Motorists need to understand financing implications

The large number of approaches concerning finance problems received by the Motor Industry Ombudsman (MIO) are a clear indication that motorists generally are not aware of the implications of buying a vehicle, according to ombudsman Johan van Vreden.

Van Vreden says that the MIO is not mandated to handle financing problems as this falls outside the ambit of his office. “When a vehicle is purchased with the assistance of a bank or any other financial institution, the vehicle becomes the property of the financing institution until full repayment to the institution is effected. The dealer or supplier of the vehicle has no authority or responsibility in this area.

“Problems in respect to financing arrangements and repayments must therefore be addressed to the bank or financing institution and, failing satisfactory resolution of their problem, they can then approach the banking ombudsman or the regulator of the Credit Act. Recourse cannot be taken against the vehicle supplier in such cases.

“Dealers would be saving themselves a lot of possible unnecessary misunderstanding by new owners if they ensured that all customers are aware of exactly how the financing of a vehicle works,” concluded Van Vreden.

All complaints to the ombudsman’s office must be in writing and a complaint form can be downloaded at

For further information please call the Motor Industry Ombudsman of SA on (012) 841-2945 or fax your complaint to (012) 841-2842. You can also visit the MIO’s website at, or e-mail your complaint to

Issued by Ruben Els, Media Ignition, tel: 083 302 6602 on behalf of the Office of the Motor Industry Ombudsman

13/ 09/ 07