Buying a used vehicle between individuals: How not to be ripped off?
Buying a used vehicle from an individual saves money. However, unscrupulous sellers and the proliferation of enticing ads on the Internet call for increased vigilance to avoid scams.
9 tips to avoid being ripped off by buying a used car
- Beware of too attractive prices.
Of course, the prices, if not too advantageous, are tempting. Unfortunately, they can hide other scams. On the other hand, too high a price is not an absolute guarantee of quality. Whatever the model, consult its rating at Argus.
- Beware of existing sellers and networks of scams, especially on the Internet.
Refuse any transaction online and do not pay any down payment without having seen and tested the vehicle. To make sure of the good faith of the seller, do not hesitate to ask him for his identity document, his driving license and the registration certificate of the vehicle. Be wary of sellers only reachable by e-mail.
- Check the documents related to the vehicle and its history.
For example, beware of too many former owners of the car.
The documents must be in the name of the seller, do not accept any transaction from a so-called third party, mandated by an owner.
- Check the repair bills, the maintenance booklet and the technical inspection.
This is unlikely, but if the seller mentions any damage or breakdown, asks to see the bills of the garage.
Regarding the technical control, know that to sell a used car, it is mandatory, unless it is less than 4 years or the seller is a professional.
- Be careful when testing the car.
This is one of the key moments when you buy private owner cars for sale. Be attentive to every detail. Before driving, examine the vehicle very carefully and ask as many questions as you need.
Be particularly vigilant about the mileage displayed, traffic counters are legion.
Once on the road, insist on driving the car in different conditions, and push it to its limits to test its potential and detect any anomalies (brakes, transmission, steering, engine …).
- Examine the interior of the car.
We often neglect this aspect but the examination of the cabin is fundamental. It is essential to ensure that the vehicle is comfortable, but also that certain key elements such as mirrors, air conditioning, seat adjustment and most importantly, safety equipment such as airbags, operate normally.
- Read the sales document and its contents carefully before signing.
As for an amicable report, sign only if you agree with everything! Feel free to point out possible oversights or errors and ask for a correction, because this document will be the only one to be valid in case of subsequent litigation.
- Make sure you do not buy a stolen car!
To do this, it is sufficient to check that the numbers on the chassis and engine compartment are identical and that they correspond to the number on the registration card. You can also go to the police station with this number to find out more.
- Finalize the sale at the seller’s home.
This will give you information on his address vis-à-vis the vehicle.