Scam in the city!
Avoiding car scams is a big worry, don’t get me wrong not all car sellers are dishonest but a few do ruin it for the majority and you need to stay safe when buying a new car.
Let’s look at the top scams when it comes to cars
Big problem when the odometer could be simply wound back, a little harder for clocker’s to do with modern car, however still remains a biggie when it comes to car scammers. Check any paper work relating to past MOT’s or better still check with the DVLA to see what details they have about your car on their database. Your car could be older than you think and have had it’s mileage change to make it appear not as old and so reach a better price.
This is a way of criminals disguising a car by stealing the identity of another one. They can do this by swapping VIN plates (Vehicle Identity Plates) to show potential buyers that the car they have is genuine. One reason why they might do this is to sell a car that has outstanding finance on it. So how do I spot a cloned car? Check all of the documentation that they have on the vehicle such as making sure the VIN numbers match up, check things such as engine size, dates of registration and colour on your documentation. Check the V5 document, the service history book as well as the number plates for any signs that things may have been tampered with.
Dodgy dealers who claim to be a private seller
There are lots of tight laws and regulations that a car dealer must adhere to if they want to sell a car and that’s why there are some who pretend to be a private seller. By law a dealer must inform you of any problems and faults as well as provide you with a warranty. You are safe with a dealer because they must tell you the truth about the vehicle so that they abide by the Goods Description Act and many other regulations. To check if you could be buying a car from a dealer rather than a private seller look for signs such as the place you have agreed to meet, a dealer with have their own premises and not ask to meet in a supermarket car park! Most of all check the details of the car and any documents and look to see who the previous owner was.
A car history data check will flag up if the car you are thinking of buying is stolen or not, its previous owner would have logged the theft with the Police in order to claim on their insurance and so this will be added to a National database. Worth doing to avoid buying a nicked car!
As you can see there is a common theme here, to avoid being sucked into a car scam, when buying a new vehicle, check, check and double-check!
Check the Log book, the car’s service history, the V5 documents, registration documents, the VIN number on all documentation and on the car as well as checking the car’s history data. Meet in a place where you feel comfortable if it’s a private seller or if you suspect the seller is a dealer then meet in the forecourt of their dealership. Ask as many questions as you need to make sure you are entirely satisfied.
Don’t be scammed, arm yourself with knowledge!