There are several online places in the UK to search for used cars. The majority of cars listed for sale in the UK will be physical cars from legitimate sellers, However there are scams in any country and we come across several obviously faked adverts every week. Scammers are aware of the sort of vehicles that get exported so target those particular models. Any car that we inspect we will have satisfied ourselves completely of the seller and the vehicle before we even travel to view, however you should be aware of what to look out for even if you decide not to use our service.
1/ You are safer buying a car through a paid advertisement site. Scammers list hundreds of cars to catch one victim so it is economically unviable for them to spend £15-£50 per listing on eBay or Autotrader. Thats not to say these sites are bulletproof but the majority of scam advertisements we come across are on the free listings classifieds sites.
2/ Have a sensible budget and know what you should be paying. There are always some bargains in the marketplace but be realistic. The UK has a big population and hundreds of car underwriting services. A desperate seller would have no problem receiving several bids in an afternoon from well advertised car buyers if they really needed to sell in a hurry. If you see a £10000 car advertised for £6000 it is most probably a dodgy listing.
3/ Scammers dont have the time to write up new advertisements every day, Instead they “clone” previously advertised cars. This means they find a previously advertised car and copy the advertisement verbatim; apart from a 50% reduction in the asking price. As they are advertising cars that have an online traceable history you can use a search engine to see if it has been advertised previously. By copy/pasting parts of the advertisement into Google you could turn up the same car advertised previously for a different price in a different part of the country.
4/Photographs also get cloned. Try scanning photographs through a reverse image search service such as Google images Again, this may bring up the same car advertised elsewhere for a different price.
5/ If you decide to pay a seller through an escrow service you are exposing yourself to great risk. If the seller offers to send you an invoice through an eBay or Paypal guaranteed service then they are trying to scam you. eBay do not offer such a service and it is a known scam.
The above are some basic checks you can take to minimise your risk. If you choose to use our service we carry out substantially more checks and offer a complete handover service where we complete the entire deal for you. For the reasons listed above these are some of the sources we would recommend for you to find your new car.
Autotrader is the prime used car sales portal in the UK. The majority of cars that get sold in the UK will be advertised in the Trader.
eBay Motors is used by private sellers and now retail dealers are listing stock on eBay. Can be good for classics and specialist commercial vehicles.
For Advertisers Motors is a cheaper alternative listing source and so attracts sellers that may not advertise on other platforms.
Parkers have used car facts and figures and have been growing their classifieds listings so they are worth checking.
Pistonheads is a car enthusiasts site. For that reason it is the best source for genuine Sports, Performance and Specialist vehicles sold by petrolhead owners and specialist dealers.