When the time comes to purchase a used automobile, it is vital that you are thorough with your checks and examination. You will want to ensure that the vehicle is of the highest quality, but you must also make sure that you are not being scammed. Sadly, scams are very common in the used car market and these can be easy to walk into.

Here are the top five ways to make sure that you are not being conned.

  1. Education

Firstly, you should educate yourself on the most common used scams out there. Clocking, cut n shuts, write-offs, stolen vehicles, escrow fraud and cloned vehicles are just a few to be wary of. Some scams are designed to sell you an unsafe or even illegal car, whilst others are, essentially, daylight robbery. By being educated, you will know what to look out for and how to protect yourself.

  1. Reliable Dealer

One of the best ways to avoid being scammed is by ensuring that the dealer is reliable. If you do decide to use a private seller, always meet them in person and make sure that it is at the address that is registered in the logbook. Never view an automobile in a public space like a carpark.

  1. View the Car

It may be obvious, but you should always view the car in person and take it for a test drive before parting with any kind of cash (even a deposit). Due to the rise of sites like Craigslist, many motorists are being scammed by transferring money for a vehicle that may not even exist.

  1. Vehicle History Check

The best line of defense against car fraud is to get a vehicle history check carried out. This will flag up any secrets about the automobile’s past – this could include outstanding finance, reported as stolen or number plate changes. This will provide you with peace of mind and ensure that nothing comes back to haunt you after making the purchase.

  1. Mechanic Assessment

Another way to get peace of mind is to ask a mechanic to check the vehicle over and give their assessment. A vehicle history check will alert you to any background issues, whilst a mechanic will be able to tell you if it is safe to drive and spot scams like a cut n shut.

These 5 steps should be followed every single time that you are considering purchasing a car. Scams are everywhere, but these steps will cover every base and ensure that the car, and dealer, is genuine and reliable.