Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com — the UK’s No.1 consumer vehicle data provider, has highlighted the main threats to watch out for when buying a used car this Christmas.
Roger Powell, Head of CDL Vehicle Information Services, which owns MyCarCheck.com, commented: “Whether you’re buying for yourself or a loved one, December is a great time to grab a used car bargain. With dealers keen to make quarterly and annual sales targets, and private sellers keen to boost their coffers for Christmas, there is often a deal to be done.
“A word of warning though, we see an increase in online scams and misrepresented vehicles at this time of year. Buying a car is an emotive transaction and the “it’s shiny and I want it for the weekend” factor can easily cloud your judgment. Criminals use all manner of rip-off tactics and add pressure with lines such as: “I’ve got another buyer coming in an hour if you don’t take it”.
“As one of the few companies with all the relevant data sets, we can ensure the car you’re looking at is what it claims to be, for instance, that it isn’t stolen, written-off or still on finance. We also provide accurate vehicle valuations—a handy tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers.
“Our best advice is: if something doesn’t feel right, don’t spend your cash. The worst that can happen is you miss out on a decent deal. The alternative could prove to be a very expensive mistake.”
Common vehicle sale threats:
Online Escrow Scams
A potential purchaser is informed that the vehicle is currently abroad and will be shipped as soon as money is paid into an ‘escrow’ holding account. Don’t do it! You’re unlikely to ever see your money again and the police will be unable to investigate as you ‘willingly’ transferred the funds.
These can be difficult to detect. Criminals steal a car and change the plates to disguise it. Buyers should check the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) as well as the VRM (Vehicle Registration Mark). The VIN is the vehicle’s true identity and is much harder to alter, while the VRM can change legitimately (e.g. private plates), or for dubious reasons.
Missing V5C Log Books
We say ‘No log book – no sale’. If you buy a vehicle privately where there is no red and blue V5C Log Book present, you have no way to verify that the seller has any legal title to the vehicle.
Neutral location handovers
Never meet in a supermarket car park to complete a vehicle sale, even if it saves you an hour on your journey. Once the seller’s gone, they’re usually gone for good. Such set ups frequently come with excuses like: “I’m sorry I’ve forgotten the log book, I’ll post it on”.
Sold with only one key
It’s an old trick but it still works. The deal seems legitimate but the vehicle only comes with one key. Sometime later the purchaser finds their car has mysteriously disappeared. No prizes for guessing who had the second key.
MyCarCheck.com’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs over a million look-ups a day for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.
It uses up-to-the-minute data from the Police (NPIA – previously known as the Police National Computer or PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.
To help UK consumers make the right choice, MyCarCheck.com can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.
Know what you’re getting into: MyCarCheck.com