How to ensure you’re paying a fair price for a used car
FirstCheck app allows pre-owned car buyers and sellers to check values and legal status from a smartphone
The TransUnion Auto dealer’s guide, known in industry circles as the “blue book”, has been in use for more than 55 years.
The guide contains the retail and trade values of every make and model of car on the market, but modern technology is making it easier for SA consumers to avoid being taken for a ride when buying or selling a second-hand car, in the form of the FirstCheck smartphone app.
With the app, available on Android and iOS, consumers are able to access information such as the current market value of a specific car, its full history and the legal status of the vehicle, including whether a car is still under finance or flagged as stolen.
“This will help people avoid popular scams, like selling cars with hidden faults, accident-damaged vehicles or vehicles that are still under finance with a bank — which means the bank is still the legal owner, and will report that car as stolen or attempt to take it back,” says Kriben Reddy, head of Auto Information Solutions at TransUnion Africa.
The information is based on monthly information received from dealers across the country. Its importance is further enhanced by banks and insurers also depending on it to determine finance and insurance risk.
Recently added to the app are up-to-date credit scores and a Market Price Indicator based on advertised prices of cars from websites across the country to provide the best view of the prices being asked for specific vehicles at any given moment.
The Confidence Level highlights the certainty of the price: the higher the number of data points, the higher the confidence level in a particular price point.