The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown ravaged the economy and closed or threatened countless businesses, but as with all setbacks, there are always positives to be found.
One of the things that lockdown has revealed is that innovation can take over where convention fails. Where people were used to doing things in a certain way – everyday tasks like shopping, work, and commuting – the experience of lockdown showed that there are very viable alternatives that can be better than we what we perceived to be the only option.
People who had never shopped online now order all their necessities via websites. Workers who thought that they had to be at the office in order to function are now even more productive from home. The same can be said of what we perceived to be the norm when it comes to car ownership and the use of a vehicle on a daily basis.
Owning a car during lockdown became a grudge expense. After all, it meant having and maintaining a depreciating asset that still attracted interest-based, monthly payments despite not being used or used much less. Added to that was the fact that cash was tied up in a R500 000+ vehicle that was losing value and couldn’t provide any benefit during tough economic conditions.
Of course, there is a need to use a car for work or leisure. The lack of reliable forms of public transport makes it a necessity, but why is there a belief that we all need to own a car?
Ownership means that, unless you have the cash to purchase a vehicle, you’re locking yourself into a long-term commitment that sees a car being paid off at a higher overall price. Factoring in maintenance and insurance and potential for loss, theft, or damage and suddenly owning a car becomes a costly affair that accounts for a substantial portion of any salary. While financing a car may not be a financially lucrative or smart decision, it is a necessary one, according to traditional thinking. Or at least, it’s necessary in the absence of any other options.
But there finally is another option that makes even more sense in this market and during these trying times – leasing.
The term ‘leasing’ is one that is largely unheard of in the market. And even if it is, there are negative associations attached, such as high rates, increased risk, and a certain degree of inflexibility in the terms of the lease agreement.
With the launch of WhyBuyCars, however, the concept of leasing is being redefined for the South African market.
WhyBuyCars – a brand launched in May 2020 during the hard lockdown – questions the traditional concept of car ownership by offering a range of vehicles a minimum of three months at a time for an inclusive rate that covers everything from insurance to taxes. The short-term lease doesn’t require a deposit nor any type of credit rating – which is often a barrier to car finance.
Punted as “the better way to have a car”, WhyBuyCars has backed up the claim with more than 15 000 applications since the beginning, which is questioning whether owning a vehicle provides any long-term benefit other than its use.
In an economy that is volatile, WhyBuyCars offers an alternative that doesn’t lock the driver into an agreement that spans years but rather lets you maintain control of their finances. The user can budget over shorter periods of time and upgrade or downgrade the type of vehicle they’re using without the hassle of selling or trading, and then a new finance deal.
With no escalation within the period, the deal isn’t linked to interest rates and complicated buy-back or usage clauses that also have an effect on maintenance plans and insurance. What’s more, WhyBuyCars doesn’t make you jump through hoops to get your keys – the entire process, from application submission to collection of vehicles – can all be done online and within 24 hours.
The focus on streamlining of the process is key to the offering. In a post-Covid world, robust technologies that can handle increased online traffic with an immediate and effective solution at the end of it is a must, and WhyBuyCars has built an extremely forward-thinking system with this in mind.
From as little as R4500 per month, the argument is a compelling one for any driver or existing car owner looking for a little freedom in how they consider not only the complications of finance but also all the admin that comes with owning and maintaining a vehicle.
So while Covid-19 has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the country, companies and offerings such as WhyBuyCars has shown that there are better ways to do things and of course, better ways to have a car.
For more information on WhyBuyCars’ offering, visit www.whybuycars.co.za