Out of seven countries surveyed, South Africa is the second most expensive country for a teacher to buy a car.
The International Mobility Study, conducted by WesBank, compared the purchase price and operating costs of one specific entry level car in relation to a teacher’s salary in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa, the UK and USA.
The survey made no mention of which car was used and when we queried that, WesBank’s spokesperson was not prepared to name the car due to the company’s joint venture model.
Despite them putting business ties ahead of transparency, the study does make for very interesting reading, however.
The data showed that this mystery car was more expensive in South Africa than in any of the other countries, with an on-the-road price of R149 900 at the time of the survey in October last year. Our Chinese counterparts were paying the equivalent of just R101 093 for this car.
Mystery entry-level car:
South Africa – R149 900
Brazil – R137 540
Australia – R135 453
Germany – R129 425
UK – R120 480
USA – R106 529
China – R101 093
Looking at affordability in relative terms, though, South Africa was the second most expensive country, the car costing 122 percent of a teacher’s annual salary in Brazil and 95 percent in South Africa. American teachers would pay just 23 percent of their annual pay check for this car. The benchmark used in all seven countries was the salary for a public high school mathematics teacher with five years of experience.
Percentage of teacher’s salary:
Brazil – 122%
South Africa – 95%
China – 68%
Germany – 33%
UK – 33%
Australia – 26%
USA – 23%
Not a good picture for us then, but we do suspect that South Africa would have fared a little better if a private sector salary had been used as the basis of comparison.
The study also monitored operating costs, including finance interest, fuel, insurance and depreciation of the car over three years and 60 000km.
Here, South Africa was also the second priciest country next to Brazil:
Cents per kilometre:
Brazil – 5,559.4
South Africa – 5,166.5
UK – 4,903.4
Germany – 4,728.7
Australia – 4,478.9
China – 4,070.9
USA – 3,329.0
On a brighter note, South Africa did fare well when it came to fuel costs, our R9.93 a litre being the second cheapest in the group and more than half of what the UK pays – R20.05 a litre.
But why do we pay more for cars?
Wesbank’s head of sales and marketing, Chris De Kock, attributes our high mobility costs to economies of scale, taxes, government incentives (or lack thereof) as well as labour and transport costs.
“From the study, it appears that while the mobility costs for vehicle owners in South Africa are reasonably high when compared to other countries, this is due more to economic factors, rather than higher margins along the supply chain,” De Kock concluded. IOL Motoring did its own international car price survey last year and you can read that by clicking on the link below:
Author: IOL Motoring staff
Date: 16 February 2012