Dream car turns into a nightmare

Imagine buying a vehicle for R245000 and no one telling you it had previously been written off.

Imagine buying a vehicle for R245000 and no one telling you it had previously been written off.

Masondo Nkosi made this shocking discovery in December last year.

He has since been trying in vain to get this raw deal cancelled.

It is unlikely it will ever be cancelled.

Imraan Bayet, explained to Consumer Line that the new management was not responsible for the actions of Mayet Car Sales.

Nkosi bought a Mercedes-Benz C Class Kompressor from Mayet Car Sales in December 2004.

"When I bought the car nobody told me it had latent defects," he said.

Within a month after he bought it, its engine packed up and Mayet Car Sales agreed to fix it after a protracted battle and threats from his attorney, he said.

Fixing that damage cost almost R80000 said Nkosi.

"I continued driving my dream car until it had another major problem, forcing me to take it for another assessment at Cargo Motors," said Nkosi.

He said the workshop assistant ran a test and discovered that the car had been written off in June 2001.

"If this information had been revealed, I would not have bought the car," said Nkosi.

He said Jakoob Patel, a co-owner at Mayet Car Sales disputed this, but after showing him a printout which confirmed his assertion, he agreed to investigate the matter.

In January Mayet Car Sales admitted liability and offered to exchange his vehicle.

"They also suggested I go to another dealership and trade in the defective car or buy another one at their expense.

"The final option they gave me was that I could sue them for damages and that would take a long time as they too would have to sue the people who sold the car to them."

Nkosi was bitter because this garage had enriched itself at his expense.

"I would strongly advise any interested consumer not to buy from them," he said.

Imraan Bayet said the new management had retained the old name, but intended changing the name to Nigel Motors.

Bayet said they had taken over the files of the previous seller, but not their liabilities.

He told Consumer Line that the previous owners said they were selling the business because they were planning to emigrate.


l Take every second-hand car you buy to the Automobile Association for a comprehensive test. This will help you ascertain whether it had been tampered with or had been involved in an accident.

Read more about the model of the car you're thinking about. Will it perform as you would like it to?

Be aware of any known mechanical problems with that particular model and remember to check them out when you take it for a test drive.

l Look up the current second- hand values for the car. Also get some of the second-hand car magazines and your local paper. Check out the prices for similar cars.

l Vehicle insurance is always a major expense.

How much will that car cost you to insure? It's easy to find out on the Internet - get a few quotes. It'll just take you 10 minutes.

l Also check out the car's other running costs.

We're talking about fuel consumption, servicing and repair bills. Ensure you can afford to run the car.

l When you see the car, insist on seeing its registration documents and, if the car is more than three years old, its MOT certificate. The registration documents will also show the car's VIN number. Carefully check that the documents tally.

l Always ensure the person selling the car does actually own it.

l And always see the car at the seller's own home or business premises.