First of all, I want to share with you some of the data and insights I have collected since I started Car Inspect.

There are truly some shocking, insightful, fascinating and proudly South African things I have seen in the past couple of months.

The unique point-of-view which I have with the Car Inspect inspection service is that all the data I analyse, is from a completely independent or neutral perspective. Hence it doesn’t matter from which autotrader the car was bought, how many cars are bought, sold, financed or what the price of the vehicles are, we only inspect and report on the condition of each vehicle!

With the above in mind, here is some cool, crazy, beautiful data I’m to starting to see:

Passing the test

  • Almost 30% of the vehicles we inspected thus far were not bought by the clients that requested the inspection. Roughly 95% of the vehicle that passed the inspection test and were bought by the client had a full service history.  The service book were stamped at the correct mileage intervals. It certainly seems that a person who keeps their car in a good condition directly correlates to a person who service their car on a regular basis. As a 2nd hand car buyer, that is exactly the vehicle you want to buy. A vehicle that was well looked after by the previous owner/s.

Top Tip: When you are looking to buy a used-car, your first point of refences should be the GOLDEN service book. Make sure the vehicle has a FULL SERVICE HISTORY!

  • There is another interesting thing we are seeing in older vehicles with high-mileage. German and Japanese models are standing up to the test of time! This means that if your budget is constraint and you are looking to buy an older vehicle, rather stick to the tried and tested vehicle brands. The older Toyota, Nissan, BMW, etc seems to pass the inspections more regularly than some of the French or Chinese brands.

Example: We recently inspected a 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 Compressor (135 000km). Apart from a few niggles (back wiper not working, seat adjustment function not working). The vehicle was mechanically and electrically in an excellent condition. (vehicle bought).

Top Tip: If you buying a older vehicle from a autotrader with more than 130 000kms on the clock. Stick to the old-school, well known/popular brands. They are popular for a reason.

The big, bad and the ugly

Here is our top 3 MOST SHOCKING inspections:

  • At an autotrader in Pretoria, our mechanic scanned a VIN number for a RED ALFA ROMEO 147 at a popular PARK & SELL venue. The data we got back from this particular VIN scan showed the details of a completely different car that was parked in front of the mechanic. SHOCKING!
This VIN number was probably cloned and who knows where this red Alfa came from.
  • The second worst inspection: While busy with the chassis checks on a VW Polo 1.6. Our mechanic found on the front left side the chassis of the car was welded together. SHOCKING!
This shocking backyard fix was not conveyed by the autotrader to the potential buyer.
  • My TOP SHOCKING car inspection moment: We were send by a lady in Joburg to go and inspect a 2001 MG 1.8 VVC at a autotrader in Pretoria North. This was a very quick inspection! When our mechanic opened the bonnet to do the engine checks, he found the MG had a Toyota engine inside. What blew my mind, the autotrader and salesman was willing to sell this vehicle to our client. SHOCKING!

Proudly South African

It is not all doom-and-gloom.  In contrast to the above inspection, one of my favoured inspections were an 1981 Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser was converted into a game viewing vehicle. I got a request from a game-farm owner in KZN to inspect this vehicle in Pretoria. To our surprise this vehicle was in a mint condition. Furthermore, we had to adjust our 80-point inspection list because the vehicle had no doors and not normal headlights (only mounted spot-lights). The conversion was professionally done by a South African to serve a South African market.

This was fantastic to see!

Safari Land Cruiser
Safari Land Cruiser

To conclude, as I mentioned, buying a used car is not always doom-and-gloom. Finally I urge the used-car buyer to be vigilant. Check, check and check again before you buy. 

If you need any more advice leave you details on our home page for a 5-minute-no-obligation phone call from me.

Safe driving

Hanru Reyneke

Founder @Car Inspection

For more awesome information read my blog on awesome tools to use when buying a car:


Comments are closed.