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Don't be driven into buying a vehicle

By unknown | Mar 28, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A rush to secure a trucking business might have cost Vincent Buthelezi his lifetime investment.

A rush to secure a trucking business might have cost Vincent Buthelezi his lifetime investment.

Buthelezi did not do his homework before approaching a dealer and now regrets it.

"I am so frustrated. I cannot sleep at night when I think about my money," he says.

Buthelezi paid R114000 to Bramar Trucks in February because he wanted to start a trucking business.

The truck on sale had visible defects that the sales agent undertook to repair it in a week's time, but this agreement was not recorded in writing.

"I was refused a chance to test drive it, but was assured that it would be mobile when I collected it," said Buthelezi.

A week later he found the truck had not been repaired and was not drivable.

He was told to take another truck, which cost R70000 more, Buthelezi said.

"I declined the offer and demanded my money back, but they refused to refund me," said Buthelezi.

He acknowledges that he was negligent when he paid his money without test-driving the truck or getting a trustworthy mechanic to inspect it.

On Thursday the dealer invited Buthelezi to his office with the intention of refunding him. But, after waiting two hours, Buthelezi was told that the company's auditor had to authorise payment.

"I really need my money back," Buthelezi said.

Bramar Trucks has asked its legal department to decide whether Buthelezi should be refunded.

Before buying a used car from a dealer, there are steps you can take to ensure you are getting good value for your money.

l Buy from a dealer with a good reputation;

l Compare dealers' prices, and the condition and mileage of the vehicle;

l Compare interest rates and other terms of finance agreements;

l Note that VAT must be paid;

l To estimate the total cost, add in any service or repair expenses that might be incurred;

l Have a trustworthy mechanic inspect the vehicle and list the problems he finds;.

l Contact the AA service department for help. An AA check is a good idea;

l Do not buy a used car before you have road-tested it and are satisfied;

l Find out if the dealer is prepared to fix the defects - if he is, ask for promises in writing and get him to sign the document;

l If the dealer is unwilling, do not let him pressure you into buying;

l Demand a valid roadworthy certificate from the seller and a copy of the buyer's manual.

Tips from Buy Right: A Consumer Guide for South Africa


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