Buying a used car? Well in light of some recent eBay scams going on in Manchester, we thought it would be a good idea to give you the heads up on the different ways you could be shafted.
The easiest way to misrepresent a car is to copy it’s numberplate.
Legally you should have to provide a V5 document when you get a new set of numberplates made up. But just have a search on eBay to find the amount of people selling plates.
The loophole? They are ‘show’ plates and aren’t technically legal to be used on the road. But you’d never know.
They’re identical in every aspect, and with prices costing from about £7.99 it’s a cheap and easy way to copy a vehicles identity, which can then scam people out of thousands when you come to sell said car.
To protect yourself from this you need to get a full vehicle check before you buy. There’s websites such as Cazana which let you look at previous images of that car for sale. You can then go on to see the cars’ full history, plate changes, previous owners VIN number…the lot.
Then you’d check the VIN number on the car, that should match the one in the report. Simple.
Another scam is vehicle clocking.
Yup, you may have thought that went out with the ark, and that digital speedo’s stopped it from happening.
Sadly not. Car dealers and sellers still reduce the mileage on cars…illegally, to help boost their sale price. It can be tricky to spot this in all honesty, checking the car’s service book to see if the mileage is correct is one thing. An online history check is your next best bet. This will tell you its mileage at each MOT.
That’s not always foolproof though, a car’s mileage could be clocked just before its MOT after a year of being hammered. There’s still gaps in the system.
Next up is outstanding finance.
You could end up buying a car that’s not fully paid off. Being blissfully unaware it’s not long before the debts catch up with you.
You’ll soon get a knock on the door, followed by a tow truck on the drive.
At the end of the day the car is still the finance companies, so they’ll come after you to pay the outstanding amount. They don’t care if you’ve just paid for it, in full.
The only way to get around this is an online vehicle check, they check the HPI database against the vehicle to make sure it’s finance clear. Granted, if you’re buying a car that’s 15 years old it probably won’t have outstanding finance on it. It’s still worth getting a car history check though.
Personally i’d never buy a used car without one. It pays to do so, and it’s a nice thing to have in the paperwork folder for that car.