5 Car Scams Vehicle Owners Need to Be Wary About While Selling Their Cars

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Written By Charlotte Miller

The colossal number of private online transactions happening every day is why these channels are susceptible to high risks, especially when dealing with expensive items like cars. If you don’t remain vigilant as a vehicle owner looking to sell your vehicle, you may easily fall into the traps of the prevalent car thieves.

When someone steals your parked car, you may get a payout or car replacement if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. However, you must be quick-witted if some prying eyes try to get in your car more stealthily – like with online scams. Even the best car insurance won’t  protect you in such an event. Therefore, you must be extra careful when you want to sell your vehicle privately. 

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This article lists some common car scams to alert vehicle owners looking to trade their cars.

Offering low estimates

It is one of the oldest car scam methods. The potential buyer may be a professional at car resale. He may pose himself as a genuine buyer and quote a price well below the market value, claiming your vehicle to be not up to the mark. Such a person may bring along a mechanic who approves the professional’s statement. The primary intention is to buy pre-owned cars at a low price and later sell them off at a profit. The vehicle sellers who haven’t done their research well are easy bait to these scams. So have your own mechanic cross check the car value estimates.

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Bad cheques

The buyer deliberately writes a lousy cheque and hands it over to you. Only when you try to cash the cheque do you realise that you have been duped terribly. You will be left with a bounced cheque in your hand; so, no vehicle and  no payment, and hardly any means of getting back either of them. To avert such a scenario, you may ask the buyer to pay the total amount in cash or request a bank statement of the online transfer. If the buyer insists on paying through cheque, then make it clearly known that you won’t be handing over your vehicle keys until the cheque has been cleared.

Overpayment cheques

Vehicle sellers must treat any offer of an overpayment cheque with suspicion. When a potential buyer writes out a cheque over the agreed sale price and asks you to refund the excess amount, you must first verify if the cheque is genuine and there are sufficient funds in the buyer’s account. Don’t agree to hand over your vehicle until the money transfer is complete.

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Solitary test drives

If the potential buyer requests your permission for a solo test drive, we suggest not agreeing to it. You never know if the person plans to drive off in your car. Even if the buyer offers you his driver’s license before taking your ride for a trial ride, you must know that they can always fake it. So don’t make your car available for stealing antics.

Ready to buy a car unseen

It is challenging to trust buyers who are ready to exchange money for keys without even glancing at your car in real life. Ensure the potential buyer has good intentions, has a valid driver’s license and the finances, and agrees to meet up before sealing the deal. It helps you minimise the risk of unpleasant incidents.

By all means, take help from a reputed car seller who gets you a fair deal and ensures your selling task meets a smooth finish. Also, check with your comprehensive car insurance provider about the risks of handing your car to a potential buyer for a test drive. The best car insurance company will provide you with sufficient information on what incidents are covered under your policy.