Buying a car is exciting. It is even more exciting when it is your first time buying a car. Buying a car means you might have saved up some money over some time, acquired driving lessons, or that you have got a driver’s license.
Buying a used car is not straight forward; however, it is different from hiring a car for a trip or a hire for a driving test. Generally, people are always skeptic of buying from car sales representatives, and this fear is worsened when it comes to buying a used car.
People get duped in different ways. Some people are deceived, paying way more value than is necessary for the car. Some get to buy cars with hidden defects, and some people in bizarre cases get to buy cars totally different from what is described. A person who wants to buy a car should be very careful. Some people are quite dubious and will be very keen on selling in amounts hugely disproportionate to the value of the vehicle, or will aim to sell the car while hiding grave defects.
Take the following precautions to avoid being duped while buying a used car
Be Wary of Extremely Good Ads/ Sweet talking Sellers
Have you seen any advertisement that made you jump out of your seats, made your eyes pop of their sockets or got you calling everyone to help you pool funds? It is very likely that such a deal no matter how exciting and promising it is designed to dupe unsuspecting buyers.
If the price attached to an advertisement is low compared to the average value ascribed to the brand and model, you should be conscious that such a deal could be a scam.
Another red light is if you communicate with the seller and the person urges you to purchase the car more than is usual. Some people employ different approaches, such as telling you how sorry they, and you will be for yourself if you miss out on buying the car. Some sellers pester you and nearly force you to buy car.
Generally, if something feels out of place, you can just lace your shoes and run home.
Verify the Sellers Identity
It could be helpful to verify the sellers’ identity, especially when the seller claims to be the owner. Ask your seller for proof of identity and check that the seller’s name and address matches up with the information on the vehicle registration form. Confirm the details on the person’s identity card against the details registered in the vehicle identification document. Ensure that the document presented to you is the original one and that is not a photocopied one, as a photocopied document can be easily fabricated. Verify the make, model, year, license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car against the registration form. Furthermore, verify the vehicle identification number presented to you against the one in the car, which can be checked on the vehicle’s dashboard, the windshield on the driver’s side, and the driver’s door. Ensure that the numbers have no sign of having been tampered with.
Take Another Check of the condition of the car
Buying a car means you want to use it for some more time, and that you do not just plan to return it hours or day after like you would with a car hire for driving test.
Thoroughly assess the conditions of the car and check whether it matches the description. A thorough check involves looking at the interior and exterior of the vehicle. If you can drive, give it a test run of at least twenty minutes to get an estimate of the car’s performance.
Watch out for the amount of exhaust the car makes. Look out for any strange sounds that might indicate an issue with the car.
Verify the car with a trusted person.
A test drive might not be enough to detect all issues with a car. Some defects may not surface after use for a long time, but they will most likely be detected if tested by a professional
A licensed mechanic can help you make a thorough assessment of the car, detecting any faults and as well as reporting any concerns or impending replacements that will cost you some money in little or no time.
Ensure the Car has not been pledged as a security.
Some cars have been used as a lien or pledged as a security against a borrowed sum. A lien, for instance is created when the owner of a property transfers an interest in a property to another as security or collateral for a debt, until such debt has been discharged.
When the car is an outstanding lien, or has been pledged against an unfulfilled obligation, the liability could pass unto the new owner
Another thing to watch out for is stolen cars, which often come at ridiculously low prices. Running a background check can reveal if a car is in the records for haven been stolen.
Watch Out For Curbsiders
Curbsiders are unlicensed people who enter the car trade solely for profit making, often in excess. Curbsiders, curbers or curbstoners aim to avoid paying taxes and employ a variety of illicit negotiation tactics to get you to buy the cars they sell.
Curbsiders present themselves as the Owners of the car, or as representatives of a friend or relative on whose behalf they are selling a car.
Curbsiders often have a number of cars for sale at the same time and fix meetings in public places to hide their identities.
Do Not Pay Before you Take Possession of the Car
Although a small deposit could indicate a genuine interest in a car, never send the full amount for a used car without being in possession of it. Be cautious of any escrow service the seller could introduce to you as they could be on the same side.
Pay the full sum the day you take Possession of the car.
Beyond these signs, watch out for any other thing that may indicate that a car seller or agency is fraudulent, and take to your heels. Remember also to follow your instincts; they could be very true, even if they are supported by tiny evidence.