Drivers may be scammed out of more than £5,000 when buying a used car through social media

Motoring: Tips to follow when purchasing a used car

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Motorists have warned fraudsters are using social media platforms to “advertise vehicles at bargain prices.” These fake sellers then “pressure motorists” to send deposit money before buying a car.

The sellers could also encourage buyers to pay a vehicle delivery charge.

However, in some cases, the car will not exist or not be up for legitimate sale.

Scammers can then delete the interested buyer on social media before running away with the money.

Select Car Leasing said: “Although Facebook Marketplace is a great place to purchase a used car, fraudsters are also using the platform to advertise vehicles at bargain prices to lure in potential buyers.

“One unlucky victim from County Clare paid £5,179 (€6,000) for a car that was never delivered.

“False sellers pressure motorists to send a deposit and pay for vehicle delivery.

“They then take the money and run – so buyers are left without a car and their money.”

Confused.com warns drivers have “fewer rights” when purchasing a second-hand car from a private seller.

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They have urged drivers to always try and view the car at the owner’s property before handing over any money.

Sellers may try and ask a driver to meet at a mutually convenient location but Confused urges drivers to avoid that.

When viewing the car, motorists should take a record of the address.

This is in case something goes wrong and drivers will need to take legal action.

When viewing the car, they urge drivers to keep an eye out for other cars on sale parked around the property.

This could be a dealer posing as a private seller to get rid of dodgy cars.

Confused.com says those who are not motor savvy should always take someone clued up on cars to help identify any issues.

The AA has urged drivers to be “very wary” if a private seller does not have their name on a V5C registration document.

They warn there are only three legal checks private sellers must pass before they can accept money for their vehicle.

Firstly, the seller must have the legal right to sell the car.

The vehicle should match the description given by the seller.

The AA said the car must also be in a roadworthy condition at the time of sale.

Drivers are warned an MOT certificate from a test taken several months ago is no automatic guarantee the car is still roadworthy today.

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