Dubliners looking to buy cars privately are warned that there are individuals who steal cars and then sell them to unsuspecting people.
One man, Sonny, told Dublin Live he had recently been scammed after being offered to buy a car for €500 in Dublin.
He said: “I was a little wary about buying the car because of the cheap price, so I called Leixlip Guard Station and did a health check of the car. , the two returned that it had not been stolen.
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“But it turns out it was stolen that day by the men who sold it to me and took it after a test drive.”
Immediately upon discovering the deception, Sonny reported the incident to Gardai.
Sonny said: “I am now €500 out of pocket which is a week’s pay for me. I reported this to the guards and these men are well known to the gardai, they have been doing this for a while.
“But they are not invincible and they will be caught.”
In terms of advice for people looking to buy cars, Sonny urged members of the public to be very careful.
“Be very careful who you give your keys to and don’t let people take a test drive. Don’t give your keys away.”
He also added that people should be aware that the registration number of a stolen car may not show up automatically on a guard station’s system or when using a car condition check service.
An Garda Siochana has issued advice to the public buying or selling their cars privately to take the necessary precautions before finalizing the sale.
Advice to the seller of a vehicle
• If you are offered a bank draft for the purchase of your car, only accept it if you are sure it is genuine. Ask to receive the details of the bank/branch that issued the draft and the bank draft number during bank opening hours and contact the issuing branch to verify the draft
• Consider calling this bank to deposit a draft/verify if it is genuine
• Negotiations can drag on, but there is little negotiation on the asking price. This allows time to re-advertise your vehicle before it’s even stolen
• Beware of accepting a bank draft on evenings/weekends or outside bank opening hours
• Avoid dealing with a “buyer” over the phone who sends a driver or employee to see your vehicle to complete the transaction
• Delivery of the registration certificate and receipt of an RF105. Is it a legitimate car dealership, does it have a garage/premises that can be verified before the sale?
• Ask the driver/employee who they work for and how long they have worked for the garage
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Tips for Buyers
• Never buy a vehicle on the first visit
• Look for the price; beware of vehicle purchases below market value
• Ask the seller if he insists on cash only. Consider a trackable payment method. Once the money is returned, if something is wrong with the vehicle, you cannot get your money back
• The deal may be extended before you can see the vehicle, but you are told to buy quickly as there is a lot of interest in the vehicle
• Beware of dealing with a salesman over the phone and another person arriving to show the vehicle
• Go to a location that is the seller’s home/business premises. Choose a neutral location to view the vehicle first, but to close the deal, call the address on the vehicle registration certificate if you are purchasing the vehicle
• Ask questions about the vehicle if the person showing the vehicle states that they have only recently purchased the car and have very little information regarding the seller/company or vehicle history .
• The seller can tell that the vehicle was repossessed by a finance company or that his own company is in financial difficulty to explain the price
For more information and tips, click here
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