If you plan to take off to travel or leaving the country/state for sometime and have a car under your name, you may try to figure out what to do with your car. It is better to sell it, lend it or if no one else wants your car, then to scrap it?
1. Selling your car
When you sell your car, both you (car owner) and the buyer need to be physically present in the JPJ office for biometric verification. There are a lot of sites that go through the procedures in detail hence I will not cover it in the article here.
Hence if you are leaving the state or country for sometime and no longer need your car, it is best to arrange for the transfer of ownership before you leave. If you cannot find a buyer in time, then arrange to transfer name to a family member or relative who is willing to manage for you.
2. Lending the car to someone to care for you
Perhaps if you still intend to keep your car, you may have thought to lend your car to someone else to drive it. After all, if the car is kept idle for sometime, it would deteriorate and you might find that you cannot start the car after sometime. So you may want to just lend it to a friend. However, before you lend it to someone, you need to take these into consideration:
- The car is legally still under your name. Hence if there is anything wrong that has been done, ie the car is towed away (due to illegal parking), summons, accidents and any crimes that have been implicated, you would be implicated and possibly held accountable.
- In the event the car is towed away (in some township, the councils like the tow the car away for illegal parking), only the owner is allowed to claim it. What happens if the owner is overseas and not able to come back?
3. Summons (saman)
My friend in this industry told me that summons is tagged to your NRIC number and not your car plate number. Therefore if there is a summon ticket due to spending, illegal parking, beating the red light, etc, it shows up in your NRIC record.
Consequences of not settling your summons:
Some summon would cause you to be blacklisted while some don’t. Anyway, in the past folks would not want to pay their summons…… if they pay, they would wait until there is an offer of 50% to 70% discount before they go and pay it. Some people whose driver license is only due for renewal in another 3 years may still be able to delay. But nowadays, if you do not clear your summons, you may find yourself unable to renew your driving license until you clear all your outstanding summons.
Do note if you lend your car to someone and the person breaks the traffic law, then you are liable to settle the summon. There is no point arguing with the officers claiming that you are not in the country when it happens, blah blah. Nett nett, the car is under your name hence it is your responsibility. Because no one reported the car missing, so it is assumed that you have full knowledge of where the car is.
If you lend the car to the person, and if he breaks any traffic law, he should help you to settle the summon. Summons can be paid by third party- and if it is during the ‘discount campaign’, anyone can go and pay. Once my brother got a summon and he happened to go and settle it during the discounted campaign time. He said the officer did not even check his NRIC- he was automatically granted the discount without even needing to ask for it.
According to my friend, unsettled traffic offences would not cause your passport to be barred and you are unable to leave the country (unlike not settling PTPTN loans, bad banking account conduct, did not pay income tax, etc). It would just prevent you from renewing your drivers license because again, summon is tagged to the person’s NRIC.
4. Road tax- can you skip your road tax and renew few years later?
For example if you really decide you are going to keep your car covered up in your garage for few years and not drive, you may thought about skipping payments for road tax and insurance. I was told that well, if you choose to skip, you may do so but when you decide to drive your car, you must bring it to Puspakom for inspection and pay the fees of RM50 plus half of the year’s road tax.
5. Scrapping your car
If your car is very old car like mine who is about 20 years old and very beaten down, chances are no one would want it. Many of such cars ended up being scrapped. But you can’t just drive your car to a scapper somewhere and just leave it there with them.
Do note that it is very important if you are going to permanently part with your car, the car should no longer be legally under your name. Before you bring your car to be scrapped, go to the nearest JPJ office to surrender your car registration card and notify them that you are going to arrange to have your car scrapped. This is to ensure that there is legal documentation in place. In case, just in case anything happens like somehow your car plate number show up in some bank robbery cases or your engine chasis was identified in a stolen car, you will not be implicated because you already notified JPJ.
Disclaimer: The above practices may be subjected to change from time to time. Therefore, always confirm with your agent (who you go to to renew your road tax and insurance) or your nearest JPJ office.