How to Sell Your Car in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

I recently sold my Perodua Myvi here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. To, perhaps, make somebody else’s life easier, here’s how I did it…

My Perodua MyVi - she served me for 6 years and oh so well. She will be missed.
The only-and-only car I’ve ever bought “out of the box”.
Perodua Myvi, the love of my life.

First, my scenario: I had a 5-year loan on my car, which was paid off last year. My car was just about 6 years old, with 80,000km on the clock, had been serviced regularly, and, a few ugly scrapes aside, had been in no major accidents.

The few repairs that were made, were all original Perodua parts, all while under the original warranty and only ever made at the Perodua service centre. All of these were meticulously recorded, including the service intervals, which were always on time.

Everything was in perfect working order: the electric windows, air-con, door seals, power steering, and engine – are all just about flawless. Makes for an easy, confident sell – no need to lie, or obfuscate, be dodgy, or for the buyer to find anything to hang a discount around.

1. Find a buyer

The key to finding a buyer in Kota Kinabalu is marketing. Lots of people want to buy a car, so you just have to tell them about it. I went the Mudah.Com.My route.

At first I used Mudah’s 1-free-car-ad-per-person option, starting with my preferred selling price, which I gradually dropped – each time deleting and re-placing the ad.

When I got a little more panicked, I opted to pay RM48 for an option which,  once per day, moves your ad to the top of the pile.  I eventually sold my car while using this option, but not sure it was because of this option.

The rate of enquiry was very slow, and to find a decent buyer took a lot longer than I anticipated. In hind-sight I should have started much earlier, and could have kept my price higher a lot longer.

2. Get the Puspakom Certs for Your Car

The Puspakom certificates prove the road worthiness of your car, are required by the banks and JPJ for the transfer of ownership,  and are valid for a month. So, it’s a good idea to get them when you put your car on the market, so as to avoid delay when you find a buyer.

In the queue at Puspakom, waiting for the inspection

The place to do this at is called Puspakom, and in Kota Kinabalu it’s located on the Kolombong / Lintas Highway and is open Mon – Fri (and some Saturdays) from 08:00 – 17:00.

You need to take money (RM30 for the B5 Form and RM60 for the B7), your IC / Passport, the original car registration card and, of course, your car.

I arrived at Puspakom at 7:35am on a Thursday and was about 10th in line, and walked out at 10am with both certificates. You only need B5 (Transfer of Ownership Inspection) if it’s a cash sale, but if the buyer is getting a loan from a bank, the bank requires B7 (Hire Purchase Inspection). May as well get both, as you never know how the purchaser will eventually fund the sale.

You can make an appointment by calling Puspakom ahead, but to be honest, nobody ever referred to an appointment, so it didn’t make a difference. It’s best to arrive and get in the queue as early as possible though, as people do come in numbers.

Be sure to not join the commercial vehicle queue – there is a special one for private vehicles. Ask somebody if you’re not sure and avoid wasting your time in the wrong queue.

There’s a little coffee shop in the back corner of the property, which you will eventually pass while queueing. They sell a few basic breakfast options, water and soft drinks.

You have to fill in a few forms when you get close to the inspection point, but it’s pretty straight forward. Just follow what the inspectors tell you – the inspections are super quick, it’s the waiting in line that’s tedious.

3. Bank Loan

If your buyer is getting a bank loan, you, as the seller, have to supply your buyer with a few basics to enable an easy bank-loan application.

The bank needs copies of your IC or Passport, Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration card. Optionally, Puspakom forms B5 & B7 will make a valuable addition, but is not strictly required for the loan approval.

The seller has to take copies of their IC and last 3 months’ pay slips.

Of the banks, Public Bank will give up to 85% loan, but other banks like Maybank will give up to 90% loan for cars 8 years old and younger – so the buyer has to be prepared to pay the bank a cash deposit of 10 – 15% of your selling price.

Keep your car on the market even while people apply for loans. The loan process takes only a few days, but there are no guarantees that a loan application will lead to a sale, and in the meantime you might miss more potential buyers.

Top Tip: In spite of me thinking my car had been paid off since October 2011, I never paid, and was never made aware to pay, the RM35 ‘termination’ fee, which basically is a little admin fee closing my Hire Purchase account.

Because of this, when the new buyer’s bank checked the ownership of my car, it said Maybank was still the owner and thus the sale was halted. I had to go to Maybank first to pay the RM35 termination fee for them to issue an E Batal (stoporder?) and an electronic action to JPJ (Road Transport Department), which transferred the car to my name.

So, make sure your car is in fact in your name before you try and sell it.

4. Insurance

Usually, I guess, you would cancel your insurance and get the pro rata refund.

I decided, in my naive (lack of) wisdom to transfer my insurance to the buyer as an added perk – which turned out to be a huge waste of time, because:

  • buyers don’t value it, and is thus doesn’t add value to your car, and
  • it doesn’t work like that anyway

I never before that gave it much thought, but insurance is tailored to specific people’s circumstances and risk profiles. My insurance agent struggled to communicate this factoid to me, so I ended up wasting time, and likely money too, as I’m pretty sure he just cancelled the insurance after the transfer anyway, and pocketed the pro-rated refund.

The bank and JPJ requires insurance for the car though, so eventually the buyer will be made aware of the need to get insurance. Informing your buyer of this early on, in case – like me – they are blissfully unaware, will enable them to arrangement the insurance ahead of time, potentially shaving more days of the process.

5. JPJ

So, because there was a bank loan involved, the bank sends their runner to do the JPJ transfer, which saves both me – the seller, and the buyer some hassle.

If you do a cash sale, it’s best that both you and the buyer go to the JPJ, so that you can fill out the forms and sign the required in front of officers, and each other, right there. Of course, this transfers ownership, so you probably want to make sure you sort out payment first.

And then, you’re done.

In the end I gave the buyer, who was very supportive and was involved with the process from the start, the car before the deposit from the bank cleared – I’m nervous like that – and got the money a few days later.

Sale concluded. And now I’m carless.

In Conclusion

The last ever picture of my Myvi, taken in the driveway of the buyer's house.
The last ever pic I took of my beloved Myvi while I was still the owner.

The entire process, starting from when I placed the 1st ad, took just shy of 2 months.

However, the person who eventually bought my car found me on December 17, and I had the money from the sale in my account on December 28, which could have been faster had it not been for the public holidays in between.

I had to take time off from work only twice: once for the Puspakom checks, and once to sign the docs at the bank at a branch in Inanam, of all places.

All said, it was relatively painless.

Published by Yaku

Yaku is a brewer, baker, and semi-retired trouble maker (semi-retired from trouble-making that is). Although he believes anything is possible, he is nevertheless frequently stupefied by his world and the people in it.

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