Used car scams suck. If you can't afford a new car but need to be able to drive to work, the last thing you need is to lose your hard-earned money in a scam. But, you can protect yourself and make it much less likely that you will be a scam victim if you are vigilant. Here's some ways you can help avoid used car scams.
1. Ask the seller any question you can think of about the car and why they are selling it. An honest seller will be happy to answer your questions. A scam artist will be evasive, or will give you answers that don't make sense.
2. Do a close visual inspection of the car. Make sure they haven't tried to hide any damage, as this is a very common used car scam.
3. Get the VIN number and look it up. Some scam artists will try to sell you a stolen car, or a car that has been in many accidents or totaled.
4. Do a long test drive. Some scam artists know their cars run well at first but break down once they've been driven a while.
5. Get the maintenance records. Often mechanics will record the odometer reading when they do an oil change. This can help you avoid odometer scams.
6. Have your own mechanic look at the car. This will tell you if you are about to become the victim of a hidden damage scam.
7. If you are at a dealership, ask for a warranty. If they won't give it to you, they are scamming you on the car.
8. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong about the deal, you are probably right. Walk away from it, because more than likely or not the person is trying to scam you.
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