Home » 6 Common Scams to Avoid When Selling Your Car

6 Common Scams to Avoid When Selling Your Car

While selling your car privately may get you more money, it also exposes you to a great deal of risk. The days of popping an ad in your local paper are no more, and while the internet gives us some great ways to sell our cars, it also exposes us to more scams.

Use this guide to avoid getting caught out. 

Selling Your Car

Using a local garage or reputable company to get cash for cars in NSW is the safest method. Also, if you are going to advertise your car, use a “safe number” option if the advertiser happens to offer one. This means that people who call won’t see your real number, which helps to minimise the possibility of it being used and abused by scam artists and cold callers. 

Describing Your Car

When it comes to describing your car, remember the principle of ‘buyer beware.’ In other words, if you know of a problem with the car, describe it honestly and accurately. That way, scam artists cannot come back weeks later claiming something is wrong and wanting a refund. 

Car Viewings

One of the most common scams is when someone offers to buy your car without even booking a viewing, offering to sometimes pay more than what you are asking for it, and asking you to cover the cost of transporting the car to them. Never agree to this, as they will eventually ask you to pay the shipping costs upfront, usually to a bogus company that they have specifically set up to rip you off. If a prospective buyer does come to see your car, make sure you have someone else with you for safety’s sake, and that you meet in a public space. 

Identity of the Buyer

You can greatly reduce the risk of being caught out if you can satisfy that the buyer is the real deal. If you receive a call from a landline, for example, the caller tends to be less dodgy then  they are using a mobile number. Also, if their email address is made up of their full name, it is a lot less likely to be a scammer than if it is an email address made up of a meaningless string of numbers and letters. You can always ask potential buyers to bring some sort of proof of identification with them when they come to view your car. This will usually put off scammers. 

Going for a Test Drive

Test drive scams tend to go something like this: the scammer asks to test drive your car, but suggests that you drive it first. Then, when you swop over, they slide across and drive away, leaving you stranded wherever you are. To avoid this, take the keys out of the ignition and always keep them on you. Also, make sure they have insurance cover before letting them drive. 

Pay Time

Cash is the best way to get paid when selling your car, but there are still risks. Scammers have been known to use counterfeit notes, which you may not realise until you deposit the notes into your bank account. Others plan to burgle the seller on the day, knowing there will be cash involved. You can overcome both scams by insisting on the buyer drawing cash out of the bank in front of you and letting them watch you pay it right back into your account.

By being extra careful with the people or company you deal with, you can avoid getting caught in a scam. If you want to get the most of your car, only deal with a reliable company.

Peter Christopher

Back to top