If you want to purchase a vehicle privately instead of going to a licensed sales business, then you should take precautions.
- Ask to see the most recent registration and insurance for the vehicle, and to see receipts for any service done on the vehicle. This will be a good indication if they are being truthful. If they cannot provide them, then shop somewhere else.
- Don’t be rushed into buying the vehicle through any coercion, such as the seller making a statement that they have another interested buyer coming to look at the vehicle and it won’t last long.
- If the seller won’t allow you to come to their residence, and instead wants to meet at some place neutral, it is a good indication that they are hiding something. Don’t bother meeting with them.
- If you do want the vehicle, get it inspected by a licensed mechanic.
- Check the vehicle’s history by getting a vehicle history report. CarFax and CarProof are two popular reports that will give you important information from a third party. You can get these at Registry Agents or via internet web sites.
- Check for liens on the vehicle to make sure that the person selling it to you actually owns it.
- Never be in a rush to buy a vehicle.
- Don’t buy a vehicle at night.
- If you are uncomfortable walk away.
You should do all of this before you give the seller any money at all. If they are legitimate, they won’t mind you being cautious. If the seller balks, then no matter how good the deal may seem, go shop somewhere else. Ultimately, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
AMVIC has encountered organized curbers that have purchased written off vehicles in the United States, imported them into Canada, repaired them and then sold them across Canada. They somehow get the vehicles with Active status in the government computer system hiding that the vehicle was a write off. They advertise them and then lie about the history of the vehicle. Many unsuspecting Albertans were deceived by these sophisticated “curbers/crooks”.