Don’t aban­don your car

There is al­ways a bet­ter so­lu­tion, and you could be li­able for the cost of stor­age

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Sup­plied.

CARS left aban­doned at re­pair work­shops are an in­con­ve­nience that work­shop own­ers face around the coun­try.

Les Mc Mas­ter, chair­per­son of the Mo­tor In­dus­try Work­shop As­so­ci­a­tion (Miwa), says that an­nu­ally, some work­shops have over 25 ve­hi­cles aban­doned at their work­shops. “As you can imag­ine, hav­ing to deal with this is­sue can be oner­ous to the work­shop,” he said.

“As with any premises, space is valu­able and th­ese cars take up the equiv­a­lent of say 15 to 18 square me­tres each. If you equate that to what you would pay for a stor­age unit of sim­i­lar size you are look­ing at over R700 rental fee per day per ve­hi­cle. Along with the space is­sue, there is se­cu­rity to con­sider, move­ment costs (such as fuel needed to move the ve­hi­cle) and ad­di­tional in­sur­ance costs,” said Mc Mas­ter.

He says that gen­eral main­te­nance has to be done on the ve­hi­cles to en­sure the work­shop doesn’t start look­ing like a scrap heap. “A pro­fes­sional im­age is im­por­tant for work­shops, so en­sur­ing th­ese aban­doned cars are not ne­glected be­comes an ad­di­tional con­cern for the work­shop own­ers.”

So why do car own­ers aban­don their ve­hi­cles? Af­ford­abil­ity of re­pairs, is the sim­ple an­swer, says Mc Mas­ter.

“We are living in a time of an ev­er­tight­en­ing econ­omy so un­for­tu­nately car own­ers are only re­pair­ing their ve­hi­cles when some­thing breaks ...

“Also, there can be a knock-on ef­fect as one bro­ken part af­fects sev­eral oth­ers. The re­al­ity is that car own­ers will bring in their ve­hi­cles for re­pairs and then not have the money to pay for them, so leave their cars aban­doned at the work­shop.”

He says that what the car own­ers of th­ese aban­doned ve­hi­cles may not re­alise is that they may be li­able for the stor­age costs.

“The re­pair work­shop is well within its rights to in­clude a stor­age fee rate in the con­tract signed by the ve­hi­cle owner, stip­u­lat­ing that a daily charge may ac­crue if the ve­hi­cle is aban­doned. If the cus­tomer does not claim the ve­hi­cle and a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion re­pos­sesses the ve­hi­cle, the car owner will be li­able to the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion for all costs as­so­ci­ated with the ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing the stor­age fees ac­crued,” he said.

Mc Mas­ter be­lieves that regular main­te­nance at the re­quired in­ter­vals is one way to re­duce the amount of aban­doned ve­hi­cles. He also urges car own­ers to re­quest quotes up­front and to speak to their me­chanic about com­mu­ni­cat­ing clearly should ad­di­tional work be re­quired once the ve­hi­cle is stripped.

“Use a rep­utable work­shop, like a Miwa-ac­cred­ited work­shop, and don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions. Dis­cuss your op­tions with the me­chanic — there will al­ways be a bet­ter so­lu­tion than aban­don­ing your ve­hi­cle,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.