Being safe when buying a used car is paramount above all else.
If you’re in the used car market and are considering purchasing from a private party seller here are some safety tips to follow to keep you safe.
- Never go alone!
- Google map the address, check out street view.
- If answering social media ads, insist on meeting in public place. Grocery store, etc.
- Never get into a car alone with someone you don’t know. Always have a friend, and be sure people know where you are and whom you are with. Test drive.
- Ask the person with the car for a phone number and address, give those to someone when you leave to go see a car.
- Never go into someone’s house without knowing who they are. Make sure you’re comfortable and have a friend with you.
That’s keeping you physically safe; now let’s keep your wallet safe.
- Never pay with all cash. Pay with a cashier’s check or money order. Have some way to trace the money you pay out. Even if the seller insists on cash, let them know you are happy to give them certified funds.
- Never pay for a car without first knowing the title is free and clear. It’s a good idea to change the title with the seller present at the tax office. This protects you both. Seller is no longer on the title and you know 100% you have a clean and clear title.
- Have a mechanical inspection done by a reputable shop.
- Purchase a CARFAX or AutoCheck Used Car Report. Get the vehicles history before you buy.
- Never show up with a lot of cash or alert the seller you have cash right now to pay!
Sadly there are scam artists looking to prey on unsuspecting consumers. Thieves work social media sites to lure consumers into dangerous situations. You can get robbed, swindled or worse so please make sure you take proper precautions.
There are great deals to be had from private party sellers. Just do a little homework, find out as much as you can about who you are going go see and take the proper precautions.