The Online Vehicle Retail Market and Safely Selling Vehicles Online
The South African vehicle market is, despite a challenging economic environment, a growing market. At 1 April 2017, there were in excess of 12 million registered vehicles in South Africa. The number of registered drivers in SA during 2016 increased by 507 002 presenting a new total of 12 283 777.
With so many potential vehicle buyers there has also been an increase in platforms offering to buy and sell vehicles. The traditional vehicle retailers and auctioneers have been joined by a variety of online vehicle retail platforms.
What do potential buyers need to know about the online vehicle retail market and how can they protect themselves. We approached the experts from CarZar with a few questions to gain some insights:
Is it fair to say that the online car buying industry is growing significantly in South Africa? What would the reasons be?
Finding people who are buying or selling used cars is not the same as it used to be. Today, one has many options other than the local paper or word of mouth. Because of the evolution of the internet and technology, consumers are now obsessed with finding opportunities to get things done in the easiest and simplest way possible.
South Africans are increasingly becoming more trusting when it comes to online purchases and transactions. Some portals cater for a market that specifically wants to sell their vehicles online without compromising on safety, competence, and convenience.
What is needed to grow this online vehicle retail market further?
To grow the market further, consumers need to be entrusted as well as educated around new ways services are being rendered.
Customers should be empowered to sell vehicles seamlessly. We firmly stand by our four cornerstones - safety, convenience, transparency and competence. The car-selling process should not be challenging, but rather be a positive experience. Selling your car has never been easier.
There are a variety of online dealer platforms – what are the major differences between these platforms?
CarZar is a tech-startup, disrupting the second-hand car industry in South Africa. We do this by introducing technology in an industry that's been very traditional for so long. For instance, users receive an instant quote online in seconds just by entering their car details on our website.
What could be the most important reasons why potential sellers may be hesitant to sell vehicles online?
Security risks – both in terms of fraud and personal safety - still weigh on the minds of a lot of South Africans. It is, however, possible to remove all the safety risks, hassle and haggles, that comes with the traditional car selling process.
There has always been a concern of fraudsters/criminals operating in the vehicle industry – What strategies could an Online vehicle buying platform implement to address these concerns?
One of the four cornerstones to be followed religiously is the factor of safety. The portal could run full checks on the vehicle’s history and whether there are any criminal cases pending on the car. It should be possible to offer a guarantee to the safety of all transactions.
How is this industry regulated – what are the most important legislation to keep in mind when buying or selling a vehicle?
- When buying a vehicle, one can simply revert back to The Consumer Protection Act, which protects the consumer in case of any problems which may occur 2 to 3 months down the line.
- When selling one’s vehicle online, ensure the money is reflected in the account before releasing the vehicle to the buyer.
- Draw up a contract stating the clauses which clearly states the condition of the vehicle and that the buyer acknowledges this and accepts the agreement.
- One should sell on a standard pertaining to The Consumer Protection Act protecting both parties.
Would online vehicle buying platforms be a threat to the traditional vehicle retailers or is their scope for mutual benefit in cooperation?
- Internet connectivity in South Africa is constantly on the rise. More and more consumers are utilising services provided online or through mobile apps.
- This opens a series of opportunities in different industries which have not innovated much in the last few decades.
- With the tough economy, the price gap between new and used cars is widening, making second-hand cars a very attractive option as new cars are now out of reach for many people.
- By selling stock to traditional dealerships, we position ourselves as their strategic partner and not as a threat
What are the benefits of selling a vehicle to CarZar?
- We will never turn down a car unless it is a non-runner.
- By taking into consideration both market fluctuations and historical data from similar transactions, we aim at giving a fair pricing for each vehicle we inspect.
- We offer a fair price to the customer.
- We have competent inspectors and make accurate assessments of each vehicle inspected.
- It is a reliable and safe option of selling your car for cash.
- Inspections take as little as 20 minutes, after that we make a final cash offer and if accepted we make an instant payment and take care of the paperwork - the overall process takes as little as 30 minutes and you receive an instant payment.
Is the industry very much focused on passenger vehicles or is there more scope for purchasing all types of vehicles i.e. trucks, off-road vehicles, mining vehicles, fleets of vehicles etc.
Our portal only purchases passenger vehicles. The truck and trailer industry is very specialised.
What would be the best advice for potential sellers of vehicles considering to sell Online?
- Ensure that you have all your documents in order e.g license disk, registration papers, ID and service book, it makes the selling process a lot less complicated.
- Do not meet potential buyers alone or at night, this is very risky, you are a lot more vulnerable to attack.
- Do not carry large sums of money with you. Many car buyers will promise to provide you with cash in hand but this is not always a good idea. You become a moving ATM immediately after selling your car for hard cash.
What are the benefits of selling your car for cash instead of trading in a vehicle?
- If you sell your car to us you will receive an instant payment. You will have cash in hand and a lot more bargaining power when purchasing a new car.
- When approaching a dealer with cash, you stand a better chance of them giving you good value for a new car.
- You can almost dictate the price you will be paying for a new vehicle, as you won’t have your trade-in.
- With cash in hand, you are able to negotiate a better discount on a new vehicle and allows you more freedom to choose your next vehicle.
- Cash also means that you have more freedom when it comes to financing and choosing a vehicle. Dealerships may offer you a better price on the vehicle that you want because you have cash and not a used vehicle.
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