Ten tips to avoid being scammed when buying a car

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Car buyers in the Norfolk area have been called “Foolish”, having fallen for scams when buying classic cars on eBay. Police have issued a warning to buyers to check out car sellers prior to parting with their cash.

When faced with the temptation of a classic car at a knockdown price, normally around £1900.00, buyers have been falling over themselves to send money to the scammers. That’s the last they ever hear from them.

Now I’ve bought cars on eBay before, and it’s normally a trouble free experience. You bid, you win, you go to collect, you pay, you drive away! Although there are a small number of crooks who are looking to part you with your cash, the vast majority are honest traders or individuals selling their own car. The buyers who fall for scams are those who forget commen sense when faced with an offer which is too good to be true, and it invariably is too good to be true!

If you’re looking to buy a car on eBay follow the following steps:

  1. Never part with your money until you’ve seen the car and Never send money via electronic transfer services like Western Union
  2. Check your sellers feedback
  3. Check if they’re a Registered Motor Trader (If it’s a Classified Ad then they will be). Find out more about them.
  4. Ask the seller for a phone number and talk to them
  5. Although you can sometimes get a bargain on eBay remember if the price is too low it’s often a warning sign
  6. If the listing has an email address offering to sell off the eBay site it’s likely to be a scam
  7. Ask the seller a question, eg for another photo from a different angle
  8. Make sure the seller has the log book (V5 Vehicle Registration Document)
  9. Get a Vehicle Status Report
  10. Legitimate sellers will always be happy for you to view the car!

If you follow these tips your car buying on eBay will be as safe and secure as buying from your local paper. You wouldn’t send thousands of pounds to an email address in your local paper so don’t do it on eBay! A little common sense goes a long way.

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