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Risks associated with selling a used car on your own

Risks associated with selling a used car on your own

With most Canadians working from home due to the pandemic, some of them have taken up sideline hustles to augment their income. If you have noticed, the used car market is experiencing unprecedented demand and you may be thinking about selling used cars.

Things to bear in mind

If you are thinking about selling more than one used car, you will need to consider registering with the UCDA, there is a considerable amount of paperwork, insurance, and policies you need to follow if you are thinking about selling used cars professionally. For the sake of our conversation, we will focus on the risks associated with selling your own personal vehicle.

Common scams to watch out for

One of the most common scams is when a buyer contacts you via email or phone and says they want to buy the car.

They are willing to pay the full asking price but they cannot meet up with you in person. They will have what sounds like a perfectly legitimate reason why they cannot meet up like they are in quarantine or something pandemic-related.

While the prospective buyer is not able to meet in person, they still want to buy the car sight unseen and will send you a payment via courier.

As promised, the courier shows up with a check and you deposit the payment into your account. The “buyer” then contacts you to confirm you received the payment, you do and the buyer then says his associate is going to stop by and pick up the car. You figure the car is paid for so whoever picks it up is not your concern.

The car is picked up and you just go about your normal life, thinking how easy it was to sell your used car. After a week or two passes, you log into your online banking account and notice your account is in the negative because the payment bounced out.

Typically, what the scammers do is get a check drawn upon a closed account or an active account of someone who has recently died. In either scenario you are out of the money that was deposited plus your car is gone.

The scammers who bought the car will usually ship it to developing countries in Africa and Europe. Your auto insurance will not cover you because the car is no longer registered in your name and the police cannot help because it is considered a civil matter.

Most secure way to sell your used car

The only way you can safely sell your used car with complete peace of mind is by going to the professionals. Your local car dealership is always looking to buy new cars to sell. They will give you a fair market valuation of what your car is worth and if you take the offer, you get paid right away.

This is by far the easiest and safest way to sell your used car but since the dealership has to resell the car for a profit, they cannot give you the full asking price.

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