Whether it’s Italian exotics, British roadsters, or American muscle cars that get your motor running, the fact is these kind of performance vehicles don’t come cheap. They are bought for aesthetics and driving pleasure, rather than utility or economy.

For young adults at varsity, we know how hard it can be to practice patience when it comes to owning the car of your dreams. But unless you’re a trust fund baby, you’re going to have to make peace with the fact that your first car is probably not going to be a Mustang!

That said, if you’re serious about your studies, you’re already on the road to success. Because as a graduate in an increasingly competitive world, your tertiary education is likely to secure you a higher future income as a skilled professional. Which in turn means that the shiny new set of wheels you have your heart set on now could one day be well within reach.

Safety first

While affordability is a huge factor in the purchasing decision for most young people buying their first car, equally important should be the safety factor. In fact, the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) says that safety should be the number one priority when buying either a new or used cari. It should also be a make and model with a good resale value. Keeping your car well maintained, both aesthetically and mechanically, will help ensure its value.

Buying used

If you’re considering buying a used car, you do need to be aware of potential pitfalls. There may be mechanical problems, body damage, replacement parts may be harder to source, and warranty benefits will expire sooner. Besides all that, second-hand pricing is going up. New vehicle sales feed into the second-hand market a few years down the line, and because there are fewer new vehicles being sold, there is a decrease in second-hand stock, and prices are increasing.

Buying new

Some people might say that a car isn’t worth getting into debt for because it depreciates in value over time. But remember, not all debt is bad. Using your credit card irresponsibly is definitely considered bad debt, because if you fail to make a payment, it will have a negative impact on your credit score. A student loan, on the other hand, is considered good debt because it can be used to generate long-term value – giving you the edge over your peers, not only as you all enter the job market, but throughout your career. A tertiary qualification is a big accomplishment, and something which can never be taken away from you.

Then there is something called necessary debt. In the absence of safe and reliable public transport to and from campus, for example, and where you don’t have the cash to buy a new car outright, then vehicle finance would be considered a necessary debt. Owning a car also expands your employment options both during and after your varsity career, which actually nudges it closer to the good debt category.

Ford Figo

“If you’ve decided to buy new, and value for money and reliability are your primary purchase considerations, but you also aren’t willing to compromise on comfort, safety features, driving dynamics, and good looks, then the funky little Figo should definitely be on your shortlist of cars to test drive,” says Doreen Mashinini, general manager for marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Starting at under R200k, it represents the entry point to the brand for South African customers, and is consistently one of the country’s best-sellers in the budget car segment,” she adds. “In 2019, we launched the trendy Figo Blu, with its distinctive sporty Blu package, for those who want to really stand out from the crowd.”

Based on the 1,5 Trend hatchback model, the Figo Blu can easily be distinguished from the standard Figo by a number of model-specific styling enhancements. Most noticeably, the exterior sports a black roof, black mesh grille, black mirror housings, and black multi-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, with eye-catching blue accents, inside and out.

All five-door hatchback and four-door sedan models, including the Figo Blu, come with driver and passenger airbags, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), remote central locking, electric front windows with one-touch operation on the driver’s side, a factory-fitted immobiliser, electric power-assisted steering, tilt adjustment for the steering column, headlight level adjustment, a built-in Ford Audio unit with an integrated display, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB slot, and Ford’s unique Device Dock for connecting and powering smart phone devices.

All Figo models are powered by Ford’s latest-generation 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. And all come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120,000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance, and a five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A four-year/60,000km service plan is included, with 15,000km service intervals.