We search for different things when it comes to cars, and that’s part of what makes buying one so exciting.
Do you want a 4×4 or a family car? Maybe a small run around or something for travelling long distances? Perhaps you’d prefer a red version over a grey one? And what about embarking on the manual versus automatic argument?
William Miller and Renaldo de Jager, co-founders of auction.co.za, reveal some of the FAQ’s when it comes to searching for cars:
One of the most popular search terms is “What are the latest models and where to buy them from?”. Of course, there is a difference between simply browsing online for that high-end model and another thing entirely to take the plunge and buying it.
What seems to be happening is that people search for the hot models and then follow that up by searching for where to get one second-hand version. Obviously, this impacts on ‘<insert brand name> and used cars’ ranking highly on the search results. We have also seen on the www.auction.co.za platform that people tend to search for the 2018 model of a new car. In that way, they still get the quality associated with the brand and most of the latest technology, but at an affordable price.
Searches for cars in South Africa are more popular in certain provinces than others. For example, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape, Limpopo, and North West are the areas people are most likely to search for cars. Gauteng comes in sixth position, with KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape taking up the bottom two slots.
This could reflect the changing transport environment in those provinces where a reliance on public transport and even ride-sharing apps are resulting in fewer people wanting to buy a car, regardless of whether that is new or second-hand. The top four provinces may not yet have a ride-sharing culture or perhaps the distances needing to be travelled make them not cost-effective to do, especially in rural areas.
Unsurprisingly, car safety and security features (along with insurance questions) feature prominently in South African search terms. Given the reality of hijackings and other related vehicle crime, people want to see whether the model they are looking to buy features high up on the “popular cars to be stolen list” or details on its security features.
Along the same lines, the high death rates on our roads are resulting in people looking for cars with safety features that can mitigate the risk of life-threatening injuries when involved in an accident. Car buying seems to be less about flash than it is about safety.
One only needs to look at the parking lots of shopping centres to see that South Africans like their 4x4s and SUVs (sport utility vehicles). While a variety of makes and models appear under the search results, there are so many more queries as to where to buy one and where to go for an off-road experience in one.
Several events and races also feature strongly in search results, but most mainly revolve around getting the ‘biggest, baddest 4×4’ money can buy. Of course, on www.auction.co.za there is a massive range of makes and models that have gone through a strict vetting process so people can rest assured they are getting a quality product that does not have any defects.