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Avoid being scammed when buying a used carBack

PrivateSellerAt Trusted Dealers, we like to make sure that all of our customers are in safe hands when it comes to purchasing second-hand cars, but not all dealers and private sellers are as trustworthy.

In promoting Trusted Dealers’ own unique 10 points of difference promise we guarantee to our customers that the car they are purchasing has had an Experian or HPI check before it is advertised on the forecourt. This means that our customers can be safe in the knowledge that the car they are about to purchase has not been lost, stolen, involved in an accident or clocked.

We would always recommend to buyers that they buy from an approved franchised dealer for the extra peace of mind that it can bring, but should you choose to purchase a used car from a private seller or dealer, there are a few pitfalls you should learn to avoid before you enter into a sale.

Take a look below at some of the more popular scams buyers should be aware of to avoid being conned when buying a second-hand car:

Do not be naïve in thinking that once you have paid for a car you own it. You might have the keys in your hand and the paperwork to say that you are now the registered keeper but HPI warns that buyers can be caught out by purchasing a car that has either been stolen or is still on finance. If this is the case, the car is technically still owned by the original keeper or the financial body.

If a car is on sale for a much lower price than cars of a similar spec, you should ask yourself why. The seller might be keen to advertise the fact the car is a bargain and might encourage you to move fast, but it is wise to stop and consider why the seller is so keen to get rid of it quickly, particularly when a bargain price suggests the seller will make less money than the car is worth.

Meeting point
If the seller suggests that you meet to view the car at a convenient public location, beware. Meeting in a public place could suggest that the car being viewed has been stolen or cloned. If it is a private sale, you should always arrange to meet at the registered keeper’s address as detailed on the V5.

Meet the seller
If the seller of the car in question is not the registered owner, you should not agree to a sale. Buyers should only deal with the registered keeper to prevent the car from being technically classed as stolen. You should always ask the seller for a form of ID and a copy of the V5 ownership document. If you are not happy with the paperwork available, walk away.

You should only purchase a car that has been written off if it falls into category C and D write-offs and the vehicle has been properly repaired. Any car classed as a category A or B write-off should not be repaired as it does not make economical sense to do so. Always make sure any vehicle which has been involved in an accident is thoroughly roadworthy before you drive it.


Posted by Leana Kell on 12/02/2014