Car dealership still a nightmare

BUYING a vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make apart from buying a house.

BUYING a vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make apart from buying a house.

So it is very important to do research before you part with your cash.

Consumer Line has in the past reported about unscrupulous second-hand car dealers but some consumers have not learnt from the experiences of other consumers.

Consumers still fall victim to the unsavoury business practice of Jemz Motors and are battling to recover their money .

One of them, Simon Mahlangu, has been waiting for his Toyota Venture's registration papers for the past seven months.

Mahlangu has been unable to register his car into his name because he could not produce the vehicle's latest licence documents.

Though the dealer had promised to assist him to get the registration papers, this has not happened.

After Sowetan's intervention, Jemz Motors' owner Ishmael Eshak has agreed to refund Mahlangu his R39000 deposit.

Mahlangu had bought his car 14 days after Sowetan published an article about Morwesi Sibeko, who had also been battling to get her refund from the dealership.

She has accused Eshak of withholding her deposit for an unsolicited tracking device.

Sibeko's vehicle had been stolen and had a bad credit record when she went to buy a car from Jemz Motors. She later cancelled her purchase after Eshak told her they had wanted to install a tracker in the car in order to keep track of it in case she skipped her repayments.

Sibeko was only refunded a portion of her deposit and is still battling to get her R7500 balance.

After the publication of the article, Jemz Motors relocated its business from 160 Ontdekkers Road to 128 Main Road in Newlands.

Eshak has refused to refund another consumer, Avitha Pillay, her R7000 deposit .

He said they had earlier refunded her R3500, but she had forfeited the balance "because she opened a case against Jemz Motors".

Eshak had also threatened to sue Pillay and Sowetan.

Some tips to follow when buying a car:

l Before deciding on a deal, enquire into trade practices and business relationships of the dealership.

Ask around, and visit the dealer's service section to observe relationships with current clients. This usually reveals a dealers' attitude towards customers fairly accurately, whereas the sales division reveals little about after-sales service.

l Ensure that the seller is the legal owner or is entitled to transfer ownership.

l Ensure that there are no outstanding credit agreements on the vehicle being sold.

l All sales deals should always be in writing.

l Obtain all relevant documents and available historical records and the vehicle handbook.

l To avoid any misunderstanding, get all promises in writing on the contract that you sign. If repairs or accessories are promised, specify a date of completion and have it written into the contract.

l Read and understand all the terms of the contract before signing. Do not sign anything that has not been filled out completely. Get a copy of everything that you sign when you sign it.

l If you make a deposit on a vehicle and want it to be refundable, make sure that this is written into the sales contract or purchase option that you sign.

l Additional information sourced from Female Friendly