What to do when you’re in an accident In South Africa

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It’s a known fact that when in shock, people don’t necessarily act in a natural way. It’s totally understandable because factors like adrenalin, fear and pain can cause even the most stable person to act uncharacteristically. That’s why it’s crucial to know what to remember in an accident so that you are prepared, if the situation arises.

Here are some tips on what to do when you’re in an accident:

Make sure you, and the other people involved in the accident, are safe. Phone the police and an ambulance if someone might seem to have serious injuries. Do not move someone if they are incapable of moving themselves, while you might mean well it could cause further injuries. Rather wait for the paramedics to assist.

If your car is obstructing traffic and still able to be driven, it should be moved out of the way. If you’re unable to move the car yourself, ask a responsible person to do so. If it’s impossible to move the cars, turn the hazards on. For insurance purposes, take photos of the scene before the cars are moved – if possible.

This is where you make sure you have all the necessary details of the other person involved in the accident. The more information you can get, the better. This is a very important part of what to remember in an accident. Take photos of everything as back up – yours as well as the other car’s licence disk, drivers licences, Identity Documents, insurance contact numbers, the accident scene, the surrounding areas, the cars indicting its position, and the damage to the cars or any property.

Tow truck
While tow truck drivers offer a valuable service and one that’s necessary, you often hear stories of people who were forced to sign agreements that they weren’t comfortable with purely because of the pressure put on them. Always check documentation carefully before signing. It is your right to choose the tow truck driver so make sure you choose one that is accredited with SATRA (South African Towing and Recovery Association) or UTASA (United Towing Association of South Africa). Make sure you have a final amount of how much its going to cost before you agree to anything and remove your valuables.

If a witness approaches you, make sure you get their details and their permission to include their name and contact number in your police and insurance documents.

Print a list of items you will need to get or actions you need to take and keep it safe in your car’s cubbyhole. This will make it easier to remember what should happen when you’re involved in an accident.

Car accidents are unfortunate and often very traumatic, that’s why it’s important to know that you have the best assistance when you’re involved in an accident. For the ultimate peace of mind when you need it most, contact Mobility-Online to make use of their approved service providers at affordable rates.

How to choose a reputable service provider when your car has to be serviced in South Africa

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Servicing your car at the manufacturer’s suggested intervals isn’t only important, it’s vital to keep your car going for longer without costing you more.

We all know that car services and parts are often a costly affair and that there are numerous stories of people who have fallen victim to dishonest technicians or workshops. Here are some tips to assist you when choosing a reputable service provider so that you get the best out of your car service:

  • Do your research – when looking for a workshop, ask around and do a search on the internet. You are sure to get opinions from different people that will help you in your decision-making process. There are reputable bodies or associations that workshops can become members of. This ensures that their work is up to a certain level.
  • More than one quote – once you have decided on a few workshops, get quotes from them. While these quotes might not always be true to the final amount payable, you should get a good idea of how much it’s going to cost you. Always remember to mention any strange sounds you have noticed or other vital information like if your car was in an accident.
  • Parts – always ask whether the workshop you have chosen uses genuine parts and if they are new. If you are paying for the genuine, new part – that is what you should get, so always make sure.
  • Double check – insist that the workshop gives you a call with all the necessary information before they replace or start working on something that wasn’t included in the initial quote. Without your approval, they are not allowed to complete that specific task.
  • Done and dusted – when you get the call that your car has been serviced and is ready for collection, ask the technician to take you through the work he has completed to ensure everything has been done. If you are not satisfied, take the car back immediately. There is an Ombudsman for the motor industry.

This checklist might seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the knowledge required to feel confident when accepting a quote or work completed. Take the hassle and stress out of servicing your car by going straight to a service provider that has been approved by Mobility-Online.

Mobility-Online approved service providers must adhere to our strict standard of service and comply with our rules and regulations. This not only ensures that their workmanship is of the highest quality at affordable prices, but it gives you the customer that valuable peace of mind.

What to do when your car breaks down on the highway in South Africa

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Your car is suddenly not able to drive anymore and is slowing down. You’re on the highway with cars driving past you at very high speeds. What do you do?

  • First of all, try to get yourself out of harm’s way. If you notice any trouble, steer your car towards the far-left hand side of the highway. If there’s enough space next to the yellow line, try to bring your car to a standstill in that area.
  • Make sure you’re visible to other cars by switching your hazards on. If it’s dark, switch on your car’s interior light as well.
  • If it’s safe to get out of your car, place your red reflecting triangle about 200 metres from your car so that you can be visible for oncoming traffic.
  • Look around you to see if there are any visible landmarks or signs that could make it easier for your insurance company to locate you if you are unsure of your whereabouts.
  • Call your insurance company to let them know what has happened, where you are located and what the situation is like. If you are in danger or hurt, let them know immediately.
  • Notify your loved ones of your situation so that they’re aware and could possibly wait with you while the insurance company sends a tow truck to assist you.
  • If your insurance company is unable to fix your car there and then and it needs to be towed, remember to take all your valuables out of your car. Also make a note of the amount of kilometres on your car’s odometer.

Buying a car – know your rights

The used motor industry was once known for its loops and holes, and how dealerships were able to protect themselves rather than the buyer. Since the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act back in 2008, things have changed for the better.

Buyers are now able to get a clear view of what they’re buying, if the price is reasonable and what they can expect from the dealership afterwards is stipulated.

There are eight points outlined by the Act relating to the rights you have as a buyer when buying a used car:

  1. Disclosure

It is the dealer’s responsibility to disclose any known faults in the vehicle. He should also list what he has done to the vehicle in terms of reconditioning. The dealer has to inform you, based on his his experience and knowledge, to make a judgement call on the condition of the car. While it’s not expected that a dealer should know everything about every single car, it is important to know that in cases of arbitration the Ombudsman will usually revert back to the issue of “reasonableness”.

The dealer must disclose the year of first registration as well as the car’s current code status – used, imported, stolen, rebuilt, etc. You deserve the right to inspect the car and take it for a road test.

  1. Wear and Tear

The buyer will have to show his acceptance of buying a used vehicle by way of his signature and that the vehicle’s wear and tear will meant it won’t perform like a new vehicle. Complaints related to wear and tear will not be sufficient for a return.

  1. Right to Return the Vehicle

The buyer may return the vehicle for a full refund within six months if the outlined conditions are met. According to the Act, wear and tear is excluded from the outlined conditions. The buyer has the option to request a repair, replacement or refund, but the defect has to be proven by the owner. Note that if the car is under a finance agreement, things can get very complicated. Because a car is seen as goods that devalue with use, the owner will be liable for the usage as well as any damages that have been inflicted on it.

  1. Cooling Off Period

A cooling off period is only applicable if:

  • The offer to purchase and/or sales agreement was signed at a place other than the seller’s premises or the finance company’s premises; or
  • The vehicle was sold to the client by direct marketing (a cold call).
  1. Price
    According to the Act, the price of a vehicle must be fair, reasonable and just. Because cars like collector’s items are sold at prices higher than book value or cars in good shape are sold for less than book value because of the high mileage, it is extremely difficult to apply this part of the Act to the used motor industry.
  2. Safe Use of the Product
    In line with the Act, the owner is now required to sign a declaration to show he accepts responsibility that a vehicle is a dangerous item and that he won’t be allowed to claim injuries to the seller after signing the declaration.
  3. The Right to Documentation
    Buyers have the right to receive copies of all relevant documents relating to the purchase of the vehicle. It will be required that the buyer acknowledges receipt by signing for the documents.
  4. Implied 6 Month Warranty
    The buyer has the right to ensure that the seller stands claim to the reasonable durability of the car for a period of six months – an implied warranty on defects. It is the buyer’s responsibility to understand the difference between wear and tear (tyres, exhausts, clutch, brakes, etc) and defects (a gear suddenly jumping out – requires proof). It is also the buyer’s rights to extend an aftermarket warranty.

While the Act means a lot of paperwork and red tape for both the buyer and the dealership, it is of the utmost importance to highlight that the Act is there to protect both the buyer and the seller, and to ensure the used vehicle market is one that can be trusted.