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Meet Screaner: Vukosi Manzini

When we first called Vukosi Manzini for a chat, we had to call him back so that he could finish up changing the brake pads on his sister’s car. This shouldn’t have surprised us, because as we soon found out, this super-knowledgeable, hands-on Screaner absolutely eats, sleeps, and breathes cars.

Brake pads done and dusted, we finally settled in for a chat to get to know Vukosi a little better. Here’s what he had to say about working with Screan, what to look out for when buying a used car, and his ultimate dream ride.

Hey, Vukosi. How are you?

I’m good, thanks.

Where are you based and what area do you cover for Screan?

I’m based in Edenvale and I mainly cover the East Rand. So that’s Benoni, Boksburg, Bedfordview, Sandton, and so on.

How long have you been working for Screan?

Two years now.

What do you enjoy about working with Screan?

Above all, I’ve always had a passion for cars. So working with Screan allows me to be at one with that passion — and also make money while I’m doing it. It’s exciting going to bed not knowing what car I’ll be driving tomorrow; I feel like I get a taste of everything!

What’s your background with cars?

Growing up, my uncle had a workshop, which mainly had taxis at the time. So I would always be in and out of the workshop, and that’s where my love for cars began. Once I started studying for my BComm law degree, I managed to get an internship at an auto services company that maintained and serviced government and company fleets. That position then grew into me becoming an operations supervisor.

Right now, I’m trying to find something where my law degree and my automotive expertise can meet in the middle. So far, I think Screan has to an extent brought that for me. I definitely intend on getting deeper into the automotive industry.

What, in your opinion, is the best value-for-money, trustworthy car on the South African used car market?

I would say without a doubt, Toyotas. Personally, I’m a big Audi fan, but I’ve rarely come across a Toyota with minor problems. What I mean by that, is when a Toyota has a problem and it’s not driving, it means it’s a serious problem. It’s not often susceptible to minor faults, whereas most other cars are.

If you had to give one piece of golden advice to a first-time used car buyer, what would you say?

Do not disregard the vehicle’s service history!

The vehicle’s service history tells you a lot about the owner of the car and the condition in which the car has been kept. Sometimes the service history is not there, but the car looks clean. But you don’t know if maybe the car has been getting to services late by 20,000kms. You don’t know how much that will affect you in the long run.

So I would say, always confirm the service history. Double-check it. You can also call the dealerships to confirm that the vehicle was actually in for those services listed in the book.

Have you ever had any strange or dodgy experiences while out doing a vehicle inspection for Screan?

I had someone trying to sell a ‘cut and join’ car. The front end of the vehicle was not damaged, but the rear end was. So they cut the vehicle and then attached a new rear end from another car.

I asked the seller, “Has this vehicle ever been in an accident?” He said, “No.” I asked him about the cut and join, and he said, “No man, this is normal, you see it on all cars.”

Then he proceeded to show me another cut and join car, at the same dealership, trying to justify the first one! And when I pointed out the things that make it obvious that it’s a cut and join, he proceeded to offer me a bribe.

What sounds more like your idea of fun: off-roading through remote bush in a 4x4, or getting behind the wheel of a high-performance supercar and taking a spin around the track at Kyalami?

Let’s go to Kyalami! That’s my idea of fun. I already do a lot of 4x4ing through Mpumalanga, but my preferred thing that pops into my head is let’s get on the track.

What’s your ultimate dream car?

My ultimate dream car… Hmmm, shucks. I have a dream car for the next three to five years, that’s an Audi RS3. But my ultimate dream car, I’ll have to think about that for a minute. Maybe a Rimac… Or an Audi R8. Yeah, I’ll have to go with the Audi R8.

Thanks for the chat, Vukosi, it’s been good getting to know you a little!


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