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Purchasing a used car online can be a terrific choice in terms of selection and convenience. However, car buying scams are one drawback of online used car purchases. If you are considering buying a used car via the Internet, here are some tips to help you avoid car buying scams.
Choose Your Own Escrow Service
When you purchase online, an escrow service is supposed to be your guarantee that the seller doesn't take your money and run. If the dealer suggests or demands that you use a specific escrow service, do not move forward with the deal.
Avoid Any Deal That “Seems to Good to be True”
Common sense? That old adage is a good way to avoid used car fraud. Sure, we all want to get something for little or nothing but greed and/or naiveté is a sure way to get nothing at all.
Research the Escrow Service First
There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from used car fraud when you are buying online.
Auto dealer scams are a big concern for many potential car buyers. It is probably wise to be cautious, but remember there are honest auto dealers out there. Wondering how you can tell the difference? Here are some scams you might encounter and tips you can use to avoid used car fraud..
Buyers are led to believe they can only get a car at a high interest rate.
How to avoid this scam: Know your credit score and what kind of rate you can get before you begin shopping. When it comes to avoiding auto dealer scams, knowledge is power.
Buyers Often Ask the Wrong Questions.
When approaching the auto dealer, buyers usually have some idea of how much they can afford for their monthly payment. Unfortunately, their focus is limited to this number and dealers know it. Unscrupulous dealers use this to scam buyers. Avoid the numbers scam by:
Buying a used car can offer significant savings over a new car unless you are the victim of car dealer fraud. Here is what you should know about avoiding the car scams that can leave you on foot.
Use An Inspection Checklist
Get a Mechanic's Inspection
Know Something About the Car Other Than the Make and Model.
You can avoid used car fraud by getting additional information about the car from:
If you are ready to buy a used car, there are some things to look for when you visit the dealer.
Look for a Buyer's Guide on the Car You Are Considering.
The guide is a requirement of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is designed as a protection against used car fraud.
The guide should be clearly posted on the vehicle. If it isn't, ask the dealer to provide it for your review. According to the FTC, the Buyer's Guide includes useful information such as:
Auto scams are becoming increasingly difficult to recognize. Separate the scams from the real deals with these tips.
The Internet is a great resource for used car buyers, but beware – auto scams abound.
The old bait and switch is a common one. You see a great car on the auto dealer's site. You stop in ready to buy, but the car is not there. Not to worry the dealer has a better car at a great deal just for you (wink, wink).
How to avoid this auto scam:
Check the Basics to Avoid Auto Scams
Learn as much as you can about the history of the car you intend to purchase. A vehicle report can tell you if the car has sustained significant damage, as well as give you an idea of the approximate odometer reading. Also, find out if the car is still under warranty or if a warranty is available. What is the Kelley Blue Book value of the car?
You might also want to read the Technical Service Bulletin for the car you are considering to learn about potential problems or past recalls, etc. Also, learn about the laws governing used car sales in your state. If you are the victim of used car fraud, you should contact consumer affairs or your Attorney General's office immediately.
When we think of used car sales associates, usually unscrupulous sellers come to mind. While used car dealer fraud can be a problem, not all used car dealers are bad. There are many reputable dealers that conduct their used car business with integrity. You have the best chance of avoiding used car fraud if you use the following tips.
Conduct Your Research Before You Buy
Plan to Avoid an Auto Dealer Fraud
The best weapon for avoiding used car fraud? Arm yourself with information. When you know what questions to ask you increase your chances of buying a used car without a hitch.
No Question is Silly
Reputable used car dealers want you to feel comfortable with the sales experience and your used car. Look for dealers that:
Know What Questions Help You Avoid Car Buying Scams
There are countless valuable questions that you can ask. Here are a few samples:
Know Something About the Used Car Dealer.