Searching for and buying the perfect vehicle has never been a straightforward task and according to the AA, buyers who pay cash for their new vehicles are leaving themselves open to dodgy sellers.
Research from the AA Car Data Check reveals that 20 per cent of used car buyers would pay three quarters of the value of a car in cash to secure a potential dream purchase.
Meanwhile, a further 14 per cent of those surveyed by the AA said they would actually pay the total asking price in cash, but the AA says this is a gift for fraudsters keen to ‘disappear’ after a crooked deal.
Customers who intend to secure the bargain with a wad of cash are potentially putting themselves at risk – the seller could even take the buyer’s money without any intention of handing over the vehicle.
Similarly, in more extreme circumstances where there is no proof of purchase, if the vehicle was reported stolen or registered as a Category-C write-off, it will be down to the new owner to shoulder the consequences.
To avoid these fraudulent schemes, the AA advises car buyers use more secure payment methods such as banker’s drafts or by simply transferring funds via online banking.
Jeremy Tiffany of the AA, said: “Despite continued warnings to people about the potential consequences of paying in cash for vehicles, it’s clear from our survey that consumers continue to place their trust in sellers.
“This is particularly true if it looks like they will get their ideal car for a bargain price, which is a time when they should be on their guard the most. Paying in cash to complete a deal is a risky decision to make and one that is not really necessary.”
He added: “Bringing cash with you to collect a vehicle leaves you open to several threats. The most obvious one is that carrying a large amount of money is always dangerous, as the seller could simply take the money with no intention of handing over the car. More importantly, there is no ‘Proof of Purchase’ when you pay for a vehicle in cash, meaning you have no comeback with the seller should something go wrong.
“Paying cash for a vehicle means the seller can effectively disappear without a trace. So if that bargain turns out to be recorded as stolen with the police, an insurance write-off or on outstanding finance, the seller will be long gone and so will the money.”
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