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What Is A Code 2 Vehicle?

Quick Summary

In this blog post, we explore the concept of a Code 2 vehicle in South Africa. We discuss the different status codes for motor vehicles, the pros and cons of buying a Code 2 vehicle, and the risks and considerations involved in purchasing one from an auction. We also address frequently asked questions about the differences between Code 2 and Code 3 vehicles, insurance options, and the importance of thorough inspection before making a purchase.


When it comes to buying a used car, there are various factors that need to be considered. One important aspect is understanding the vehicle status codes assigned to different cars. In South Africa, these codes help determine the condition and history of a motor vehicle.

One such code is Code 2, which refers to pre-owned vehicles with one or more previous owners/registrations. Understanding what exactly this code means can help potential buyers make informed decisions when purchasing a used car.

In this article, we will delve into the details of Code 2 vehicles – their definition, pros and cons of buying them, as well as considerations for those looking at purchasing from an auction. We’ll also address some frequently asked questions related to Code 2 vehicles in order to provide comprehensive information on this topic.

So let’s dive in and explore everything you need know about Code 2 vehicles!

Understanding Vehicle Status Codes

When it comes to motor vehicles, there are different status codes that indicate their condition and history. These codes help buyers understand the background of a vehicle before making a purchase. The four main status codes for motor vehicles in South Africa are Code 1, Code 2, Code 3, and Code 4.

Code 1

A Code 1 vehicle refers to a brand new car sold by a dealer to its first owner. This means that the vehicle has never been registered or used on public roads before.

Code 2

On the other hand, a Code 2 vehicle is classified as used/pre-owned with one or more previous owners/registrations. It may have had multiple registrations due to changes in ownership over time.

However, confusion often arises when distinguishing between what constitutes a Code 2 versus a Code 3 vehicle. According to some sources, a Code 3 vehicle refers to either a Code 1 or Code 2 vehicle that has been involved in an accident and is deemed unfit for use by the insurer. This means it may have sustained significant damage during an accident rendering it unsafe for road use without extensive repairs.

However, some people believe a different definition wherein a Code 3 vehicle signifies a permanently unfit-for-use write-off due to major structural damage. This is where the confusion lies as some mistakenly consider Code 2 vehicles simply to be normal used cars while viewing Code 3 vehicles as total write-offs. It’s important to note that the definition of these codes sometimes varies depending on the source, and it is crucial to do your research before making any assumptions about a vehicle’s status based solely on the code numbers.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Code 2 Vehicle

Buying a used vehicle can be an affordable option for many people. When it comes to purchasing a pre-owned car, one term that often arises is “Code 2.” But what exactly does this mean? In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of buying a Code 2 vehicle.


  1. Lower Price: One significant advantage of buying a Code 2 vehicle is its lower price compared to similar aged vehicles in better condition. Since these cars have had previous owners or registrations, they are generally priced more competitively on the market.


  1. Cost of Repairs: While you may save money upfront by purchasing a Code 2 vehicle at a lower price point, there could be additional costs down the line when it comes to repairs and maintenance. These vehicles might require some work before they are roadworthy again.
    • For example, if the previous owner did not properly maintain or service the car regularly, you may need to invest in fixing any mechanical issues that arise as well as addressing wear-and-tear items like brakes or tires.
    • It’s important to factor in potential repair costs when considering whether buying such a vehicle is worth it. It may be more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a similar aged car that is in legal and on-the-road condition, rather than investing money into a repair project with a Code 2 vehicle to bring it to that same standard of roadworthiness.
  2. Hidden Issues: Another disadvantage associated with Code 2 vehicles is hidden issues. These issues could include previous accident damage or other problems not immediately apparent to the buyer. While some Code 2 vehicles may be in sound mechanical condition, others might require extensive work to be considered reliable and safe for use. Before purchasing a Code 2 vehicle, it’s crucial to perform a thorough inspection and consider the condition of the car.


When comparing the cost of repairs for a Code 2 vehicle to buying a similar aged, legal, and on-the-road car, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. While you may save money upfront by purchasing a Code 2 vehicle at a lower price point, there is always an inherent risk involved in terms of potential repair costs.

On the other hand, a legally roadworthy used car might have higher initial purchase prices but could be more reliable with fewer hidden issues or costly repairs down the line.

In conclusion, buying a Code 2 vehicle does have its advantages, such as a lower price point. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential disadvantages such as the cost of repairs and potential hidden issues. Thus, making an informed decision based on your budget, your mechanical knowledge, and the risk tolerance is essential before purchasing a Code 2 vehicle.

Buying a Code 2 Vehicle from an Auction

Purchasing a vehicle from an auction can be an exciting and potentially cost-effective way to acquire your next car. However, when it comes to buying a Code 2 vehicle, there are some important risks and considerations that you need to keep in mind.

Missed Services and Voided Warranties

One of the main concerns with purchasing a Code 2 vehicle from an auction is the possibility of missed services or voided warranties. These vehicles have often been involved in accidents or stolen and recovered, which means they may not have received regular maintenance or repairs as required by manufacturers’ guidelines. It’s crucial to thoroughly inspect any potential purchase for signs of neglect before making your decision.

Repair Costs

Additionally, repair costs should also factor into your decision-making process. While the initial price tag on a Code 2 vehicle at auction might seem enticingly low compared to similar models available elsewhere, it’s essential to consider how much additional money you’ll need for necessary repairs down the line. Remember that these vehicles were deemed uneconomical by insurers due to their repair costs outweighing their value – so make sure you’re prepared financially if unexpected issues arise after purchase.

Considerations for Buying from Auctions

  1. Inspect Thoroughly: Take advantage of any opportunity provided by the auction house for inspection prior bidding; this will allow you time examine every aspect carefully – both inside out! Look closely at bodywork condition (including paintwork), engine performance indicators such as oil leaks/smoke emissions during start-up tests etc., suspension components like shocks/struts wear patterns indicating possible accident damage history…etc.; basically anything related mechanical integrity! Remember though inspections aren’t foolproof guarantees against hidden problems but rather tools helping buyers identify potential red flags warrant further investigation/expert opinion(s).
  2. Avoid Purchasing Code 3 Vehicles: Code three cars typically suffer extensive structural damages rendering them permanently unfit use roadworthy standards set insurance companies. These vehicles can be more difficult to insure and resell due their history, making them a risky investment.

In conclusion, buying a Code 2 vehicle from an auction comes with its own set of risks and considerations. It’s crucial to thoroughly inspect the car for any signs of neglect or damage before committing to purchase it. Additionally, factor in potential repair costs when evaluating whether the low initial price is worth it in the long run.

While auctions can offer great deals on used cars, exercise caution when considering purchasing Code 3 vehicles as they may have extensive damages that could lead difficulties insuring or selling later down line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the difference between a Code 2 and a Code 3 vehicle?

A Code 2 vehicle refers to a used/pre-owned vehicle with one or more previous owners/registrations. These vehicles are typically in fair condition but may have some wear and tear due to their previous usage.

On the other hand, a Code 3 vehicle can be either a previously registered (Code 1) or pre-owned (Code 2) car that has been involved in an accident. These vehicles are deemed unfit for use by insurance companies due to major structural damage. It’s important to note that purchasing code-3 cars comes with higher risks as they require extensive repairs before being roadworthy again.

Question 2: Can a Code-2 Vehicle Be Insured?

Yes, it is possible to insure code-2 vehicles; however, there might be certain considerations when doing so. Insurance providers will assess factors such as the age of the car, its current condition after inspection, any modifications made since purchase if applicable), etc., before determining coverage options and premiums.

It’s recommended that you disclose all relevant information about your code-2 vehicle during discussions with potential insurers so they can provide accurate quotes based on risk assessments specific for these types of automobiles.

Question 3: What should I consider before purchasing a code-two vehicle from an auction?

Before buying any type of second-hand automobile at an auction – including those classified under “code two” status – several key aspects need careful consideration:

  • Thorough Inspection – Conducting comprehensive inspections prior-to-purchase helps identify existing damages/issues which could affect safety standards.
  • Repair Costs – Assessing repair costs accurately ensures buyers understand financial implications beyond initial purchase price.
  • Service History & Warranty Voidance – Checking service records confirms regular maintenance while avoiding warranty voidances resulting from unauthorized modifications or repairs.
  • Airbag Deployment – If one or more airbags have deployed, it indicates a previous accident. Buyers should exercise caution and consider potential hidden damages.
  • Insurance Coverage – While code two vehicles can be insured, buyers must understand that any vehicle purchased at an auction is considered a gamble by insurance providers. It’s essential to discuss coverage options with insurers before finalizing the purchase.

Question 4: Are there reputable service providers that can restore Code-2 vehicles?

Yes, there are reputable service providers who specialize in restoring code-2 vehicles. These professionals have expertise in repairing structural damage and ensuring the car meets safety standards once again.

However, it’s crucial for buyers to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before purchasing and obtain quotes from multiple restoration specialists to compare costs accurately. Additionally, researching reviews and seeking recommendations will help identify reliable service providers known for their quality workmanship.

Question 5: What should I do if the license disc of a Code-two vehicle has expired?

If you’re considering buying a code-two vehicle with an expired license disc (also referred to as road tax), several steps need consideration:

  1. Roadworthy Test – Take your prospective purchase for inspection at an accredited testing station where they’ll assess its condition against legal requirements necessary for obtaining new licensing.
  2. Addressing Issues – In case issues arise during inspections leading up-to-roadworthiness certification renewal attempts; ensure these concerns receive proper attention through professional repair services prior retesting.
  3. Cost Considerations – Keep in mind additional expenses such as repairs required meeting compliance regulations when calculating overall budgetary implications.

Question 6: Why Should I Avoid Purchasing Code Three Vehicles?

Code three vehicles are deemed permanently unfit due to major structural damage resulting from accidents or other incidents rendering them unsafe on roads without extensive repairs which may not always guarantee full recovery back into safe driving conditions.

Purchasing such vehicles comes with several challenges, including difficulties in obtaining insurance coverage and potential issues when reselling. Additionally, the cost of repairs for code three cars can often exceed their market value.

It is generally advised to avoid purchasing code-three vehicles unless you have extensive knowledge about vehicle restoration or are willing to take on significant financial risks associated with repairing them back into roadworthy conditions.

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  1. http://www.cfspares.co.za/interesting-facts-on-different-code-cars-code-1234interesting-facts-on-different-code-cars-code-1234/
  2. https://vwclub.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?t=90916
  3. https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/buying-a-code-2-used-car-from-auction.766786/

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