When you are looking for a cheap used car to buy, you need to be aware of some of the warning signs that you are not getting a good deal. Dishonest sellers take advantage of people looking to buy cheap cars and prey on them. Follow your instincts and use your common sense to avoid many scams.
Too Good of a Deal
When money is tight, it is easy to be taken in by a deal that seems too good to be true. If you find a car that is priced a few hundred dollars below the current market value as stated by KBB or Edmunds.com, then you may be getting a good deal. If you find a car that is priced thousands below the current market value, you are getting scammed, regardless of the sob story given to account for the low price. Any number of problems could exist with the car. It may have a washed title because it was declared a salvage vehicle in another state, or it could be a stolen vehicle. The car could have significant mechanical problems, and the seller may be hoping that the great deal will blind you to the car's problems long enough for you to hand over the cash. Don't get taken in by a deal that is unbelievably good, because you can guarantee that you will not be happy in the long run.
There are many great used car deals to be found online, but there are numerous scams as well. If you use an auto auction site, such as eBay Motors, only deal on the site. Sometimes dishonest people will hack the site to get the email addresses of bidders and then send an email claiming the bidder has won the auction, prompting further action. Only deal on the site, as there is no legitimate reason why an actual eBay seller would choose to communicate independently rather than going through the site, which protects both buyer and seller.
Don't purchase a car until you have possession of it. This sounds like a no brainer, but people are often scammed online by a seller claiming to be selling a vehicle and requesting that the money is paid through a wire service or a prepaid credit card. Both of these types of transactions are difficult to trace, and if you don't already have the car in your possession before making the payment, you probably never will.
You should also be wary of a seller who will only use a particular escrow company to deal through. A legitimate escrow service can protect both you and the seller; you pay the money to the escrow service, and once you receive the money, the escrow service releases the money to the seller. However, you need to assure that the escrow service is legitimate before paying them the money. If the escrow service is not legitimate, they may be working with the seller, or they may be the seller, in which case you will not get the car and you will have lost your money.
These are just a few tips to help you. If you want to learn more about how to avoid issues when purchasing a used car, go to lowbuckcars.com. You will find several articles such as this one about how to buy a cheap reliable used car.