In this market, finding your dream car at a reasonable price is a struggle, you also have to be aware of scams. Here are six warning signs that might mean a car deal is too good to be true…
With the car market booming, there are plenty of people getting caught up in car deal scams. Stories of ghost insurance companies, finance companies inflating the monthly prices, and incidences leading to a mis sold car finance claim have been in the news a lot recently.
To make sure your next used or new car purchase is all above board, have a look at six warning signs that might mean your car deal is too good to be true…
The Seller is Rushing You
Pressure tactics that make you think you’re going to lose out on a deal are common, and this can be a warning sign that things aren’t quite right. Don’t forget that salesmen are there to convince you to make the purchase, so if they are telling you another buyer is interested to encourage you to act fast, this should be a red flag.
Take your time when making a purchase and you are less likely to fall victim to a scam. Remember, there will be other cars out there and it’s better to lose out on a deal than kick yourself for making an on-the-spot decision that ends in disaster.
The Car Doesn’t Look Right
Look out for signs of wear, rust and gunk. Aside from scratches, these aren’t normal and something you want to avoid when purchasing a car. Rust and fluids coming from the car are a sign that the car has been overused and an indicator that something is likely to go wrong. Pay particular attention to the underneath of the bonnet too.
The Price Doesn’t Fit with the Current Market
In the current 2022 car market, prices are through the roof on new and used cars. So, if the car you’re looking at is much cheaper than everything else, you might think it’s a nice seller and a good deal, but in reality, it’s probably too good to be true.
- The Seller Won’t Give You Any Information About the Car or There Are Inconsistencies in the History
It’s essential that you are given documents that show the history of the vehicle. Although not everything will be readily available without purchasing a detailed report, you ideally want to know:
- How many previous owners the vehicle has had – the higher the number of previous vehicles, the more of a warning sign this is. Lots of owners may suggest that there may have been problems with this car which has led to people offloading it quickly.
- Whether there have been any previous insurance claims and what these have been for.
- The year of the car.
- The make and model of the car.
- MOT history of the car -this can help a buyer decide if a car has been well looked after or not and predict any future repairs that may be necessary.
- Whether the car has been involved in any accidents.
- The type of owners and what the car has previously been used for- for example, if the car was used as a taxi, this could account for a high mileage on the car and this might be a warning sign.
- Whether the car was bought with finance before – if you were to purchase the vehicle, you wouldn’t actually own it, the finance company would, and if the previous owner did not keep up with repayments, the car could be removed from you.
From there, you also want to looking to see if there are any gaps or inconsistencies in the car’s history. Has the car missed multiple services? Does the state of the car match the claimed mileage? These could all be warning signs that something isn’t quite right.
If you can, make sure to purchase a full history check before you purchase a car. If you’re going through a legitimate used car dealership, they should be able to provide these documents to you.
The Car Doesn’t Feel Right
You should always test drive a car before buying it. There’s no way to tell if a car is fit for purpose unless you do. So, if you’re not offered a test drive, this is a definite warning sign! And if you are, pay close attention to how the car feels when you drive it.
Check how easy it is to change gear, how the power steering feels and whether any warning lights come on. If anything feels stiff, difficult, stubborn or warning lights come on – these are big forewarning signs.
If something doesn’t feel right when you test drive, it’s likely to get worse after you’ve purchased it, whether it’s 2 days, 2 weeks or 6 months down the line. Save yourself the added cost and go elsewhere.
The Reputation of the Seller Isn’t Positive
As with most things, you’re probably looking at the reviews of a company before you buy something. If everything about the car seems great – the look, the feel, the price and the paperwork is in check, but there are red flags in the reviews given to a seller, it’s probably too good to be true!
It’s obviously not always the case, but if reviews discuss things like the car not arriving, the car being different to what was pictured or sold or the car breaking down shortly after purchase, these suggest the deal is too good to be true.
Our Tips for Ensuring You Aren’t Being Scammed When Buying a Car
- Don’t be rushed into making a purchase
- Make sure the car looks and feels right
- Don’t be sucked in by a cheaper price
- To check the history of the vehicle and look for any inconsistencies
- Ensure the reviews of the seller are positive and look for any discrepancies
Don’t Get Scammed!
In this article, we’ve covered things to look out for when purchasing a car to ensure you don’t fall victim to a scam. As mentioned, if you have been mis sold a car or car finance, you could be entitled to make a mis sold car finance claim. Get in touch with a solicitor to find out more.
If you have any top tips for what to look out for when buying a car, let us know in the comments below.