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How we sell our cars

A recent survey has revealed that many South Africans wont get a fair deal when selling their car through a dealership, but at the same time many are worried about the security implications when selling privately.

87% of South Africans are worried that they won’t get a fair deal when selling their car through a dealership and 64% claim getting a fair price for their car as their top priority when selling. This is according to a poll commissioned by online secondhand car buyer , CarZar and executed via News24. The survey also found that 58% prefer to receive cash for their car rather than trading-in. However, in contrast, safety concerns mean that 80% of respondents prefer to have their car inspected at a dealership than in a private location.

Other survey findings were:

●      85% of respondents had sold a car during their lifetime

●      50% of South Africans prefer to sell their car privately, although in practice many do not go this route

●      85% of people are concerned about the safety of money transfers when selling a car online

●      61% of respondents have concerns about transfers and paperwork being handled correctly – these are valid concerns because, the new owner has 30 days after the purchase to transfer ownership and if he gets any fines within that period; the seller is still liable

●      The vast majority of people (81%) gather their information online before selling, with online car websites being the most consulted source (61%)

Rob Thompsett, Relationship Manager at CarZar says South Africans seem to be quite knowledgeable about how to get the best price for their car, but there are still a lot of perceived risks to not selling via a dealership. “The fact that you will almost always get a better price by selling privately or via an online car buyer like CarZar seems to be well understood. But security risks – both in terms of fraud and personal safety still weigh on the minds of a lot of South Africans.”

According to Thompsett, consumers still do not fully understand the big difference in price for a trade-in compared to the price you get when selling privately or through an online sales facilitator, “CarZar was launched for those South Africans who prefer to find a convenient and easy way to sell their car and have cash in hands to buy their new vehicle without losing any value when trading-in.”

It is likely that the convenience of a trade-in is also likely to draw some people to go this route. “There is often a perception that the paperwork associated with selling a car is very cumbersome, actually it is a pretty quick process and can be completed in half an hour. The convenience of driving one car into a dealership and leaving with another is appealing to consumer, but they are losing thousands of Rands in the process.”

He said having cash in hand gives the seller far more bargaining power at dealer level. “If you have a cash deposit, you are able to negotiate a far better deal for yourself. With a trade-in, they have to make their mark-up on your vehicle so the deal has less flexibility.”

Thompsett said sites like CarZar are a nice middle-ground between selling privately and selling at a dealer. “A lot of the concerns raised in this survey are addressed by the online car buying model. Pricing is reached transparently, paperwork is handled for you, there are inspection centres for people preferring to go that route, or thoroughly verified assessors visit you. Cash is paid on the day and, if the seller is buying another vehicle, they are placed in an excellent negotiation position.

He concluded that word of mouth is key in South Africa. “More than half of us consult a friend or family member when buying a car. This could be the reason for the rapid uptake in business for sites like ours!”

Cars

Two-thirds of adults ready for cars that drive themselves

The latest Looking Further with Ford Trends Report reveals that behaviour is changing across key areas of our lives

Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose, would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67 per cent of adults globally would opt for the self-driving car.

That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trend Report, released last week. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.

Change is not always easy, particularly when it is driven by forces beyond our control. In a global survey of 14 countries, Ford’s research revealed that 87 per cent of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change. And while 79 per cent of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.

“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered, and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “At Ford we are deeply focused on human-centric design and are committed to finding mobility solutions that help improve the lives of consumers and their communities. In the context of change, we have to protect what we consider most valuable – having a trusted relationship with our customers. So, we are always deliberate and thoughtful about how we navigate change.”

Key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:

Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change
Seven in 10 say that they are energised by change
87 per cent agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change
Eight in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good
45 per cent of adults globally report that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices
Seven out of 10 consumers agree that we should have a mandatory time-out from our devices

Click here to read more about the seven trends for 2019.

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At last, cars talk to traffic lights to catch ‘green wave’

By ANDRE HAINZLMAIER, head of development of apps, connected services and smart city at Audi.

Stop-and-go traffic in cities is annoying. By contrast, we are pleased when we have a “green wave” – but we catch them far too seldom, unfortunately. With the Traffic Light Information function, drivers are more in control. They drive more efficiently and are more relaxed because they know 250 meters ahead of a traffic light whether they will catch it on green. In the future, anonymized data from our cars can help to switch traffic lights in cities to better phases and to optimise the traffic flow.

In the USA, Audi customers have been using the “Time-to-Green” function for two years: if the driver will reach the lights on red, a countdown in the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display counts the seconds to the next green phase. This service is now available at more than 5,000 intersections in the USA, for example in cities like Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington D.C. In the US capital alone, about 1,000 intersections are linked to the Traffic Light Information function.

Since February, Audi has offered a further function in North America. The purpose of this is especially to enable driving on the “green wave”. “Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) shows to the driver in the ideal speed for reaching the next traffic light on green.

Both Time-to-Green and GLOSA will be activated for the start of operation in Ingolstadt in selected Audi models. These include all Audi e-tron models and the A4, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 to be produced from mid-July (“model year 2020”). The prerequisite is the “Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment” package and the optional “camera-based traffic sign recognition”.

Why is this function becoming available in Europe two years later than in the USA? 

The challenges for the serial introduction of the service are much greater here than, for example, in the USA, where urban traffic light systems were planned over a large area and uniformly. In Europe, by contrast, the traffic infrastructure has developed more locally and decentrally – with a great variety of traffic technology. How quickly other cities are connected to this technology depends above all on whether data standards and interfaces get established and cities digitalise their traffic lights.

On this project, Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). TTS prepares the raw data from city traffic management centres and transmits them to the Audi servers. From here, the information reaches the car via a fast Internet connection.

Audi is working to offer Traffic Light Information in further cities in Germany, Europe, Canada and the USA in the coming years. In the large east Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi and partners are testing networks between cars and traffic light systems in the context of a development project.

In future, Audi customers may be able to benefit from additional functions, for example when “green waves” are incorporated into the ideal route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models, when cruising up to a red traffic light, will make increased used of braking energy in order to charge their batteries. Coupled with predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC), the cars could even brake automatically at red lights.

In the long term, urban traffic will benefit. When cars send anonymised data to the city, for example, traffic signals could operate more flexibly. Every driver knows the following situation: in the evening you wait at a red light – while no other car is to be seen far and wide. Networked traffic lights would then react according to demand. Drivers of other automotive brands will also profit from the development work that Audi is carrying out with Traffic Light Information – good news for cities, which are dependent on the anonymised data of large fleets to achieve the most efficient traffic management.

In future, V2I technologies like Traffic Light Information will facilitate automated driving. 

A city is one of the most complex environments for an autonomous car. Nevertheless, the vehicle has to be able to handle the situation, even in rain and snow. Data exchange with the traffic infrastructure can be highly relevant here. 

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