What if you have just purchased a car through a private deal and found out that it has been stolen? Imagine the problems you would encounter along with the stress of dealing with legal matters. If you’ve bought a stolen car ‘accidentally’, you can be arrested, and you will lose the car without any compensation. Selling a stolen car will only make matters worse. Read on and find out how to ensure the vehicle you are considering buying has not been stolen.
Private deals – what to look out for1,2,3
Many motorists would like to cut out the ‘middle man’ to reduce costs and conclude a private deal when purchasing a car. Despite taking precautions, such as going through various online checks, bringing along a friend who understands cars inside out, the actual private deal in most cases does eventually rest on the principle of good faith.
How do I get hold of crucial information? 1,3
Banks, car dealers and insurers have access to information about a car’s history and book value, which unfortunately, is not available to the public.
A mobile app to help you1,3
There are mobile apps that could help you identify stolen vehicles. FirstCheck is an example of such an app that enables you and me to access vital information to make correct decisions that won’t backfire on us. The app allows you to put in a fair offer on any car deal and protects you from criminals.
The app gives you a valuation report, which covers the car’s trade and retail values. This allows you to make the correct offer confidently, as well as knowing what premium to pay the insurer. It will also indicate the degree by which your car value has depreciated over the last year.
The verification report that is provided by the app supplies the vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number, and vehicle colour, along with other vital information. The report also provides all financing details, mileage at various stages, and the vehicle’s legal status.
The app also gives an indication if the car has been micro-dotted. This refers to a car that has received thousands of micro-dots so that a micro-dot scanner can show if any engine parts or body panels have been renewed.
The beauty of the app is its ability to link to SAPS and bank databases, which will reveal if the car is marked as stolen or is being financed. The app also enables the purchaser or seller to check the buyer’s creditworthiness from a purchased credit report.
How do you get the app?3
Visit the website www.firstcheck.co.za to download the app (IOS or Android), and use it to buy the valuation and verification reports.
After you have obtained the app to ensure that your car purchase will be secure, you need to get adequate car insurance cover. Contact PMD for more information about affordable car insurance products, which include unique features such as no premium increases.* T’s and C’s apply.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.