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Vehicle dealership or private seller?

Once a choice has been made to buy a used – or “previously loved” - car, the next step is to make a decision where to buy it from.

This will rely on different factors with one of the most important factors being your budget, as well as the availability of funds.

Private sellers will want the vehicle to be paid for before giving it to you, while most dealerships will prefer to be paid off with in-house finance or even conventional car finance from the banks. This means if you want to purchase a vehicle from a dealership you need to have a healthy credit history.

Formerly, second-hand vehicles were sold voetstoets, which means “as is”, meaning any later faults discovered will not be the responsibility of the dealer. Luckily, nowadays when customers purchase vehicles from dealerships they are now covered by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) which states that if any unidentified faults are discovered by the buyer within the first 6 months after buying a car, they have the right to request for repair, and refund or even replacement of the car.

It’s very important to note that private sales are not covered by the CPA as the law only applies to companies. If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you will have to do a lot of the basic work, for example getting the car examined by a mechanic to confirm that there are no unknown faults. The buyer will have to work with the seller to ensure that the car is registered in their name to prove ownership. Finally, the two parties need to draft an Agreement of Sale.

The option of whether to purchase a car from a dealer or individual is not an easy one as there are a lot of factors to consider. Finally, the two parties need to draft an Agreement of Sale and follow the processes.


Avoid these mistakes when buying a new car

We’ve put together a few tips to help ensure you make the right choice for your lifestyle and your pocket.

Find out more