Whether your ultimate ride is a flashy G-Wagon, a vintage Porsche, or anything in between, it’s likely your heart skips a beat when you’re out and about and your dream car drives past.

Before you start planning how you can cruise the streets in style before you hit retirement, keep in mind that a luxury car is just that – a car, and it comes with all the normal costs of car ownership, except they’re supersized to match the extravagant price tag.

SA’s favourite luxury cars

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, the top-selling luxury car brands in South Africa in 2020 were:

  • Porsche
  • Bentley
  • Lamborghini
  • Maserati

At a cool R1,3 million, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is practically affordable in comparison to some of the other cars on the list – like the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ at a jaw-dropping R9,6 million.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by A B D (@therealabd)

How much should you spend on your car?

According to Fin24, banks recommend that your car doesn’t exceed 30% of your annual gross salary, and the monthly costs shouldn’t equal more than 10% of your salary. Depending on your income, these are some of the cars you should be looking at:

  • R10,000 – R20,000 per month: You should limit yourself to a used car. Generally, a reliable used car will set you back a minimum of R50,000 – although you can find cheaper, they may have high mileage or unseen issues.
  • R20,000 – R50,000 per month: You could afford a small new car up to R180,000. The most popular car makes in this price range include Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan.
  • R50,000 – R100,000 per month: In this income range, you can afford a car up to R360,000. If you choose a used car, you can consider luxury sedans like BMW or Mercedes-Benz – but your budget won’t stretch to cover a brand new luxury car.
  • Over R150,000 per month: Fin24 recommends that only those earning above this bracket should consider luxury sports cars or 4x4s.

If you wanted to buy a R1,3 million Porsche Cayenne Coupe with financing from a bank, your salary would need to be in the region of R4,3 million per year (or R360,000 a month) to secure a loan. With a R100,000 deposit and 72-month loan with 7% interest, you’d pay back over R20,000 per month.

But this is a fantasy after all, so let’s pretend you just won the Lotto or got a massive inheritance. You’re itching to drop R1,3 million cash – you can afford your dream car now, right?

Not so fast.

The cost it takes to cruise

Most of us don’t drive luxury 4x4s or super-sexy sports cars, so it’s easy to underestimate how much petrol it’ll take to keep your slick new ride going strong (and fast). Here’s how much it costs to fill up mid-range cars versus luxury cars:

  • Polo Vivo: R640 to fill up the 45L tank with a fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km
  • BMW 440i: R855 to fill up the 60L tank with a fuel consumption of 6.6L/100km
  • Porsche Cayenne Coupe: R1,200 to fill up the 90L tank with a fuel consumption of 9.4L/100km
  • Maserati Quattroporte: R1,200 to fill up the 90L tank with a fuel consumption of 24.5L/100km

It’s clear that 4x4s and luxury sports cars don’t just cost more, they cost more to drive – much, much more.

While someone with a Polo Vivo who uses Name Your Price™ monthly mileage cover limitation and drives 1,000km month will spend around R1,070 on petrol each month, a person with a Maserati Quattroporte will spend almost R3,500 to drive the exact same distance.

What happens if you bust up the Bentley?

If you damage a tyre on your Porsche, you’re looking at up to R8,000 per tyre, while a tyre on a Polo Vivo will usually cost under R2,000.

We don’t want to give you a heart attack, but a top-of-the-range Pirelli tyre for a Lamborghini can cost over R20,000 – and there are many more mechanical faults that can present over time, no matter what car you drive.

You’ll want a Warranty plan with all the bells and whistles for your fancy ride, and dotsure.co.za’s top of the range Platinum Motor Warranty Plan will set you back R410pm, while a Silver Plan to cover a mid-range car is R303pm.

Of course, you’ll also want car insurance. Car insurance is risk-profile dependent, so two people may pay different premiums even if they drive the same make and model of car – but in general, a more expensive car will have higher premiums because it’s more expensive to replace or repair.

To keep your car insurance costs down, look no further than dotsure.co.za’s revolutionary Name Your Price™ flexible pricing on car insurance – you tell us what you want to pay, and we’ll make it happen!*

Should you get your dream car?

According to a survey by PayCurve, 80% of South Africans seek unsecured loans to make it through the month, and 11% of South Africans spend over half their monthly income servicing debts.

Before you dig deeper than your pockets will allow, think carefully about how much debt you’re willing to take on – not just in financing a luxury car, but in maintaining it too.

Cars are almost always a depreciating asset so no matter your budget, you should always stay within it.

*T&Cs apply.