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Vehicles have become an essential part of our daily lives, but buying a new or used vehicle can often be a very complicated process. There are so many things to consider that you often don’t know where to start, but that’s why we are here to help you!
We have put together some tips to consider when buying a vehicle.
Do your homework:
  1. Choose according to your needs and budget.
  2. Use any of the comprehensive vehicle guides to check prices.
  3. Consider insurance, servicing, fuel economy and the depreciation of the vehicle when setting out an upfront budget.
  4. Know your facts before you go and spend time looking for a vehicle. Spend time researching the values of various vehicles by looking at classified ads and by visiting local dealers. Understand what specifications each model has and how this may affect the price.

ReFin Financial Service have a list of dealers on our books that we can assist in sourcing a vehicle for you!

Start your search with a healthy skepticism. Ask about the vehicle’s mileage, age, condition, service history and specifications. Then draw up a short list and make appointments to see the vehicles that you have shortlisted. Once you have found the vehicle that you like it is very important to ask for an HPI report. This will tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident, if it’s been stolen, if there is any outstanding finance owed on the vehicle and if there are any other issues that you should be aware of.


Remember that this a vehicle that you could potentially be purchasing, so that last thing you want is to purchase another person’s problems, especially if it is 2nd hand. It’s a good to take along a person who has some knowledge of vehicles when going out to look at vehicles that you have short listed. Importantly you want someone who is less excited about the purchase of a new vehicle and more interested in helping you get value for your money. Also four eyes are always much better than just two!

As no driver is the same and no two owners maintain their vehicles in the same way you’ll need to look at each vehicle very closely so as to have some idea how the vehicle was treated. Check for any uneven partitions in the bodywork, body colour that does not match or for spray paint marks on sealing rubber -these are signs that the vehicle was repaired after an accident. Grab a front tyre in the middle with both hands and shake it to and fro. If there is play, the wheel bearings or the steering could be worn. Also check the condition of the tyres and whether there are any uneven signs of wear that could indicate, wheel alignment issues, worn shock absorbers and incorrect axle tuning.

The brake discs should also have no rust signs and be of ample thickness. The tyre tread should at measure at least three millimetres to ensure that the tyres are not worn out. Never be shy of crawling underneath the vehicle to check for possible oil leaks in the engine and gearbox. One look at the exhaust for signs of rust will show you whether the exhaust is soon in need of replacement. Lift the floor mats and check for any moisture underneath. Check the workings of all the electrics such as air conditioner, sunroof, windows, rearview mirrors etc.

Once you have inspected the interior, exterior and electronics, it is then time to take a look at the engine. The vehicle battery should have a clean look. A low brake fluid level could indicate trouble with the braking system. Check all the piping, hoses and radiator for any signs of lime that indicate leakage. A recent engine wash could have been made to disguise such evidence.

Apart from making a thorough inspection of your own, ensure that you take the vehicle and its service history booklet to a qualified and independent professional who will tell you all you need to know about imminent repairs, the state of the engine, any potential odometer fraud and the overall condition of the vehicle.

When you Finance the Vehicle through ReFin Financial Services we will have the inspection done for your through Dekra / Bosch who are AA Accredited!

Spending at least 10 minutes test-driving a vehicle is of vital importance. Ensure that you look out for any faults, check all the equipment and test all electrically powered items. Just by looking at a vehicle, you will never know if it has a knocking engine sound, a humming gearbox, worn out wheel bearings, uneven braking or an exhaust in need of replacement.

While driving ensure to keep the windows open, so you can hear suspicious sounds and ensure that the radio is off as having it on may disguise sounds that you should be looking out for. Note: the clutch is worn out if you can drive the vehicle off from second gear with the hand brake on without stalling.

Driving more than one vehicle will give you a benchmark against which to evaluate your test-drive before you go ahead with the purchase.

Make sure the registration documents have the correct seller’s name and address. It’s important to ask to see the identification documents of the seller so that you know that they are the person selling you the vehicle. Check the service history of the vehicle and ensure that the chassis number corresponds to the papers.

Ask to see all the service and maintenance records and compare receipts and the roadworthy certificate with the actual mileage of the vehicle. Remember that a closer inspection of worn seats and pedals are sure signs that the vehicle has done a lot of mileage.

When Financing your Vehicle through ReFin Financial Services will handle this for you!

Find the finance method that is going to suit your pocket the best, whether it will be Cash, Vehicle Finance or a Personal Loan!

Cash: Remember to get a receipt and ensure that it states that the vehicle is free of any outstanding payments. Very importantly, ensure that you sign the “Change of Ownership Document”.

Vehicle Finance and Personal Loans:

To protect your Credit Score do not apply through multiple dealers / banks as this has a negative impact on your score and could result in the transaction declining. Get 1 approval from your Finance Facilitator and take that approval to any dealer or Private seller and purchase your vehicle from them through your Finance Facilitator!

Make sure the Finance Facilitator has a FSP License and that there staff members are accredited!
Complete your application with as much information as possible (the more information the better) example: contact numbers Home, work, cell, fax numbers this state stability, and accuracy is of extreme importance, if you keep on changing information through your finance Facilitator the system RED flags your application!
When submitting your application provides the finance Facilitator with your supporting document stated below, so they can verity them beforehand!

  • Original ID Document
    • A clear copy must be sent with the application,
    • Two clear copies must be certified BY SAPS less than 4 days back for Licensing and Registration Purposes and brought with you on day of signing the Contract!
  • Original Valid Driver’s Licence
    • If you have a temporary License that MUST be sent in with the application for verification!
    • If license has expired we require the receipt of renewal with your license.
  • Proof of Address not older than 3 months
    • If not in applicants name we need a letter from the account holder with
      • Letter from account holder with Applicants name, surname, id and address on confirming that he lives there
      • Account holders clear ID document!
  • Latest original salary advice
  • Commission and Overtime applicants need 3 months’ salary advice
  • Latest 3 Months Bank Statements (3 months’ salary MUST reflect) and the statements must be stamped by the relevant Bank
  • If married in Community of Property your spouse to be present at contract stage to sign the contract with you,
    • Need Spouse ID
    • Need Marriage Certificate
  • Insurance confirmation ON DAY OF DELIVERY
    • Applicant must be the registered Owner and Driver
      • If there is a different Regular driver we need the Drivers Licence
    • Vehicle full details including, Engine and Vin Numbers
    • Finance House name must appear
    • Inception date must be date of delivery

When Financing your Vehicle through ReFin Financial Services, we will register the vehicle on your behalf!

When buying a vehicle, there are a number of things you need to consider, but the most important one is registering your vehicle! This is especially important when purchasing a second hand vehicle. These forms are available from the local traffic authorities. All used vehicles must pass a roadworthy test. This test is best done at AA Test & Drive Centre’s, which are located around South Africa.

Your vehicle needs to be registered at the “Department of Licensing and Registration” within 21 days of signing a purchase contract.

For this you need the following documents:

  • Change of Ownership / Sale of motor vehicle form
  • Roadworthy Certificate
  • Original Registration Certificate
  • Bank Release Certificate
  • Current License Disc
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport or ID Book
  • Traffic Register Number
  • Address in South Africa
ReFin Financial Service can assist in this regard!

Now that you know all about the admin that’s involved, we can get down to something that could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of Rands should an accident take place.

Financed deals: It is compulsory to have fully comprehensive vehicle insurance when you purchase a vehicle through Finance! You may change between insurance companies but you need to make sure there is not gap in the period! You need to provide your Finance Facilitator with a Bank Confirmation Cover with the following information on:

Applicant must be the registered Owner and Driver

If there is a different Regular driver we need the Drivers Licence of the Regular driver.

Vehicle full details including, Engine and Vin Numbers

Finance House name must appear

Inception date must be date of delivery

Cash deals: In South Africa, it is not compulsory to have vehicle damage cover which means that as many as 70% of drivers are uninsured. Having said this, you need to keep in mind that things can get quite pricey when it comes to accident repairs. In order to help protect yourself in the case of an accident, taking out fully comprehensive insurance is highly recommended. However, if you cannot afford comprehensive insurance, then the next best thing is to take out insurance cover for Balance of Third Party, fire and theft.

There are a number of things which need to be taken into account when it comes to insurance. Without a permanent South African address, a local bank account and driver’s license it is nearly impossible to obtain insurance. Being young can also have an impact on the premium you pay and, of course, where your vehicle is parked overnight also plays a part. That is why it is so vital to compare insurance quotes from different providers in order to insure you get the best deal. Also remember to review your premium once a year and inform your insurance company should anything go wrong.


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