While there are often great deals on used cars online, there are just as many scams. To safely and successfully buy a used car, here are some things you can do.
Make sure everything is legit.
It’s easy for scammers to post fake deals or create false identities online. To make sure you don’t strike a deal with a scam artist, look into their background. You can use a background check free trial to look up their full name and read any public records on their criminal history. Public records you can see online include arrest records, criminal records, and even any bankruptcies. Make sure you’re dealing with a safe and honest seller by using a background check company.
You can even search the vehicle history report by looking up the vehicle identification number. A detailed report on the vehicle’s background will allow you to see basic information, like if it was involved in any significant accidents.
Get everything in writing.
Make sure that you get everything the seller tells you in writing just in case of legal issues. If they promise you that the car is in good condition and it ends up having extensive damage, having that initial statement in writing can help you get your money back in court. Communicating in writing, like through your email address, will ensure you have proof of your discussions.
Take the car for a test drive.
Just like you would test a car at a dealership, you should always try to test drive from an independent seller, too. Driving the vehicle for yourself will help you make sure the car is a good fit and ensure everything runs smoothly. Test the lights, the radio, the air conditioning, and anything else that may need repairs before you complete the sale.
Get the car inspected.
Having the vehicle inspected by a professional ensures that no issues are left unnoticed. If a mechanic does find problems with the car, ask them to include it on the inspection report so you can use it to negotiate further with the seller. You may be able to get the price reduced if the car needs maintenance, and the seller wants to get rid of the vehicle badly enough.
Another thing to remember is don’t let the seller choose the mechanic. There’s a chance that the seller may have mechanic friends that are willing to lie to save their friend money, so make sure you choose a trusted mechanic to put accurate information on your report.
Don’t pay in cash.
Buying a car from an independent seller means that there won’t be many people to attest that the sale even happened. It’s essential to have proof of your purchase, so don’t pay in cash. You want to keep track of what you spent, so the seller can’t claim that you owe them money in the future. Use a form of payment that’s simple to use and track, like money-sharing apps or checks.
Meet the seller in a public place, preferably with someone you know for backup. To be extra safe, meet in a parking lot that has cameras, so if anything goes wrong, it’ll be on tape. The right person will have no problem meeting somewhere in public. If you’re buying a car online from another state, use http://easycarshipping.com/ to ensure that your vehicle is delivered safely to your address. Using a shipping service will allow you to track your vehicle, and it’ll reduce the stress of having to travel.
When buying a used car online, there are extra steps you should take to stay safe and make sure you get a reasonable deal. Though it may take more effort, it’s worth it to do your research and take the time to find a legitimate arrangement.