Used car buying – beware of more scams in a recession

We wondered how long it would be before the skulduggery started but here is a horror story that happened to a car buyer recently.
The chap in question had always wanted a Range Rover sport , and he had watched the prices of 4WDvehicles plummet until he realised they had come within his price range. So he set about finding one which suited his needs and finally found an example of a Sport which had the specification he was after and he duly rang the seller to get the ball rolling. When he visited the chap – who purported to be a semi-retired accountant who dabbled in selling top of the range cars in his spare time – the price, though already cheap, was finally agreed at £35,000.

The hitch was that the seller had no log book but he explained that he had had a private registration and the registration documents with the number would be forwarded ASAP.

Sounds feasible and happens all the time but as a sweetener to put our victim off the scent he offers to give him some side skirts as part of the deal and even arrange to pick the car up and get them fitted for him.
Our victim pays for the car as agreed and drives it home thrilled at his gleaming status symbol.

A couple of days later the seller calls to arrange the collection of his car for fitting the skirts and returning it to him later. He meets our victim at a restaurant where he is having lunch with some friends, where he collects the keys. Our victim now just has to wait for the car to be delivered sporting it’s new body skirts. Only the waiting never came to an end, the con man never returned with the car and was not answering the phone so, with no other option, the police were called in. They informed him that the car actually belonged to a rental company and was with them in their compound returned all in order from the last customer.

So our hapless victim has no car, lost his money and has no recourse against anyone but our long gone thief.
The moral of the story? If a car which is cheap anyway and suddenly becomes much cheaper than similar models be suspicious, if you are buying cars from anyone you don’t know especially from newspapers or car magazines when the sellers do not have a showroom make sure you carry out an HPI or Experian car data check and don’t ever buy a car without a registration document unless you have verified with the DVLA that they will be supplying one. It’s a cliché but its true…if something appears too good to be true then it probably is.

Be on your guard as this sort of scam is likely to become more prevalent in a recession.

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One Response to Used car buying – beware of more scams in a recession

  1. Mark Robbins January 5, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    A fool and their money springs to mind?……………………………………………… how anyone can fall for this nowadays makes the mind boggle! £35,000 vehicle, no logbook, meet at a restaurant, take the car away !!!! what stopped the Alarm bells ringing?

    £35,000 vehicles should be bought from a recognised source, not at the side of the road!

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