Car crime is rife but it’s not just about protecting your own car from being stolen, it is about making sure that the car you buy, is the car you think it is and that the seller is genuine also. There are a lot of rogues out there and never more so than in the used car industry, but more importantly, when you are buying privately, you need to be extra careful. Even if you are purchasing from someone that you know. You would be surprised at how easy it is to fob someone off and make a big profit on a car that is dodgy.
So how can you protect yourself and ensure that your car will be yours for keeps? Do make sure you check all of the documentation. The registration document is so important and there are literally thousands of forged copies out there. Unbelievably, in the UK , many official blank registration documents were stolen and car vehicle details were simply typed in by those who were looking to sell on stolen and cloned vehicles. You might think that it is easy to spot a fake registration document but actually, unless you compared a legitimate document to the document when at the car, you probably wouldn’t be able to spot the difference. There have been cases where a different font was used and even the odd spelling mistake. But let’s be honest, do you read the registration document word for word? If you are not sure, you can check the serial number on the document with the registering body.
Don’t be caught out if the owner tells you that the registration document has been sent off to be changed – in the process of a plate transfer for example or lost. You should never buy a car if there is not the full registration document to hand. Importantly, the address on the document should also match the address where you are viewing the vehicle. If it doesn’t, then seriously, it’s time to walk away. Be street savvy, if you are almost in the process of buying a bogus car, you can bet that the ‘owner of the vehicle’ will have a steady stream of answers ready for you. Plus, will sound ultra plausible. Heed the warning signs and protect your money from a surprisingly common car theft scenario.