 86.8%

No

  • 13.2%
Car Servicing 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Buying

Online dominates car research, most respondents spend more than a month doing online research before taking the jump to purchase. Fuel/diesel consumption is the most important deciding factor when buying a car. Most respondents have never purchased a car from a used car auction and say they validate the service history before making the purchase from dealerships and when buying from a private sellers. Accident damaged cars are avoided and most people are aware of used car scams.

What sources do you use to find a car you want to buy?

Online websites (classifieds)

  • 94.1%

Family and friends recommendations

  • 39.7%

Newspapers/Magazine adverts

  • 26.5%

What's most important to you when buying a car?

Fuel/Diesel consumption

  • 30.9%

Performance

  • 20.6%

Comfort

  • 17.6%

Looks/Status

  • 11.8%

Safety

  • 7.4%

Off-roading ability

  • 4.4%

Luxury

  • 4.4%

Space

  • 1.5%

Speed

  • 1.5%

Have you bought a car from a car dealership before?

Yes

  • 91.2%

No

  • 8.8%

Have you bought a brand new car before?

Yes

  • 60.3%

No

  • 39.7%

Have you bought a car privately before?

Yes

  • 77.9%

No

  • 22.1%

Have you bought a car from an auction before?

No

  • 86.8%

Yes

  • 13.2%

Have you bought a car outside your province before?

No

  • 57.4%

Yes

  • 42.6%

Do you prefer buying used or new cars?

Used

  • 69.1%

New

  • 33.8%

Do you know what a roadworthy certificate is?

Yes

  • 98.5%

No

  • 1.5%

Have you had a multipoint check done on a car you bought?

Yes

  • 69.1%

No

  • 19.1%

Bought new, not needed

  • 11.8%

Do you validate the service history on a car before buying?

Yes

  • 58.8%

No

  • 41.2%

Do you understand the difference between trade-in and retail values of a car?

Yes

  • 92.6%

No

  • 7.4%

Will you buy an accident damaged car?

No, never

  • 42.6%

Yes, if it’s minor damage

  • 35.3%

Maybe

  • 22.1%

Do you think car dealerships are honest?

No

  • 69.1%

Yes

  • 11.8%

Sometimes

  • 2.9%

Not always

  • 1.5%

Somewhat. Salesman slang.

  • 1.5%

Not all of them are upfront. I know of a few that have bought in wrecks, repaired it and sell it off as good used 2nd hand cars. That's dishonest.

  • 1.5%

Some are, some are not

  • 1.5%

No, I currently have a case at the MIOSA against a well-known Sandton dealership

  • 1.5%

No, I currently have a case at the MIOSA against a well-known Sandton dealership

  • 1.5%

Some are after sales only

  • 1.5%

They are salesman

  • 1.5%

Yes and No

  • 1.5%

They try to maximise their profit

  • 1.5%

Do you ask for a discount when buying a car?

Yes

  • 86.8%

No

  • 13.2%

Which department do you think car dealerships should improve?

After-sales service

  • 36.8%

Servicing my car

  • 14.7%

Sales

  • 13.2%

Parts

  • 10.3%

Finance and Insurance

  • 10.3%

Communication

  • 5.9%

Advertising

  • 4.4%

Parts are a total rip off

  • 1.5%

Trade-in values

  • 1.5%

Customer service

  • 1.5%

How much research do you do online before buying a car?

More than 1 month

  • 52.9%

1 month

  • 20.6%

3 weeks

  • 11.8%

1 week

  • 11.8%

A few days

  • 1.5%

Keep check on market by reading reports and magazines

  • 1.5%

Are you aware that some people get scammed when buying a car?

Yes

  • 97.1%

Maybe

  • 2.9%

No

  • 0%

Have you bought a car without test driving it?

No

  • 54.4%

Yes

  • 45.6%

Do you consider fuel / diesel costs when deciding on your next car purchase?

Yes

  • 85.3%

No

  • 14.7%

How long do you typically keep a car?

2 - 4 Years

  • 48.5%

More than 5 years

  • 39.7%

Less than a year

  • 5.9%

Planing keep it for atleast 3 years

  • 1.5%

6 years

  • 1.5%

Depending on the use of the vehicle

  • 1.5%

Do you know who the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa is?

Yes

  • 64.7%

No

  • 35.3%

Which car brand is your favourite?

Volkswagen

  • 17.6%

BMW

  • 17.6%

Ford

  • 13.2%

Toyota

  • 10.3%

Audi

  • 8.8%

Mercedes-Benz

  • 7.4%

Porsche

  • 2.9%

Suzuki

  • 2.9%

Honda

  • 2.9%

Hyundai

  • 1.5%

Isuzu

  • 1.5%

Jaguar

  • 1.5%

Jeep

  • 1.5%

Lamborghini

  • 1.5%

Land Rover

  • 1.5%

Mazda

  • 1.5%

Opel

  • 1.5%

Which car brand is your least favourite?

Tata Cars

  • 11.8%

I'm not sure

  • 10.3%

Chery

  • 8.8%

Peugeot

  • 5.9%

GWM

  • 5.9%

Toyota

  • 4.4%

Volkswagen

  • 4.4%

Geely

  • 4.4%

Land Rover

  • 4.4%

Baic

  • 4.4%

Chana

  • 4.4%

BMW

  • 4.4%

Audi

  • 2.9%

Ssangyong

  • 2.9%

Datsun

  • 2.9%

Smart

  • 1.5%

Opel

  • 1.5%

Mercedes-Benz

  • 1.5%

Kia

  • 1.5%

Hyundai

  • 1.5%

Honda

  • 1.5%

Ford

  • 1.5%

Fiat

  • 1.5%

Ferrari

  • 1.5%

Daewoo

  • 1.5%

Chevrolet

  • 1.5%

Alfa Romeo

  • 1.5%

Volvo

  • 1.5%
Car Servicing 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Selling

Most respondents prefer to sell their car privately and almost all do online research about their trade-in value before selling. Car mileage is specified as the highest influence of trade-in value.

Which method do you prefer when selling your car?

Sell privately

  • 48.5%

Trade-in and upgrade with a car dealership

  • 41.2%

Sell to a car dealership

  • 8.8%

Sell on consignment with a car dealership

  • 1.5%

Do you research your trade-in and retail values before selling?

Yes

  • 95.6%

No

  • 4.4%

What resources do you use to research your trade-in and retail values

Online car valuation tools

  • 63.2%

Car Classifieds (online and print)

  • 23.5%

I call my car insurance company

  • 8.8%

None, I don't do research

  • 1.5%

I ask my friends in the Motor industry.

  • 1.5%

Which factors do you think influences the value of your trade-in car?

Mileage - high or low

  • 85.3%

Overall condition

  • 83.8%

Year model

  • 66.2%

Demand from buyers

  • 57.4%

Total previous owners

  • 20.6%

Your province

  • 11.8%
Car Finance 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Finance

Almost all respondents have purchased a car on car finance and prefer longer repayment terms like 5 and 6 years. Balloon payments are avoided, most know what "guaranteed future value" (GFV) refers to and would like to own a new car every 3 years.

Have you bought a car on a finance agreement with a bank before?

Yes - dealership purchase

  • 72.1%

No

  • 14.7%

Yes - private purchase

  • 13.2%

How many instalments do you prefer when financing a car?

5 Years

  • 46.3%

6 Years

  • 16.4%

3 Years

  • 13.4%

Less than 3 Years

  • 13.4%

4 Years

  • 10.4%

Have you bought a car with balloon or residual finance before?

No

  • 67.6%

Yes

  • 32.4%

Have you negotiated your interest rate in the past with a bank?

Yes

  • 63.2%

No

  • 33.8%

Not sure

  • 2.9%

Have you paid a deposit in the past when buying a car?

Yes

  • 64.7%

No

  • 30.9%

I can't remember

  • 4.4%

Would you like to own a brand new car every 3 years?

Yes

  • 50%

No

  • 22.1%

Maybe

  • 27.9%

Do you know what "guaranteed future value" of a car means?

Yes

  • 79.4%

No

  • 19.1%

I've heard about it

  • 1.5%
Car Servicing 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Future and Technology

Besides electric cars failing thus far in SA, most respondents say they might buy an electric car in the future and think driverless cars are the next big technology advance in the automotive industry. Most have used Uber and prefer it over metered taxi's, however they are not keen on doing car pooling with their own car.

Would you drive a car on a monthly subscription basis?

No

  • 41.2%

Maybe

  • 30.9%

Yes

  • 27.9%

Will you buy an electric car?

Maybe

  • 41.2%

Yes

  • 30.9%

No

  • 27.9%

If there were sufficient facilities to charge my car then yes

  • 1.5%

Not yet as the range is too low and the recharge facilities are not readily available as yet

  • 1.5%

Would you take a ride with a driverless car?

Yes

  • 36.8%

No

  • 33.8%

Maybe

  • 29.4%

Do you think self driving cars are the next big technology advance?

Yes

  • 61.8%

No

  • 36.8%

Electric hub or retrofit electric conversion kits

  • 1.5%

Have you used Uber before?

Yes

  • 77.9%

No

  • 22.1%

Do you prefer metered taxi’s or ride-hailing services like Uber?

Uber

  • 89.7%

Metered Taxi's

  • 7.4%

Neither

  • 3%

Would you participate in car pooling with your own car?

No

  • 52.9%

Yes

  • 45.6%

Maybe

  • 1.5%
Car Driving 2018 Wheel Index Automotive Consumer Survey

Car Driving

Most respondent drive less than 20 000km per year and 60km per day. Most also spend less than 1 hour a day driving, use their smart-phone for navigation and Hands-free bluetooth to answer calls while driving.

Do you drive more than 20 000km per year?

No

  • 52.9%

Yes

  • 47.1%

Do you drive more than 60km per day?

No

  • 61.8%

Yes

  • 38.2%

How much time do you spend driving per day?

Less than 60 minutes

  • 47.1%

More than 1 hour

  • 38.2%

More than 2 hour

  • 14.7%

What navigation source do you use when driving?

My smartphone

  • 77.9%

Car Navigation

  • 16.2%

Other navigation device

  • 5.9%

How do you prefer to answer calls while driving?

Hands-free bluetooth

  • 66.2%

I just talk with the phone in my hand while driving

  • 14.7%

I never answer my phone while driving

  • 14.7%

Passenger takes calls

  • 1.5%

I answer on speakerphone

  • 1.5%

Cellphone and earphones

  • 1.5%

Do you connect your smartphone to in-car-apps like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Ford SYNC?

Yes

  • 57.4%

No

  • 42.6%

What car features can’t you live without?

Air conditioning

  • 88.2%

Power steering

  • 88.2%

Central locking and alarm

  • 63.2%

Bluetooth connectivity

  • 44.1%

Multifunction steering wheel

  • 39.7%

Infotainment system

  • 29.4%

Tyre pressure monitor system

  • 27.9%

Rear park distance control (pdc)

  • 25%

Xenon headlights

  • 25%

Sunroof

  • 20.6%

Keyless start/entry

  • 17.6%

Navigation system

  • 16.2%

Apple Car Play / Android Auto

  • 16.2%

LED Daytime running lights (DRL)

  • 16.2%

Towbar

  • 14.7%

Auto stop start

  • 11.8%

Rear view reverse camera

  • 11.8%

Heated seats

  • 7.4%

All-wheel drive

  • 1.5%

Air suspension

  • 1.5%

Anything else you want to share?

  • The car safety ratings in South Africa are a joke. We need safer cars.
  • General thought on the industry as a whole (having worked in a dealership, for a European parts manufacturer/distributor and for one of the countries biggest aftermarket parts wholesalers): New car prices are ridiculous, used car prices are far too high and based poorly on demand instead of supply (a Polo should be cheap because there are so many available, but their prices are 30% or more higher than they should be, because people are somehow willing to pay that much). Aftermarket spares industry is is far too split, half of what is sold is based purely on price, with zero thought given to quality and safety of the part, and the other half actually pays attention to supplying the correct quality and specification parts but at hugely inflated prices. On top of that, the end user gets the short end of the stick regardless because the mark-up the spares shops and dealerships add to what the actual cost is at the wholesaler is ridiculous.
  • Prefer old school cars to newer cars. New cars are just too expensive!
  • I have several cars from 4 x 4 to vintage, so there could be more than one answer to the questions.
  • Someone is making fortunes with new car prices, yet OEMs and dealerships alike deny there's any profiteering, always complaining about margins and profitability.
  • It is also important to consider 4x4 capabilities or all wheel drive capabilities when doing this kind of research. In some areas a 4x4 is almost a must, and it forms part of the decision criteria, which is where some manufacturers are streets ahead of the competition.
  • A car is not the most important thing in my life but it is highly valued.