A garage or private parking space isn’t always included in the price when you buy a new apartment or town-house in South Africa, although secure parking may be available at an additional cost, possibly in an underground garage. Modern detached homes usually have a garage or a basement that can be used as a garage. Smaller homes normally have a single garage, while larger properties may have garaging for up to four cars. A lock-up garage is important in areas with a high incidence of car theft and theft from cars (e.g. most cities), and is also useful to protect your car from climatic extremes – particularly too much sun and heat.
Without a private garage or parking space, parking can be a nightmare (and dangerous), particularly in cities and during the summer in busy resorts or developments. Free on-street parking can be difficult or impossible to find in cities and large towns, and in any case may be inadvisable for anything but a wreck. If you’re buying in a large development, note that the nearest parking area may be some distance from your home. This may be an important factor, particularly if you aren’t up to carrying heavy shopping hundreds of metres and possibly up several flights of stairs.
It’s usually cheaper to rent a parking bay than a garage, but even these can be expensive: in outlying areas of Cape Town, for example, the price of a parking bay is between R38,000 (€3,900) and R45,000 (€4,600); and in the City Bowl or the fashionable central area of Long Street, a bay can cost between R70,000 (€7,250) and R100,000 (€10,300).
The cost of a garage or parking space isn’t always recouped when selling, although it makes a property more attractive and may clinch a sale. Parking isn’t usually a problem when buying an old home in a rural area, although there may not be a purpose-built garage.