WITH looming taxi fare hikes and limited public transport, your own car may become a necessity.

During lockdown level five, searches for second-hand cars under R50 000 grew by almost 300%.

AutoTrader revealed which cars under R50k sold the most between March and last month. The top choice was the VW Citi Golf, which first hit Mzansi’s roads in 1984.

VWSA launched it as its affordable car to compete with the bigger, more expensive “Jumbo” Golf 2.

AutoTrader CEO George Mienie said: “South Africans fell in love with the Citi. Over 25 years, VW sold more than 370 000 of these cars. The love affair of South Africans with the Citi endures to this day.”

Back in 2009, the price of the very last Citi, the limited-edition Citi Mk1, was R113 500. Lockdown shoppers have been paying R37 691 on average for vehicles, with an average registration year of 2004 and an average mileage of 192 180 km.

Mienie said there were also great bargains on luxury German cars. “Buyers must accept average mileages of about 250 000 km, but, at an average price of R37 229 for a BMW 3 Series and R36 615 for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, there are good deals.”

But he said searches in this price category were slowing. “We are seeing a return to pre-lockdown activity, where searches for cars R200k and less, are popular.”

Top cars under R50 000 sold:

1 VW Citi – R37 691 (average)

2 BMW 3 Series – R37 229

3 Opel Corsa – R35 327

4 Opel Corsa Lite – R35 380

5 VW Polo – R43 357

6 Ford Fiesta – R33 831

7 Mercedes-Benz C-Class – R36 615

8 Atos Prime – R38 750

9 Chery QQ3 – R38 150

10 Renault Scenic – R35 245