• When buying a pre-owned vehicle from a private seller, going with someone, meeting in an open place and notifying friends and family of your whereabouts is vital.
• There's a free inspection service for females based in Cape Town who are interested in buying second-hand vehicles.
• Fraudulent and vehicle scam activity is prevalent across South Africa.
• For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24.
In a perfect world, crimes like fraud, hijacking and scamming would never be given a second thought, and no one would even be worried about it at all.
Unfortunately, these types of activities happen on a daily basis across South Africa and could possibly leave the victim with some sort of financial, emotional or physical repercussions.
Buying a second-hand vehicle from someone is classified as a risk no matter who you are - firstly because you do not know the seller from a bar of soap and also what his/her intentions are.
Most sellers are genuine in their dealings, but some have no intention of even selling you anything, leaving you none the wiser on the way to the meeting point.
Better prepare yourself
The truth is that criminals typically target females or perceive them as 'easier' targets, banking on their apparent lack of knowledge or reaction to certain situations.
Have you experienced issues or been in an unfamiliar situation when buying or selling a vehicle? Email us, or share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Fortunately, Auto Wizz in Cape Town offers a free professional inspection service specifically catered for females who want to buy a vehicle through a private seller in a safe environment and get a thorough assessment of its condition.
Vehicle security specialist at Auto Wizz, Moinuddin Gaibe, says: "What we do is, we meet the guy at our premises, we walk around the car and check it out, noting any issues. We then let the buyer know of potential issues and then ask if they still want to buy it. It then gets taken for a drive to hear if anything is making a noise or something is broken and what the estimated costs are to replace the part.
"Nine out of ten times, if the guy knows there is something he is trying to hide away, they won't bring the car to us. That already is an alarm bell for the unsuspecting buyer. Once everything has been checked, we then give the buyer an estimated breakdown of what everything will cost to fix or replace."
In addition to the free inspection service offered, when buying a pre-owned vehicle from a private seller, going with someone, meeting in an open place and notifying friends and family of your whereabouts is vital.
Once such an inspection is conducted, the buyer will have a better idea of whether or not to splurge their hard-earned money on the deal, or whether to pass it up and cast the net into the market once more.
One of the biggest things to look out for is the seller's response when asked about the product. Vague and short-off answers are a definite cause for concern. Legitimate sellers would try and make the deal as sweet as possible, giving plenty of information when asked.