Prince Mashinini’s Ford Figo, after a head-on collision with an SUV in June 2017, before he bought it.
Image: Supplied

One of the most-asked questions by would-by buyers of a second-hand car is: “Has it been in accident?” 

It’s fair to say that many a car salesman has answered with an incorrect “no”, or with a reassuring “only a fender bender” when in fact the truthful response would be: “Yes, a really bad one; you wouldn’t believe what the car looked like before it was fixed.”

Blindly trusting a commission-earning salesman, is, with respect, a silly thing to do; if you don’t do your own checks, you’re very likely to get “caught” in some way.

But here’s the thing – no matter how proactive you are, you have no means of finding out for sure whether a car has been in an accident; not since March 2015 when insurance claims information provider Audatex stopped making accident claim information available to credit bureau Transunion, which also has an Auto Information Solutions division.

So while Transunion’s FirstCheck app is a wonderful source of information with respect to a car’s estimated market value and whether or not it’s been stolen and/or still being financed, it cannot answer that crucial “has the car been in an accident?” question for you.

Read the full story on Times Select.