How To Prevent A Private Car Sale From Going South

Posted on: 6 March 2015


Picture your dream car, available at a decent price that is affordable to you for the first time in your life. Even if the car is used, you would likely purchase it as long as everything seemed to be in working condition, right? While used car lots and companies selling cars must legally abide by certain rules within their sale process (letting you know of any problems with the car), things can become a little sketchy when dealing with private sellers. When you're not buying from a reputable company, a private seller can produce a somewhat nerve-wracking removal of that secure feeling. After all, anyone can technically sell their car-- so how are you supposed to verify that everything is really in great shape with the vehicle you're about to purchase?

Visually Inspecting the Car Before the Sale

In most cases, you should always take the time to complete a visual inspection of the car before deciding upon any purchase. By taking a look under the hood, the details of the interior, and checking for dents or scratches in the paint, you can ensure that you won't find a nasty surprise when you get home concerning the visual quality of the car. In addition, it's a good rule of thumb to take the car you're considering buying for a ride before making the decision. When going for a test drive, think about some of the following questions:

  • Is there any difficulty with the brakes or slowing the car down?
  • Does the vehicle shake or exhibit any other problems when traveling at highway speeds?
  • Do you hear any strange noises or engine sounds that may indicate a problem?

Navigating a Bad Deal

Unfortunately, even the most prepared individual can sometimes find themselves on the short end of the stick in a scam or bad deal in which the full truth hasn't been revealed by the seller. If you decide to buy a car that then ends up breaking down a week after the purchase, you might be able to bring a lawsuit against the seller-- especially if the vehicle was advertised and discussed under false pretenses.

Having copies of the original advertisement, any potential written discussion concerning the car, car repair receipts and any other related documents you can give to your attorney will help to prove your case. Since it was a private sale, it will be significantly harder to nail down the truth in a court (becoming a case of he-said-she-said), but providing these kinds of documents will help to prove your side of the events.

For more information, contact a lawyer in your area like Kemp Pirie.