The used car trade is calling for a modern booking system to overcome the three day to six day wait for the mandatory B5 inspection certificate issued by Puspakom.
According to industry participants, a transparent booking system such as what cinemas or budget airlines offer — on-line booking and payment — will eliminate the current situation where a seller is given an appointment no earlier than three days.
In Muar, the situation has worsened and a seller has to wait up to six days to get his vehicle inspected and issued a B5 certificate that verifies the chassis and engine number are authentic and that the car is valid for sale and transfer of ownership.
The delay has led to an innovative — costly to the seller, more profits to puspakom — solution.
The Muar Puspakom centre now offers a one-for-the-price-of-two inspection.
How it works is that since there is no queue for the voluntary 10-point inspection where a B10 certificate is issued, then those impatient to sell their car quick are advised to send their car for the B10 inspection.
Since the B10 certificate incorporates the four point inspection of the mandatory B5 inspection, there is no need for the used car to be tested twice. The only thing is that this means paying for two tests. The B5 costs RM30 and the B10 costs RM40.
“How come they can call this a voluntary inspection,” complained a car seller in Muar.
“We have no choice but to pay if we want to sell fast,” he said.
An observer noted that the long wait for a mandatory inspection could be quelled if Puspakom set up a transparent booking system like airlines or cinemas where booking are made and paid on-line.
“Under the current system, the runners make appointments. They call up and make an appointment, some make one appointment a day, big runners make two or more appointments a day. They call the bookings main line and declare their name and the registration number of their vehicle. It’s a fake appointment just to get a number in the queue for the day. It costs the runners nothing to make fake appointments.
“Then when a car seller or buyer needs to get his car inspected urgently so that he can close a sale quickly, the runner will offer him his place in the line.
“Tthe runner has contacts inside that particular Puspakom office to change the registration number of the vehicle to be inspected,” he said.
However, he admitted that it was unlikely that Puspakom would implement an in-line booking system anytime soon because it was too big a bureaucracy and too many people would be affected.
“The middle managers close one eye because it’s not easy to get vehicle examiners. They would rather tolerate some corruption and get some work done rather than a shortage of staff and pressure from the big bosses,” he said.
About two used cars are sold to every one new car sold. That means about 1.2 million used cars are sent for the mandatory B5 every year.
In the UK, the Ministry of Transport roadworthiness test — usually abbreviated to MOT— has been ongoing for more than 50 years. Any qualified local workshop can apply for authorisation to conduct MOT testing which is required annually once a private vehicle is three years old.
The benefits of such a wide, local system are numerous, including eliminating long queues at testing centres —Puspakom has only 83 testing sites nationwide whereas there are in excess of 20,000 workshops with license to conduct testing in the UK — and the freedom of choice and convenience to customers.
Routine vehicle inspection should reduce road fatalities caused by poorly maintained vehicles.
Thailand and Malaysia record the highest road fatalities per million capita in Southeast Asia at 238.12, far beyond the global average of 180.