If you're in the market for a new vehicle these days, you're facing a brutal double-whammy: the price of new vehicles and the price of fuel are both through the roof, and seemingly only increasing.
And that means the market for pre-owned is growing.
Requirement: You have a yearning to own a hybrid, but you've got just R180 000 to spend. Since the cheapest new hybrid in the country comes in at just short of R300 000, you're looking to the second-hand market.
Bear in mind, of course, that manufacturers generally offer separate warranties on hybrid batteries, so you'll want to pay close attention to the mileage and age of your shortlisted vehicles. And note that your choices in this segment are unusually limited, considering the relative unpopularity of such vehicles in South Africa.
Here are five examples we found after having a look around Gumtree (click the vehicle name to see the posting in question):
Think hybrid, and the Prius probably pops into your head. With a little cash to spare, you can pick up a 2012 example of what many feel is the archetypal hybrid. This third-generation model is powered by a 1,8-litre petrol engine, which works alongside an electric motor.
Looking for something somewhat sportier than a Prius? Well, Honda offers the three-door CR-Z, which draws much of its styling inspiration from the CR-X. Available with a manual transmission, the little Honda links its electric motor with a 1,5-litre petrol engine. Interestingly, there are more CR-Z models listed on Gumtree than Prius examples.
Lexus GS 450h
Okay, we admit it. There aren't many sub-R180 000 examples of the GS 450h around. But this model just about squeezes under the barrier, offering plenty more space (and oomph, thanks to its V6) than the other vehicles on this list. Have a good look around, and you may even spot an RX 400h (admittedly with rather high mileage), if SUVs are your thing.
An uncommon sight on South African roads (and just as uncommon on online classified sites, it seems), the Honda Insight once attempted to take on the Prius. And, to put it bluntly, it lost. Still, this five-door family hybrid – drawing its petrol power from a 1,3-litre mill – is nothing if not unusual. For something a little more conventional (and easier to find), have a look at the Jazz Hybrid.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
The range-topping Yaris is the cheapest new hybrid in South Africa, and has been for some time now. Interestingly, however, there aren't many to choose from online. In fact, of the 602 Yaris models listed on Gumtree at the time of writing, just one is a hybrid. Of course, it is rather well specced and one of the more frugal offerings around.