road trip

Road trips are the new international holidays. Image via Adobe Stock

Road-tripping: This is what your December road trip will cost

For many reasons – not least of which are salary cuts and health concerns – many South Africans will opt for a ‘staycation’ or road trip this December.

road trip

Road trips are the new international holidays. Image via Adobe Stock

Instead of hopping on a plane and jetting off to a glamorous destination, many South Africans will self-drive locally. But exactly how much will the trip cost you? This depends largely on the type of car you choose to drive…

The best road trip cars

In order to answer this question, we have examined South Africa’s most sold used cars by body type. This data can be found in the latest AutoTrader Car Industry Report, which covers the period June 2019 to July 2020.

AutoTrader is the largest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa. Accordingly, it provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.

George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, reveals that the most sold body type is the hatchback, which accounted for 31% of the total used cars sold.

“The second and third most sold body types are sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and sedans, which contributed 27% and 17% of the total cars sold respectively,” he reveals.

The most sold used hatchback in South Africa is the Volkswagen Polo; the most sold SUV is the Toyota Fortuner; the most sold sedan is the BMW 3 Series, and the most sold coupe is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The most sold single and double cabs are the Nissan NP200 and Ford Ranger respectively.

Assuming you’re taking one of these on your road trip, what will your fuel bill be?

Working out the costs

One of the most popular road trips in South Africa is Johannesburg to Durban — a distance of roughly 568 km.

We used the manufacturers’ stated combined fuel consumption figures (it should be noted that these tend to be rather optimistic; they’re achieved under ideal circumstances) and we used the inland price of fuel.

With petrol, we used the price for unleaded 95; with diesel we used 500 ppm). Based on these parameters, here are your fuel bills for a one-way trip:

  • Polo 70kW TSI BMT Comfortline DSG: R396,70
  • Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD RB MT: R491,83
  • BMW 3 Series 316d: R288,07 to R309,15
  • Mercedes-Benz C220d: R309,15
  • Nissan NP200 1.6i: R683,67
  • Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCi Hi-Rider: R456,70

Notes: BMW provides a fuel consumption range, hence the two figures