Below is an excerpt from Hardwarezone by a consumer who faced frustrations with his purchase from car dealers.
Consumers should be extra vigilant when buying used cars from certain car dealers.
I thought hard about whether to make public certain behaviours in the car sector, and originally refrained from doing so. However, given the circumstances, I decided to share a terrible ordeal so other car buyers will be conscious not to make the same mistake.
In 2018 last year, I bought a car from Danson Ang Kian Choon, who's the director of a dealer called Dosh Motoring. I paid for the car in full, and performed the ownership obligations such as paying for road tax, buying insurance, and servicing my vehicle.
Some time later, I discovered that Dosh/Danson did not transfer the legal title to me. However, despite multiple promises and chasers, he didn't transfer ownership to me; during this time, he asking me to be complicit in his activity. Naturally, I rejected him.
-- Lesson 1: Make sure the vehicle ownership is transferred at the time of purchase
I made a police report on 15 August 2018, and had to chase them up in October 29, 2018 because I didn't receive a reply. I was eventually called down to the police station in Feb 2019 to give my statement. I realised that despite Dosh not transferring the ownership to multiple customers (> 5), the police informed a number of them that this was not a criminal case of cheating. This is despite the fact that I has uncovered that Danson had a history of setting up a series of car companies that subsequently folded for various business reasons, and that he had a string of outstanding claims against him.
-- Lesson 2: Many experienced car dealers know the loopholes in the enforcement system well, and know how to run rings around the authorities. You have to watch out for yourself.
Subsequently, I discovered that the car was financed by a company called Swee Seng Motors (UEN 200601219R), and when they found that Danson from Dosh had sold the car to me, they tried to repossess the car from me. Fortunately, they failed to do. Following that, Swee Seng/Dosh then "sold" the car to another finance company called SRS Auto Holdings (UEN 201709236H); bear in min this is after Dosh had already sold the car to me. Now, the finance director of SRS Auto Holdings (the second finance company), Mr Ang Beng Hong, is now suing me for the car that I had paid for.
As if right out of a Hong Kong gangster drama, Mr Ang said that Swee Seng, who has been in business for a long time, is their "big brother", and so he can't offend them too much.
-- Lesson 3: Birds of the same feathers flock together. The maxim caveat emptor holds true.
The car/finance companies in this saga are Swee Seng, Dosh Motoring, and SRS Auto Holdings. I think SRS also goes by the name ABS Auto Holdings.
Therefore, with Escrow Payment, you can be sure that your money are safely kept with the lawyers all the way till you have received your car.