With the increasing need for affordable, practical and accessible transport, the automotive industry adapted their offerings over the past two decades to cater for the everyday person looking to purchase a new, used or demo vehicle.
Sedans, while having been the standard choice for previous generations, had become too large to navigate through urban traffic and no longer offered the right mixture of features and affordability that modern car buyers need. Enter the hatchback, a versatile, compact solution that not only fit the budgets of prospective buyers but also echoed the cultural style of modern society new possibilities have arisen.
Today hatchbacks are one of the most popular styles of cars for South Africans with their vast range of colours, sizes, features and price tags to suit the needs of people. With these stylish rides becoming an established choice in the local market, finding a used model in excellent condition has never been easier. Moreover, if you're not up for investing in a used car, options such as demo models like the Renault, Kia Motor, Hyundai, Opel or VW demo car, bring all the perks of a new vehicle at a reduced price closer to reality.
Here are the seven reasons why a hatchback is worth considering
Hatchbacks are often seen as being cramped and offering barely enough legroom in the back for passengers. While they are arguably quite compact on the outside, most hatchbacks provide a surprisingly large amount of interior space to transport passengers or bulky items and boxes when the need arises. They also tend to have more elevated roofs, which makes fitting in large items - or tall people - surprisingly easy.
Compared to traditional sedans, hatchbacks are built to be more upright, with larger windshields. All of this equates to a far better vantage point when driving, allowing you to see what's in front, behind and beside your vehicle a whole lot better and ensuring a much safer driving experience.
Modern hatchbacks are designed to cater to a wide array of lifestyle and target market needs. Whether a student car, small family vehicle or even a means of transport for a retiree, hatchbacks are built to be adaptable and easy to change and complement what you need it to do at any given time. Taking the family, including men's best friends for a trip to the beach? There's ample room in the backseat, and the boot of a hatchback can quickly be converted into an enlarged back seat or an open storage area. It also makes it ideal for shopping trips or even transporting items when moving to a new house. Most hatchbacks can quite comfortably accommodate five adult passengers and still have ample room in the boot to store luggage.
An essential factor in the changing needs of car consumers over the years has been the rising cost of petrol. Cars that guzzle petrol became increasingly harder to keep as lifestyle costs surged and we all began to feel the tightening grip of living a more affordable life. Demo cars such as the Renault are designed with lighter materials and far superior, energy-efficient engines, and offer excellent mileage per litre, compared to older and larger models.
High Performance & Feature Packed
At first, hatchbacks were manufactured to fulfil a fundamental need in the market a compact, affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle that fits into the ever-growing bracket of consumers who couldn't afford luxury cars and didn't want to buy used vehicles either. Moreover, that's just what they got the bare basics. The first wave of hatchbacks weren't very powerful or impressive, they just got you from A to B. As time went on and the hatchback boomed into becoming extremely popular, manufacturers began to invest more time in adding features that would appeal to a variety of market buyers, many of whom are young, professional, trend-aware individuals.
Today's hatchbacks offer an impressive array of features, including cutting-edge technology you would typically only expect in the highest ranges of luxury vehicles. With voice command consoles, touch screens, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features, smart integration between your technology and your car has become so seamless that complement owners' personality and digital lifestyle.
A compact vehicle that's fuel-efficient, powerful and visually appealing, makes for a winning combination. The interest in hatchbacks gave rise to a desire for sportier, higher-performing versions, which has resulted in a selection of higher-end hatchbacks which can quite easily put some sports cars to shame in terms of speed and handling.
Lower Insurance & Maintenance Costs
Staying true to the initial goal of what hatchbacks were designed for, they are more affordable to service, maintain and insure. Parts are more readily available thanks to the popularity of these cars, and modern bodywork allows for more efficient replacement of panels when needed. Since they fall into the most affordable price bracket, insurance costs tend to be lower than that of luxury sedans, SUVs and double cabs.
Accessible Parking for All
Anyone who's ever owned or driven a hatchback will attest to this you can't find a more comfortable car to zip through traffic and squeeze into parking spots. While hatchbacks vary a bit in size these days, most are compact enough to parallel park or fit effortlessly into those tight underground parking lots where pillars often make for bungled and awkward manoeuvring.
Whatever your budget or needs, there's bound to be a selection of hatchback models on the market that will fit and exceed your expectations. At Imperial Select, we update our stock daily and have a massive range of hatchbacks available from various manufacturers, including demo  Renaults now for sale. Visit our website to find the ideal model for you!
We all take our cars - and their reliability - for granted, for the most part often forgetting that they are machines that generate tremendous power to get us to where we need to be every day. In spite of most of us owning or driving a car, many people aren't familiar with the warning signs that they should not ignore when it comes to their cars. What might initially appear to be a minor issue that can be ignored 'for now', could result in far more serious and costly damage in the near future. The team in our car repair workshop unpack some of the main indications that your car is in urgent need of a service or needs to get to a car repair workshop immediately.
Noises While Driving
Turn down your car's sound system every now and then and listen for any abnormal sounds while you're driving. Any scraping or dragging noise could mean your car's wheel bearing is failing while screeching noises indicate that something is wrong with your car's braking system.
Braking Takes Longer
We often forget how crucially important the braking system of our car is to ensure a safe drive for ourselves and those on the road with us. An appropriately responsive car that brakes in time can mean the difference between avoiding a fender bender or possibly ending up in a life-threatening accident. If you find your brakes seem to take longer to respond or that you have to pump them harder than you used to get the car to slow down or stop, it's best to take it in for an inspection as your brake pads may be worn.
Smoke From The Bonnet
Smoke is never a good sign, so if you find your car is suddenly producing smoke, your engine may be overheating and continued driving in this state can damage your engine beyond repair. Keep an eye on your dashboard and check if your engine light goes on, and also keep an eye on your car's temperature gauge. If your car is overheating, pull over at the closest safe location and allow it to cool down. Do not open the bonnet immediately after stopping as the heat and smoke could cause you physical harm. If you have road assist, call them to have your car towed to a local service centre.
Check Oil Light Comes On
Oil keeps your entire car's operational system lubricated and prevents overheating, friction and damage to the engine and all moving parts. If your car runs out of oil, get to a gas station and refill your oil immediately. Remember to have your car's oil checked frequently, water and tyre pressure checked when you refill.
Fluid Leaking Under Car
Keep an eye on what goes on under your car when it's been standing parked for a while. If there are puddles of oil or other liquid, it may mean a seal or other component has cracked. Book your car in for an inspection by an automotive professional, who will help determine the problem and offer a solution.
Difficulty Steering Your Car
If your vehicle seems to be 'fighting' you when you make turns or is veering to the left or right side when you're driving straight, you probably need your wheels alignment checked and may have damage to your axel. If you find your car seems to be uneven and lower on one side than the other, this may also be caused by damage to your axel or components supporting it.
Fuel Efficiency Is Reduced
If you used to be able to get by comfortably with half a tank a week but lately you seem to need double the amount of petrol to travel the same distance, your car probably needs to be tuned up and serviced. A full service can vastly improve your car's fuel consumption.
Trouble With The Ignition
While it's relatively normal for your car to maybe only take on the second start on a cold winter day, if you find you always need to keep turning the ignition to get the car started, you should book it for a service. Also bear in mind that you should reduce the weight of your keys as much as possible, as the keys in your ignition constantly weigh the unit down and may cause damage to it over time.
If you have any concerns about your car or just want to ensure it keeps running smoothly, contact us to arrange a service at our car repair shop. We have highly trained automotive specialists and a range of advanced testing equipment to quickly and accurately identify and correct any issues your car may have.
We all love our cars. They are a daily part of our lives and are integral in many stories and life experiences over the years. While many people are sentimental about their cars and all the journeys they've had together, sometimes the time comes to start a new chapter and move on to something new. If you're looking at getting a newer model, or perhaps something bigger if your family has expanded, securing the best trade-in price for your current car is crucial to helping you secure the best deposit on your new ride.
We've compiled a few tips on how to get the most for your car, both during on-site evaluation and well before you take your final drive in it.
Determine The Trade-in Value
Several factors will determine how much a dealership will be willing to pay for your car, but you'll be able to get a reasonably good idea of the national average if you look through a few local websites that list the trade-in prices of cars. Do a search based on the make, model and year of your car, then refine the results by adding extra details such as your total mileage and any upgrades or modifications made to it. Bear in mind that any aesthetic or additional changes you've made to your car's body, such as installing an expensive sound system or flashy set of rims, tends to only slightly affect your car's trade-in value. Essentially, you won't get your money back on the add-ons you've made over the years, but you can still negotiate on this with the car dealer. Once you've gathered a few results and prices, use these as your benchmark average when taking your car in.
Make It Look As Good As It Can
Aside from mechanical conditions, your car's appearance makes a huge difference in what you'll be offered. Invest a bit of money in getting the car thoroughly cleaned and polished, inside and out. If you have small dents or scratches, repair them so that the bodywork looks as good as possible. Also remember to remove any personal items from your car's interior - you're trying to create the impression of a vehicle that is available, not one that is attached to someone else.
Drive Around And Get Quotes
Now that your car is clean and shiny, pick a few dealerships and visit them to get trade-in quotes for your car. Remember to ask for written quotes, as you can use these to negotiate your car's trade-in price with the dealership where you're aiming to trade the vehicle in.
What Determines Offered Trade-in Price?
If you're wondering what dealers generally look at when you bring your car in for a personalised quote, keep these aspects in mind
1. The popularity of the car.
The resale value of your car is determined by how many people are actively looking for that particular make and model. The higher the resale value, the better your chances of getting a reasonable trade-in price.
Generally, a fair allocation of around 25 000km per year since the car was first released is acceptable. If your car has an excessively high mileage, it will lean buyers towards concerns of age-related wear and tear, as well as out-of-warrantee costs.
3. Maintenance and service history.
If you have a full-service history and record of maintenance done over the years, you'll be able to prove that your car is in excellent working condition and won't easily cause unforeseen problems to the new buyer. Your car's warranty is also factored into this assessment if your car is still under warranty, it's a safer sell and buy.
4. Condition of your car
Everything from the state of the paintwork to the dashboard will be taken into account. As you'd expect, the newer your car looks, the better your chances of securing a good trade-in price. Your car's colour may also be a factor, as some colours are considered to be higher maintenance or less appealing to buyers.
What Documents You Will Need On The Day
If you're all set and ready to get the trade-in process going, remember that having all the necessary paperwork can be the difference between a smooth, efficient experience and a back-and-forth admin headache. Be sure to have the following with you
1. Your South African Identity Document or card, or a valid driver's license
2. A finance settlement letter from your bank to confirm that your vehicle has been paid in full
3. The original NATIS (registration document) of your car, if it is entirely paid for
4. Proof of address
5. Both sets of car keys
6. The service booklet of your car, for proving service history
7. Any extras for your car, including add-ons and tracking devices
With a bit of time, research and effort, you will be able to get your used Hyundai for sale at the best possible price and be on your way to driving off in a new car, to make new memories.
Your car is an intricately designed mechanical marvel with hundreds of interconnected elements that make the entire system run. It's tough to call any-one component or part the most important, as your car requires all parts of it to run like a well-oiled machine, or its performance will be negatively affected overall. Having said that, we're going to have a look at two parts of your car, which you need to maintain to keep driving with peace of mind your car battery, and your car's brakes.
How To Identify Battery Problems
Many of us have faced a dead battery after leaving the lights on or forgetting the radio on at some stage. There are a few indications and warnings that your car's battery is on its way to run dry for good
1. Your car's lights aren't as bright as they usually are. For a start, put the key in the car's ignition and start your vehicle and let it idle at night, then have a look at the headlights. If they seem to be a bit dim compared to how they usually are, the battery is probably taking strain and not supplying enough energy to the lights.
2. You've been having trouble starting your car lately. While this could the result of another problem, if your vehicle has been stalling and sluggish to start recently, you should probably take it to a battery centre to have it checked out.
3. Click noises when you turn the ignition. If your car doesn't start but instead makes rapidly clicking sounds as you turn the key in the ignition, it's most likely a battery problem.
Car batteries typically last for about two years, depending on use and other factors such as temperature - freezing winter days can vastly reduce the efficiency of a car battery and render it dead.
How To Prolong Your Car Battery's Lifespan
1. Not driving your car for a few days? Disconnect the battery
2. Keep the heads of your battery clean
3. Try to avoid drawing power from the battery when your car is off, for example, listening to the radio or keeping your car's headlights on for an extended period.
4. Make sure your battery is securely tightened
5. Take your car on a long-distance drive now and then, as making frequent short trips doesn't allow the battery to recharge properly.
How To Identify Brake Problems
Your car's brakes are vital and should be kept in impeccable condition as they play a significant factor in ensuring that you drive - and stop - safely. The entire braking system consists of brake pads, pistons, brake fluid, cylinders, pedals, and several other parts, all of which work collaboratively to make your heavy and fast-moving vehicle slow down and stop as you need it to when you need it to. If you experience any of the following when driving, please get your car to a service centre as it can be hazardous to keep driving
1. Stopping takes longer than usual. If your vehicle seems to be less responsive and zippy when you pump the brakes, get it checked out.
2. If it veers to the side while you're driving straight, or seems to 'pull' against you holding the steering wheel, there is a risk of losing control of your car and not being able to make controlled turns.
3. If your car makes screeching noises when you brake or the brakes feel unusually soft or sloppy, get yourself peace of mind and have your car checked out by an automotive expert.
Keeping your car in good condition will not only reassure you that it won't break down suddenly, but it can also prevent far higher expenses down the line if small issues are not tended to in time. On the hunt for a new set of wheels? We have a large selection of new cars for sale on our website, and we update our inventory daily. Have a look we think you'll find just what you're looking for.
Getting a new, or used car is an exciting prospect and should be bolstered by absolute peace of mind as you head out on the roads. You want to know that your vehicle is in great condition and that, should anything go wrong, there will be a safety net to help you recover and get back on the road without too much hassle or unexpected expenses.
Car insurance is vitally important, not only to ensure your car can be repaired or replaced if it's in an accident or stolen but also to keep you covered in case you end up in a situation where you are responsible for damage to someone else's vehicle. If you're in the market for a used car, view our range of top demo cars for sale and find the best vehicle for your style and requirements.
Understanding The Different Types Of Insurance
There are three main categories for car insurance in South Africa, each offering a different range of coverage, based on your needs.
If you've bought your car through bank financing, comprehensive cover is mandatory for the period of time that you're still paying off your car loan. It is the most expensive type of cover but is also the best, in terms of what you're covered for. This type of insurance will cover any damages that occur to your car if you're in an accident, while also fully or partially covering for any damages that occur to another car you're in an accident with. Also, if your car is stolen or hijacked, or suffers extreme fire damage to the point where your car needs to be written off, top-grade comprehensive cover will assist in replacing your vehicle. If you're looking for extensive insurance that will come to your aid in almost all types of incidents, comprehensive cover is your best option.
Third-Party, Fire And Theft Cover
A much more affordable option, this type of insurance will cover you for damages incurred to another vehicle in an accident, and if the owner lays claims against you for damages. In cases where your car is stolen or hijacked, or damaged beyond repair in a fire, your car will be covered. This insurance does not provide any cover for smaller damages to your own car, or repairs needed if you're in an accident. So bear this in mind as it means you will be completely responsible for any costs if your car is damaged or written off in an accident or smaller incident like a fender bender, have a broken windscreen or windows.
This is the most affordable option but only provides cover to repair other cars you're in an accident with. Third-party cover is essentially just to avoid extra expenses if you're liable or charged for damage to another vehicle. With this coverage, you will be entirely responsible for any damages to your car or if it's stolen, hijacked, or suffers fire damage.
Factors That Affect Your Insurance Premium
There are several factors that can affect how much you pay for car insurance, including your age (people under the age of 25 pay a higher premium) and your car insurance history.
1. Car brand, age and colour
The age of your car, what it's market value is, as well as the brand all affect what you'll pay to have it covered. The colour of your car also greatly affects your premium, with white or bright coloured cars which have higher road visibility, costing significantly less to insure.
2. Driver And Previous Insurance Claims Details
Your age, how long you've had a driver's license for and, sometimes, your gender, are all factors in determining your premium. If you've previously had car insurance, you'll need to divulge all details about your previous types of insurance, how long you were insured for, and provide details about any claims you've previously made. You'll also be asked if you've been in a car accident in recent years, as this and previous claims history will affect your premium.
3. Geographical Information
The town and suburb you live in, where the car will be parked at night, and whether it will be in a safely enclosed area or out on the street, are all key factors. Areas with higher crime or hijacking rates are considered higher risk zones and will push up your premium.
4. How Often And For What Purpose You Drive
If you're on the road just to get to work and back, or to do grocery shopping and fetch the kids from school, you'll be at a lower risk level than, say, someone who has to drive around all day for work. Some insurers even offer a special discounted premium for people who don't drive very often or for very long distances, with your premium covering you for a set total amount of kilometres per month. For this option, you will need to have a tracking device fitted to your car so that the insurer can monitor your total distance driven each month.
Premium Versus Excess
This part of your insurance cover relies on how much you are willing or able to pay for your premiums. If you want more affordable monthly premiums, you'll end up paying a larger excess should anything happen to your car. If you want to ensure that your excess is minimal to none after an accident or other incident, you'll have to pay higher monthly instalments on your insurance.
Whatever your ultimate decision with car insurance, always do your homework and shop around a bit - the costs of insurance premiums can vary quite vastly between different insurers. If you're currently in the market for a used car or top demo car for sale, take a look at our selection of high-quality vehicles and remember to bear the importance of insurance in mind.
If you're in the market for a previously owned car and have finally set your sights on one that might just be the right fit, viewing it in person and taking it for a test drive is a crucial next step to take before making any final decisions.
While it's extremely tempting to jump in headlong when you see that car you've been looking for at a better price than you've ever come across, it's best to take some time to make very sure that it is truly as exceptional as those first impressions make it out to be. So before you seal the deal on that used Volkswagen for sale, keep these tips in mind when you go for a test drive and inspection of the car
Take A Close Look At The Exterior
Before you get in the car, take some time to walk around it and inspect the bodywork, lights and tires. Be sure to check for signs of scratches, dents, damage or rust, which could end up becoming a costly setback down the line. Check under the car for any fluid leaks and have a close look at the tires to ensure the tread is still decent. If you notice the tread is worn down more on one side of the car than the other, there may be something wrong with the car's wheel alignment. Inspect the panels of the vehicle to ensure that they all line up - if there is misalignment, it could likely be that the car was in an accident before. While you're at it, don't forget to check the windscreen for any small chips or cracks, which may lead to problems later.
Inspect The Interior
When you get into the car, take a moment to feel how the seats fit you and how comfortable reaching the steering wheel, pedals and gear lever is. Some car seat designs just don't work well for people with back problems, so it's best to ensure you're completely comfortable from the get-go. Get in the backseat to get a feel for comfort from the passenger's perspective as well, and be sure to take note of legroom and vertical headspace. Once you've completed that, go through all the buttons, knobs, levers and switches in the car and check that they are all working as they should be. This includes ensuring that the indicator and hazard lights, windscreen wipers, radio and other features are all in working order.
Start The Engine And Wait
This is a crucial part of the inspection because if there is something wrong with the vehicle, you will sometimes be able to hear or feel it once you turn it on. Be sure to turn the radio off and let the car idle for a while, and listen closely for any odd sounds like rattling, screeching, scraping or other noises.
Take It Out On The Road
If everything checks out for you so far, the next step is finding out if you enjoy the driving experience and handling of the car. Ensure the transition is smooth when you change gears and that the clutch and brakes are appropriately responsive. If possible, try and replicate as many typical and less typical driving scenarios as you can. This includes parking, parallel parking, clutch control on an incline and during very slow-moving traffic, and checking the handbrake on an incline or decline. Another important test is turning on the air conditioner to full power to determine how it affects engine performance, as some smaller cars can take quite a bit of strain on hot summer days when the A/C is pumping at full blast. Lastly, try to take the car through some unusual terrain such as gravel roads, wet roads, or roads with potholes, to test the car's handling and responsiveness.
Do Your Homework
So, you've inspected the car, the test drive has gone great, and your financing has been approved. Before you take that final step, there are a few more crucial bits of research to do if you want to be completely aware of what you're signing up for. Look at the car's market value, resale ranking and maintenance costs. If you plan to keep it beyond its service plan period or if it's already past its service plan, look at what routine and big services will cost you. Get a few quotes from insurance brokers and look into fuel consumption, so that you can get a better idea of what to expect in terms of monthly expenses.
Buying a used car can be a completely safe and rewarding route to choose if you follow the above steps and ensure that you are purchasing it from a reputable reseller. If you happen to be dealing with a private seller, get extra peace of mind by requesting a full inspection by a mechanic before you make any final decisions. We stock a huge range of thoroughly inspected used cars, so if you're looking for a used Volkswagen for sale, or one of many other brands, take a look at our website and remember, we update our stock daily.