Vehicle cloning is a reality: Part 3
- Never buy a vehicle without a NaTIS registration certificate. If the vehicle is financed, the registration certificate will be held by the bank and it will only be released if the vehicle is paid in full.
- Check that the information on the registration certificate and/or license disc match the information on the vehicle in all aspects. Check that all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and the certificates and that it has not been tampered with.
- Check for spelling mistakes on the registration certificate and that it is not a photo copy.
- Never buy a vehicle advertised or displayed with foreign number plates.
- Never buy a vehicle that is registered in a foreign country – even our neighbouring countries. The probability of you being allowed to import the vehicle is very low. It is also illegal to ordinarily operate a foreign registered vehicle in South Africa.
- Illegally imported vehicles can visually be identified by, for example, models that are clearly not sold in South Africa, mirrors on the front fender of the vehicle, mirrors in the back window, labels in the side windows in foreign languages and wipers on the front headlights.
- It is strongly recommended that used vehicles be bought from reputable dealers. Although this is not a guarantee, chances are better that the vehicle you are buying from such a dealer is legal. It is important for dealers to protect themselves, not only from losses but to a greater extent from a tarnished reputation. These dealers normally check that the vehicles being sold are legal and have the knowledge to identify imported vehicles. It is also easier to hold them liable if it is found that the vehicle was illegally imported or stolen.
- In the same vein, it is strongly recommended that used motor vehicle dealers, auctioneers of used vehicles and even salvage dealers, do not purchase any motor vehicles that was registered in South Africa after 1 September 2012 without first verifying the microdots physically on the vehicle. The Second-Hand Goods Act, 2009 (Act No. 6 of 2009) makes it a requirement that second-hand motor vehicle dealers must record motor vehicle details in the prescribed register, including the microdot number read from the microdot on the vehicle. This makes the microdot information readily available to be verified.
- It is strongly recommended that buyers of used motor vehicles should insist; from the dealer/seller, on a microdot fitment confirmation certificate issued for the vehicle by a reputable accredited microdot fitment centre. For information on accredited microdot fitment centres near you, please contact Microdot Association of Southern Africa, DataDot Technology, Veridot and Recoveri Tag What’s Yours.
- It is recommended that financial institutions (banks) not finance; and that insurance companies not insure vehicles of which the microdot fitment and its originality has not been verified.
The golden rule is, if the deal looks too good to be true, walk away, because it probably is. Use your head, not your heart.