Buying a car is a big and somewhat emotional purchase. You want to have the best possible results when you buy a car and do make sure you have all the information on the car and the seller to protect yourself against possible scams or frauds.
When buying a car without seeing it or when you are purchasing off eBay Motors or Craigslist you do have to do more research and checking then someone who is physically looking at the car they want.
Scams and Fraud
Realize that when purchasing a car off an ad and not physically see the car, you may be at risk from fraudulent ads or cars that are stolen or otherwise encumbered. To protect yourself from fraud you need to:
- Take your time; do not rush into your purchase. If it looks too good to be true it generally is. If a vehicle is being offered for a very low price, question the seller.
- Go to the information page on eBay Motors or Craigslist for more information about how to contact the seller.
- Absolutely never transfer money to a seller via your bank without a written guarantee, car reports, and a contract.
- If you are asked to pay for the vehicle via Western Union or MoneyGram, do not use these as payment options. Be very suspicious if asked to pay by either of these methods.
- Make sure you get the entire seller’s contact information including name, phone number and address as well as their driver’s license number. Vocally discuss the car with the seller. Determine from the seller how long they have had the car, why they are selling it, has it been damaged, what is the car’s condition, and does it have little quirks that you need to now about.
- If possible, find someone in the vicinity where the car is being held to inspect the car for you.
- Check out the car’s registration status, financial records and whether or not the vehicle is stolen, repossessed, or has a damaged title.
When purchasing a car without seeing it, you need to print out and read all the reports concerning your chosen vehicle. Get an idea of the model’s current market selling price and spend time searching used car ads to make sure you are getting a great deal.
Negotiating the Price
Most sellers realize that the price they are asking is not the price they will probably get from their car. With this in mind, read all the reports you have gathered and point out any discrepancies to the seller.
Negotiate with information in hand and offer a lower price. The seller, if they are aggressive, will come back to you with a price closer to your line. Negotiate and go back and forth for a bit until a price is agreed upon.
Paperwork and Payment
When buying a car unseen, it is very import to make sure all paperwork is in order. Have original versions of anything including the registration papers, logbook and service history. Always get a receipt for a deposit and keep the seller’s full details in a safe place.
If you are looking to purchase a used vehicle, then the one thing you should keep firmly in your mind is this – I really need to check my car history in order to make sure everything is fine with my purchase.