Guide to Citroën in South Africa

A French manufacturer with a unique approach to car design, Citroën has been at the forefront of innovation for a century.

Citroën's domination of the World Rally Championship is astonishing. French rallying legend, Sebastian Loeb, helped the brand secure a world record number of Constructor Championships (eight) between 2003 and 2012, while nine drivers won the Driver's Championship using Citroën cars between 2003 and 2012. Their 100 overall rally victories are amazing considering they only made their rally debut in 1998.

The brand won the coveted European Car of the Year award in 1971, 1975, and 1990, and the Citroën DS was voted as the third most influential Car of the Century by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation, just behind the Mini and the Ford Model T.

Citroën South Africa hasn't offered any new vehicles in the country since their departure in 2016 but does provide after sales service to their existing customers.

A Brief History of Citroën

French industrialist, André-Gustave Citroën, founded Citroën in 1919, establishing the brand as an innovator with the launch of the Traction Avant. This was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive car and the first to feature a unitary chassis that shares the load for the engine, suspension, and other mechanical parts.

Citroën's innovation continued with the introduction of the first hydro pneumatic self-levelling suspension in 1954, a system that keeps the car level no matter the road conditions. Citroën also introduced the first mass-produced car with disc brakes in 1955 and the first cars with swivelling headlights in 1967.

One of Citroën's most popular cars was the 2CV. It was designed in 1948 specifically for rural French farmers as an alternative to horses. It features a unique curved-roof design to accommodate the farmer's hat, an engine pushing 8.9kW, and suspension soft enough so as not to disturb a tray of eggs while driving.

Brown Citroën DS 5
Side view of white Citroën Cactus on the beach with ocean view background

Buying a Citroën

Since Citroën departed South Africa in 2016, all dealerships offering new models were sold off or had their leases terminated. Citroën still offers servicing for their vehicles under manufacturer's warranty and service plans to existing owners.

If you are looking to find the nearest Citroën service agent, you can find their contact details and location on Citroën South Africa's website.

Best Selling Citroën Models

The popular C1 was Citroën's answer to the highly competitive budget segment. The nippy little pocket car symbolised everything that made the brand famous – a modern and unique design with French flair.

Built on the same platform and in the same factory as the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107, the second-generation Citroën C1 debuted in 2014 and was released with 1.0L and 1.2L engine variants, several styling packages, and a trendy cabriolet version.

Interested in other South African vehicle manufacturers? Visit our car guide.

White Citroën DS3 cabriolets on the road with a tree in the background.
Red and blue Citroën race car on the pole position

Citroën Safety and Insurance

Insuring a vehicle that doesn’t have a dealership agent in South Africa does bring several challenges and questions. We tackle a few of them here:

Can My Citroën Still be Insured?

Yes, it can. Although the brand left the country, it can still be maintained through third-party service agents who can import parts. If you want to insure your Citroën, get a range of competitive car insurance quotes in minutes. 

Will this Affect the Cost of Insurance?

Possibly. As many Citroën parts now need to be imported into South Africa, this could increase your car insurance premium; the more expensive the parts, the more expensive repairs are.

Can I Still Buy Citroën Cars in South Africa?

Yes. Some non-Citroën dealerships might still have stock of new vehicles and you can also purchase a pre-owned model on the used car market.

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Sources: NAAMSA, Citroën, Wikipedia

Information provided for informational purposes. Prices quoted correct at the time of publishing this article.