5 Affordable cars for students in South Africa

Let’s face it. Being a student often means being strapped for cash. That’s why students are always on the lookout for affordable cars that are still packed with cool features to make their student life easier.

There are definitely a few areas that students are concerned with when it comes to buying the right car. The following aspects are on the top of students’ lists when it comes to looking for cheap new cars:


  • Students want a light passenger vehicle. No student wants to drive a heavy car, as these will burn through fuel. Small cars are the most appealing. Students can barely afford most things at the best of times, never mind finding the money for fuel. Fuel efficient cars are definitely at the top of the list.
  • The car should ideally be a four door sedan. We all have friends, and students are no exception. When you want to go to a party, the safest (and cheapest) thing to do is to car pool. You will always have those mates who don’t have or can’t afford their own vehicle and they will ask you for a lift. Try cramming five of your friends into a 2-seater car and you will encounter a problem. Space is a definite must.
  • Highly affordable cars. This goes without saying, students generally don’t have a lot of money to spend. They rely on what they earn from part-time jobs or what their parents contribute. The more car you can get for the least amount of money will always be of utmost importance to a student.
  • Safety. Most students are not very concerned about this, but their parents sure are. Seeing as most of your driving will be in town, collisions are likely to be of the low-speed variety (occasionally with inanimate objects like fence posts, shopping trollies, and the bumpers of parked cars) which is exactly what a first time driver will likely encounter. So airbags are very important.
  • A Quick, small car. As most educational institutions are in built up areas, there will always be a lot of traffic to deal with. You don’t want to drive a sluggish vehicle as it just doesn’t lend to a traffic intense environment. What you want is a quick car that has a short turning radius, so you can easily find parking spaces and get to class and the places you want to go as fast as possible.
  • Low maintenance costs (repairs/parts/tyres). All cars break down at one point or another. When this happens, you want to be able to get it fixed as quick as possible so you are not stranded. There’s nothing worse than having events lined up that you cannot physically get to. When your vehicle does break down, you don’t want it to cost too much as this will definitely put a damper on your social life.
  • All purpose vehicles (bakkies). If you are a guy and you like to go camping, then there is nothing quite as handy as bakkie. Not only can you pack it full of camping goodies, but you can also pack it full of friends.
  • Service plans. The last thing a student thinks about is ”what happens when something breaks”. If you are able to pay a small monthly fee to not have to think about the repairs then that’s one less thing to worry about.

October 2016 Update: For an updated list of great student cars, check out our “15 Affordable Student Cars in SA” post.

5 Affordable cars for students in South Africa

1. Nissan Micra 1.2 Visia+ (audio)

Few supermini affordable cars are as reliable as a Nissan Micra. They have good engines and low running costs. The car has great build quality and features numerous closed storage areas and good cupholders for those times when you have nowhere to put your fruit smoothie.


  • Starting Price: R143,900
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 6.2 L/100 km
  • Some Features: cruise control, rear power windows, a USB plug and proper integrated Bluetooth audio streaming, AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted airbags, Immobilizer Key System

Browse Auto Mart for great deals on an affordable Nissan Micra for sale.

2. Toyota Yaris 1.5

The interior of these affordable cars is stylish and practical. The car has great maneuverability and more than enough power to keep up with the other cars on the road. The new 2015 model is bolder, more flamboyant and original than its previous models.


  • Starting Price: R170,000
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 7.8 L/100 km
  • Some Features: Entune Audio wîth a 6.1-inch touch screen, an AM/FM CD player wîth MP3/WMA playback capability, ABS, EBD and BAS, Steering wheels switches, 15″ Alloy wheels.

Find an affordable Toyota Yaris for sale on Auto Mart.

3. Hyundai i10 1.1 Motion

The I10 has considerable cabin space and the biggest boot in the small cars category. Back doors give excellent access to the rear seats. It has a tight turning circle, which will prove handy in town driving. The vehicle scored four stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests. This car drives and looks better than ever, yet remains practical.


  • Starting Price: R 129,900.00
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 4.8 L/100 km
  • Some Features: Central locking, a USB port and electric front windows, ABS brakes, USB MP3 and iPod connectivity with an Integrated Bluetooth audio system.

Look for great deals on a Hyundai i10 on Auto Mart!

4. Chevrolet Utility 1.4

This cost-effective bakkie offers great performance and fuel economy, superior convenience, and enhanced safety features. The 1.4 petrol version of the Chev Utility is especially fuel efficient but still provides class leading power. Not to mention the ability to carry your entire rugby team to practice.


  • Starting Price: R 141,700
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 7.2 L/100 km
  • Some Features: 15″ alloy wheels, body decals, a sports bar and a tonneau cover, air-con, a standard fit radio and custom carpets. Front-loading CD player, MP3 compatibility, and both a USB port and auxiliary inputs for iPods and other entertainment devices.

Visit Auto Mart to browse through the latest deals on a Chevrolet Utility.

5. Chevrolet Spark Lite 1.0

This is a great little town car. It’s nippy, very responsive and a great option if you are looking for fuel efficient cars. It has a modern design, clever use of space and it’s built solid. It features very cleverly located, practical, storage. This affordable car is very safe and perfect for moving around the city.


  • Starting Price: R104,300
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 4.7 L/100 km
  • Some Features: three 3-point belts and standard ISOFIX child seat fixings, 2 airbags, very low CO2 emissions, four speakers, air-conditioning, Power steering

Find a Chevrolet Spark for sale on Auto Mart today!

So there we have some of the contenders for affordable cars that students will love. As you can see, there are a lot of options on the market and you will be spoilt for choice in this regard. Looking for small cars that are perfect for students? Auto Mart has excellent fuel efficient cars available from multiple dealers. You are sure to find the ideal student vehicle.

Bruce Ungersbock

Bruce is an SEO guy that has his eye on the prize and traffic on his mind. A lover of good music and a connoisseur of all things awesome.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. hlobi says:

    Wow that’s nice

  2. ms chiloane says:

    in need of a car which costs R1000 per month

    • Jani Grey says:


      Please click here to have a look at the vehicles currently listed on Auto Mart.

      When you find one you’re interested in, please contact the seller to discuss the details.

      Kind regards,
      The Auto Mart Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen + 7 =