PRETORIA – True Price, the start-up that provides free vehicle evaluations, has entered into a joint venture with Auction Finance to expand into the field of vehicle finance by offering a range of financing and refinancing options.

Darryl Jacobson, the managing director of True Price, said they saw a gap in the market, and the joint venture would be targeting two areas of vehicle financing by arranging financing for private vehicle sales or purchases and offering refinancing of paid-up vehicles.

Jacobson, who until his retirement about 18 months ago was the managing director of Burchmore's, a subsidiary of vehicle retailer McCarthy, said it was almost impossible to arrange for financing on private deals, and the establishment of the joint venture was therefore significant for South African motorists.

He added that banks were quite keen to do private vehicle transactions but did not have the manpower.

Jacobson said Auction Finance already did all the financing at all the auction houses on behalf of WesBank, Standard Bank and Nedbank's MFC, and the middlemen that were financing vehicles on auction and the joint venture with True Finance expanded this to include private transactions.

He said True Finance was the conduit to allow Auction Finance to finance the transaction. It did not hold any of the risk and earned a commission on successful financing and refinancing deals.

Jacobson added that Auction Finance would check the finance application and whether the buyers were good or bad, and had a job; inspect the car; and then try to place the financing of the transaction with a finance house that would accept the deal.

He said True Finance was an internet-based system and in the past five months had generated about 17000 enquiries from vehicle owners enquiring what their car would sell for.

Jacobson added that they received about 2000 to 3000 enquiries a month on the system from owners who were interested in valuations for their vehicles.

“But in time they are a buyer or seller of a vehicle. So we are getting our website upgraded and soon we will have a service provider that will buy those cars.

“We don't buy cars at all, so we need service providers such as or that will look at buying a customer's car if he is interested in selling,” he noted.

Jacobson said that from their perspective, True Price was a service industry that visited auctions, took down the price, and compared the auction price with the original list price.