Used car business gets dose of online honesty

Auction.co.za hopes to make buying and selling a car online a more transparent process.
Auction.co.za hopes to make buying and selling a car online a more transparent process.

Used car salesmen have a reputation for being pushy and peddling cars that may have hidden faults. Now a new local Web site hopes to disrupt this industry by making the process of buying and selling used cars more transparent.

The free-to-use for buyers platform, auction.co.za, will launch on Monday, 3 September. It will offer an alternative digital marketplace for South African consumers buying and selling vehicles.

All vehicles will be inspected and given a rating before they are loaded onto the site, and will include defects and vehicle history.

Auction.co.za will be an ancillary of DealersOnline, a company with 11 years of experience in the online auction space, which says it has been accumulating auto data and perfecting algorithms to drive this innovation.

DealersOnline says it sells more than 5 000 vehicles per month from corporate fleets, rental companies, dealers, banks and OEMs. It says auction.co.za was a natural progression to give consumers their own marketplace.

William Miller, co-founder of auction.co.za, says: "We are putting the buying and selling power back into the hands of the consumer, who will now be able to buy or sell their vehicle online. Corporate fleet owners will also be able to offload their fleet of vehicles through us."

Co-founder Renaldo de Jager says: "The business model is simple: our drive is that the end consumer gains. We provide auto sellers with a desktop valuation, giving consumers insight into the real value of their vehicle prior to selling.

"As a tech-driven online service, transparency is a key focus because we inspect and test-drive every car, giving it a rating. A list of exactly what is wrong with the car is included in the online vehicle profile, allowing buyers to make an informed decision as opposed to having to live with hidden defects."

The company says this transparency allows sellers to get maximum value for their vehicle, and buyers to know exactly what they are buying.

Auction.co.za makes money by taking a small percentage of the sale price.

Buyers can participate in auctions from a desktop or smartphone application.

Local banks and insurers will offer financing, insurance and ancillary services on the site. Buyers will have access to pre-approved loans prior to bidding.

Have your say
Facebook icon
Youtube play icon