Pitfalls when buying a motorcar

Dear reader,

The motor vehicle industry is totally profit driven and with the weakening of the economy and amount of used car dealers and individual car stands it is obvious that there is tremendous competition in the used vehicle market and dealers will be offering good deals in an effort to move units.

Buyers of used vehicles should be extra careful in the selection of the dealer as well as the vehicle.

Although the Consumer Protection Act is an excellent protection meganism it is still not the best solution or method of protection against unscrupulous dealers and business transactions as it is still a very time consuming and lengthy process to try and resolve a dispute with a dealership.

Over the past eighteen months it became evident that about eighty five present (85%) of the consumer complaints received from our clients were complaints regarding used vehicles and the balance was new vehicles.


Adhering to the following few simple rules can save the buyer a lot of trouble, anger, time, tears and money.

  • Ensure you are dealing with a honest dealer who is part of a reputable organisation
  • Make sure you read and understand all the documentation before you sign any documents.
  • If you are not sure of certain clauses, take it home and get a knowledgeable person to go through it with you and explain the detail to you, play safe and do not regret your ignorance at a later stage.
  • Be patient and keep in mind that it’s your time and your money. Don’t let anybody rush you into a decision, the salesman get paid to assist you, if you walk out he will lose a deal.
  • If you are unsure, have a knowledgeable person to accompany you and help check the vehicle before you make a decision.
  • If you are in any doubt rather shop around for a vehicle that suits you better.
  • Keep copies of all your documents you are requested to sign as well as the invoice, roadworthy document and insurance contracts and certificates. 
  • You can also request the dealer to take the vehicle for a technical inspection and repair the faults at their expense but you will have to pay for the inspection. There are reputable companies who can assist with technical inspections.
  • Always check the vehicle’s vin number with the agents to verify that you do get the exact vehicle as specified on the invoice, It can easily happen that you pay R10,000-00 more for a vehicle if it is specified incorrectly.

Adhering to the above few rules will certainly save the consumer a lot of time, money and annoyance.  

If you hear or see any of the following clauses in your document, please do not continue with the transaction as you are surely going to regret that you ever entered into the transaction.

  • The vehicle is sold “voetstoots”.
  • You buy it as it is.
  • I will give you R 3000-00 discount if you do the roadworthy and registration.
  • This vehicle is a code 3 but it is in a pristine condition.
  • Our vehicles are guaranteed for thirty days.
When signing a document with any of the above clauses you will struggle to prove that you are entitled to the protection of the Act , rather be safe than sorry and shop around for a better transaction.

82 thoughts on “Pitfalls when buying a motorcar

  1. Najwaa says:

    I bought a Car in November last year (2013). I’ve never received my papers of ownership. I have been back continiously and all they said was they waiting on it. So yesterday (22/02/2014) I went back yet again, and now I’m told the previous owner is out of the country, and now there fines and warrants on this vehicle that is outstanding therefore transfer cannot take place. The Vehicles Licenses expires the 28/02/2014 and now I’m in serious panic mode, as what his now saying is he’ll see that it gets paid and sorted, but how if there fines and warrants???

    Your help would truly be appreciated.

  2. PJ Botha says:

    I have an American Express platinum credit card offered through Nedbank, I was stuck in the Seychelles on praslin island in Jan’14, unable to book out my hotel or draw cash as none of the banks, hotels or travel agents will accept my Amex card, I had my kids & wife with me & tried to phone the customer service to transfer funds to my wife’s blue bean card at Std bank with special clearance ,their staff were not prepared to help at all, I am disgusted that I have a card that can not be used everywhere & their bad service, they have created a lot of stress for me & wasted my valuable holiday time trying to find a bank that would help, 5 hours wasted time and many expensive calls, I will not accept being ignored or that they refused to help and give service when I needed it, as money was transferred to this Amex card to use, which I could not access. I am cutting up my card/ closing the card warn others all over the Net . I got back to SA and no one bothered to come back to me, apologize or assist/address my concerns in Seychelles or since I am back home. Since they have so little regard for their customers, I will now take the necessary steps to have my card cancelled and tell others of my experience all over the internet. I do not wish to deal with companies who do not value the needs of their customers or who do not care for their customers. I am truly disgusted in their lack of care and service delivery. Do yourself a favor DO NOT get an American Express Card to travel with as it is not accepted readily. when you in trouble abroad they also do not help. Their service is really bad, this was the third international trip with this card, which was a nightmare. Rather go for an ordinary Master or Visa card that is accepted worldwide.

  3. admin says:

    Dear consumer,

    We are specialists in the motor vehicle industry and would rather suggest that you take the matter up with Nedbank, we can assist you with a mediation process but the banks will quickly try and get the matter to the banking ombudsman.



  4. admin says:

    Dear Consumer,

    I am not sure whether someone answered you directly or not.

    In my view the dealer is responsible for the fines etc and he must supply you with all the registration documents.

    If you need more assistance please contact our case administrator at info@saconsumercomplaints.co.za



  5. billigste a kasse says:

    Good day I am so delighted I found your blog page, I really found
    you by error, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I
    am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and
    a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all
    at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when
    I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up
    the fantastic work.

  6. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    Thanks for the positive feedback on the site we really appreciate your support.

    Kindest regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  7. teleselskaber says:

    I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your
    blog. It seems like some of the text within your content
    are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This might be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen
    previously. Cheers

  8. billig mobiltelefoni says:

    What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has helped me
    out loads. I hope to contribute & help other customers like its aided me.
    Great job.

  9. admin says:

    Dear reader,
    Thanks for the information but this is news to me as we have readers that used various browsers and never reported this behavior to me.
    If this problem persist please try fire fox or opera and let me know if it helped to resolve the matter.
    Duon Odendaal.

  10. mobile games says:

    Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very
    pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thanks, very nice post.

  11. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    The main idea behind this website is to inform the South African motoring public to understand their rights and how to prevent expensive mistakes.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Kindest regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  12. Firoz says:

    I bought a brand new car and as I was driving home I notice I felt a bit dizzy with the windscreen. I thought it’s just my eyes getting used to it..I called the salesman and he said he will check it out…it’s a week later and I realise that the windscreen is actually warped on the one side…I went to another dealership with the same brand and they definitely say that there is a problem… I will go to the dealer this week…what are my rights here can I demand that I want a new vehicle as I paid for one that’s supposed to be with no faults and a replacement windscreen will not do!

  13. admin says:

    Dear consumer,

    The dealer will replace the windscreen in terms of the warranty but will never cancel the deal due to a faulty windscreen.

    The best will be to have it replaced as soon as possible.


    Duon Odendaal.

  14. admin says:


    I have checked the site with Opera and Firefox and it seems to be ok.

    Please let me know what browser you are using?

    Kind regards,


  15. Feroza says:

    hi. I had purchased a new Foton double cab 2.2 vehicle in jan 2011 and 6 months thereafter had problems with rust which took 6 months to attent to. A year after purchase i noticed more rust and it has now taken almost 2 years for rust claims to be eventually submitted. I handed in my vehicle on 18 November for the rust problems to be attended to. I have been called twice since to collect my vehicle only to find more damages to my vehicle while in the possession of the dealership(cracked windscreen, burst exhaust,changed cluster, door panels and fender panels not aligning, broken seat adjuster levers, electric windows not working, reverse lights and indicator lights not working – to name a few).Jan 2014 my warranty has expired and the dealership refuses to attend to damages on my vehicle and informed me they will charge me storage space. I have not had my vehicle in my possession since November 2013. I have asked the dealer to replace my vehicle as it is in a worse condition than when i had initially handed in my vehicle – they have refused. What can i do 😥 😥

  16. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    Your situation is quite bleak as the vehicle was purchased before the promulgation of the Act and the NCC may reject the matter based on this fact.

    You are welcome to contact our case administrator with a detailed description and time-line of the events as to allow us to see if there is any possible loopholes to get the dispute resolved.

    Please send an mail to info@saconsumercomplaints.co.za for an proper evaluation of the facts.

    Kind regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  17. Feroza says:


    I have already submitted a time – line of event related to my vehicle problems together with a list of organisations/persons that i have approached for assistance ( reference numbers were included). I have received a S A Consumer Complaints ticket number: 516950 but no feedback as yet.

    Many thanks

  18. lakeville says:

    Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information!
    existing here at this web site, thanks admin of this web page.

  19. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    Hope this information will save you some trouble in future and assist you with a better understanding of your consumer rights.

    Kind regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  20. admin says:

    Dear Reader,

    My sincere apologies if we missed your complaint, please be so kind and contact the case administrator at info@saconsumercomplaints.co.za with a request to assist you with all the information needed.

    Kindest regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  21. Rupert Fourie says:

    I bought a BMW f650GS 2008 model motor bike from a motorcycle dealership in Randburg on 22 April 2014, I traded my old bike and paid the difference in cash on the day. Due to the low kilometres on the bike I inquired if it was in an accident and the salesman confirmed it was not. I took the bike back due to a vibration and the balanced the front wheel, after this was done the ABS light kept on going on and due to the fact that the bike needed its annual service I took it to BMW in fourways. on 6 may 2014. They informed the afternoon that they cannot release the bike due to serious irregularities on the front fork, and that they noticed that some other things and are also needing attention. They will need about two weeks to give me a report on what needs attention. I have made contact with the dealership but I only get promises that the owner will phone back, but he never does. Please let me know what I can do and how this is addressed in the consumer protection act

  22. admin says:

    Dear Rupert,

    The Act is clear that any product must be safe, of good quality and must be usable for a reasonable period.

    Further to the above all products must carry a minimum warranty of six months.

    In your case I would argue that the bike does not comply with the standards set in the Act and therefore they must assist with the dispute by doing one of the following things:
    1) Repair to an acceptable condition.
    2) Replace the product with a product of similar value.
    3) Refund the consumer and cancel the agreement, this option may become an issue in some cases.

    Should you require more information please contact our case administrator at info@saconsumercomplaints.co.za for more information as we prefer not to discuss too much of the consumer’s personal questions in the public domain.

    Kind regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  23. youtube.com says:

    Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in
    finding It really useful & it helped me out
    a lot. I hope to present one thing again and aid others
    like you helped me.

    Feel free to surf to my page: Best Treatment for Acne Scars – The Only Natural Acne Solution (youtube.com)

  24. omega 3 Gabriel Method says:

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep
    up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

    Feel free to visit my page :: omega 3 Gabriel Method

  25. Superior Singing Method says:

    You are so awesome! I don’t suppose I have read through a single thing like this before.
    So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts
    on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up.
    This website is one thing that is required on the
    internet, someone with a little originality!

    Here is my web blog … Superior Singing Method

  26. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    Thanks for reading the blog, you will note that I do not always comment on all the postings but I really appreciate each reader’s comments but I am receiving about tho hundred and fifty e-mails per day on the specific topics.

    Best regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  27. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    I have thought of pictures but this is mainly an site to supply the readers with legal information therefore I have decided not to clutter the site with pictures etc. as a large amount of readers also make use of cell phones, the other factor was the download speed and data usage as mobile data is still very expensive in the South African market and we are trying to assist as much as possible readers.


    Duon Odendaal.

  28. game of thrones season 3 episode 1 says:

    I drop a comment each time I like a article on a site
    or I have something to add to the discussion. It is a
    result of the fire communicated in the post I browsed.

    And on this post Pitfalls when buying a motorcar | Consumer Complaints South Africa.
    I was actually excited enough to drop a thought 😛
    I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay.
    Is it just me or do a few of the comments look like
    they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional sites, I would like to follow
    everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list the complete urls of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    my website: game of thrones season 3 episode 1

  29. rea says:

    Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit oof this web site; this weblog carries remarkable and actually good materia inn support
    of readers.

  30. rea says:

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like reading yokur articles.
    Keep up the good work! You know, lots of individuals are hunting round for this info, you can
    aiid tthem greatly.

  31. rea says:

    You can certainly see yokur enthusiasm within the article yoou write.

    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are noot afraid to mention
    how they believe. All thee time follow your heart.

  32. everythingkenknows.com says:

    Firѕt of all I would like to sѕay excellent blog!I had a quіcκ question in whicҺ I’d lіke to ask if you
    do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center youjrself and
    ϲlear your heaԀ prior to writing. I have had
    difficulty clearing myy thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do enjoy writіng buut it jуst seems like the first 10 to 15 mіnutes twnd
    to be wastewd jst trying too figue out ɦow tto begin. Any ideas
    or hints? Thank you!

    Feel freе to surf to my web pɑge: everythingkenknows.com

  33. rea says:

    Hello are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m neew to
    the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set
    upp my own. Do you require any codiing expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  34. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    I am using WordPress and you really do not need any special skills to maintain your site.



  35. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    I normally start by making bullets point to keep me on track.



  36. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    The idea was to keep the site as clean and simple as possible and supply the readers with the best possible advice without wasting time om slow downloads.

    Kindest regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  37. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    I do not make use of any other url’s or public pages.

    The idea of the site was to educate readers to understand the new consumer Protection Act, their rights and warning about possible pitfalls.

    I do have a few new topics but I am running low on time to prepare the documents.



  38. admin says:

    Dear reader I am not using any other sites or url’s to publish articles.



  39. minecraft games says:

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely great.
    I actually like what you have obtained right here, really
    like what you are saying and the best way during which you say it.
    You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it sensible.

    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a
    wonderful site.

  40. tool hack clash of clans says:

    Baby Mozart helps young children discover the beauty of classical music.
    s from this abrupt juncture when the two adults should
    have drawn a line between themselves that you are suddenly more than interested
    to watch and reach the outcome of this odd yet understandable affair.
    ) It is definitely recommended to check out this movie
    for the year.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage; tool hack clash of clans

  41. clumsy ninja cheats says:

    I believe what you composed made a ton of sense. However, what about this?
    what if you composed a catchier title? I ain’t suggesting your content
    is not good., however suppose you added a post title that makes people want more?
    I mean Pitfalls when buying a motorcar | Consumer Complaints South Africa is a little plain. You should look at Yahoo’s front
    page and note how they create post titles to grab people interested.
    You might add a related video or a related picture or two
    to get readers excited about what you’ve written. In my
    opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

    Feel free to visit my website … clumsy ninja cheats

  42. clash clans hack says:

    Parents need to monitor the ESRB ratings on video games. a hotbed for studying the hostility between fans of the two automakers.
    I pray that you peace and love will be upon them and keep them as they do
    what You want them to do.

    My web blog: clash clans hack

  43. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    I am not aware of any other sites with similar information but I believe that you will be able to Google for more information.

    Keep in mind that this website is bases on South African Law and the primary function is to explain the new Act to the public.

    Kind regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  44. admin says:

    Dear Reader,

    The primary function of the website is to assist the South African public to understand their consumer rights and to assist them to be careful when purchasing a motor vehicle.

    My intention is to replace the blog with short articles on important fact to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle.

    Kind regards,

    Duon Odendaal.

  45. admin says:

    Dear reader,

    Thanks for the comment, keep in mind that the website is totally based on the South African Consumer Protection Act.



  46. Jimmy tolmie says:

    I have a Hyundai accent, purchased from Hyundai Alberton. I signed a contract with Nedbank at 12.25%. The car is three years old, and is taken over 72 months. I have retired and fjnd the repayments a bit much. Phoned Nedbank today to get clarity and was told the interest is 12.25% per day, that is 36.75% per month, 369% per annum. Surely this is excessive.

  47. admin says:

    Dear consumer,
    My appologies for the late reply, I have noted your complaint during routine maintenance of the website.
    Please be so kind and contact our case administrator at admin@saconsumercomplaints.co.za with regards to
    your complaint.
    Kindest regards,
    The maintenance team.

Comments are closed.