5 Essential Things to Know About Car Scams

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As if car buying isn't difficult enough, there are a variety of scams out there of which you need to be aware. From shiesty dealers to flat-out thieves, the following are five of the essential things to know about car scams.

Salesperson Exploitation

Car salespeople are notoriously unscrupulous, but keep in mind that they might take the information you provide and exploit it. For example, the amount you want for your trade-in is often added to the price of the new vehicle, they’ll use your desired monthly payment amount to sell a higher priced vehicle with a much longer term, or they may even tell you the vehicle you want isn’t available just to sell you a more expensive one. If you sense you're being exploited by the salesperson, just leave - you can find somewhere else to make your purchase.

Escrow Accounts

This car scam usually involves a vehicle that is way underpriced along with some kind of sob story. Then, the seller wants you to send money through MoneyGram or Western Union, claiming it is going to an escrow company. You’ll lose the money you send and never see the vehicle.

Curbstoning

Curbstoners are dealers who sell vehicles through classifieds or Craigslist while posing as actual owners. These cars have often been totaled, flooded or are in some way damaged to the point most dealers can’t or won’t sell them on the lot. Always get a vehicle history and ask to see the title and the seller’s license to protect yourself when purchasing in this manner.

Failing to Honor Auctions

This car scam involves dealers who list vehicles without including a reserve amount. Once you win the vehicle, the dealer will refuse the sale – usually because he or she didn’t get the amount desired. In some extreme cases, this scam goes even farther and the dealer accepts your payment without offering up the vehicle. Always do a thorough check on sellers before agreeing to purchase. You’re sure to find other bad deals with a bit of research.

Forcing Add-ons for Qualifying

Dealers may say you have to purchase add-ons like extended warranties or some type of coverage in order to secure the loan. This is usually couched in an excuse about you having bad credit. Just know that lenders never require additional purchases in order to qualify you.

There are numerous car scams out there, but these are some of the most common. Always make sure to contact YourMechanic for a pre-purchase car inspection to protect yourself and your investment.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1719 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Lexus ES300 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Garden Grove, California
Very professional, but although cool in a sense. On time actually arrived at site earlier than expected that was a plus. Also very thorough, and gave recommendations. Thanks alot Chriss.
Jaguar F-Type - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Mission Viejo, California
If I could give Chris 100 stars I would. Above and beyond in every way. He's super knowledgeable, informative, responsive and above all patient. He doesn't hesitate to make sure all your questions are answered and that you feel comfortable taking the plunge buying a car sight unseen. He was our eyes when we couldn't be there to inspect the car, and informed us of any red flags regarding how the car operates now and what to look for in the future. Ask for Chris, he's fantastic, an expert in automotive knowledge, and a first class professional.

Willie

23 years of experience
28 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Stanton, California
Had Will inspected two Hyundai Elantra SE at different dealers. He was prompt and provided great feedback on the cars. Really value his experience and recommendation. We're highly satisfy with Will and his service.
Dodge Avenger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Willie is a hard and reliable worker. Fixed the problem. 3rd experience with him I think. Very satisfied

Raymond

36 years of experience
155 reviews
Raymond
36 years of experience
Ford Explorer - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Las Vegas, Nevada
Very happy with the pre-inspection service. He was in contact from when he left to when he arrived at dealership to a FULL Sheet of info right after the inspection. Raymond helped make me feel at ease buying the car after having his professional opinion that everything was good. The one thing he did recommend I mentioned to the dealership and they took care of it before I even bought the car. :) Thanks so much for your expertise. I would definitely use this website again for any future services I may need.
Subaru Baja - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Las Vegas, Nevada
Raymond was early, Very Professional, & very thorough. Answered all my questions and was very informative. Did an Excellent job !

David

12 years of experience
287 reviews
David
12 years of experience
Honda CR-V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
Prompt and knowledgeable. David arrived early to do our pre-purchase car inspection and completed it in a timely fashion. He communicated his findings, recommendations by phone and text message, which was nice. I appreciated the information and details he provided.
Mercedes-Benz E400 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Kennesaw, Georgia
David called when he arrived and called shortly after he finished inspecting the vehicle. Unfortunately, due to the inefficiency of the sales representative at the dealership, David was not able to drive the vehicle as the final phase of the inspection.

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