Some principles apply to all potential car buyers, regardless of how they found an interesting offer.
Make sure you remain sceptical about offers that seem too good to be true – they usually are! Nobody will volunteer to sell their car far under value. This might by an attempt to capture sensitive data or even con you out of your money.
Your data might be misused, your money lost – and it might turn out that the car did not even exist.
Also, it might be an attempt to get rid of a stolen or worthless car.
Protect yourself and take precautions if an offer is too good to be true:
- Investigate the actual market value of the offered car. Compare it to other cars of the same model with similar equipment.
- Have somebody else inspect the car with you who may be able to discover any potential hidden defects.
- Carefully check all documents and complete the deal in writing. Ensure that the agreement mentions any additional features such as alloy rims or a high-end radio system.
- Pay only as you receive the complete documents and keys – and the car!
- Never be on your own when you have major sums on you. Ask someone you trust to go with you for protection. Avoid unusual or isolated locations. We recommend to agree money hand-over in a bank where the parties can check whether the money is genuine and pay it into the own account.
- Read the small print in the ad: to appear at the top of the list, some sellers offer a different price halfway down the ad.
You stumbled over a suspicious car, have contacted the seller or even made a payment? Our First Aid section provides concrete help in a number of situations.