When To Walk Away

Buying a car can be tricky, every now and then we hear in the news about how someone has either bought a car that was in fact stolen or had been towed away as it had outstanding finance on it. There are other issues that can arise and some naïve car buyers may not spot them, the best bet when faced with a clear scam is to simply walk away.

Some people may react negatively if you point out any complaints so it is best to walk away, claiming to want to see other cars before committing to buy. There are a few situations that raise alarm bells in experienced motorists' minds and by reading this article hopefully you will know when to walk away too.

Clocked Mileages
This is a fairly common trick dishonest car sellers use to make a car seem more appealing, by rolling back the mileage the car may seem like a more attractive prospect as it seems less used and so should be in better condition, especially older cars. Look for signs that the dashboard binnacle (the part where the mileage and speedometer are kept) and look for fingerprints or any signs the dashboard has been dismantled to get at the mileage. You can tell from the service history too if the mileage has gone backwards since it last went in for a service then that should be a glaring sign that you should pass on this car.

Significant Bodywork damage
Sometimes people will take two cars that have been written off and put the two good halves together to form a seemingly good car. This is very dangerous as the underlying structure of the car that protects you in the event of a collision is essentially cut down the middle. Look for welding points on the door sill as well as underneath to see if there are any obvious joins. Sometimes the VIN number can be missing from the drivers foot well or not match up with the one in the documentation, this again can point to signs that this car that has been chopped and stuck back together.

Outstanding Car Finance
Cars that have been sold by someone that cannot pay the car finance they owe are still property of the car finance company, as such if you were to unknowingly buy a car that has outstanding finance owed then the company could legally come and tow your car away and you would have little recourse unless you remember who you bought the car from. There are now online checks you can pay to be done on any car you are looking at buying; since you have to pay it should be something you do only as a last step before handing over the cash for the car to save wasting money. It is also wise to keep a contact number and details of any car seller whether they are individual or a dealership so if anything like this were to happen then you can get in touch with them or hand over the details to the authorities.