Owning a car has always been something young South Africans have aspired to to and this has not changed much even with the growing number of transport options, such as ride-sharing or app-based ride-calling.

"Young South Africans, aged 35 and younger, are increasingly opting for private mobility," notes Lebo Gaoaketse, head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank, citing recent data. "Contrary to previous assumptions by industry experts, Millennials and Gen-Zs are showing sustained interest in vehicle ownership."

Get the best possible deal and own your car - c;ick here

The trend is evident in WesBank's data, which reveals a steady rise in vehicle finance applications among this demographic. In 2021, there were 722 505 applications, growing to 806 458 in 2022 and reaching 826 088 in 2023.

Gaoaketse highlights a shift in perspective: "While vehicle purchases in this age group have slowed, it's not due to a lack of interest in personal cars but rather economic factors affecting affordability across all age groups."

Data from Lightstone indicates an 8% year-on-year decrease in car purchases by those under 35. To address this, initiatives such as WesBank's Graduate Finance program have been introduced to assist recent graduates with limited credit history.

Need the finance to own your car - check out these deals

However, Gaoaketse stresses the need for further support to fulfill young South Africans' aspirations for private mobility, crucial for job opportunities.

Despite economic challenges, Gaoaketse emphasises the importance of sound financial management for maintaining good credit records. He suggests exploring affordable options in the pre-owned market or from value-oriented importers to navigate financial constraints.

We put the question to Michael Pashut founder of SA’s most trusted online Platform and the host of the TV Show ALL THINGS MOTORING on DSTV Channel 189

Michael concurred there was a noticeable and positive increase in the ‘Youth’ Market… One additional point raised by Mike was the breakdown by gender and the fact that women outnumbered men.

Michael went on to say he sees exceptional times ahead in the market once the pain of the peripheral factors are dealt with.

Colin Windell