The soon to be announced National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020 will make used car dealers re-think their selling process for the benefit of used car buyers.
The NAP 2020 requires used car dealers to provide an honest third party vehicle inspection that will reveal the truth about the vehicle’s past.
Accident damage reports and a health check on electronic systems will be included. Clocking odometers will be a thing of the past as service reports will need to be included.
Used car dealers will also need to include a warranty to ensure that they have delivered a vehicle in good and safe running condition.
Many of the elements found in the official Perodua used car business model will be used for this new policy.
As a buyer of used cars since 1981, there is still not a used car dealer who was completely truthful.
One of these used car dealers was a school friend and even then some pertinent information was missing just before the sale was signed.
As a used car buyer, you understand fully well that a used car comes with issues. There is no used car in 100% perfect condition in any used car dealership in this country.
But by “hiding” important information from the potential buyer, these dealers can lead the buyer into a series of huge bills at the workshop, or worse still, compromise the safety of his or her family.
Sometimes, only friends can be trusted when it comes to buying used cars. Admittedly, even with the years of experience and knowledge of what to look out for in a used car, it is still best to buy from a friend (direct owner) than risk it with a used car dealer.
So why do used car dealers in Malaysia always use the following dubious terms in their advertisements?
- Immaculate condition: Every used car is described by this term.
- VVIP owner: Apparently every luxury car is previously owned by a VVIP.
- Doctor owned: Alluding that if it is owned by a doctor it is supposed to be a better buy. This is utter rubbish as many doctors don’t have the time to look after their rides.
- Low mileage: You know how cars are clocked and then re-clocked to suit used car buyers’ needs.
- Accident-free: This is the all-time favourite. All cars sold online today are 100% accident-free.
Even if you call and check with these dealers they will still confirm that the car has not had even a scratch and the paint is original factory paint.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with buying an accident-damaged car as long as the damage is not major and the repair work is properly carried out. Most importantly, it must not be a danger on the road.
- Tip top condition: Again, amazing how every used car is in great shape.
- King of car: Err, what does this actually mean?
This is why in recent years you are seeing many online car traders and B2B used vehicle websites claiming 100% honest evaluations and price promises.
They may have started with the good intention of being 100% honest but today most are skewing in the opposite direction as profit margins are very thin, and the need to keep investors happy is more important.
The selling process of any used vehicle needs to be personal, thorough and professional. This is difficult to achieve unless you have an established client base built up over many years.
Trust is an important factor and you need to better understand your customer needs while still making a profit to keep your business running.
Many Malaysians have embraced the online method of buying and selling a used vehicle instead of visiting a used car dealer.
Many smaller used car dealers have therefore shut down their operations whilst some new used car dealers have emerged to work with these online portals as “agents”.
These new agents have started working their “magic” on each deal to fatten up their wallets and the used car business is reverting to its old ways.
The promise of easy money is turning the used car business sour.