Wheels24

Chop-shop crime lives off poor

2012-12-04 15:18

Alarming insurance industry statistics paint a serious picture of under-insurance - even no insurance - covering an estimated 40% of the 10-million cars on South Africa's roads.

According to Cartrack SA, this statistic is significant because it is one of the key drivers for the existence of illegal chop-shops and back-street panel-beaters dealing in stolen car parts.

BOOMING TRADE

Operations manager Jerry Pierce said: “Unless the issue of vehicle insurance becomes a legislated requirement to drive a vehicle in South Africa there will be little chance of stemming the growing demand for illegal parts for vehicle owners who can't afford to fix a damaged car legitimately.

“Chop-shops and back-street panel-beating is a booming trade because they can fix vehicles at cut-rate prices because they fund their businesses mostly through criminally obtained parts. "

Trends also show that younger drivers often over-extend themselves financially by buying expensive vehicles. Besides the monthly vehicle instalment, they soon find that their insurance premium is more than expected - inexperienced drivers attract significantly higher insurance premiums. 

“Chances are that if you can get a rock-bottom price at a repair shop," Pierce said, "that there’s more to it than meets the eye. Don’t be complicit with any suspicious activity – crime exists because, as consumers, we often create a demand for it."

Comments
  • gwilym.howes - 2012-12-04 19:03

    IF this was a first world country, EVERY vehicle would HAVE to carry insurance in order to be allowed to operate on the road. It is the ONLY fair way to make sure that the cost of any mistakes are paid for by the person who causes the accident, or his insurers. As things are, the 'rich' just have to pay for the mistakes of the 'poor'. Sorry, but if you can't afford to keep your car roadworthy and insured, then maybe you should walk!

      full.focus.9 - 2012-12-05 13:49

      This isn't a first world country, this isn't a first world economy, the majority can't afford luxuries (the current cost of insurance is a luxury) - if the majority have to walk, the economy slows down further - catch 22?

  • jacques.shepperson - 2012-12-09 21:11

    we over pay for cars and parts and then have to over pay for insurrance!!!

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