02:27 AM

Myautoinfo.co.za now provides police information to consumers

       Auto Check could help reduce vehicle theft

Johannesburg, South Africa - For the first time in South Africa, consumers can easily check whether the used vehicle they are considering buying is sought by the police.

All a would-be buyer has to do is log on to www.myautoinfo.co.za, register and purchase an Auto Check report.

The inclusion of information from the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the Auto Check report is the latest enhancement to the popular myautoinfo.co.za website which went live last year.

The site was established by TransUnion, South Africa's largest and most trusted supplier of vehicle information to the motor industry for over 40 years, to give consumers access to vital, peace-of-mind information when buying or selling a used car, light commercial vehicle or motorcycle.

Mike von Höne, CEO of TransUnion Auto Information Solutions which operates myautoinfo.co.za, says that with South Africa's high crime rate, consumers considering purchasing a used vehicle cannot be too careful.

As a case in point, according to the latest available SAPS crime report, (http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2008),a total of 94 467 motor vehicles and motor bikes were reported stolen or hijacked across South Africa between April 2007 and March 2008. It is likely that many of these vehicles were sold to innocent consumers.

Now, South African consumers - armed with their own ID numbers, as well as the vehicle's VIN and engine numbers - can easily find out whether SAPS is looking for the vehicle they are considering buying before handing over their money. Once the enquiry is done the report with the Stolen Interest indicator will be emailed to the enquirer within 48 hours.

The enhanced Auto Check report permits a consumer to check: 

- there is currently no stolen interest in the vehicle. This information does not replace a police clearance certificate;

- the vehicle is "clean" - that its identifiers (VIN, engine number and make) are as originally specified by the manufacturer; that the colour is original and the year of manufacture is correct;

- there are no security / industry alerts on the vehicle;

- whether there is outstanding finance applicable to the vehicle;

- the vehicle is not reported to be illegally in South Africa or otherwise in transit. Such vehicles can be subject to confiscation by customs and excise or alternatively SARS.

"Buying or selling a vehicle is one of the largest financial transactions most individuals will ever undertake.  If not carried out with due thought and care it's also one that can be fraught with potential pitfalls. myautoinfo.co.za gives consumers critical information they ought to know before buying a used vehicle.

"However, the Auto Check report does not advise the consumer whether or not to purchase a specific vehicle based on the information at hand," von Hőne emphasises.  "All it can do is alert the consumer to potential problems which they should investigate further. In this way, we are helping to empower consumers to make a more informed decision.

"In addition, if every consumer purchasing a used vehicle were to check it first on myautoinfo.co.za, the illicit trade in vehicles and associated problems would be greatly reduced and provide a welcome 'suffocation factor' to organised crime levels in general," he concludes.  

About TransUnion

As a global leader in information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health, achieve their financial goals as well as make better informed decisions. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs more than 4,000 employees in more than 30 countries on six continents.

TransUnion Auto Information Solutions is South Africa's leading provider of information solutions for the automotive industry.  The company was established in 2005 following the merger of motorONLINE (est. 2000), TransUnion HPI (est. 1997) and TransUnion Mead & McGrouther (est. 1960).