Monday, November 2, 2009

Malaysian NAP: Irk used car dealers and owners

KUALA LUMPUR: New conditions under the National Automotive Policy (NAP) that makes mandatory inspection for vehicles above 15 years at Puspakom burdens used car dealers and affects their business.

Many used car dealers and owners of cars over 15 years are frustrated with the Government’s move as it affects the lower income group.

The regulation, that comes into force on Jan 1 and will involve about a million vehicles, is among 18 new measures in the revised NAP to enhance the local automotive industry’s competitiveness and make for safer, more environmental-friendly and technologically sound vehicles.

A used car dealer, Mohd Rizal Sabtu, characterised the Government’s move as adversely affecting the industry besides burdening rural consumers given that the insurance rates had risen to RM350.

“Now irrespective of the age of the vehicle the insurance is RM350. This is not third party but first party. The third party rate as I remember was done away in July. There is no more third party,” he told Bernama here on Sunday.

The Zalfa Trading Enterprise entrepreneur said before the new conditions, his company sold between 60 and 70 vehicles aged above 15 years in a year or about 15 vehicles in a month.

“I am not confident of selling that many units next year firstly because the new condition requires annual Puspakom inspection for renewal of road tax.

“Secondly, there is no more third party insurance. They have to buy first party insurance at RM350. This is burdensome to rural folk who mostly buy paying cash and are self-employed. For a bank loan to buy a new car, salary slips and bank statements are needed,” he said.

“A used car aged 15 and above usually is sold between RM4,000 and RM10,000. It seems that the Government wants to encourage sales of new cars and I, as a used car dealer in Kuala Lumpur am somewhat affected but the effect outside Kuala Lumpur is worse,” he said.

Another used car dealer, in Manjung, Perak, Zulfinaini Safie, said that as a small-time dealer he would be faced with problems as 75% of the vehicles in his dealership were more than 15 years old.

He said various problems will emerge if all the vehicles had to undergo Puspakom inspection for roadtax renewal.

Many owners of old used cars contacted also voiced frustration over the new conditions that would burden the lower-income group.

However, 24-year-old Toyota Starlet owner, Mohd Najib Abd Rashid, said he agreed with the new regulations in the interest of safety.

The secretary of the oldskool.org club which has a membership of 4,000 made up of both owners and enthusiasts said what was more worrying was the ban on the import of used car spare parts in 18 months.

“This will make it difficult for old car owners to get spare parts and this is compounded with the difficulty of getting insurance,” he said.

Mohd Najib said most of the club members did not agree with the new conditions and hoped the Government would find a way to help the low-income owners of old cars.

*Taken from The Star Online


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