In 2023, more consumers will purchase a used vehicle online from a seller instead of going via a dealership. This is why private car deals account for 13.5% of all car deals. But just as the peer-to-peer industry is expanding, so are the con artists and scammers. You will not want to be a victim of these criminals, so knowing what to do becomes important. Here are five suggestions to ensure the safety of your upcoming online car purchase.
- Do well to verify the seller’s identity face-to-face
You should never complete the transaction online unless you use a reputable platform that safeguards your purchase. This is because there are just too many opportunities to get burned. Since buying an automobile is a significant financial commitment, both parties must have much trust in one another. You should not deal with a seller who refuses to provide you with their complete name, address, and phone number. You will, however, require considerably more details than that. Ensure they all have the same information by asking to view their driver’s license, title, and insurance card. This will validate two claims: they really are who they claim to be, and it is not a stolen car. You can consider online marketplaces like Edmunds to check out various types of cars and meet with sellers.
- Never make payments using anonymous methods
Scammers ask for anonymous payment methods since they cannot link their crimes to specific victims. Even worse, it prevents you from receiving any kind of reimbursement from your bank. A major red signal should go up if a seller requests payments by Western Union, money gram, cryptocurrency, or reloadable debit card. Regardless of their reasons, purchasing a car using untraceable funds is not justified. Wire transfers are one type of transaction where you can still fall victim to fraud. Since opening a bank account in the United States that is not linked to verifiable personal information is very difficult, many people let their guard down regarding wire transfers.
- Obtain specific car information
It is highly advisable to test drive the vehicle you purchase before finalizing it. However, here is what to do if the car is out of state and you have determined you want to have it. You can request a copy of the car registration and the VIN. you can obtain a history report using this information. Numerous crucial details, including the number of prior owners, odometer verification, accidents, and any impending car recalls, are all included in this report. Furthermore, you can request that the vendor arrange for the car to be examined by a mechanic of your choosing, who will then email you the findings. This will enable you to objectively assess the car’s condition and decide whether expensive repairs are necessary.
- Seal and close the purchase deal in a secure location
Your bank is the ideal location to seal the deal. Ensure the vendor is there with the car, title, and keys in hand. A cashier’s check works well in this scenario as a form of payment. Since the transaction is taking place at your bank, they are able to validate its legitimacy in front of the seller by preparing it. This is better than a personal check, where no available funds are guaranteed.