Selling a used car can be a highly cumbersome ordeal. Some of the time-consuming tasks on the checklist for those keen on selling their cars include conducting market research to accurately price their car, managing unnecessary paperwork to facilitate the sale, slogging through endless meetings with potential buyers and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Undergoing these struggles himself back in 2015, Damian Sia, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motorist.my, is leveraging on his experience to help car owners across Malaysia and Singapore streamline their private car selling process. The start-up wants to ease the common challenges faced by car owners when selling their car, streamlining the process and assisting car owners with managing the paperwork and sourcing the right buyer, sometimes in as quickly as 24 hours.
Damian Sia, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motorist.my
Damian’s passion to help car owners sell their cars effectively is seen in Motorist’s commitment of an end-to-end service. Users will only need to submit their phone number, name and car number plate to start the experience. Motorist aims to alleviate the chore of selling their car, and its efforts in helping car owners has seen the start-up achieve over RM1 billion worth of cars in transactions across Malaysia and Singapore.
MIBrand talks to Damian Sia to check out What are the issues faced by consumer when selling their car?
Consumers often face several issues when selling their car, but the biggest problem for them would be the lack of protection against unethical buyers and dealers. This is especially the case for those selling their vehicles for the first time or customers who lack industry knowledge.
Unethical buyers and dealers are always on the lookout for gullible or inexperienced customers – their modus operandi is to buy cars for as low as possible, before selling them high to make a profit.
Because of these black sheep, car owners could lose a few thousand Ringgit from the sale of their vehicle.
Motorist acts as an aggregator between consumers and used car dealers. Through our platform, we help simplify the car selling process by helping consumers get the best price for their vehicle.
By simply submitting their vehicle details online, we can help consumers obtain quotes from our network of 200 used car dealers.
Our system uses a bidding system, where dealers have to “compete” with one another to purchase the cars in our system. Through this method, dealers will have to offer their best price, otherwise, they might lose out on obtaining a new car for their inventory.
If this was done through traditional channels, the consumer would have to personally drive down to different dealerships to obtain quotes. They would also have to spend time negotiating the selling price and settling paperwork.
Besides convenience, we also place emphasis on transparency and trustworthiness. What this means is that customers are never obligated to sell through our platform. We will never pressure them even after they have obtained a quote from us. Our customers’ best interest will always be our priority.
The idea for Motorist was first planted in 2012, after I tried selling my car on my own. Because it was my first time, I encountered many unethical buyers and dealers who tried to take advantage of my inexperience.
Besides trying to lowball me, they used different shady tactics to get me to quickly transfer my vehicle to them, even before the transaction was complete.
Back then I was also trying to set up a new business, and as a busy entrepreneur, I simply didn’t have time for lengthy and troublesome procedures.
That was when I decided a more hands-off approach would be a better solution to consumers such as myself.
Motorist was eventually founded in 2015, with the vision of helping consumers conveniently sell their cars online within 24 hours, without paperwork, and at the highest price guaranteed.
Although we started out in Singapore, we quickly expanded to the Malaysian market in 2018. To date, we have transacted over RM 1 billion worth of car sales in 5 years. The company has plans to grow across the ASEAN region.
At Motorist, majority of the process of selling is streamlined and made convenient through our online platform. However, the vehicles are still subjected to viewing and evaluation by the buyer.
Therefore, the transfer of ownership will still be handled in person once everything else is finalized and agreed.
We obtain the valuation of our customers’ cars through an open bidding system by our partners. To date, we have over 200 trusted dealers within our network.
In order to secure new cars for their inventory, car dealers have no choice but to provide their best offer to the customer.
The bidding is concluded after 24 hours. We will then inform the customer of the highest bid for his or her vehicle. Our fastest transaction to date is 2 hours.
They should ensure their vehicle is road-worthy and still in good working condition. They should also de-kit their vehicle of any aftermarket parts, as most dealers are looking to purchase vehicles in their original condition.
This will ensure a smoother transaction, and possibly fetch a higher value for their car.
If the customer is happy with the quote, we will arrange a viewing for the buyer to evaluate the vehicle. This arrangement is done at the convenience of the customer. This includes arranging the viewing to the customer’s preferred time, date, and location.
Once the viewing has concluded, we will handle the necessary paperwork and procedures to finalise the vehicle ownership transfer.
Generally, the COVID-19 outbreak will affect all industries in the long term, not just the new and used vehicle trade. In times of crisis, we might see a trend where people will want to sell their vehicles for emergency funds.
However, the lockdown has prevented people from meeting dealers to complete the transaction. Automotive platforms such as Motorist might help alleviate this problem.
However, we might end up seeing a market where the supply exceeds the demand.