Car scams are a dime a dozen. You see them on social media, the news and you may have even been fooled yourself. Scammers can be experts in psychology, understanding what moods they need to create to emotionally manipulate people into giving up their money or personal information. They use these emotions to trick you into thinking there is no other option than to buy into whatever they’re selling- cars included- no matter how shoddy it may be.
Here are tips to help you spot a car scam and avoid them altogether.
The too-good-to-be-true deal
If you spot a car for $2,000 that’s comparable in style and year to other cars on the market, then you should see some red flags immediately. Unless it’s a collectible, like an antique car, buying a car for under 10% of the book value is never a good idea. When you’re looking through your local classifieds, make sure you’re looking at similar cars in the same style and year range.
Oftentimes, a scammer will list their car for sale and claim that they have paperwork proving it’s road safe and legal to drive. If everything looks good on the surface, then you may be inclined to believe them.
However, before you buy used cars in sacramento, look more carefully. If the seller doesn’t want to show you the title of their car, or if they claim that all of their paperwork was destroyed in a flood, then do yourself and your loved ones a favor and walk away.
Another way scammers try to convince buyers that their car is safe is by saying that it needs to be repaired before you can have it drive off the lot. They’ll ask for your credit card number, or ask you to come up with the cash before running off in the other direction.
If a seller wants to repair a car before selling it, that’s great. However, if they want you to front the cost of repairs, then steer clear right away. If you’re considering purchasing a vehicle with mechanical issues but plenty of life left in it, try negotiating with the seller to have them fix whatever problems there are first before handing over your hard-earned money.