Beware Of Scams When Purchasing A Vehicle Online


September is officially here, meaning the new 61 number plate is now available. Car retailers hope this new plate will bring positive changes to the auto industry, which has seen a decline in new car registrations for 13 consecutive months. If their wishes come true, there will likely be a large fleet of used vehicles for sale in coming weeks.

Though a used car can be quite a bargain, buying one can expose an individual to scams. This is especially true when the vehicle is purchased online, as faceless fraudsters have an easier time plucking cash from the pockets of unsuspecting consumers. Used car information firm HPI reports that a global network of fraudulent “virtual car sellers” exists.


These tricksters have conned online car buyers out of millions of pounds. They position themselves as having top-of-the-line cars that must be quickly sold at rock-bottom prices. It is only after the buyer supplies the cash that the scam is revealed. By this time, the seller is nowhere to be found, leaving the buyer out of luck.

In some cases, a car is stolen by a gang and provided the identity of a similar car on the road to hide the issue. This form of identity theft for cars is also called cloning. Scrapped cars that are unfit for driving and vehicles with outstanding financing are also sold by scammers. Before purchasing a car online or in person, individuals should run an HPI check on it.

Whether they use car finance or fork over cash to pay for the automobile, buyers may find themselves victims of online car sales scams. By paying just 20.50 pounds to run an HPI check online, they can prevent this unfortunate situation and save themselves thousands of pounds. HPI provides up to a 30,000 pound reimbursement if data provided is not accurate.