It’s not always straightforward to buy a used car, and there are a lot of potential risk factors you need to be aware of. Following this thought, we have outlined some of the core things you need to know about purchasing second-hand vehicles safely; hopefully, this will protect you from getting caught out by fraudulent sellers and scammers.

6 Essential Tips to Safely Buy Used Cars

Before agreeing to buy a new car, always make sure you’ve checked the following six points. After all, it’s a lot of money to pass over, so it’s integral that you follow the below 6 points.

#1 Trust Your Gut

Who doesn’t love a bargain? Alas, some “great deals” can be more than we had planned for. In line with this thought, always take a cautious approach to car buying - and if you think that a vehicle advert might be too good to be genuine, there is a high chance this could be the case.

#2 Run a Car Check

Before you hand over cash once and for all, always use a car checker service to verify that the vehicle is legitimate. These tools can raise a huge amount of vital information about a vehicle, including past MOT history, stolen and write-off status, vehicle details, colour change records, VIN number information, and so on. Making sure this data aligns with the vehicle and what you have been told about it can potentially help you avoid any nasty surprises.

#3 Always See the Car in Person

Never pay for a vehicle that you haven’t seen in person. Indeed, in many cases, if the seller isn’t happy for you to visit, there is a high chance that the car sale may be fraudulent or fake.

#4 Ask to View Documents

Before you agree to a vehicle purchase, always check the documentation first (and try to verify that the files are genuine). Scammers are becoming increasingly adept at faking paperwork, but taking the time to check this is important.

#5 Look for Signs of Damage

When inspecting the vehicle, try to look for any potential signs of damage that may indicate the car has previously been involved in a collision or accident. Keep in mind that dents and bumps can often be repaired to a high standard, so the signs of damage may potentially be very vague.

#6 See if You Can Take a Test Drive

There’s only so much you can see in terms of a vehicle’s condition by looking at the bodywork. Indeed, to get the best possible insight, you’ll ideally want to take the vehicle out on the road for a test drive (if the seller is happy for you to do so). This can allow you to look out for any major warning signs. Always keep in mind here that many policies will not allow you to drive someone else’s car, in which case, you’ll need to change the terms before you can get behind the wheel.

Why Chance It?

Buying a car can be a risky business. So, never leave this vitally important decision to chance; always start out by running a car history check and inspecting the vehicle thoroughly to make sure that everything’s in order.