When it comes to buying a used car the purchaser cannot take any chances. Taking advice from friends or tips from the wrong people can tempt used car buyers into believing some of the popular and common misconceptions.
Amazingly many used car buyers keep falling for the same old tricks or believing the same car buying chestnuts that perpetually circulate. The result could ultimately see them losing money on cars that looked at first sight like a bargain. Take note of these trusted tips, and avoid being duped by used car fraudsters. They will minimise the risk of throwing money away on a dodgy motor.
Most folk believe that when they’ve paid the money and have the car and keys in their hands, they are the registered keeper, which accordingly makes them the legal owner of the car. Well, not necessarily. Being the registered keeper isn’t the same as being the legal owner. If the car has been stolen or is still on finance, then basically it belongs to someone else – the original keeper, or the finance company. You might well be the registered keeper, but you are not the legal owner. Get that wrong and you’ll be out of pocket and using Shanks’s Pony.
This one should be blindingly obvious but it is surprising how many people still get caught out. If a car is advertised as a real bargain and keen buyers are encouraged to move fast to snap it up then be suspicious. If you were the seller, would you knock the car down to a bargain price and make less than you could? Of course not. Something is clearly not right. It is possible that the car is either mechanically suspect or possibly even stolen or cloned. As ever, if in any doubt, walk away briskly.
Another old favourite is when a seller wants to meet ‘halfway’ to facilitate a viewing. It sounds like they are being helpful but all may not be quite so clear cut. Crook alert! This is a common trick used by criminals selling stolen or cloned vehicles. When buying privately, always view the car at the registered keeper’s address as detailed on the V5 document and nowhere else. It’s as simple as that. The same goes for the name of the owner. If the person selling the car is not the registered keeper, then who is he? If the vendor says he is selling the car for a mate, be suspicious. The only people who can be trusted in these circumstances are registered car dealers. Caveat Emptor, as they say.