Steer Clear of Deception: A Guide on How to Avoid Vehicle Scams


Unfortunately, vehicle scams are massively on the increase. With that said, though, there are opportunities to help keep yourself safe, and we’ve outlined five key tips and methods to help you avoid car scams in the future when purchasing a new car.

5 Simple Methods to Avoid Car Scams When Buying a New Vehicle 

Cars come with huge price tags, even after accounting for depreciation. Thus, making sure your purchase is genuine is so crucial, and luckily, our experts have outlined five simple ways you can avoid car scams with your next investment, too. After all, the number of fake adverts and fraudulent or dishonest listings is growing, and avoiding these is getting trickier – but with the following five tips, it’s not impossible.

#1 Run a Vehicle Check

Don’t just take the seller’s word for it. Always run a vehicle check before you hand over any money for a new car to help ensure that the seller’s claims are genuine and match up with the vehicle’s details, information, MOT / mileage history, write-off status, and the like are accurate.

#2 Check the Seller 

Looking at the seller’s history is an essential step when buying a new vehicle. Indeed, one of the most common signs that a seller might not be entirely honest is their sales listing history; if you notice that they frequently seem to list high-value items (such as cars and motorbikes) on their personal account, there’s a good chance they’re a scammer.

#3 Ask for a Custom Photo

Asking for a custom photo of a specific part of the vehicle can help you authenticate a purchase. Indeed, a seller who is genuine usually won’t have any issue with getting specific photos. However, since a scammer likely won’t own the vehicle, they usually won’t be able to do so. 

In some cases, a vehicle could have been written off in the past, but the seller may not declare this to avoid decreasing the price. After conducting a history check, if a vehicle has been damaged and the seller has not shared that information, it may be worth avoiding it, as they could also be hiding other details.

#4 Ask to See the Logbook

Every car will have a logbook, and checking this before you buy a new vehicle is very important. However, always take precautions to ensure that the logbook is genuine and isn’t a forgery. Scammers are getting increasingly resourceful here, so, be sure to check the logbook carefully for any signs of fakery and damage. 

#5 Don’t Pay By Cash When Buying the Car – Try to Use Card!

When it comes to paying, try to avoid paying by cash if possible. Indeed, card transactions often come with greater protections in place; as such, if you get caught out with a scam, there’s more chance of reclaiming your money if you paid by debit or with credit card. Similarly, e-payment systems such as PayPal or bank transfers can potentially be more traceable and accurate.

Don’t Let Scammers Catch You Out!

While fraudsters are becoming increasingly adept at making their scams appear genuine, there are still countless simple ways you can catch them out – and this not only helps protect you from scams, but it can also offer an ideal way to give yourself some additional confidence in your purchase, too. So, be sure to keep today’s pointers in mind when making an offer on a vehicle – and always run a number plate check before you pay, just to be sure you’re making a good purchase.