For those looking to get their own personal transport, there are three options. Rent a car on either a short term or long term deal, lease a car for an extended period of time, or rent to buy. Each one has different costs that need to be carefully considered before a decision is made. This article will hopefully help.

For the purposes of this article, we will look at the 2019 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline hatch (manual) – one of the more popular cars found on the roads in South Africa.

A 2019 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline hatch can be rented for R440/day if rented for less than a week, R360/day if rented for more than a week, or R6,249/month on a long term car rental. Based on the monthly rate, that works out to R74,988/year, and R299,952 for a rental over four years. It should be noted that this includes super cover and 100 free km each day, which works out to a handy 3,000 free km over the course of a month.

The same car, if leased, can be acquired with a R14,500 deposit and monthly payments of R5,799 if leased over 12 months, R5,779 for a lease of 24 months, or R5,699 if leased over 48 months. This equates to R84,088 for a one-year lease, R153,196 over two years and R288,052 over four years.

One can also rent to buy this car with a R15,000 deposit and payments of R6,550/month. Over 48 months, this works out to R93,600 in the first year and R329,400 overall. This does include insurance, licensing, tracking, and maintenance.

As one can see from the above, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo is cheaper to rent up to two years. In terms of cost, leasing becomes cheaper if taken over a period of four years.

It is important to note that each of the above has its own advantages, so price alone does not necessarily mean everything. For example, with rentals you get super cover and 3,000 km free per month. With leasing, you pay less over the same time period. If you decide to rent to buy your car, you get insurance, licensing, and tracking included.

Unlike buying a new car, the payments are over 48 months and also do not include a balloon payment at the end. Also, renting and leasing means that you do not have to worry about depreciation costs at the end of your deal. If you rent to buy, you can upgrade/downgrade at any time.

Here is a summary of the benefits and costs that each of the three options offers to you, the customer:

CategoryRentingLeasingRent to buy
Service providerPace Car Rental; Comet Car RentalPace Fleet ServicesSA Motor Lease; Pace Fleet Services
OwnershipRental agreementLease agreementAt end of rent to buy agreement
InsuranceSuper coverIncludedIncluded
MaintenanceNot includedLowerIncluded
BenefitsSuper cover; free km per day; no trade-in hassles or depreciation costsCheaper* over 48 months than rental or rent to buy; no trade-in hassles or depreciation costsUpgrade or downgrade at any time; price includes insurance, licensing, tracking, maintenance
Cost* after 12 monthsR74,988R84,088R93,600
Cost* after 24 monthsR149,976R153,196R172,200
Cost* after 48 monthsR299,952R288,052R329,400
*2019 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline

There are different ways that you can get your own car. The choice is yours!