Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

McCraw cau­tions that, to some ex­tent, con­sumers should mod­er­ate their ex­pec­ta­tions when buy­ing a used car. “You can’t ex­pect a used ve­hi­cle to meet the same qual­ity as that of a new ve­hi­cle,” he says. “This does not mean that con­sumers should put up with poor qual­ity or ser­vice, how­ever.”

If you must buy from a ‘barbed­wire- and-Wendy- house’ dealer, find out if that dealer is reg­is­tered with an i ndus­try body l i ke the In­de­pen­dent Deal­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion or t he Re­tail Mo­tor I ndustr y Or­gan­i­sa­tion and its con­stituent as­so­ci­a­tion the Na­tional Au­to­mo­bile Deal­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. If a dealership isn’t reg­is­tered, why not? Does it have some­thing to hide?

En­sure that the used-car dealer is reg­is­tered with the South African Po­lice Ser­vices in terms of the Sec­ond-Hand Goods Act of 2009 and has been is­sued with the rel­e­vant op­er­at­ing li­cence. If the dealer is not reg­is­tered then the dealer is op­er­at­ing il­le­gally.

Buy­ing from a pri­vate seller? You can get a good deal, but be aware that you are not cov­ered by the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act. Still want the ve­hi­cle? Take it to DEKRA and ask for a con­di­tion re­port. DEKRA is af­fil­i­ated with the AA but you don’t have to be ei­ther an AA or a DEKRA mem­ber to ask for a tech­ni­cal i nspec­tion, a mul­ti­point check or a con­di­tion re­port. The CPA i s ap­pli­ca­ble to cars bought on auc­tion.

Be­cause road­wor­thy cer­tifi­cates are some­times bought on the dealer floor – the ve­hi­cle gets nowhere near a test­ing cen­tre – Oden­daal rec­om­mends you ask the dealership for a DEKRA cer­tifi­cate of road­wor­thi­ness, even if you have to pay a cou­ple of rand ex­tra, it is still worth it. A dealer may also of­fer you a dis­count if you take the car for a road­wor­thy on your own steam, but this is in fact the dealer’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, not yours.

Ask your dealership for a copy of the im­plied war­ranty of qual­ity when you buy a car. You can re­turn the ve­hi­cle up to six months af­ter re­ceiv­ing it if the ve­hi­cle is not in good work­ing order or of good qual­ity. But note that if you have dam­aged the ve­hi­cle in any way you can­not re­turn it.

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