2020 AA Kinsey Report: Which Cars Are the Cheapest (and Most Expensive) to Maintain in South Africa?

2020 AA Kinsey Report: Which Cars Are the Cheapest (and Most Expensive) to Maintain in South Africa?

cheapest cars to maintain

The 2020 AA Kinsey Report is an independent assessment of the costs of maintaining popular vehicle makes and models in South Africa. It’s a useful guide for anyone who’s planning to buy a new car.

As well as listing the retail selling price of each vehicle, it reveals the overheads, including the cost of services, repairs and replacement bodywork.

About the 2020 AA Kinsey Report

Now in its 30th year, the AA Kinsey Report features current data on more than 60 best-selling cars, arranged in nine vehicle classes.

This year, due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kinsey and company was forced to take a different approach to data collection.

Rather than approaching car dealerships for information, vehicle manufacturers were requested to supply retail prices. These were randomly checked against the same parts and components at dealerships.

As a result, the release of the report was delayed until September. This period experienced a 30% year-on-year decline in vehicle sales. The knock-on effect was the exclusion of vehicle brands that recorded dismal sales figures.

How is the total basket of costs determined for each vehicle?

Car parts are broken up into three categories – service, repair and crash parts – and priced individually. The total cost of each category is combined to provide the overall figure assigned to the vehicle.

This year’s figures are a mixed bag compared to the 2019 AA Kinsey Report. In some instances, the total maintenance costs are significantly lower. This could be because the manufacturers, rather than dealerships, were used as the source of the quoted prices.

Cheapest cars to maintain in South Africa in 2020

Here are the three cheapest makes and models in each class, together with the most expensive vehicle.

City and entry-level cars

The top performers in the cheapest entry-level vehicle category are:

  • Renault Kwid (R62,990)
  • Ford Figo (R63,866)
  • Datsun Go (R65,458).

Most expensive: Picanto (R133,539)


Here are the gold, silver and bronze medallists in the super-minis class:

  • Hyundai I 20 (R90,065)
  • Toyota Starlet (R90,826)
  • Ford Fiesta (R91,275).

Most expensive: Suzuki Swift Sport (R126,056)

Family favourites

A podium finish in the family favourites vehicle class goes to:

  • Toyota Quest (R85,031)
  • Nissan Almera (R86,488)
  • Toyota Corolla Hatch (R131,294).

Most expensive: VW Golf GTi (R145,576)

Compact crossovers

The winners in the compact crossovers class are:

  • Mahindra KUV 100 (R81,776)
  • Haval H2 (R93,860)
  • Citroen C3 Aircross (R102,249).

Most expensive: Mazda CX3 (R174,709)


The cheapest crossovers, in terms of maintenance, are:

  • Toyota Fortuner (R100,429)
  • Nissan X-Trail (R115,921)
  • VW T-Cross (R119,852).

Most expensive: Hyundai Tucson (R206,612)

Executive crossovers

Volvo, Audi and Mercedes-Benz take the top spots in the executive crossovers category in 2020:

  • Volvo XC 60 (R242,070)
  • Audi Q5 (R251,288)
  • Mercedes GLE (R328,211).

Most expensive: Jaguar I-Pace (R913,272)

Double cabs

The most cost-effective double cabs to maintain in South Africa are:

  • Ford Ranger XLT (R79,796)
  • GWM Steed 6 (R86,105)
  • Toyota Hilux (R90,189).

Most expensive: Ford Ranger Raptor (R214,738)

Single cabs

The cheapest vehicles in the single cabs category in 2020 are:

  • Nissan NP 200 (R42,529)
  • Nissan NP 300 (R48,611)
  • Toyota Hilux (R58,747).

Most expensive: Isuzu 250 LE (R74,159)

Executive saloons

Here are the top three executive saloons in South Africa, in the context of service, maintenance and repairs costs:

  • Alfa Giulia (R86,570)
  • Audi A3 (R178,710)
  • Toyota Supra (R217,634).

Most expensive: BMW 330i (R252,838)

What we offer at Pawn My Car

The 2020 AA Kinsey Report is useful for anyone considering buying a car, whether new or secondhand. At Pawn My Car, we can’t assist with this – but we can help if you’re in need of a short-term loan.

With Pawn My Car, you can use a car, bakkie, truck or boat that’s in your name to secure a loan quickly and easily, with no delays or laborious paperwork. For more information, contact us on 0861 112 866 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

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Illustrative example

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Repayment Period
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Repayment Period

3 months

Monthly Repayment


Total Cost of Loan


Initiation Fee


Monthly Fee (Interest + Service Charge)