Proceed with caution when buying second-hand cars online

When you make the decision to buy a car, you are committing yourself to spend a large amount of money and when doing this you want to make sure that you have all the protection against fraudsters possible.

Fraud is something that makes people very nervous about buying used cars on the Internet as they worry that people will just take the money and run. However, buying used cars on the Internet is becoming increasingly popular with sites such as eBay Motors offering vehicles at a great price.

The motoring offering from eBay, is the largest marketplace for second-hand cars in the UK and many vehicles are traded on the site every day. The risks are slightly greater when bidding on eBay because once you have made the bid you are legally obliged to pay for the item. This is different to an advert you might see in a magazine like Auto Trader, because you are not obliged to buy the car simply because you have gone to see it.

There are some benefits about buying a car on eBay however and one of the most notable is that the person selling the car will have an online reputation. This can be either good or bad, and reading what people have said about the seller in the past, will give you an idea of how honest they are in their transactions. This makes judging a person’s character much easier, especially when you compare it to buying a car out of a magazine such as Auto Trader, where you might not even know the name of the seller.

Buyers of used cars should remember that if they are buying something, and the seller is planning to rip them off, they will do this through any medium, eBay or otherwise. Therefore it is important to consider that there are several protective measures in place on eBay to protect those who have bought something on the website. Furthermore the site takes a very dim view of anyone who tries to exploit buyers on the site.

With an auction, as we just mentioned, when you have bid on the car and once you’ve won the auction, you are legally obliged to pay. The car is ‘sold as seen,’ which means that even if you haven’t inspected it in real life, unless the description on the site is misleading, you will have to purchase a vehicle. It is a good idea to go to the car before you buy it and ensure an independent mechanic looks over it for you before you commit.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always practical for people, so you must insist that the seller offers photographs and answers any questions that you send them. If they fail to do this, do not buy the vehicle. You should also make sure that they have all the legal documentation including a full history of the vehicle. Be careful as if these documents are not present then it is possible the seller is trying to take advantage of you.

You should also run an HPI check on the car to make sure there is no outstanding finance agreements which may result in you having to make high payments. This check will also make sure that the vehicle has not been declared a write-off or stolen.

If you are careful, buying a used vehicle on eBay can be an easy and efficient process. eBay has developed a reputation as being a highly reliable online marketplace and if used correctly can be a great way to buy a car. Always remember though, there is no comparison to checking out a vehicle in person or having a mechanic look over the car.