Buying Advice

Help for buyers through the online vehicle transaction process.

Buying Checklist

Paying a deposit:
If a deposit is requested or agreed, don’t pay more than you are willing to lose and confirm with the seller that they will refund the deposit if you don’t purchase the vehicle

View the vehicle before paying the full amount:
We recommend researching the seller as well as their vehicle. Most fraudulent sellers will try to persuade you to transfer money before you’ve even laid eyes on the vehicle. Often, they will insist on communicating only via email rather than on the phone

Always check that the price of the vehicle is in line with the market value:
If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is: If the vehicle seems ‘too good to be true’, it can be a sign of fraud. Research other similar vehicles or perform a free valuation on Auto Trader. If the vehicle is below market value, beware. Ask the seller questions about its valuation, there may be underlying reasons if the vehicle is under-priced

Take the vehicle for a test drive:
Be sure to thoroughly inspect any vehicle you are looking to purchase, and take it for a test drive. This should always be done from the seller’s premises or their home; never let the person meet you halfway

Always carry out a vehicle history check:
This will tell you if the vehicle is recorded as stolen, written off, scrapped, or is subject to outstanding finance

Payment advice
Never send money for a vehicle you haven’t seen. Don’t carry large amounts of cash

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Also read...

Our guide and checklist to help you through the selling process.

Information on how to stay safe online, how to spot a scam – and the warning signs to look out for.


If you know about, or have been a victim of vehicle fraud or scam, we would like to hear about it.


You may find these other sites useful in finding out more about safety online and help in buying and selling your vehicle.

These links are from industry leaders but VSTAG cannot guarantee their accuracy.

Useful links to help you in the buying and selling process