8 Used Car-Buying Scams to Watch Out For

New cars are easy to purchase. In most cases, you just have to prepare your cash/funds and simply make the deal. However, things change when someone decides to buy a used car – what’s the main difference?

Well, you can easily come across a scam car, better known as a lemon vehicle. If you do end up buying such a car, you won’t have an easy time getting rid of it and you’ll most likely need a professional lemon car attorney by your side to win your case.

But if you want to do your best to steer clear of car-buying scams, here are eight of the things you should watch out for!

Watch Out for Hidden Costs

Usually, ads don’t display the real cost of the used car that you plan to buy. In most cases, the seller will add in any potential discounts, rebates, and so on that might take its cost down a couple thousand bucks.

Ultimately, if you can’t benefit from such incentives, you’ll have to pay the full price.

Don’t Settle for Random Offers

If the dealer you’re visiting doesn’t have what you want, they’ll try to sell you anything – literally anything else. In this case, the best thing you can do is take the car they offer on a test drive and then go back home and think about it! 

Don’t accept a last-minute offer that comes with higher monthly costs!

Read Lease Provisions Carefully

Usually, people fall for cheap monthly payments on their dream car, especially when it comes to leases. However, cheap payments often imply rudely high down payments and an extremely low mileage lease as well.

In short, read the lease contract before you sign it!

Used Car Dealers vs. Private Sellers

As you might know, certain dealers often claim to be private sellers so that they avoid certain taxes and regulations. However, this might also be the case because what they sell are faulty, lemon cars.

The ground rule here is that you should buy a car only from a dealership that sells the same car and new as well!

Use of Leverage by Dealers

When you walk into a dealership, dealers expect you to lay down your terms and mention your status so that they know what to use against you – in short, they want leverage. As such, it is better if you leave everything that is non-essential out of the equation when you first enter a dealership.

Deals That Are Too Good to Be True

Don’t believe what people say online – this would be one of the most important pieces of advice. A lot of people had to wire the seller money for their dream car, mainly because they found out that the vehicle was out of state after they purchased it.

Think twice and, even better, inspect the offer twice!

Avoid All Types of Shady Payment Methods

Throughout time, used car buyers were made to pay for a vehicle – which always turned out to be a scam or lemon – via an escrow account, with gift cards, wire transfers, and upfront partial payments. Stay away from any of these!

It goes without saying that you should pay for a car, even a used one, only after you’re certain that it exists and runs well!

Title Washing

Another very common scam is title washing, which implies the process of scammers erasing the branding of a vehicle that was labeled as a total loss. Luckily for all of us, the wonderful internet can easily prevent such scams. 

Simply run a VIN check on the vehicle you want to buy and you’ll find out if it was involved in an accident and has a salvage status you want to avoid.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of scams out there, especially when it comes to buying used cars. As a result, often the best place to buy such a vehicle is a reputed dealership that sells both new and used cars.

The price might be a little above what you planned on spending, but it ensures that you won’t have to spend money again on the vehicle one week after you buy it!