What It Costs to Insure SA’s Bestselling Cars

Top selling VW Polo with affordable insurance


When planning for your next vehicle purchase, it's important to consider how much money you'll need to set aside each month for insurance. Let's take a closer look at how much it might cost to insure the current top 10 best-selling vehicles in South Africa.


While the new car market is finally showing signs of recovery after a combination of Covid-19 delays, semiconductor shortages and shipping line disruptions, with increasing pressure on monthly household budgets and the rising cost of living, it's important to get the best Vehicle Insurance deal.


A glance through Hippo's Car Guide reveals that the South African car market is as diverse and exciting as ever, from budget-friendly runabouts to adventure-focused, raised ride height road warriors.


As an exercise, we filtered the top 10 best-selling vehicles in South Africa from January 2023 (with the 11th-placed VW T-Cross filling-in for the otherwise popular Toyota Hi-Ace as it's largely used for public transport so requires specialist insurance) through Hippo's comparison tool to establish what the current range of insurance quotes is on each model.


As always, it's important to remember that factors like your age, insurance history, driving habits and where you park your car at night play a role when it comes to establishing your bespoke insurance quote. For the purposes of our list, we posed as Average Joe, a 42-year-old husband who assumes the family's main driving responsibilities. He's had his driver's licence since the age of 20 and parks his pride and joy behind a locked garage door each night.


That unexplained bump on his mom's car some 24 years ago aside, Joe enjoys a humble brag about never having been in an accident, nor having claimed from insurance. In a smart move, he's opting for comprehensive cover.


Visit the same car insurance comparison tool to see what your dream car might cost to insure.


Toyota's Back on Track


With its Durban-based assembly line repaired and back online after extensive flood damage in 2022, Toyota South Africa is once again able to fulfil orders for its ever-popular Hilux, Fortuner and Corolla Cross products. Including single- and extra-cab orders, the proven Hilux bakkie package retained its spot at the top of the best-selling vehicles list, with 2,769 sales in January 2023. Assuming family man Joe prefers the convenience of a double-cab, the cost to insure a 2.8 GD-6 Legend derivative ranges between R729,98 and R965,37 a month.


Trailing the Hilux by around 700 units to take second spot is the Corolla Cross. While Joe would love the cosmetic upgrades associated with the flagship GR-S derivative, assuming common sense prevails and he opts for the second tier 1.8 XS model (retailing for R414,300), he should budget for an associated insurance premium that ranges between R475,36 and R877,94, dependent on which excess amount he selects.


The third-placed vehicle on our list also wears a Toyota badge but, thanks to a global technology sharing agreement, is actually a Suzuki Baleno. That said, who could argue against Toyota South Africa's reputation for customer service and its extensive after-sales network? Neither would Joe, it seems, and should he include a Starlet 1.5 XR hatchback (from R294,900) on his wish list, he'd be looking at an insurance premium that ranges between R465,53 and R560,99 per month.


Swift Shift

As luck would have it, the Baleno/Starlet package's popular sibling, the Suzuki Swift, was the fourth-best-selling car in South Africa in January 2023. This quirky hatch leads the way in a portfolio of honest, efficient and value-package products that have seen Suzuki SA's market share climb to an all-time high. An entry-level Swift 1.2 GA derivative that retails for R194,900 would garner an insurance premium ranging between R471,91 and R555,42 per month.


Bakkie Bravado


Assuming our man Joe isn't swayed by the popularity of the Toyota Hilux, he has several other options available to him, two of which represent brand-new offerings from their respective makers.


With a reputation for reliability to match that of the Hilux, Isuzu welcomed its new double-cab to market in 2022. Seemingly continuing where its aging forebear left off, the significantly more modern D-Max package occupied fifth place in terms of January 2023 sales, with 1,273 units sold.


There's trouble brewing for both the Isuzu and Toyota though, as Ford's all-new Ranger sold 1,269 units in its first month on the market. With popular press lauding the Blue Oval's new bakkie effort, Joe is choosing between a D-Max 1.9 Ddi HR double-cab (R571,700) with a potential premium of up to R859.13 per month, or a Ranger 2.0D XL double-cab (R529,900) with a premium of between R725,34 and R879,89 a month.


A stalwart of the local bakkie market, the cheeky Nissan NP200 is the last remaining half-ton pick-up option in South Africa, yet it still sells around 900 units each month. Should Joe be looking for a small workhorse or business transport, a NP200 1.6 (costing from R212,100) will garner an insurance premium of up to R650,09 per month.


Sleeping Wolf

And what of Volkswagen, the German brand that historically competes for top spot on the monthly sales charts in South Africa? While it may not have had flooding to deal with, production of the popular Polo and Polo Vivo packages at the brand's Kariega plant outside Gqeberha has been stifled in recent months due to a combination of supply chain constraints and a shortage of semiconductors. With these delays in the process of being rectified, Joe will soon be able to choose between a seventh-generation Polo, or an SA-only Polo Vivo that's based on the previous-generation car. On the former, his premium would range between R649,69 and R758,77 per month, while on the Vivo his most expensive quote is R586.34.


Another Volkswagen in the form of the fully imported T-Cross was the 11th-best-selling vehicle in South Africa in January 2023, with the brand finding 874 new homes for this popular compact SUV. Joe's premium on a (R393,400) 1.0 Comfortline with an automatic transmission would range between R464,88 and R634,26 per month.


Based on Average Joe's hypothetical circumstances, if that top 10 list were to be arranged by the cheapest insurance quote, it will look like this:


Cheapest Premium

Retail Price

Jan '23 Sales

1. Nissan NP200




2. VW T-Cross




3. Toyota Startlet




4. Suzuki Swift




5. Toyota Corolla Cross




6. VW Polo Vivo




7. Isuzu D-MAX




8. VW Polo




9. Ford Ranger




10. Toyota Hilux





In a move that impressed his wife, Joe did his research, opted for comprehensive Car insurance (and found the best premium on Hippo.co.za) and is now ready to enjoy his brand-new vehicle – with the added peace of mind that he's got the cover he needs at premiums he can afford, thanks to Hippo.co.za.


Risk profile based on a 42-year-old married male with a driver’s licence for the last 20 years. All premiums vary according to risk profiles.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice. Prices and specs correct at publication, but most likely will have changed by the time you read this.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

Our trusted partners