The CPA protects buyers of second hand cars

Buying a second hand car has long been associated with less than honest dealings, with the “voetstoots” or “as is” clause used as a fail- safe to protect an unscrupulous sales person or seller from any potential comeback.

Things have changed as the CPA states that an official car dealer may not now sell a vehicle voetstoots, irrespective of whether they disclose what’s wrong with it or not. A vehicle can be sold voetstoots only in a private sale; but that still does not mean that the buyer is left high and dry. In order for a car to be validly sold voetstoots; a full list of all known defects has to be provided to the buyer by the seller. You as the buyer would then in the sale agreement have to sign and acknowledge the presence of those defects. Any defect outside that list is not covered by the voetstoots clause. If any defects are discovered with six (6) months of the sale you have the right to insist on repair, replacement or a refund. This is your choice as the buyer.

This does not mean that you can return the vehicle because it doesn’t smell like a new car or some other silly reason. There are clear rules on when you can return a vehicle, the most critical being when there a “material” defect, failure or hazard that is not due to any alterations you have made to the vehicle after buying it.