Your search for your dream car should be easy, straightforward and as effortless as possible. Sadly, that is rarely the experience because the car buying process is extremely complicated. Thanks to the increased growth of technology, it is now easier than ever to buy and sell cars online.

Although this has certainly helped to improve the way buyers and sellers conduct business online, it has also made it very difficult to discern between serious buyers and sellers and those who are out to scam you. As such, there are a number of things that you need to be on the lookout for if you are going to buy a car online.

What you should be on the lookout for

Fake advertisements

Because it has become increasingly easy to upload and view pictures and vehicle descriptions, as well as contact buyers and sellers with the simple click of a button, there are millions of fake advertisements floating about online. Most of these ads are placed by criminals posing as legitimate sellers.

Stolen cars

There are plenty of cars for sale online that have been stolen or have bogus documentation. You should always conduct a search before you pay for a car to ensure that it is not stolen.

Clocked mileages

Sometimes sellers clock their vehicles to get a better price. This simply means that the buyer winds the mileage recorder back to make it look as though the car has only covered a few miles.

Phishing emails and scams

Phishing emails requesting your private information are some of the most common auto scams out there. If anyone contacts you claiming to be a representative of a selling website or international distributor, you should be wary and cut off contact immediately.

How to buy a used car online safely

Don’t pay without seeing the car

To protect yourself, do not pay any money without taking a look at your car first. Most fake sellers will try and convince you to transfer a portion of the cash before you even see the car. Most fake sellers also prefer to communicate via email instead of meeting face to face or talking on the phone. While some sellers tend to be legitimate, you should approach each with caution.

If it sounds too good, then it probably is

Always do your research to determine the true value of a car. If the price that is given to you sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If your car also appears dented and abused, beware.

Always test drive your car

Before you decide to buy a car, take it for a test drive along with your mechanic to make certain that everything is running smoothly.  Take the test drive during the day so that you can spot any irregularities that need to be spotted. Make sure that you discuss things over with your mechanic and only hand over the money when you are completely satisfied.

Pay for the car

If you are happy with the state of the car, do not pay for it by wiring money to a foreign bank or by using a money transfer service. Unfortunately, these are the 2 most common methods that are used to defraud online buyers. Therefore, only pay for your new car by bank transfer, cheque, card or cash. Use these tips to sell your used car and make your selling experience a breeze.

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