Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Toyota and Volkswagen are the two giants of the local motor industry; they dominate vehicle sales statistics and both brands are much loved by South African motorists. But which one has the best resale value?

According to Darryl Jacobson, managing director of True Price, the answer is Toyota – but it’s not quite as clear-cut as one may think.

True Price is the innovative start-up that has wowed South African motorists with a free service offering: the company provides motorists with a free vehicle evaluation. This evaluation is based on actual prices paid on bank repossession auctions – because this is one of the most scientific methods of calculating a used car value. In order to provide this service, the True Price team attends thousands of bank repossession vehicle auctions, and then it captures this data. It has data pertaining to thousands upon thousands of actual vehicles auctioned.

Jacobson and his team have analysed all this data and compared the two Japanese and German brands. And, while Toyota does come up trumps, a further analysis reveals some surprises.

“First of all, we analysed all vehicles sold on bank repossession auctions. When we did this, Toyota came out tops, with an outstanding 73.19%. This is the percentage of the original retail sales price that is achieved on auction. Volkswagen came second, with 70.16%. It should be noted that this is also an excellent figure. Both of these resale values are testament to the power of these brands. It’s incredible to watch the hype at vehicle auctions when either a Toyota or Volkswagen come up for sale. Private buyers trust these brands – so they’re willing to pay a premium. Dealers, on the other hand, know that they will easily move one of these vehicles – so they bid generously,” says Jacobson.


But then the team came up with a novel idea: what happens when one removes all the commercial vehicles from the equation? This meant eliminating the likes of the Amarok, but also the Hilux, which is massively popular. “Whenever a Hilux comes up on auction, it’s a case of bees to honey. Interest in these vehicles is always immense – on the part of both the private buyers and dealers too. So, we wondered what would happen if we pitted Toyota’s passenger cars against Volkswagen’s passenger cars…” relates Jacobson.

The result was very interesting. “At 71.62%, Toyota still won this shootout. However, it didn’t win by a large margin – because Volkswagen achieved 70.65%,” he reveals.


According to Jacobson, these results convey a number of key messages. “Firstly, both brands are trusted, and they have excellent resale values. However, when it comes to Volkswagen, its passenger cars and commercial vehicles have similar resale values. This is perhaps understandable. A vehicle such as the Amarok is more of a leisure vehicle than a workhorse. With Toyota, however, there is a marked difference between the resale values of its passenger cars and its commercial vehicles. In fairness, this is probably because the Hilux is just such an incredible performer when it comes to resale values; not even Toyota’s passenger cars can keep pace,” Jacobson concludes.

  • Motorists wishing to establish the value of their vehicles can visit www.trueprice.co.za and request a FREE evaluation.
Resale value of all vehicles
TOYOTA 73.19%
Resale value of passenger cars only
TOYOTA 71.62%

Notes: All vehicles in this study were first registered in the years 2016 to 2019 (both years inclusive) and they have done a maximum of 150 000 km.