Buying a new or used vehicle can be a huge financial commitment for both you and your family. Relish the excitement but also try and remember to follow these simple steps below to ensure a safe and secure buying experience;
NEVER buy a vehicle unseen.
Before arranging a viewing, CHECK that the seller has all the necessary vehicle documents. Along with the standard documentation required, ask the seller about the vehicle service history and whether they can provide receipts for works carried out.
NEVER arrange a viewing in an unfamiliar or secluded location. Always take a companion with you and try to arrange viewings during peak hours and where there are plenty of people around. Where possible, do your utmost to steer clear of appointments late in the evening.
Request that the seller produces PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION to ensure that you are dealing with the legal owner of the vehicle. (A current National identification card, passport or driving licence would suffice).
Pay particular attention to the vehicles CERTIFIED COPY; Ensure that the name and address details match the seller’s identification. Ensure that the vehicle registration, vehicle colour (internal and external), and the chassis number are all correct.
ALWAYS check that there are no outstanding loans or finance registered against the vehicle before any purchase is agreed. Check with the seller’s insurance company to confirm the financial status of the vehicle and also ask whether they have any recorded claims for accidents or damage registered.
THOROUGHLY inspect the vehicle with a competent individual of your choice where possible.
Once you are happy with the vehicle and you have agreed the sale, then ensure that you obtain a RECEIPT for all monies paid. The receipt should detail the owners name, address, contact information, agreed sale price etc. Both the buyer and seller should PRINT and SIGN the receipt checking the name of the signatory and the signature against the seller’s method of identification. Request a photocopy of the sellers chosen identification for your records.
Be prepared. When preparing your advertisement include ALL relevant information. Ensure that your advertisement is accurate and honest. Thoroughly clean your vehicle inside and out and keep it smelling fresh. Take clear quality photographs of the interior and exterior of the vehicle in an uncluttered tidy area with good light. Include a photograph of the current mileage.
COLLATE all your vehicle documentation into an orderly pack. Alongside the standard documentation that is required, where possible include service history information, receipts for works carried out and any upgrades to the vehicle. Have a copy of your photographic identification on hand to provide to any potential buyer when requested.
Beware of phishing emails and DO NOT open them. NEVER give out your personal information via email, text or phone. NEVER respond to emails or texts from potential buyers who claim that they are unable, (for whatever reason), to view the vehicle in person. ALL promises to purchase vehicles by means of telegraphic transfers without viewing the vehicle should be deleted and ignored. These may be possible scammers. (See our section titled Your Security for more information regarding phishing emails).
Log all personal details of the potential buyer who is coming to view your vehicle. TELL your family and a neighbour about any such viewing. NEVER arrange a viewing in an unfamiliar or secluded location. ALWAYS have a companion with you and try to arrange viewings during peak hours and where there are plenty of people around. Where possible, do your utmost to steer clear of appointments late in the evening.
NEVER leave your vehicle or your vehicle keys unattended at any time during a viewing. DO NOT hand over the vehicle documentation until a sale is complete.
A potential buyer SHOULD NOT commence a test drive of your vehicle until you have thoroughly checked that they are in possession of a valid driving licence and a valid insurance certificate. A companion should accompany yourself and the buyer during any such test drive with you specifying the route you would wish them to take. NEVER hand over the vehicle keys to the buyer to test drive on their own.
Once the sale has been agreed ensure that CLEARED FUNDS are deposited into your bank account before completing the sale. The safest method to use would be to arrange to meet the buyer who would deposit cash directly into your account in your presence.