New car buying scams
Protect yourself when you buy. We reveal the tricks unscrupulous sellers use to con you out of cash.
Thankfully, buying a brand new car in the UK is one of the safest ways to purchase a new vehicle.
However, it pays to be prepared - and our simple guide to some of the tricks used by the trade to improve profits is well worth reading!
Although there are now lots of very diligent and reputable new car sales businesses operating online, it remains relatively easy for fraudsters to con buyers out of money by pretending to sell cars that do not exist. As a simple rule of thumb, beware of individuals or websites offering to sell cars at prices that are apparently well below market value. Look for companies that have clear contact details, including land line telephone numbers, and personalised email addresses.
Buying a stolen car
If you are buying brand new, from a franchised dealer it's highly unlikely that you will affected by stolen cars. However, it makes good sense to check that the person selling you the car has the right to do so. Companies like HPI offer protection against buying a car with outstanding finance as well as those reported stolen.
Buying a car that has been damaged in a accident
Again, this is unlikely if you are buying brand new... But if the vehicle's V5 registration document lists you as the second keeper it's worth using an organisation like HPI to make sure that the car has not been damaged in an accident. This will reduce its second hand value when you come to sell it on, and at worst could even make the car unsafe.
Know your credit score
If you want to be sure you’re going to get the best possible deal, then make sure you know your credit score before you approach a dealer for a finance quote. Occasionally, dealers will say your credit score is not good enough to get a competitive agreement on the term and cost of your loan so it's worth having it to hand.
Know the total cost of the car
Don’t be fooled into accepting a lower monthly interest rate for a longer period of time. You’ll only end up paying more for the car. Instead figure out the total you want to pay for a car and discuss this figure with the dealer – avoid telling them how much you’re willing to pay per month.
Try and negotiate a discount
The sticker price for new cars is often inflated. Dealers are expecting you to haggle – click here to see our tips on negotiating a good price. If you can’t get the price down, try and get extras thrown in, a good place to start is to ask for a full-tank of fuel.
Want to know more about getting a discount? Read our car price negotiation tricks.