Buying or selling a car online can seem like such a chore. It’s a risk as well, as you can’t see who you are selling to, or buying from. Multiple platforms offer the option of buying or selling a car online, such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, local dealer websites, etc.
If you don’t have much experience in selling/buying cars and are looking for a guide to selling or buying a car online, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have listed 5 tips for selling or buying a car online.
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If you are buying from third-party sources such as online marketplaces or dealers, there are fewer risks involved with it. But if you are managing the selling or buying of your car alone, then you may need to tread carefully. Nevertheless, for both these scenarios, we have listed some tips that you need to keep in mind.
Guide for Buying a Car Online
If you are looking to buy cars online, the following are the tips to keep in mind:
If They Ask for Deposits
If the seller is requesting a deposit, ask them for a written confirmation that the money will be refunded if you’re not interested in the car. An upfront payment usually smells like a scam, especially if there is no third-party dealer involved.
Ask for Picture
Now, viewing pictures online can be tricky because fraudsters have been known to provide photoshopped pictures of a vehicle that doesn’t even match the one in real.
This is why it is recommended here that you inspect the vehicle in person, or request someone close to do it for you if it’s in another city.
What’s the Price?
If the price of the vehicle along with its specifications, condition, and mileage seems too good to be true, then it probably is!
Sellers know what their cars are worth, which is why they won’t be open to negotiation. You can use an online evaluation tool to check the market value of the vehicle that you’re interested in buying.
Take it for a Test Drive
If you have access to the car in real, you need to take it for a test drive. This will give you an idea about the car, its mileage, and its condition.
However, there may be some sellers who are reluctant to let you take their cars for a test drive. That’s a definite sign that something isn’t right.
Last, But Not Least
You need to look up what your rights are regarding the quality and refunds before paying for the vehicle.
Also, make sure that you’re meeting up at a dealer’s office or the seller’s residence and not a random location.
Lastly, use your credit card to make payments as it provides limited protection.
Guide for Selling a Car Online
When you are selling your car online, keep the five points below in mind:
Arrange a Location
This doesn’t get said enough: location is very important. Always arrange for the buyer to come to you; it’s never up to him.
Also, make sure you’re not alone.
Get Paperwork Ready
You need to take care of the paperwork and make sure all the documents such as certificates, registration documents, copies of invoices, etc. are in one place.
You can let the buyer inspect all your documents, but do not let them take photos or make copies because it could get misused.
Ask for their Identity
It’s not a bad idea to ask the buyers for some sort of identification. You have a right to know who you’re selling your vehicle to, and you have a right to refuse if it doesn’t sit well with you.
Let Them Go for a Test Drive
From the seller’s point of view, this is tricky. Because if someone uninsured takes your vehicle out for a drive, you could be fined for it. Also, do not let the buyer take your car out for a drive alone, since he’s a stranger.
Have You Received Payment?
Don’t completely hand over your car until the buyer has cleared all due payments with you.
They can give you cash if that’s their preferred payment method, but be wary of forged currency notes. Obviously, the best and safest method is bank transfer as it can be done quickly over smartphones.
As you can already see, there are various things you need to keep in mind when you are selling or buying a car. Whether you are selling or buying a car, take your time to properly research the preferred car’s market value and be wary of any sellers or buyers that you come across.