Buying a used car is like walking through a minefield blindfolded while balancing a can of nitroglycerine on your head. Right! Wrong – because, before you buy you can now Screan your potential purchase.

Very simply Screan is an organisation started by Mike Schlebach to assist potential buyers to avoid the many pitfalls of used car buying, especially in the private sales arena, by having experts go and check the car on your behalf.

“I founded Screan because it solves a problem I have always had when trying to buy a pre-owned car,” says Schlebach.

“A couple of years ago I was looking to buy a second-hand car. Like many coastal people, I liked the idea of buying a car inland where there seem to be more options to choose from and less rust issues. I found a car that I thought would be perfect for me up in Johannesburg. I made an arrangement with the dealer and flew up from Cape Town to go and view the car. My plan was that I’d hopefully buy it and then drive it back home.

“When I arrived at the dealer, the car was not there. I was told to wait while it was brought from who knows where. Suffice to say, the car never showed up. In the hour or so that they made me wait, the dealer tried to sell me another similar car, which I could see was a rebuild. I checked the car’s VIN number with the manufacturer and it turns out that the dealer had turned back the odometer and lied about its age.”

Sadly, an all too common tale of woe.

Fortunately in his case there is a happy note and the Uber driver he hired to take him to other used car lots turned out to be a former used car salesman and provided all the necessary insights to allow Schlebach to successfully negotiate a deal – and then became the first ‘Screaner’ when the company was started.

The Screan platform is your link to a countrywide network of second-hand vehicle inspection experts, called ‘Screaners’.

When you book a Screan, we send a nearby Screaner to inspect the item and report back to you on its condition.

Using a comprehensive checklist, our Screaners carry out a mechanical inspection, a service history review, and a detailed assessment of the vehicle’s interior and exterior to thoroughly evaluate a vehicle’s condition.

Once the vehicle inspection has been completed, you’ll receive a detailed buyer’s report and a set of hi-res 360° walk-around images, designed to arm you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase decision.

From R895 for a comprehensive car screen it is an investment that can pay huge dividiends in helping you, as the buyer, avoid the fake, fictious, failing, damaged or rust-ridden objects of no-desire that find their way onto used car lots and on social media sites.

“The Screan story is just getting started. We’ve recently expanded our service to other pre-owned categories including caravans, trailers, leisure boats, and classic cars,” adds Schlebach.

Colin Windell