Buying a car from a dealer has become an almost seamless process, with much of the paperwork being handled by the dealership itself. The good news is that buying a car through a private sale, whether from someone you know or a private seller, can also be a relatively painless and – even more importantly – safe process.

According to WesBank spokesperson Rudolf Mahoney, if one wants to buy a car from someone else, the process is quite simple. “The buyer can either apply for finance online or phone to speak to a marketer. Once the application has been approved, the buyer simply needs to submit the relevant documents to the financier. All the relevant steps are carefully explained in the process as well as the credit criteria.”

He says that if the buyer organises their private finance through WesBank they can sign the agreement for their new vehicle online and once the documents have been approved, meet a WesBank agent to verify the required supporting documents and organise a copy of the vehicle registration documents (NATIS).

“Depending on who the buyer or seller transacts with, it may also be advisable for specialist third parties to be involved. For example, WesBank uses the services of Title Guard, a private company that facilitates transactions between the buyer and the seller. TitleGuard follows a careful process to enable the vehicle to be properly transferred and registered from the seller to the buyer, while protecting both parties.”

The vehicle must also pass the standard Roadworthy test as well as a 101 Multipoint check, and this is facilitated by a approved supplier such as Dekra Group in order to ensure that the vehicle is fit to be on the road. Mahoney clarifies, “Because WesBank has partnerships in place with companies like TitleGuard and Dekra, the safety and security of the transaction is ensured.”

To mitigate risks, says Mahoney, the two parties should speak to their financiers about the possibility of a risk management solution for both seller and buyer.

“Firstly, checks should be carried out with the insurance companies to ascertain the accident history of the car. Any adverse information can then be shared with both the seller and the buyer of the car before a transaction is concluded. Further checks can also be made to ensure that the car is not circulated or tagged as a stolen vehicle or a rebuilt vehicle which banks do not finance.

“Because the bank acts as an intermediary, money is paid directly to the seller of the car where the car is owned outright. When the car is still under finance, the financing institution will be settled first, and this guarantees that ownership passes to the buyer correctly, the interested parties will only then receive their money. These processes can ensure that the buyer and seller’s interests, as well as the interests of the financial institution, are looked after,” concludes Mahoney.

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