Unfortunately, car scams are on the rise. This is especially prevalent since listing a fake vehicle for sale is becoming ever easier. Indeed, many fraudulent listings are made every day on vehicle sale sites and the like. Following this thought, today, we’re looking at some of the key things you should know to avoid car scams and fraud; hopefully, this will allow you to stay safe when buying your dream new vehicle, too.
If you have been looking to purchase a new vehicle, looking at online listings can be a great place to start – but there’s no guarantee the car you’re hoping to buy will even be genuine. Following this thought, taking steps to ensure that your purchase is seamless is crucial.
Always Ask for Specific Photos or Videos
Before going any further, if you’re shopping online, start by asking for specific photos or videos of the car to help authenticate the listing. If the seller is not willing to get a photo on request, you should ask yourself whether this could be because they don’t own the car themselves to photograph it.
Run a Car Check
Once you are confident that the photos look genuine, you should next ask the seller to confirm the number plate details for the car. Once they have done so, you’ll be able to run a car check, and this can highlight a wealth of hugely important information about the vehicle itself.
Car history checks cover numerous topics, including the vehicle’s write-off and stolen status, a summary of the car’s ownership history, MOT and mileage data, and the like. Plus, you’ll also be able to confirm the main information about the car, such as its make, model, colour, and the like.
One of the first things you should do when buying a car online is to choose a platform carefully – and critically, try to choose a site that allows you to research the seller before buying. Car scams are common on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, for example, common warning signs include brand new accounts with limited history or a seller posting an unusual number of listings for similar vehicles (without being a dealer).
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a second-hand vehicle is to never hand over any money until you’re ready to drive away with your new car – especially if you have any concerns about the authenticity of a car sale.
Car scams can be incredibly distressing, but the good news here is that they are avoidable. And by running the right checks (and ensuring you have the necessary information), you can stay safe from vehicle fraud when buying your new car. So, don’t chance this all-important decision; always take the necessary steps to authenticate your purchase, and this starts by running a car history check.