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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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What are the responsibilities of a second hand car dealer in

Resolved Question:

What are the responsibilities of a second hand car dealer in terms of providing a guarantee that a vehicle purchased is not going to break down after having being driven less than 200km by myself. The dealer has just informed me that as the vehicle in question is, after all, 12 years old they will only bear the cost of the repair up to R2000.00 and I will be responsible for the rest of the repair cost. I maintain that they then should make sure that the car has been thoroughly checked out prior to being sold. Where do I stand on this issue. I would be grateful for a response.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.
Good day.

This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread

Did they provide a guarantee when you bought the vehicle?

Did you buy the vehicle voetstoots?.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I did not buy the vehicle voetstoets. But at the same time I never enquired about a guarantee. I have bought from second-hand dealers before and they have always sorted out any problems that I encountered in the first couple of weeks of owning the car. So on that basis I never asked about a guarantee. But my contention is that surely I am entitled to a product that gives me some measure of reliability especially as in this instance the vehicle had not even covered 200 km. As things stand at the moment the vehicle is in a repair shop.I dont know how much more above the R2000.00 that the dealer is prepared to pay that I might have to fork out to recover my vehicle. I just want to know what my legal position on this is. If I have no legal standing I'll abide by that but I would like an expert to explain that to me. Many thanks
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.
So there was no written agreement between you and the dealer and you signed no papers in which it is stated that the vehicle is sold voetstoots?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The only document appertaining to the sale of the vehicle detailed the trade- in price for my vehicle and the difference between the value of the trade-in and the price I would pay for the vehicle in question. Its a standard second-hand vehicle sale agreement I would think. But there was certainly nothing to indicate that I was being sold a vehicle voetstoets. In the meantime I have had contact with the dealer who informed me that they would never give any sort of guarantee on a 12 year-old motor car anyway.When I questioned why I had not being told. His reply was that I never asked!!!!

As things stand the fault with the vehicle has finally been located and I have to fork out R3000.00 to get the car fixed which means that with the dealer agreeing to fund the repair up to R2000.00 the total for this repair has been in the region of R5000.00 Not bad for a vehicle sold thats done less than 150 km since it left their premises. Hope this helps.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.
So from this I gather that the fault is one that is not immediately visible but would only have been discovered after a thorough inspection of the vehicle?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I doubt whether it would have shown up in a static check-up. The vehicle only started misfiring after the engine reached a certain temperature. If I had driven the vehicle for longer during the test drive this might have shown up. The fault only showed up after I had the vehicle for a week and was doing a longer trip when the fault started once the engine got to a certain temperature.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.

Since the vehicle was not sold voetstoots according to you and a latent defect became apparent after the sale of the vehicle, you would have the following remedies:


1. You can sue for the cancellation of the agreement. In this instance, you would be able to give the article back and receive your money back. You would lose this remedy if you do not inform the seller of your intention to cancel the agreement within a reasonable time. What is reasonable will depend on the facts of the matter and will not be the same for every instance. You would also lose the remedy if you displayed an intention to keep the product after you learned of the defect.


You would have to prove that the defect existed at the time of purchase, that it is a latent defect, that you would not have purchased it if you knew of the defect and that you cannot use or partially cannot use the product for what it was intended for.


2. You can sue for a reduction in price. In this instance, you get some of your money back, but you keep the vehicle. The amount you would get back is generally what it would cost you to fix it, alternatively, the amount that the defect has reduced in price because of the defect, whichever is the lesser amount.


You would have to prove the same as above, except that you would not have bought the vehicle, but for the defect. In addition, you would also have to prove the amounts as set out above.

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