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With fraudsters becoming even better at covering their tracks, it’s not always easy for people to spot a scam, so it’s important to always be on your guard.
This has never been more important that when you are purchasing a used car. Although you may think you will easily be able to identify a stolen vehicle, many stolen cars can appear to be perfectly legitimate.
This week the AA is running a campaign to remind prospective car buyers that they should always run a check on any car which they are considering buying. At Trusted Dealers, we guarantee that this check will automatically be done for you via HPI or Experian, to provide you with added peace of mind that your car is neither lost nor stolen. Following some of the Trusted Dealers’ tips on spotting a stolen vehicle is also a sensible idea.
“Used car history checks identify nearly 30 stolen vehicles a day, which highlights the level of risk used car buyers face,” says Amanda Moore of the AA . “Historically, the tell-tale signs of a stolen car (window and paint scratches, or marks left by tampering with an ignition shaft, for example) made spotting a stolen car easier. With modern vehicles it is much more difficult as used car criminals are very clever at covering their tracks, and are devising new ways to do so all the time. However, there are some simple steps buyers can take to avoid a stolen vehicle.”
Buyers should always check that the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle they are thinking of buying match up with each other and have not been tampered with. In addition, if you are buying from a private seller, make sure you check that they are the registered keeper of the vehicle, which means they should be able to supply you with the correct and relevant paperwork to look over before you make the sale.
Further tips include making sure that the seller has all of the previous service and MOT documentation to hand, and also that he V5 registration document matches up with the information you have received from the HPI or AA Car Data Check you have carried out.
Moore continues, “Another key warning sign can be a vehicle which is considerably cheaper than the going rate for similar vehicles of the same age, condition and mileage, so make sure you shop around to get a feel for what a realistic price might be – if it’s significantly cheaper, you should ask why.”