Let’s be honest, as purse strings get tighter, the bargain hunter in you is more likely to come out. And when it comes to purchasing a vehicle – it’s certainly no different. Purchasing a car is a big financial commitment – so naturally, you will look for the best deal, the best rate and of course value for money. Unfortunately, sometimes if it looks too good to be true – it very well could be!
Recently, there has been an influx of illegally registered and sold vehicles in South Africa – with reports estimating around 20 000 each year – and the police and SARS have started to take action.
The second-hand vehicles shipped to South African ports are mainly from China. There, they are taken by criminals and fraudulently registered on the eNatis system – after which they are sold to local buyers, at significantly reduced prices, many of whom are not aware of the vehicle’s status. These vehicles are in due course seized and confiscated by the police – leaving the owners with no vehicle, out of pocket and little legal recourse.
The grey-goods market is a booming sector – and while many are cognizant of grey parts, it’s important to know what you are buying. It is suspected that these vehicles are legally shipped to Africa but intended for other regions – where a number of the vehicles are then illegally brought across the border and sold off privately or by car dealers.
So next time you are in the market for a vehicle – make sure to do your homework and remember if you are paying R60 000 for a vehicle that usually retails at R170 000 – there has to be a catch and you certainly don’t want to be caught in the police crack-down on imported car fraud!