When it comes time to sell a car, most owners are preoccupied with getting the most money possible. You’ve invested a great deal in your car, and it’s understandable that you want to get the money you deserve. Unfortunately, cost isn’t the only concern you should have when selling your car. As scammers become more advanced, it’s easy to find yourself in a scary situation if you’re not careful. Keeping yourself safe when selling your car is simple with these essential tips, so do your due diligence and sell your car to the right buyer for the right price.
Always Meet in a Public Place
Once you’ve connected with a buyer and you’ve decided to meet up, make sure you always do so in a well-lit, well-populated place. Grocery store parking lots in the middle of the day work wonderfully, and will decrease the risk of a violent car theft; more witnesses should scare off most scammers looking to take your vehicle by force. Never have a buyer come to your home; you don’t want to give a would-be criminal the chance to case your home and return later on.
Don’t Accept Checks
Car scammers often hand over a bad check to gain a free car. Tell buyers that you’ll accept cash only. If that limits your pool of buyers, there are a few ways to ensure you get what you’re owed. Call a trusted bank to verify the funds before handing over the keys or telling a buyer that you’ll deposit the check and then give them the keys when the funds have cleared. A common sign of a fraudulent check? Offering to pay more than you’re asking for the car. If you have to ask yourself : “Who would buy my car for more than its true value?” chances are they’re attempting to rip you off.
Be Wary About Test Drives
It’s understandable and expected that a potential buyer will ask for a test drive before purchasing your vehicle. However, this gives the nefarious scammer the perfect opportunity to steal your car. Always have a friend with you, and be sure to go along for the test drive. Also be sure to request their driver’s license and have a scanned copy on hand. With their license you can scan their public record for a criminal history check, which will tell you whether or not a test drive is a good idea.
Know Your Car’s Worth
Private buyers will often attempt to haggle with you about the price of your vehicle, telling boldfaced lies that your car’s book value is much lower than you think it is. They may bring a mechanic with them to check out the car; this mechanic may then turn around and tell you the car has numerous issues and isn’t worth as much as you expected. Avoid this by using a car valuator tool like Kelley Blue Book and have it checked out by your own trusted mechanic. Walk into the negotiation knowing the worth of what you’re offering and don’t buckle against their claims to the contrary.
Use a Car Buying Service
Reading this and thinking to yourself “How do I find someone to buy my car without putting myself in danger?” You may decide to avoid the middleman and simply sell your car to a certified online buyer. Online agencies will give you an instant quote and come to pick up your car when you’ve accepted. While you likely won’t get as much money as you would through a private sale, you’ll save yourself the headache and vulnerability that doing it on your own can mean. Plus, you can sell it within a day, while private sales could see you spending months screening potential buyers that don’t follow through.
Get the most out of selling your car without putting yourself in danger. Keep these tips in mind and keep yourself safe to make the most out of the experience.