Dealerships ignore NCR's instruction to drop add-on charges
When the National Credit Regulator announced recently that it was unlawful for an "on-the-road fee" to be included in vehicle finance contracts and ordered BMW and VW to stop doing so and refund those who had been charged it, motorists across the land rejoiced and looked forward to a refund.
But it appears to be business as usual at dealerships across the land, with extras such as predelivery checks, valets and admin fees still added to finance agreements.
Both BMW and VW have objected to the compliance notices served on them.
When Michelle Reinhard asked a dealership for a quote on a Suzuki Swift last month, it featured an on-the-road fee of R3,250, including a licensing and registration fee of R1,000.
“I said I would pay the
licensing fee and wanted a breakdown of the rest”
"I said I would pay the licensing fee and asked for a breakdown of the rest," she said.
That breakdown included checking the car (R1,600), a fee to cover "administration involved, phone calls, expenses" (R1,000 excluding VAT), car mats (R730), numberplate holders (R150), "pouch with service books and owner's manual" (R450) and a R70 key ring.
"Why am I being charged for the car to be checked before sale, for a service book, manual and a numberplate holder?" she asked.
"I am extremely annoyed at this blatant exploitation of a consumer."
An NCR spokesman said: "We cannot comment on specific examples since the merits of our compliance notices are now before National Consumer Tribunal."
VW Financial Services' response was: "[We] hold a different view on the legal interpretation of the applicable provisions on the National Credit Act."