Recently, several instances of fraudulent motor websites/ advertisements/ emails have been taking place. In these occurrences the fraudsters typically ask for a deposit or full payment upfront for a vehicle and then disappear with the money.The operators of these schemes often attempt to impersonate genuine motor dealers or websites by using their names, addresses, similar domain names, etc. and subsequently copying vehicle advertisements and other content from their websites.
Do not proceed unless you are 100% certain that the seller is who it claims to be and that it is reputable.
There are few telltale signs of this kind of fraud which include: (1) Vehicles offered for a lot less than their market value. (2) Poor grammar used in websites and advertisements. (3) A reluctance to provide a land-line telephone number and/or to speak to you on the phone.
VCARS.co.uk provides you with some tips for safely buying a car online:
VCARS.co.uk disencourages you to make an online payment for a car until you have seen the vehicle and are ready to take delivery.
Most importantly, never make any form of payment and/or sign any paperwork until you are completely satisfied that both the seller and the car are genuine.
Make sure you see the car before any deal is made. If you view a car online make sure you know the car’s registration and possibly VIN numbers from the seller. Do a HPI check before entering into any agreement to make sure you know the history of the car.
Do not take cash with you if you are in any way unsure of a seller. Arrange to view the car at the registered address of the dealership or the individual during the daytime. If possible take someone with you to view the car and always let someone know where you are going and who you are meeting.
Make sure the seller has all the paperwork, the V5 document (log book) and the service history.
If a price seems too cheap then it probably is for a good reason. Always make sure you have researched what a reasonable price should be for a car with the same features and similar mileage.
Make sure you ask plenty of questions about the car before you even view it. How long has he/she had it? What is the reason for selling it? Are there any problems? If anything at all does not match up (e.g. if it’s advertised as having Satellite Navigation and the seller forgets), then that’s enough for you to be concerned.
Using the Internet to find your new car is completely safe. But don’t forget to use your common sense, do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Please read our guide to buying a used car for more tips and advice about buying a used car.