Don’t Get Scammed When Shopping For A Car Online

Buying a car online is becoming more popular but there are still a lot of people that don’t trust it. They’ll tell you that it’s a huge risk to make such an expensive purchase online. You can easily get ripped off, and they might be right.


A lot of people do get ripped off when purchasing cars online. But that doesn’t mean the internet isn’t a great resource for finding a new vehicle. There are scammers out there but there are also a lot of great car dealers with some amazing cars at affordable prices. So you’re missing out if you avoid going online altogether. The important thing is that you know how to avoid getting ripped off. These are the easiest ways to avoid getting scammed when shopping for a car online.

Choose Reputable Dealers

The first step to avoiding being ripped off is to avoid suspicious car dealers and sellers. If you have any doubts about a particular dealer or seller, move on to the next one. There are many reputable dealers on the internet, like edmunds, that offer fair prices for their cars with great customer service. So there’s no need to go with someone you don’t trust. You can look up reviews of certain dealers through different websites like Google Reviews. By doing so you can get an idea of what others think about them before making your purchase. You can find a lot of private sellers on sites like Craigslist. However, this is a huge risk and buying from sites like these is how most people get scammed.

Don’t Take Pictures At Face Value


When you get the email from a seller or dealer about their car and they include pictures, don’t take them at face value. A lot of scammers will sell cars that don’t exist and then once you’ve transferred money they’ll stop replying to your messages. Either that or they’ll send you old pictures that don’t reflect the current condition of the car. When you buy it you’ll find that it’s got a cracked windshield or the brakes don’t work or something. So, don’t proceed any further without actually seeing the car with your own eyes.

Don’t Send Money Without Meeting The Seller

A lot of people get scammed because they send money before actually seeing the car. This makes it too easy for the seller to just take their money and run. To avoid this you should meet them in person so that they can’t pull anything over on you. If somebody is saying they need a deposit before you can see the car or anything like that, don’t trust them.

Use Secure Payment Options

If a dealer or seller is saying they can’t accept any other payment option besides a wire transfer, don’t trust them. This is the most common way for scammers to take your money without giving you what you paid for. This option it’s not even safe. This is because there are no secure payment options that allow you to send money from one person to another without anyone being able to intercept it. The safest way to get paid is through PayPal which means both parties have their funds protected until the deal goes through. Reputable dealerships will also have payment platforms on their website.

The most important thing to remember is to always trust your gut when buying a car online. If something seems dodgy, call it off and don’t part with your money because, nine times out of ten, you’re right.

[All images were downloaded from unsplash]