According to South African law, all motorists who operate a vehicle must have a valid Driving License. But does that mean that you cannot buy and finance a car without a Driver’s License? In short, the answer is: Yes, you can buy a car without a valid Driver’s License; but no, you will likely not be able to finance a car without documentation of a valid Driver’s License.
Have you bought a new TV recently? If so, you would have noticed that the retailer requires you to show a valid license before purchasing a TV. This is to prevent people from watching TV without paying their license.
With cars, you can purchase and register a vehicle (with cash) in your name without a valid Driver’s License. Sometimes the retailer may ask if you can prove that someone with a Driving License is the insured driver of the car before selling you the vehicle. According to the South African Road Traffic Act, unlicensed drivers may buy a car even though they are not legally able to drive them.
Car dealerships would like to make as many sales as possible, so as long as you have the cash you buy the car, they are not necessarily concerned whether or not you will be driving it. However, if you are looking to finance your car purchase, you will need to have a valid Driver’s License before a lending institution will provide you with the loan or finance plan you need before a lending institution will provide you with the loan or finance plan you need.
What is car financing?
Cars are an expensive purchase so many people cannot pay cash upfront. Instead, they apply for car financing, allowing them to pay off the car over time in regular instalments; the same concept as a personal loan. The best source for your car financing is usually the dealership from which you bought the car, which often offer better repayment rates than banks or other lending institutions.
How does the car financing process work?
The first step in finding the car you would like to purchase. One you have found your dream wheels, you need to prepare for the car financing process by applying at the lending institution or car dealership.
The application forms for car financing will ask you for your personal details, employment information, as well as personal finance details such as income and expenses. The lending institution or dealership will then use this information to decide whether or not they will grant you car financing.
In the application form, the lending institution may also ask for copies various identification documents to prove your identification such as an Identity Document, recent pay slips, bank statement, proof of residence (such as a telephone or municipal bill addressed to your home), as well as a valid Driver’s License.
You will need a valid Driver’s License to apply for car financing. If you are the owner of a car, you will need a Driver’s License to apply for both car financing and car insurance. Because you are unable to claim car insurance without a Driver’s License, lending institutions will be hesitant to lend you money to buy the car as there is a risk to them if insurance claims are rejected. Most lending institutions will also not accept a nominated driver as this constitutes third party finance.
After reviewing your information and your total loan amount, a consultant from the lending institution will let you know if you qualify for car financing after three or so days.
What if I have a medical problem and I am unable to drive?
If you have a medical problem that prevents you from driving but you would still like to buy and finance a car, some lending institutions will consider listing a nominated driver with a valid Driver’s License. If this is the case, a medical certificate from a medical specialist will be required as part of the application.
If you want to drive, finance, and insure a car in South Africa, it is important that you obtain a valid license. The process of acquiring a one does require time and money, but having a license is certainly a worthwhile investment that you will be able to use throughout your life.