Buying a car is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Making the wrong decision could set you back financially and even get you into legal trouble if you’re not careful. With the influx of millions of cars into the pre-owned market, it is often hard to keep track of where they’re coming from. A worrying number of vehicles have actually been stolen and sent back into the market and sold as “legal” cars. There are several ways to ensure a safe, secure, and legal transaction when it comes to vehicles, so make sure you keep this article in mind if you’re considering buying a new or used vehicle.
If you are buying privately:
Make sure the documentation matches up. If the title and registration do not correspond with the seller’s name or address, it might be best to avoid making a purchase.
Be wary if the person selling the car is secretive about their personal details.
Ask about the vehicle’s history of insurance and financing before you view it. If the seller cannot provide this information or seems unsure, do not buy the car.
Double check the VIN number. Even if the car has the proper documentation, there could still be discrepancies regarding previous accidents and thefts.
Trust your gut. As abstract as this advice sounds, it is still vital to note that if you do not feel comfortable with the seller or the purchase, do not follow through. There will be more deals in the future that don’t involve you feeling uncomfortable or wary.
What happens if you accidentally buy a stolen vehicle?
While it is fairly difficult to buy a stolen car accidentally, it still happens. In most cases you’ll either be arrested as soon as the authorities realise that you’re driving a stolen vehicle, or your car will be impounded without compensation.
People often try and recover the “lost” title of their car after making their purchase, only to be arrested or questioned immediately. You could also face penalties if you try to sell your car again after purchasing it. Trying to sell a stolen car, even accidentally, is a punishable crime and will involve costly and exhausting legal battles.
Losing your car without compensation and facing legal charges are not what you want after buying a new car. Make sure you follow the instructions listed above to make sure that your vehicle purchase is legal and safe.
How to sell your car safely
Make sure to register your car at the relevant authority to get the needed certification.
Make sure your financing details are accurate and that the financing institution has provided you with the needed documents.
Keep your licence disk (which you will receive if the car is registered and licenced) up to date and at hand. Keep in mind that a disk needs to be re-registered within 21 days after a sale and change of ownership.
You will need to completely re-register your vehicle if:
a deregistration certificate has been issued.
You sold the vehicle. (changed ownership)
The vehicle licence disc has not been renewed for more than four years.
Your vehicle has been repossessed for more than 31 days.
the vehicle was involved in an accident and has been declared permanently unfit for use