Buying a car from a private seller is always risky business. At least with a used car yard you know there are regulations that need to be addressed, and you can usually tell by the state of the place if it’s where you want to part with your cash. But a private seller can be a minefield of misfortune for the unwary.
Here are some basic warning signs to rethink that supposed great deal when buying from a private seller:
They’re Not Upfront With Basic Info
It’s standard practice to ask about the condition of the car. Things like:
- Lights, front and back
- Indicators, front and back
- Windshield wipers (often forgotten, but still important!)
- Sound system
- Air conditioning
So when a seller starts giving you vague, roundabout answers, be concerned. A good seller is usually upfront about the condition of the car. They may be more than a little reluctant to admit the CD player skips or one of the speakers doesn’t work, or maybe the brakes need replacing sooner rather than later. But an honest seller will give an honest answer.
They Won’t Let You Inspect The Vehicle
Major red flag.
If the seller refuses to let you, or an independent, professional third-party, inspect the vehicle prior to purchase, stop everything. Look elsewhere for a car. This won’t end well.
Whether it’s from a private seller or a used car dealership or a factory-new showroom, cars should be made available for inspection.
They’re Overly Aggressive
Every form of a salesperson can get more than a bit keen to get your money off you. They’re salesmen, after all.
But sometimes private sellers go from “aggressive” sales tactics to “actually violent” tactics, bordering on harassment and assault.
The sort of person who starts insulting you when you suggest getting the car checked is not one you wish to deal with. Abuse is never justified, least of all when you’re just trying to buy a vehicle.
They Withhold The Car’s History
When was the car made? Was it ever written off? Is there money owing on it?
Important questions you should get quick answers to.
If the seller is unsure – or unwilling to divulge – certain details, you can always find them yourself.
Getting a PPSR report, formerly a REV check gives you all the information you need to fact-check any seller’s claims. You’ll even get information regarding parts numbers associated with the car. This allows you, or your designated professional inspector, to ensure that all the parts on the car are genuine.
If they’re not genuine, there’s a good chance the car has either been stolen or written off and repaired with stolen parts.
Protect yourself from dodgy personal sellers today. Ask them simple questions, and fact-check what they say about the car’s history with a PPSR Report from revscheckreport.com.au today.