A slight increase in new car sales suggests the public are still buying trucks and cars but may be shifting their buying patterns to compensate for the rising cost of motoring.

This is reflected in car trends, which show a move towards more economical vehicles, with fuel consumption and service costs an important factor when buying. Simultaneously, truck sales in the medium and heavy sectors are under pressure while smaller truck sales remain buoyant .

Consumers have to compromise and rather than affording the big SUV or shiny sports model, they are being forced to downgrade and find an alternative car.

Clive Lazarus of Park Village Auctions (PVA) says auctions are gaining popularity as they offer a way for buyers to acquire the car they want within their means.

The cost of motoring is about 6.1% higher than last year and 24.2% higher than five years ago, but a car bought on auction sells for 20% less than its market value.

“This means that consumers can enjoy lower monthly repayments and subsequent insurance too. It leaves more than enough room for manoeuvre when it comes to rising motoring costs. It also gives a reprieve to those who simply cannot afford a new car, but want more bang for their buck to get closer to their dream car. It can be particularly true of first-timers and parents who simply want a reasonable price with the safety features and reliability that newer car models offer.”

PVA mostly move bank-repossessed vehicles that are in good condition, which makes it possible to buy popular cars like the Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Corolla, Fortuner and Ford Fiesta, or bakkies like the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Nissan NP or Isuzu KB, at affordable prices.

“Buyers can bid from anywhere across the country via our online auction platforms, which gives them choices that they may not normally have in their home towns,” said Lazarus.