According to a report, a car is stolen every 5 minutes in the U.K, and this makes buying pre-owned vehicles very difficult. While buying from a dealership covers your rights through consumer legislation, purchasing from a private seller is a significant risk because you never know if the vehicle you are considering is stolen.
As a buyer, you must undertake a stolen car check and save yourself thousands of pounds. Today, we will discuss the associated risks and tips to avoid purchasing a stolen car. First off, you need to be extra cautious and exercise sound judgment when making a deal with a private seller. Stay away from those who sell a vehicle lower than the market price, or are in a hurry to make a deal without providing the necessary documents, or do not give you enough time to go for the number plate check and search the details about the vehicle.
Three scenarios associated with purchasing a stolen vehicle
- The car is stolen and is put for sale before the owner knows about the stealing. This usually is the case when the owner is out of the city, and the thief is aware of their absence.
- The vehicle was stolen some time ago and is reported to Police. This car is then offered for sale.
- The thief has changed the identity of the vehicle by swapping its number plate, falsifying the registration card, or changing the VIN.
You can avoid the second risk by checking with the U.K Police if the vehicle you are buying is reported stolen. However, this won’t help you in the 1st and 3rd situations.
To avoid the 3rd risk, you can go for a free vehicle history check or specifically take the stolen car check. The report should also contain information on VIN, plate, make, model, and colour. Simply match these with the logbook to find any discrepancies. That said, the thieves are very smart these days and can use details from a similar vehicle to deceive you. Apart from opting for the stolen car check, broken locks, rips in window rubber, damaged ignition, etc., are some telltale signs of a stolen car, as well.
Four tips to avoid buying a stolen car
- It is wise to check the vehicle at the address of the registered keeper. Ask for the V5C registration document (aka logbook), and make sure the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) watermark is there. Match the VIN/chassis numbers on the car with those written on the logbook. Moreover, use the stolen car check report and tally it with details on the DVLA. Never buy the vehicle without its logbook.
- It is your responsibility to do a market search on the make and model you want to purchase. If the seller is offering you the vehicle lower than the market price, alarm bells should ring. No seller wants to lose money on his or her deal.
- If the seller is asking cash, stay away from the agreement. In case you pay cash and find about the stolen vehicle later, you won’t have any proof of the purchase you have made.
- Invest in a stolen car check or free vehicle history check (if that offers the information you need) for your peace of mind. If you can get a complete check stolen vehicle details contact on us