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5 cheap and frugal used cars that won’t cause pain at the pumps

The Renault Clio 1.4 Expression offers a claimed consumption of 6.7l/100 km, with the average list price dropping below R30,000.
The Renault Clio 1.4 Expression offers a claimed consumption of 6.7l/100 km, with the average list price dropping below R30,000.
Image: Supplied

Though having the means to own a vehicle is something we certainly shouldn’t take for granted, it’s a particularly tough time to be a motorist in SA. Not only is the cost of purchasing a car on the rise, but the price of fuel is at an all-time high, with a litre of 95-octane petrol costing in excess of R21 inland.

To make matters worse, Russia’s military action in Ukraine is expected to move international oil prices even higher in the coming weeks, which will ultimately have a nasty knock-on effect on local fuel prices. So, what can you do to cut your costs?

Since AutoTrader’s database uniquely drills down to variant level and provides live market data, we decided to pick out the most fuel-efficient variants from the list of on average cheapest used cars over the first two months of 2022. As SA’s largest and most advanced motoring marketplace, AutoTrader lists car prices at scale so is able to provide the most accurate live data on the market.  

Cheapest fuel-efficient cars listed for sale January to February 2022 (AutoTrader, January 12022 to February 28 2022).
Cheapest fuel-efficient cars listed for sale January to February 2022 (AutoTrader, January 12022 to February 28 2022).
Image: Supplied

What sort of cut-price options exist for motorists looking to scale down?

The Citroën C2 1.4 VTR – which bears an average price of R29,900 – leads the frugality charge with a claimed fuel economy figure of 6.0l/100 km. It’s worth pointing out, however, that this model is offered in three-door guise only.

If you require more space and want to spend as little as possible, the Geely CK1 1.5 GT is on average the cheapest used car on the list, with an average list price of less than R20,000 (and a surprisingly palatable average mileage of 136,000 km). The Chinese sedan sips unleaded petrol at a claimed 6.5l/100 km.

Finally, the Renault Clio 1.4 Expression offers a claimed consumption of 6.7l/100 km, with the average list price dropping below R30,000. The average mileage, however, is more than 300,000 km.

“Motorists are at the mercy of rising international oil prices, with early data suggesting we can expect a further hefty fuel price hike at the start of April. While you can’t control the cost of petrol, you do have the option of switching to a relatively inexpensive used car that’s fairly light on fuel,” said AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.


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