While there tends to be more risk in buying a car, private sellers are not immune to being targeted by fraudsters. To help you avoid falling victim to a crime, here are our top five things to know when selling your car:

  • As a private seller, you are responsible for making sure that the description you have given of the vehicle is accurate. Details in the advertisement, such as mileage and whether or not the vehicle has a full service history, should be correct. If the buyer asks whether the vehicle has been involved in any accidents, you should answer honestly. It is illegal to mislead the buyer and you are liable for this should anything go wrong.
  • Collect all relevant paperwork together such as the V5C, service history and MOT certificate, along with any receipts you may have for work done on the car. The buyer may wish to check the details such as the address on the V5C and the mileage recorded on the most recent MOT certificate, and this is a reasonable expectation. However, never let potential buyers take copies or photographs of vehicle documents, or keep the originals before buying. These should only be handed over with the car after the money has been deposited safely into your bank account.
  • Be aware that fraudsters may contact you posing as potential buyers. Never share personal details over the phone, as criminals could use this information to create a cloned advert and scam others, or attempt to exploit your identity. Genuine buyers should not have a problem with viewing the car in person and checking the details.
  • Never leave a potential buyer alone with the keys or allow them to go on a test drive without you. You may wish to take a friend or family member along with you for the test drive, and don’t be afraid to stop it early if the potential buyer drives dangerously.
  • Never let a buyer drive your car away without first paying you in full. If the buyer has given you a cheque or transferred funds to your account, wait for this to clear fully before you hand the keys over.

It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that a transaction is legitimate.

Remember, you must notify the DVLA of the transferred ownership, as you are responsible for the vehicle until you have done so. If you don’t, you could find yourself facing somebody else’s motoring offences.

It is important to note that Motors.co.uk takes no responsibility for the legitimacy of any enquiries you receive on your advert. Remember to use your common sense and instinct as to whether a transaction feels legitimate. You are under no obligation to sell the car, and can back out at any stage before you have received the money for the vehicle.

For advice videos and more information on safe selling, visit our security page.