Decide where best to advertise your vehicle, in your local newspaper, in a motoring magazine or nationally via JapClassifieds on the Internet. Understand the rules of the publication or Internet site.
2. Personal Details
You should be prepared to provide several different ways that people can get in contact with you – email address, mobile telephone number and/or landline.
3. Replies to Adverts
When selling your vehicle, be aware that thieves can pose as potential buyers. They may ask up front for details of the vehicle or for your personal details and could use this information to create their own fake ‘cloned’ ad. If they’re a genuine buyer, they will come and check the vehicle, do not disclose VIN and other identification numbers until the potential buyer is with you and the vehicle.
4. Dealing with Buyers Overseas
Beware of emails from abroad, offering to buy your vehicle without seeing it and offering to make over-payments. Also beware of bogus shipping or ESCROW companies recommended by the buyer.
5. Inspecting Documents
Let the buyer inspect the documents but do not let them make copies or take photos of them. Be aware that mobile phones generally contain a camera!
6. Test Drives
Always check that the person has a valid driving license and insurance to drive your vehicle. Never let the buyer go on a test drive alone. They may not come back. Don’t leave the buyer alone with your keys, and never get out of the vehicle to allow a test drive leaving the keys in the ignition. Thieves have been known to steal car keys by swapping them with similar keys.
There are different ways people can pay for a vehicle – cash, cheque, banker’s draft, bank transfer or ESCROW. Choose the method that works best for you but be aware of the potential issues. Be very careful about how and where the hand over of the cash and vehicle is to take place.
It is dangerous carrying cash, especially when you’re going to meet a stranger, so use your common sense and always have someone with you. Cash could be counterfeit so double check it. If accepting cash, consider meeting the buyer at your bank and paying the money straight in to your account. Cheques and banker’s drafts can be forged or counterfeit and you may not find this out until after your car has gone you may lose the money, even it has ‘cleared’.
Do not accept an overpayment especially where you then have to refund the difference or make a payment via money transfer companies such as Western Union or Moneygram. An immediate bank transfer can be made using the CHAPS system for a nominal fee, (£20-£30). CHAPS payments are irrevocable. Consider meeting the buyer at their bank and completing the transaction there. ESCROW is safe way of receiving payment for a vehicle but make sure that the company is registered with HMRC. Be careful when using ESCROW or shipping services as many are bogus and set up by fraudsters.
See the Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert web pages about money transfer, criminal cashback and bogus ESCROW sites.
Please click here to read our fraud warnings.