Home Motoring Selling Your Car Privately? Watch out!

Selling Your Car Privately? Watch out!

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Be aware if you are selling your car privately, as what I describe below has recently happened to a customer in the Goring area.

After advertising their vehicle online, the owner had a number of enquiries and a potential buyer arranged to view the vehicle. Early on during the viewing things looked hopeful, one of the potential buyers mentioned that his wife’s car was the same as the one for sale, but was broken and so they were looking for an identical replacement.

Paul Thripp, VTS Vehicles
Paul Thripp, VTS Vehicles

The scam begins

Whilst they had the car running they all looked over it together. Then, whilst one of the buyers was looking under the bonnet, the other engaged the car owner in conversation. Once the car was nice and warm, they headed out on a test drive. During the test drive the car started smoking from the exhaust.

Oil in coolant

On their return to the owner’s house, they investigated and found oil in the coolant. The potential buyers seemed concerned and told the owner that the car had signs of a faulty head gasket. The potential buyers then stated that the car wasn’t for them and the owner was left feeling very confused as the car was fine earlier. A couple of minutes later, one of the potential buyers knocked on the door and offered to buy the car for £3,000 under the asking price saying that it would do for spares and repairs for his wife’s car.

The owner, worried that he may now never sell the car with this newly identified problem, seriously considered taking the offer. However happily he declined.

It later transpired the vehicle owner had been the victim of a scam. When the owner was distracted, the buyer looking under the bonnet had squirted oil into the coolant, a very simple trick, with maximum impact!

Honest garages

Luckily we have some good honest local garages on our doorstep and the damage was rectified by flushing the system. Instead of losing £3,000 the car was fixed for less than £150 and back for sale within a few days. Be careful out there…

By Paul Thripp, VTS Vehicles. Call 01903 334740 or email paul@vtsvehicles.co.uk www.vtsvehicles.co.uk