Too Cheap to be True?

Too Cheap to be True?

By Tristan Hooker/MediaPA

This week we heard the unfortunate story of Auckland woman Sacha Perry who spent $18,500 buying a three-year-old Mazda 6 on TradeMe, only to find out the vehicle had been imported from Australia and was a flood-damaged write-off.

Monte Wells, CEO of 4Guys Autobarn in Hamilton, says this kind of problem is all too common and regulations need be put in place to keep the public safe and informed, with rogue car traders out of the picture.

“Car dealers are also victims of this legal loophole that needs to be closed,” says Mr Wells. “We have had an occasion where we purchased a vehicle off TradeMe which was clean on the VIR card and then 18 months later became flagged for being accident damaged once its history had been noted after the fact.

“The whole industry needs to be regulated in this respect because it’s the dealers who are trying to provide legitimate business in New Zealand who suffer along with the public because unregistered individuals and some commercial outfits can import vehicles that have been written off overseas and sell them at a cheaper price”.

Mr Wells says often the consumer doesn’t realise taking their business to a reputable car yard is a kind of insurance against these cases occuring.  He says the public is becoming obsessed with ‘the best price’ that people will often overlook a car’s history and its quality for the sake of saving a few bucks.

“Legitimate car dealers are losing business to these outfits regularly for people shopping around to get a bargain who believe that genuine vehicles are overpriced because there are alternatives out there that appear to be genuine, that are actually damaged or written-off and can be sold by unregistered dealers with relative impunity. That is exactly how these situations come about and something needs to be done about it,” he says.

“There is no pot of gold with a whole lot of cheap cars or else we’d all be buying them. We all buy cars from the same place so if it seems too cheap to be true, it probably is”.

Too Cheap to be True?