Buying online - Buying a Car
Buying cars via online auction sites such as eBay is becoming more popular. It sounds risky, but if you follow our usual precautions it should be little different from using more established channels. That said, the auction format throws up some particular problems. These are:
• Research used car prices here at whatcar.com or using the What Car? Price Guide. Look at completed sales listings on eBay to see how much similar cars went under the hammer for.
• Reputable sellers usually take advantage of the extra space the web permits to give details on the car and display multiple photos. Study the listing thoroughly, and email the seller if you still have questions. Establishing personal contact helps buyer and seller suss each other out too.
• Before you start bidding, set yourself a clear limit and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement and pay over the odds for the car.
• If the car advertised is local, try to view it before you bid.
• Always run an HPI check on the car. Don’t forget if you win, your offer is legally binding, so you need to make sure the car’s history is clean. eBay offers low-cost history checks for cars advertised on its website.
• Check the seller’s terms and conditions before you bid, and make sure you’re happy with them.
• Look at the feedback ratings for the seller. Do they have a good reputation with others?
• Finally, be very suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true – it probably is.