Sister blog THE Driver Digest was recently asked what bakkie was a good buy if one could not afford an entry level Hilux of some R180 000.
After advising the asker on how to choose an engine for Newton metres to move a heavy load, or kilo-Watts to move light loads fast, we suggested three answers.
Based on mileage and load, readers can pick the best course of action to find a budget bakkie or van that will meet their business needs.
Rent a bakkie
For ad hoc jobs, just rent it. Commercial vehicles must earn their keep by carrying a payload, and if your need is to have one for a few days in a month, rent it rather than carry all that wear and tear.
There are many companies let out bakkies in South Africa for less than R400 a day excluding fuel and mileage after the first 200 km. But watch out for fly-by-nights who ALWAYS try to sting the renter
after the deal with damages that suddenly appeared. Avoid this unpleasentness by making a thorough inspection of the car before taking delivery.
For those lucky enough to live in KZN, Key Group have good deals and excellent service.
Kick tyres at an auction
|Tata Xenon Fleetline|
When it comes to doing long distances with heavy loads, South Africa has two kinds of bakkie drivers, those in a Hilux — and those in “other bakkies”.
The good news is that even a Hilux can be had for less than R180 000 at reputable auctions this close to financial year-ends.
If the badge is not a problem, budget bakkie seekers will do very well to go kick the tyres of a Tata Xenon Fleetline. Then hang around the dealers’ waiting room for a while. Not all Tata dealers give equal after-sales service, and unsatisfied customers will soon reveal all in the waiting room.
Go lesser-spotted for best prices
South Africa offers a slew of lesser-spotted bakkies and vans costing well below the R180 000 budget. They range in size from tiny Chinese to proven Koreans.
These days, the only potential drawback of buying a very affordable bakkie or van is that dealers may be few and far between on long-delivery routes. But for doing business in town, the low price of the lesser-spotted Chinese bakkies make them very attractive for even the most hardened Hilux fan.
The Tata Xenon offers the most Newtons for the least money, but by all accounts, Mahindra, Foton and JMC dealers are trying harder to keep their customers pleased.
Vans make more centsIf the load can easily be stolen, we advise a panel van. For delivering in and around town, the Chinese mini vans are a bit cramped for bigger drivers and will baulk at heavy pay loads, but for light, bulky loads, they offer fantastic value.
The DFSK mini van, going for less than R100 000, runs on an oil rag and has a good record in China.
For longer deliveries, either the Kia 2,7D Workhorse or Hyundai H100 Bakkie have long earned the respect of all fleet managers. Both sell for just over R170 000 and offer a very comfortable seating position.
South Africa's top 15 most affordable bakkies and vans
DFSK single cab mini bakkie R79 990
DFSK mini van R99 990
Foton 1-ton bakkie R122 950
Tata 3L Worker R123 995
Chevrolet Utility Club R124 100
Mahindra Bolero R129 900
Tata Xenon Fleetline R136 995
JMC Boarding R139 880
GWM Workhorse R139 900
Daihatsu Gran Max R139 995
FAW Sirius R150 000
Renault Kangoo Express R169 900
Isuzu KB200 R170 200
Kia Workhorse R171 995
Hyundai H100 Bakkie R173 900
For heavy loads, pick from this list:
Tata Xenon Fleetline 300 Nm
Mahindra Bolero 238 Nm
JMC Boarding 235 Nm
Foton 193 Nm
Tata 3L Worker 180 Nm