Man Sells Problematic Car Back to Dealer After Lengthy Legal Process. What Should Buyer Look Out For When Purchasing Used Cars?

A recent incident has highlighted the challenges some motorists face when purchasing second-hand cars in Singapore. 

Mr. Daniel Watts, a trade manager with a multinational corporation, found himself in a frustrating situation after buying a 5.5-year-old Ssangyong Tivoli 1.6 from authorised agent Motorway Ssangyong for $46,500.

Despite assurances of its quality and the car’s age, the vehicle began exhibiting issues soon after Mr. Watts took ownership. 

From stalling multiple times to emitting smoke under the bonnet, the car presented alarming problems.

Attempts to rectify these issues through servicing and repairs proved futile, with the Check Engine warning light persisting and additional complications arising.

After months of grappling with the problematic vehicle, Mr. Watts finally resorted to legal action. 

In February 2024, after a lengthy legal process, Motorway offered to repurchase the car for $33,000, significantly less than the original purchase price.

This incident sheds light on the importance of diligence when purchasing a used car. Here are some essential tips to consider

1. Research and Find a Reputable Seller

Before making a purchase, thoroughly research dealerships or sellers with a reputation for honesty and quality service. This can be done by looking for reviews and testimonials to gauge their reliability.

2. Insist on a Comprehensive Test Drive

Test driving the car is crucial to assess its performance and identify any potential issues firsthand.

Pay attention to how the vehicle handles, any unusual noises, and the functioning of essential features like brakes, gears, and electronics.

3. Get the Car Inspected by Professionals

STA Car Evaluation


Prioritise getting the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic or a reputable car inspection centre. 

They can provide a comprehensive evaluation of the car’s condition, including mechanical, electrical, and structural aspects, giving you peace of mind before making a purchase.

This can be easily arranged by a trustable workshop of yours, or even through the STA Car Evaluation Programme. 

4. Be Wary of Red Flags

Watch out for warning signs such as inconsistent explanations from the seller, undisclosed accidents or repairs, and persistent issues during the test drive. 

If something seems off, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek a second opinion.

5. Document Everything

Keep records of all communications, transactions, and maintenance activities related to the purchase. 

These documents can be valuable in case of disputes or legal proceedings.

By following these tips and exercising caution, motorists can minimise the risks associated with buying a used car and ensure a smoother and more satisfying ownership experience.

Remember, thorough preparation and scrutiny can save you from potential headaches down the road.

Have a story to share? 

Accidents occur frequently, but as responsible road users, we can collectively contribute to reducing their frequency. 

If you or someone you know has a video or story to share, please do not hesitate to email us at 

Together, we can all contribute to creating safer roads for everyone. 


Get comprehensive cover at a lower price today! Receive up to S$400 worth of petrol vouchers with AIG. T&Cs apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

Get a quote now!

Be part of our team of contributors! You can submit your videos via the following ways:
1. Whatsapp to 96667153
2. Telegram
3. Facebook groups
4. Online Forms
How do you feel about this?
You have reacted on "Man Sells Problematic Car Back to Dealer After ..." A few seconds ago