CarSite.co.uk Buying Advice
Safe Buying Tips
- Value Of Buying A Used Car
- Used Car Buying Scams
- Safe buying tips
- Making the most of your test drive
- Inspecting a Used Car
- Post Drive Inspection
- Questions to ask the seller
- Used Car Buyer's Checklist
In an age where identity theft and other payment scams are common, car buyers must exercise caution. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Interview the Seller Before You See the Car
A thorough phone interview may help you identify possible scams, and save you the time and effort of arranging a meeting and/or test drive.
Confirm the Seller's Identity
Make sure you have complete contact information for the seller - not just a mobile phone number or email address. Independently confirm the name, address, and home phone/work phone numbers by consulting a phone book, directory enquiries or an online database. You may also wish to visit the seller at their home to make sure they live there.
Have a Mechanic Inspect the Car
This is a good idea when purchasing any used car, but particularly so when purchasing from a private seller. Without prior professional inspection, you may have little or no recourse if something goes wrong after the transaction.
Know the Car's Relative Worth
If the car's asking price is well below market value, find out why. Most sellers won’t try to unload a £10,000 car for £1,000 unless something is amiss.
Research the Car's History
Vehicle history reports are easy to obtain and well worth the investment; they can be purchased via websites for around £20. The reports will identify cars that have been stolen, involved in major accidents or had other significant problems.
Check Out the V5 (Registration Document)
When you have the car in front of you, ask to see the V5. Compare the vehicle identification number on the title to the one on the car to be sure they're the same - you need to be sure the seller really owns the car. If the name on the V5 differs from the name of the seller, it’s time to start asking questions.
Write It Down
Whether you're buying or selling, request a receipt that includes all the relevant information. This should include transferred warranty coverage versus "as is" condition, purchase price, speedometer readings, seller contact information - and a signature.