Buying a used car: exposing the “liars”

Beware of professional sellers who pose as individuals to avoid the rules that the law places on merchants.

Some sellers hide the commercial nature of their business when they offer used cars on classifieds sites. However, when you buy from one of these fakes, you run the risk of buying a low-quality product, which increases the risk of unpleasant surprises. First of all, you may come across a resale network set up to sell cars that have been damaged, stolen, or restored from stolen parts, or whose odometer has been tampered with, among other things.

To discover them, you must be vigilant when shopping online, in newspapers, or on social media. If you are looking for a used car in classifieds, there are certain precautions you need to take:

• make sure that your interlocutor does not have several cars for sale by seeing if his phone number appears in different ads (this is easy, because many sites have a feature that allows you to group offers from one person);

• to say that you are calling “about the sale of a car.” If he answers “what?” “, Be careful;

• be careful if he makes an appointment in a public place, such as a car park: then offer to meet you at his house, and if he does not want to, leave it as it is;

• Also be careful if he claims to be selling you a car in someone else’s name, or if he himself offers to transfer ownership.

This advice is taken from 100 TIPS for Consumers, Your Rights on a Daily Basis, prepared in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Authority. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Authority is offering this guide free of charge to all consumers.


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