Car scams are becoming increasingly advanced in nature, yet it is often the simplest ones which are most successful. Being vigilant and doing everything in your power to prevent being scammed is of paramount importance whenever buying or selling any vehicle. Here are some effective scam prevention methods which you can apply.
It seems obvious, but you must check that any car you are buying has an effective security system in order to prevent theft of your valuables and the car itself. Make sure the alarm works, and that the locks are secure.
Bear in mind that newer cars are far more likely to have up to date security systems compared to older cars, which are more susceptible to break ins.
Try Before You Buy
Whenever buying a car from a stranger, or even a trusted car dealer, you should always question its roadworthiness.
Sometimes there will be a glaringly obvious fault with the car, but if you do not notice it before buying, you will be liable to pay for it. Take the car for a test drive, check the seller is trustworthy, and inspect the car thoroughly before purchasing.
Be Vigilant Online
There are a multitude of online scams going around, which many people have lost a considerable amount of money to. Some people will ask you to pay for a car through a bogus website, even though you have never seen the car itself.
Always apply common sense, and always be suspicious of prices which seem unusually low for the car you are looking for.
Do a HPI Check
If you are unsure if a used car is stolen or not, it could be worth doing a HPI check to see if it has been recorded as stolen.
This will check through the Police National Computer and tell you instantly if your vehicle is safe to buy, as you should never buy a stolen vehicle.
Don’t Trust Anyone
One of the common scams which went around recently involved the supposed ‘buyer’ of a car ‘overpaying’ and then requesting a refund of the difference from the seller.
They then disappeared after the seller realises the initial money transfer to their account was bogus. To avoid this, always wait for the money to actually arrive in your account before considering a refund.
There are numerous scams out there designed to catch you out, and some could cost you a fortune. Be safe and be cautious whenever buying or selling a car, and always be on the lookout for any deal which looks suspicious.