Finding your perfect vehicle is easier now more than ever before. However, that doesn’t mean car shopping comes without its own set of problems. Criminals prey on buyers looking for gently used vehicles to make a quick buck.
The good news is that there are so many ways to protect yourself on your car buying journey. Here’s how to avoid getting scammed when purchasing a used vehicle.
Have It Inspected
Just because a car isn’t new doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for it to be in bad condition. If possible, you should always get your potential vehicle inspected before making a purchase. Have a trusted professional check out the car for any major problems that might cost you a fortune down the road. It’s okay if there is a little wear and tear, but if your mechanic identifies significant issues, you should pass and move on to a better option.
Buy From Reputable Sellers
These days, you can buy almost anything you need online, including a car. Avoid getting scammed when purchasing a used vehicle by being picky when it comes to sellers. Ask if you can see the car in person so you and an auto professional can check out its condition. If the sale is 100 percent online, check out past customer feedback and familiarize yourself with return policies to guarantee that the seller is legitimate.
Check for Liens
Liens give financial institutions the right to claim property if a debt goes unpaid. If the car you’re interested in has a lien on it, you might want to look elsewhere. This could cause unnecessary problems for you later that cost a lot of time and money to solve. You can check to see if your potential used vehicle has any liens by matching the current owner’s information to the title and visiting your local DMV.
Research History Reports
Don’t let sketchy sellers trick you into buying a lemon by running your own vehicle history report. History reports inform buyers about the health of their used car. By checking out a vehicle’s background, you can see information about recalls, previous owners, and other vital data. You can also verify the title is clean, giving you peace of mind from knowing that your used car hasn’t been through any extreme trauma.
If we lived in a perfect world, everyone would be open and honest about their intentions. Since we don’t, you have to take precautions to prevent fraudsters from swindling you out of your hard-earned money. Now that you know how to protect yourself from auto scams, you can continue searching for a car that meets all of your needs.