Ajay Madhukar  |  Singapore
Published 2016-03-07 14:00:05

Auto Craver is a relatively new Malaysian startup that’s taking up the battle to make the process of buying and selling cars more transparent. Currently, the used car marketplace in Malaysia is significantly huge with an approximate number of 394,000 used cars that were sold last year in Malaysia. The Auto Craver team believes that this is a space that could with a lot more efficiency and transparency.

Founded by Adham Fayumi, this startup was part of the 3rd batch of WTF’s Accelerator program and they pitched on the Demo Day that was held last month.

Adham returned from Perth after working as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. While he lived there, he and a few of his friends made money by repairing cars during their free time, as such, he wanted to work in the same field once he returned to Malaysia.

This startup is looking to solve an issue whereby buyers and sellers can’t get the best deals for their cars simply because the current system is stacked against them. They recite a problem where a seller would have to jump from dealership to dealership while attending to stacks of paperwork, just to get an offer for their car. And more often than not, the offers that they do get are extremely low.

Buyers tend to face a similar problem where they have to jump from dealership to dealership or in some cases platform-to-platform, just to look for a decent car that they can purchase. However unlike sellers, buyers are confronted with overpriced cars.

Image Credit: Auto Craver
Image Credit: Auto Craver

Usually, a relative number of car dealerships purchase cars at extremely low prices and then sell them with a higher markup in order to make a profit. This practice generally results in both the buyers and sellers being ripped off at the point of transaction.

And to add to this problem, when buyers do walk away from a car dealership with an overpriced car, they’re given no guarantee that the car won’t break down with a couple of months, or in some cases weeks.

Auto Craver is looking to disturb this practice by offering a more personal, transparent, secure and an honest avenue where the needs of sellers and buyers are prioritised. The platform only sells privately owned cars and they don’t entertain any dealerships for now.

How Do They Work?

Image Credit: Auto Craver
Image Credit: Auto Craver

For sellers that are looking for an avenue to sell their cars, they can first set up an appointment with the Auto Craver team for an inspection. Currently, the platform is equipped to cater to interested sellers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Once an appointment is fixed, the Auto Craver team will carry out a free inspection with a comprehensive 150-Point criterion. This inspection will cover everything from the engine, transmission, and the exterior and interior the car.

This platform will only list cars that pass the thorough the inspection and it will also highlight any flaws or concerns regarding the car, all in the name of transparency. They will also photograph the vehicle for the sellers and then provide them with a guaranteed price quote, which they claim would be higher than any dealership’s offer. According to the website, they also promise to sell the car within 30-days, and if they fail to do so they’ll purchase it from you.

Thereafter, the team will upload the car to their platform and start marketing and advertising in order to find an interested buyer. Meanwhile, the team will also handle everything from the ownership transfer process, Puspakom inspection, vehicle financing, and all relevant paperwork for their sellers, and they also let them keep their car up until they find an interested buyer.

Once they do close a sale, they’ll deliver an Auto Craver check to the seller and then deliver the car to the new owner.

Image Credit: Auto Craver
Image Credit: Auto Craver

Since Auto Craver lets the seller keep their car until it’s sold, they don’t have to pay for inventory or for parking lots, as such this enables them to keep their prices generally lower than the one the market offers. This benefits the buyer a great deal, and given the thorough inspection, they can also be assured that their new car will live up to the bargain.

How Does It Fare Well With Other Platforms?

If you were to compare Auto Craver with say a platform like Carsome.my, the first thing that you’d realise is that Auto Craver only sells privately owned cars while Carsome.my sells cars from certified dealers as well. Given that Auto Craver was started recently, they only have 56 listings on their platform while Carsome.my has a more diverse set of listings.

Image Credit: Auto Craver
Image Credit: Auto Craver

However, they do provide a great deal of information for each listing. If you were to click on a particular listing, you can check out the quantified representation of their in-depth inspection results and it also highlights any defects that are present in the interior and exterior of each car. Auto Craver also displays a fuel efficiency rating and a financing calculator that you can make use of when you’re making an offer for a particular listing. This platform also gives you the functionality to schedule a test drive if you’re interested.

While Carsome.my’s value lies in the fact that they’re more of a car discovery tool and in the copious amounts of information that they provide for each listing, Auto Craver’s value lies in the fact that they only sell privately owned cars and in also in the fact that they thoroughly inspect them and handle all the paperwork for their sellers and buyers.

If you’re a seller that’s looking for a platform or a service to walk you through each and every step of the selling process without much hassle, then Auto Craver might just be what you need.

However if you’re a buyer, I recommend that you check with as many platforms and services as possible, compare and contrast the models, the prices, and overall deals that you’re being offered. At the end of the day, when it comes to purchasing a status symbol like a car, the more knowledge and information you have, the better off you’d be.

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