Buying a vehicle is an expensive purchase and a serious commitment. The sad part is that many people have become victims to fraud and scams; however, consumers are now protected by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Here are some key parts of the CPA that protect you as a buyer:


You have the right to receive a fair and reasonable price when buying a used car. You also have the right to receive a market value price if you are selling your car.

Right to return the car

You have the right to return the vehicle to the seller within 6 months, but only under certain conditions, which excludes wear-and-tear; however, you need to prove that there is a real defect.

Right to a refund

You have the right to ask for a refund, repair or replacement car, however, there is a certain time frame for resolving disputes.


The buyer is obliged to sign his acceptance to buy a used car and must sign that he/she is aware of the amount of wear-and-tear.


The words ‘voetstoets’ and ‘as is’ is no longer permitted and high mileage cars must be sold as “scrap”. The dealership/seller must disclose all known faults or reconditioning of the car and roadworthy certificates on such a car implies a 6-month warranty. Note that the intent of the word warranty within this context does not imply maintenance. It must match the criteria of “fit for the purpose for which it was purchased”.

Cooling-off period

Only if the ‘Offer to Purchase’ or Instalment Sales Agreement was not sold on the car seller’s premises, will the cooling-off period apply, or if the vehicle was sold to the customer via direct marketing.

Knowing your rights as a consumer and doing the proper checks before buying a vehicle means you’ll be prepared to make the best decision. Don’t always believe what the car seller says and if in doubt, you have the right to walk away from a deal.

Source: Auto Advice

Consumer Protection Act

By Wanita Wallace