LONDON, ON, April 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Recent media coverage and an undercover investigation by the Automobile Protection Agency (APA) revealed that consumers need to do their homework before they buy used cars from private sellers.
Through APA's investigation, secret shoppers met with seven individual used car sellers. The organization identified six out of seven of these private sellers as curbsiders - people who claim to be selling a personal vehicle but in reality are actually unlicensed sellers hoping to make a profit off of vehicles they have generally owned for a very short time. In some cases, curbsiders may not even be the registered owner of the vehicle.
This investigation confirmed that a CarProof vehicle history report can play a vital role in helping car shoppers avoid curbsiders. In addition to purchasing a report, the following are tips that you can use when you're looking for your next used vehicle to help ensure you are dealing with a legitimate seller:
- You should always question a deal that seems too good to be true.
- Be wary of dealing with a private seller who seems to have numerous cars listed at the same time.
- Don't do business with a seller who won't meet face-to-face. Be on your guard if they'll only talk with you by phone or email.
- Get the CarProof report for a comprehensive history of the vehicle, registration details, cross-Canada lien information and a full U.S. history. The CarProof report will also contain branding details and tell you whether the vehicle is actively stolen.
- If you're provided with a CarProof report, check the web link on the report, as well as the paper copy, to make sure the hardcopy the seller provided corresponds with the information on the online version. Make sure the web link for the CarProof begins with http://reports.carproof.com. You'll also want to examine the date that the report was run - you want to see a date that's relatively current so you know that recent vehicle history is included on the report. These tactics will help ensure that neither the paper copy nor the online versions of the report have been falsified. If you have any concerns, never hesitate to call CarProof at 1-866-835-7812.
- Ask the seller for proof of identity and check that the seller's name and address matches up with the information on the vehicle registration form (the actual form, not a photocopy).
- Verify the vehicle identification number (VIN), the car's details and the colour of the car with the registration form, insurance slips and with the CarProof. Another way curbsiders commit fraud is by falsifying these details, and checking them with these tools will help you protect yourself.
- Don't pay before you get the vehicle. If the seller demands cash only, be wary. If the seller requests a third-party escrow service, investigate the service to make sure it's legitimate and secure, as many online escrow sites are fraudulent.
- Take the vehicle for a pre-purchase inspection to a place of your choosing. If the seller resists or insists on using one specific facility, this could be a red flag. Many curbsiders team up with someone who will look the other way when doing emission tests and safety inspections or they might misrepresent the vehicle's actual condition.
- Don't let yourself be rushed into a decision to buy the vehicle. If the seller won't let you come to their place of residence and insists on meeting in a public place, this could mean they are hiding something.
When it comes to avoiding fraudulent car sellers, knowing they exist and informing yourself about their tactics will go a long way to protecting yourself. You need to trust your gut instinct, ask the right questions and use the CarProof report to verify that everything is as it should be. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that the seller you're dealing with is open, honest and legitimate.
About CarProof Vehicle History Reports
CarProof, a London, Ont.-based company founded in 2000, is the leading provider of the most comprehensive used vehicle history report available in Canada. CarProof's fully bilingual vehicle history reports rely on accurate and live real-time data to provide consumers with a complete history of their vehicle including accident information, cross-Canada lien search information and full U.S. history. In addition to being named one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, CarProof was recently honoured with Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500TM and Fast 50 TM Awards. For more information about CarProof, visit www.carproof.com.
For further information:
Alina Szober Morkin
Senior Marketing Manager
CarProof Vehicle History Reports
1.866.835.8612 ext. 3088