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Cooling-Off Period

Question:

Is there an automatic ‘cooling-off period’ in law that applies to the purchase and sale of a vehicle?

Answer:

Until recently a cooling-off period was only provided for by law where a consumer purchased the vehicle under a credit agreement with a financial institution. In terms of the National Credit Act a cooling-off period will apply to the sale on condition that the agreement was concluded at a location other than the registered business premises of the credit provider. Under these conditions the consumer has the right to terminate the credit agreement within five (5) business days after the date on which he/she signed the agreement.

The New Consumer Protection Act which was passed by the President in April 2009 and which will become fully effective on 1 April 2011, now makes provision for a cooling-off period to apply to all consumer transactions, except those specifically governed by the National Credit Act and those transactions over which industry an exemption has been granted. The new Act provides that a consumer may rescind a transaction resulting from direct marketing within five (5) business days after concluding the agreement or receiving the goods.

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