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Top 5 Used Car Scams and How to Avoid Them

Buying a used car can be extremely risky. Not only do you need to worry about potential mechanical issues that could be well-hidden, but there are a lot of scams you could fall victim to too. Here, we will look at 5 of the most common used car scams and how you can avoid them.

1. The Finance Scam
This scam is becoming increasingly common and it can have serious financial consequences. Basically, the car is sold with outstanding finance still owed from the previous owner. Many drivers are surprised to discover they have absolutely no rights when it comes to not paying the finance transferred over to their account. Sometimes the seller doesn't even realise it's illegal to sell the car with finance still owed.

2. Virtual Car Scam
In this digital age, it's sadly expected that car scams would pop up online too. The virtual can scam typically involves fake sellers offering cars, usually listed as currently being abroad, at extremely low prices. You're asked to pay the money so the car can be shipped and unsurprisingly, the 'seller' vanishes into thin air and you never see the car you've just bought.

3. Deposit Scam
Perhaps the most common scam, is where you're asked for a deposit to secure the car. This one seems logical enough. The seller lets you know there is a lot of interest in the car, so if you want to buy, you're going to have to pay a deposit. Unfortunately, once you part with the deposit, the seller once again vanishes, and you'll never see your cash or the car again.

4. Rental Car Scam
Another scam that's growing in popularity with fraudsters is advertising rental cars for sale. They don't let potential buyers know it's a rental car. Instead, they hire a car, list it for sale, take the money and simply return the car to the rental company before disappearing.

5. The Mileage Scam
This scam has been running for years, yet it still manages to fool potential buyers. The seller literally rewinds the mileage clock, making it look like a car has done fewer miles than it actually has. This means it may not be as reliable or safe as you think it is.

So, how can you avoid these 5 scams? Well, the best way to avoid them is to have an HPI check carried out. Companies like HPI Check, can check the car for outstanding finance, tax, MOT and a do full vehicle history check. Overall, the best way to avoid a scam is to do your research, so get a check carried out before you part with your hard-earned cash.

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