Government could ban the sale of used car parts

By Staff Writer

Reports of an amendment to the National Road Traffic Management Act, which will ban the sale of used car parts, has caused concern in the motor and insurance industry.

Gary Ronald, Automobile Association (AA) spokesperson, said the big motivator for this bill is to stamp out motor theft crime in South Africa. But he is worried about the impact it will have on motorists.

“There is a concern for the owners of older vehicles, who can only afford car parts at places that sell second hand parts,” said Ronald.

Ronald added that Datadot technology could be considered as an alternative option to stamp out crime. These microdots are sprayed on to a vehicle and when viewed under a microscope, show the vehicle’s VIN digits.

In 2013, the National Road traffic Act was amended to ensure all new vehicles in South Africa have microdots installed to control motor vehicle theft.

What will this ban mean for consumers?
Ronald added that this amendment will also cause more cars to be written off as people won’t be able to maintain their vehicles. The motor vehicle industry could also suffer serious job losses.

Greta Goosen, head of client services at MiWay short term insurance, agreed that owners of older vehicles would especially feel the financial repercussions of this proposed bill.

“If you need to have a specific part of your car fixed, that isn’t mechanical, and it’s usually cheaper to source a used part. At MiWay we are very frugal when it comes to ensuring our clients finances and we get their cars fixed in the most cost effective way possible,” said Goosen.

But should insurance companies be dictated to by such a bill, Goosen said it would put them at the mercy of auto dealers and in turn affect how much consumers would pay for premiums.

“There are so many vehicle owners in South Africa who do not have car insurance. This is a very tough market to crack for most insurance companies. We are trying to get an affordable product out there for the low-cost vehicle owners, but such a bill would be a hurdle to this process,” said Goosen.

Could there be a compromise on the bill?
Goosen said that despite her reservations about the bill, she believed that government would listen to opposing views to the bill because their biggest motivation is to protect South African consumers.

“Government is usually accommodative when it comes to protecting consumers and I think this proposed bill is an attempt to do something different to stop the car theft syndicate.”

 

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