Used Car Buying Myths Dispelled
HPI – a company that enables motorists to research the history of second-hand cars – has dispelled the myths that can leave buyers in a world of pain. These relate to ownership, price, whether the vehicle has been written off by its insurer, and where it is best viewed.
Car Buying Myths
Myth One: Once the motorist has paid for the vehicle he/she owns it. No, this is not necessarily true. Why? Because the registered keeper is not the same as the legal owner. As such if the vehicle has been stolen – or is subject to outstanding finance - it does not belong to the purchaser. In this scenario the vehicle could be reposed and the money lost.
Myth Two: The vehicle is a bargain price – move fast. Here, HPI stresses that caution is required. Why would a motorist sell an asset for less than it is worth? Whereas there are bargains on the market – and some sellers under value for honest reasons such as needing a fast sale - it is possible the vehicle has a serious fault or has been stolen/cloned.
Myth Three: It is safe to purchase a vehicle in a car park, etc. No. This is risky. Why? Because if a seller wants to “meet half way” it might be to pass on a stolen or cloned car. After all, the buyer – once he/she has returned home and found the problem – has no way to trace the criminal. So, a private buyer should always inspect the vehicle at the registered keeper’s address and cross reference this information with the V5C (log book).
Myth Four – A spouse can sell a car on behalf of the wife/husband. No. Why? Because he/she does not own it and has no right to sell. It could therefore – HPI stresses – be considered stolen. This is not to say that a spouse cannot assist with the transaction, but a buyer should meet the keeper as defined on the V5C. Ask for proof of identity if worried.
Myth Five: A written-off car must be scrapped. Not necessarily. A vehicle that has been declared a total loss by its insurer is not economical to repair. This may be because the cost of parts outweighs the vehicle's value. Some cars, after all, are only worth a few hundred pounds. When a vehicle is written off it is classified by damage, i.e. Category A, B, C and D. A and B cars should be scrapped but C and D cars can be returned to the road.