Heels & Horsepower Magazine

Moving from public transport to car ownership is easier than you think

Owning your own set of wheels is very liberating and isn’t as far fetched as some might believe. We got some intel from Motus Retail on how to go about it.

Public transport is not necessarily cheap and the monthly travel expenses of a commuter using multiple taxis, trains, and busses or traveling long distances might very well be on par with the cost of an entry-level car. Besides the cost, owning a car is a dream for many public transport commuters.

“Research indicates that COVID-19 and the associated health and personal safety risks that commuters are exposed to when using public transport has encouraged many commuters to explore buying their own vehicle,” says the CEO of Motus Retail and Rental, Corné Venter.

Owning your own vehicle gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want safely


“Owning your own vehicle gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want safely. Buying a car is a serious commitment but with a myriad of finance options to consider, buyers might be pleasantly surprised at what they can afford,” commented Venter.

Everyone’s financial situation differs, but as a general guideline, one should not spend more than 25% of their monthly net income on their total vehicle expenses. It is important to be realistic about what you can afford and just as important to stick to your monthly budget. A car loan is a long-term commitment and car-buyers should thus consider both current and future expenses when estimating their budget.

Buying a car is a serious commitment but with a myriad of finance options to consider, buyers might be pleasantly surprised at what they can afford.

– CORNÉ VENTER, CEO of Motus Retail and Rental

If you earn less than R7 000 per month, monthly installments may still be a little too much for your current budget. However, if you earn between R8 000 and R10 000 per month, you could certainly look at buying a pre-owned vehicle, keeping in mind that your total monthly vehicle expenses should not exceed R2000 to R2500. Saving up for a deposit will also help lower your monthly installments.

Motus promotes a variety of specials monthly that offer exceptional value for money


Online calculators help in determining the cost of finance and the cost of ownership, permitting consumers to make an informed decision. Car-buyers can even apply for finance online, and finance applications are sent to all major banks ensuring that the customer gets the best deal in terms of repayments and interest rates.

Factors that influence your credit rating include how long you have been working for your current employer, how long you have lived at your current address, whether you own property and whether you are married.

Banks make it possible for you to structure your finance contract in a way that suits your affordability. This means that you can choose the contract term, the type of interest rate you want, whether you want to pay a deposit and if you would like to use a balloon payment.

“Motus promotes a variety of specials monthly that offer exceptional value for money,” concluded Venter.

The most important thing to do when looking to buy your first car is to shop around to ensure that you get the best deal possible. 

Age vs. Mileage: Which is more important when buying a pre-owned vehicle?

Understanding the balance between a vehicle’s age and its mileage is critical when buying a car.  Motus South Africa shares invaluable insights for buying a pre-owned car.

When shopping for a pre-owned car, buyers need to find the optimum balance between age and mileage. Understanding how these factors impact a car’s overall condition and which is more important is vital when making a purchasing decision.

In most cases age and mileage work against each other in the manner that the market prices pre-owned vehicles. While mileage drives down the price, the newer the vehicle the higher the price will be.

Two identical cars with the same mileage, but differing by a year in terms of their first registration could differ as much as R50 000.

As mileage directly relates to how much a vehicle was driven; a good rule of thumb is 15 to 20 000km per year, anything more than this is considered high mileage.

The higher the mileage, the higher the wear and tear, but mileage is not the only factor affecting a vehicle’s condition.

When inspecting a vehicle, it is important to try and ascertain how it was used. A bakkie that has high mileage from highway driving will most probably be in better condition than a bakkie that has a lower mileage but spent its life on dirt roads.

How vehicles were stored and cared for can also have a bearing on their condition. A high mileage vehicle that was washed regularly and parked undercover will be in a much better condition than a low mileage vehicle that was not cleaned regularly and spent its life in the sun.

Cars with high mileage in relation to their age might very well have many years of trouble-free use in them still, especially if they have been properly maintained. It is therefore very important to enquire whether the vehicle in question has a full-service history and if any major components have been replaced. Well-maintained vehicles can continue to serve their owners reliably assuming that you continue with the routine of regular maintenance.

“Naturally, there are advantages to buying a newer model vehicle. New cars will feature the latest technology in terms of engines, infotainment, and safety and if that is important to you, it could be worth paying the premium,” says the CEO of Motus Retail and Rental SA, Corné Venter.

Newer cars should also be cheaper to maintain in the medium term as they may still be covered by a manufacturer’s service plan or warranty. Major components like a timing belt, CV joints, and shock absorbers, which can be costly to replace as the mileage creeps up, will still have a few years’ life in them.

All vehicles sold by Motus, irrespective of their mileage are subjected to a comprehensive inspection before being listed for sale, ensuring that they are in a good, roadworthy condition.

How to avoid getting stranded a flat battery this winter

Winter is not a great time for your car battery and if it is not in a good condition, it will probably fail during these colder months.

A vehicle’s engine requires more power to start when it is cold and however, the colder temperatures make it more difficult for a car battery to provide the power that it normally does.

Getting stranded with a flat battery is more serious than in years gone by. This is because modern cars are equipped with a myriad of electronics that all rely on the correct battery voltage to perform optimally. Automatic gearboxes found in the latest cars also mean that it is not possible to push start a car; added to that, sensitive electronics can be damaged by jump-starting vehicles incorrectly.

In normal circumstances a car battery needs to be changed approximately every three years

– Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail and Rental SA

“In normal circumstances a car battery needs to be changed approximately every three years. With many people driving less or infrequently due to the on-going work-from-home trend, the normal three-year lifespan could be considerably shorter,” says the CEO of Motus Retail and Rental SA, Corné Venter.

The older a car battery is, the more time is required to get it charged enough for it to start a cold engine, so, if you generally only travel short distances the battery will not have enough time to sufficiently recharge.

If you cannot remember when your car battery was last replaced, it may be a good idea to have it professionally checked to ascertain if it still has some life left in it. Most battery retailers will perform this check free of charge.

Prolong the life of your battery with these handy tips:

  1. Keeping your car warm by parking it under cover or in a garage will lessen the strain on the battery when you start your car on cold mornings.
  2. If your car is struggling to start, refrain from continuously cranking it over; rather take a break of a few minutes between starting attempts.
  3. Ensure that all ancillaries including the lights, radio and heater are turned off to free up extra power for the starting process.
  4. Ensure that your vehicle is maintained and that the engine oil and belts are replaced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. A well-maintained car will place less strain on the battery, as the vehicle will start easily, no matter the temperature.

Source: Motus Retail & Rental SA

What Questions Should You Be Asking When Buying A Pre-Owned Vehicle?

Buying a new vehicle is a huge financial commitment so shopping around for the best deal is imperative. Very often pre-owned cars, even those with low mileage, can be found for quite a few rands less than their new car equivalents, but there are a few questions you need to ask before signing on the dotted line.

Who am I buying from?

Who you buy a pre-owned vehicle from is by far the most important consideration for any car buyer? While many websites advertise cars that are being sold by private sellers, buying a pre-owned vehicle in this manner has its risks. Vehicles sold privately or through stand-alone dealerships are largely voetstoots.

TIP: Be sure to do research about sellers by having a look at their website, social pages, and Google ratings.

What should I buy?

Filters on websites help shoppers narrow down the search according to the parameters that are important to each individual buyer such as budget, model, specification, model year, or mileage, and create a shortlist of vehicles worth viewing in person.

TIP: The age and mileage of pre-owned vehicles will affect the price but anomalies to watch out for include cars with high mileage in comparison to their age. A good average is 20,000 – 25,000km per year.

Consumers often browse for choices online but affirm their decision from the touch and feel moment

– Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail & Rental SA

Is the vehicle as advertised?

Visiting the dealerships on your shortlist allows you to physically inspect the facility and the vehicle, and to ask more specific questions.

“Consumers often browse for choices online but affirm their decision from the touch and feel moment. Fortunately, when shopping on our platform, whatever consumers select is exactly what they will get upon delivery,” said Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail & Rental SA

Is the warranty and service plan still valid?

Warranty and service plans are time and mileage-based and expire when one of those parameters is reached.

TIP: If you are considering a vehicle without a service plan, you need to be more aware of the technical condition of the vehicle or have it checked by an independent expert.

Does the car have a full-service history?

A full-service history means that the car was well maintained and will have a direct bearing on the warranty of the vehicle.

TIP: A service history should be a serious consideration for any buyer as it can eliminate surprise costs in the future.

Has the car been in any accidents?

An accident history that includes a minor bumper bashing that has been correctly repaired is nothing to worry about, but buyers should lookout for any signs of serious damage during the car’s life.

TIP: An easy way to spot a repaired vehicle is via uneven body panel gaps and alignment.

Can I take it for a test drive?

A buyer should insist on taking the car for a test drive. This will allow you to get a feel for the vehicle, check that everything works as it should, and allow you to identify any apparent issues.

TIP: Turn off the radio to be able to hear any strange noises and take note if the vehicle veers to either side.

Have any major components been replaced?

If major components like the windscreen, tyres, or brakes have been recently replaced, this could save you extra money in the medium term. Conversely, if any of these items will need replacing soon, that could mean extra costs on the horizon.

TIP: Take note of the tyre tread as replacing tyres can be a costly exercise.

Source: Motus