Do not fully rely on vehicle warranty for second –hand vehicles

26/05/2017 14:50

Consumers are once again being cautioned to seek expert opinion on the second hand vehicles they intend to purchase.  

The Council reiterates its call for consumers to engage the services of a qualified mechanic to check the functionality of the vehicle or get it inspected by the Land Transport Authority (LTA vehicle inspection unit or a LTA approved motor vehicle inspection agent before buying a second hand vehicle. 

While these come with a fee attached, however, the cost involved is miniscule compared to the expenses borne by consumers when their second hand vehicle needs major repairs after three months of purchase and further not repairable under warranty or parts not available. This action will safeguard consumers from financial loss and unnecessary annoyance.

In a number of cases, consumers gave their vehicles for repairs, however, within days of receiving the repaired vehicle, the problems persisted. As soon as 3 months are over or mileage exceeds 6,000km, the dealer is only interested in making more money from consumers. At the end, consumers have to borrow more to fix the vehicle.    

What the Council has ascertained from the trend of cases recorded, is the fact that consumers fail to scrutinize their vehicle prior to purchase and further fail to heed the warranty period on their vehicles. Consumers simply trust the salesperson and see no reason to get an independent assessment of the vehicle.

Consumers need to remember that as per the LTA Vehicle Registration and Construction Policy Section 31 warranty to second hand vehicles states… “Mechanical warranty of not less than 3 months or 6,000km must be provided, whichever comes first.

Considering the above, consumers must note that once their vehicle has surpassed this timeframe, they will have to pay for costs incurred in repairing their vehicle. Unfortunately, in majority of the cases, mechanical problems in the vehicle tend to occur after the warranty period has just lapsed.

Time and again the Council has placed emphasis on consumer responsibility to make thorough checks on second hand vehicles because the fact remains that there are some dishonest traders in the marketplace who will try and sell off defective vehicles to unsuspecting consumers.

Policies currently in place are generally insufficient to protect consumers when buying and financing a used vehicle. Hence, consumers need to take the onus on themselves to become smart and assertive before investing their money. Particularly, consumers who take up loans to finance the purchase of a second hand vehicle should undoubtedly seek assistance from a reliable source in order to avoid   disappointments. Consumers should get vehicles checked for any mechanical faults before signing off on a deal.