When buying or selling a car, we need to avoid becoming victims as the market has increasingly sophisticated car scams. Due to the internet and social media’s increasing popularity among crooks, it is now easier than ever to fall victim to unscrupulous scammers.
With our guide to some of the most common scams in the UK, you can stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.
Car scams: Five top tips
The seller might trick you even when you take a car from the garage. Likely, a pair of fraudsters give a demo while viewing a vehicle for sale. While one potential buyer distracts the owner, the other pours oil into the coolant reservoir, causing smoke to pour out the engine during a test drive.
As a result, the buyers will demand a discount from the seller. We advise owners to be alert for suspicious behavior from would-be buyers and refuse the sale if they are doubtful. You can find these through suspicious activities, but there are things for which you need guidance.
Here are the potential pitfalls of buying a used vehicle:
- Used car with clocking issues
- Selling a vehicle with outstanding finance
- A vehicle with a stolen history
- A used vehicle with a bad car accident history
- Selling a value-less vehicle or scrapped
Apart from these, there are lots of scams that happen with virtual car buying. However, these scams are crucial & need to be concerned.
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Recommended Reading: Ultimate checklist to buying a used car
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Is the mileage shown to you genuine?
Clocking the car mileage is one common scam for a used car purchase. Clocking a vehicle is a popular process of calibrating the odometer mileage to show miles less than it covers.
With the invention of the digital odometer, the clocking process has become more straightforward and needs a laptop and suitable software. But is the use of clocking a vehicle?
The answer is as simple as that. Mileage and age are the main factors determining any used vehicle’s value. Hence, increasing the used vehicle’s value, clocking has become a more common method of used car scams. Also, buying a clocked vehicle is more dangerous than you think.
Electronics on the car need a change or repair after specific mileage for a smoother run. If you buy a clocked vehicle and do not have the original mileage, it creates unwanted clashes with the vehicle electronics. It may cause serious accidents when driven with old spare parts.
Here are a few tips to overcome a mileage scam,
- Look at the odometer for unwanted spacing.
- Carefully check the electrics of the vehicle.
- Go through the body condition of the car.
- Vehicle mileage checks in advance of the purchase.
Is your car still has an unpaid debt?
You might come across the story of the financed car purchased for finance. Yes, a finance scam is a very common and very severe threat to used car buyers.
If you wonder what an outstanding finance scam is, then here is the answer for you. Selling a vehicle that has a loan pending is a financial scam. It is not an illegal activity to sell a car with finance.
Once it is untold to the buyer, this becomes an offence and makes a victim. It is also a little tough to spot a vehicle with finance on it, as the car does not have any marker about the finance pending.
The consequences of buying a financed vehicle are horrible. You will lose both the money and the car just because of a little ignorance of a vehicle check. Hence it is an easy pitfall for the buyers.
Here are a few ideas to overcome a financial scam,
- Ask for the complete paperwork and finance agreements.
- Get in contact with the previous owner of the vehicle.
- You cannot expect the dealer to be honest always, so run a outstanding finance check to know the truth behind it.
Also Read: Risks of having an outstanding finance car
Has my car been reported as stolen before?
According to the recent study, the police recorded around 48,000 vehicles as stolen in 2021 which is 1600 more than the last year, as per DVLA source. The thieves targeting Range Rovers and other brands include BMW, Mercedes- Benz.
The most stolen car models is Ford’s popular super mini, with 3909 reported stolen to the police. And the motorist failed to notice it before because the seller is smart enough to hide its original identity. So, that’s why the car buyers are keen to take a stolen car check which its available with us at £9.95.
The ramifications of having a stolen car worsen the situation as you have to return to its original owner if you somehow came to know about it. Or else, the police can seize your vehicle at any time, and there are only the least chances of claiming back from the insurance company. So, avoid financial loss by inspecting the vehicle before.
Read to know how to determine the car is stolen
Scrapped or written-off vehicle
There is no fix once you buy a scrapped vehicle. Though written-off vehicles are repairable (only in specific categories), the scam around them is huge. Scrapped vehicles, in simple, are a bundle of damaged metals that wears the shape of a car. So make sure you check the below to escape from the scrapped used car scam.
• Look for any scratches and damages on the exterior.
• Look through the V5C document.
• Read our guide to know how to check if the car is scrapped.
As already said, the used car scam is very common. Other risky scams are also there; it is in the buyer’s hand to check the vehicle. It can be anything, the seller or the car itself a scam, so know what to check when buying a used car. The reason is only a few motorists are more concerned about checking the car history. Still, some hesitate to take a step; this guide would be helpful for those.