Fraudulent Car Dealers: What to Watch For

car for sale by fraudulent car dealer

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued a warning to the public about an expected rise in scam activity following the disruption and concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a time when many families and businesses are worrying about job and income security – which unfortunately makes for an ideal time for fraudsters to strike.

These uncertain economic times increase the potential for motorists to fall foul of fraudulent car dealers, or simply dealers whose businesses have become financially unstable. To help protect yourself – and your money – here are a few red flags to watch out for.

The basics of fraudulent car dealers

Due to COVID-19 and its financial pressure, there have been a number of businesses that have collapsed. This pandemic has shown us that no business is immune to financial strain. Right now, there is a higher risk of car dealerships going out of business once deposits have been paid.

Unfortunately, when you’re looking to purchase a vehicle during this time, you will be susceptible to some fraudulent dealers who are just looking to take your cash and run with it. It is up to you to ensure that you are working with reputable, trustworthy and financially stable dealers.

Red flags to look out for:

It sounds too good to be true. If you are considering a bargain deal – even in this unprecedented time – consider if it’s too good to be true. Whether it’s a car with only 15,000 miles on the clock or a new vehicle priced at half its value, you should always err on the side of caution.

• It sounds complicated. Scammers will often confuse their victims with industry jargon to sway them into agreeing to a price and a vehicle. If your car dealer doesn’t take the time to talk through agreements and acronyms, it’s time to find a different dealer.

• Used car dealers masquerading as a private seller. Some used car dealers pretend to be private sellers to avoid regulations. If you’re going to buy a used vehicle, do plenty of due diligence on the dealer’s business status and business address. Where possible, buy a nearly-new vehicle so that if there are any warranty issues with the vehicle, you’ll be able to resolve them quickly.

• Little to no online presence. Can’t find the dealership online? No website or reviews for the dealer? Credible sellers want to promote their good work through a website and social media channels. If the seller has no reputation, you have no idea what they are like to do business with.

If in doubt, report. Think that you’re onto a fraudulent car dealer? Motorists should report any scam to Action Fraud for further investigation. Doing so could help other people like you from being conned out of their hard-earned money.

How My Car Credit can help

At My Car Credit, not only do we work with motorists to find the right car financing plan for their needs and budget, but we have additional checks to ensure that our clients are protected.

• Our agents call every customer for security and identification purposes.
• We have enhanced due diligence checks to establish affordability.
• We have enhanced vulnerability checks.
• We check the suitability of every dealer on behalf of our customer.
• During the COVID-19 situation, we have changed our payout process to protect customers. We now do not release funds to the dealer until the customer confirms they have taken delivery of the vehicle.

Get started

At My Car Credit, we help you through every step of our safe and hassle-free car finance process. For an instant quote, and to see what car finance plan you can be eligible for, please use our simple car finance calculator. Contact us today on 01246 458 810 or emails us at enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk to get started!

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£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

7 of the Best Cars for £3000 and Under in 2020

front of vw polo bought for 3000 and under

Just because you need to replace your car doesn’t mean that you have to go down the brand new, showroom-fresh route. You can buy almost any car imaginable in the used car market and – depending on the condition of the car – it can last you for several years to come. Although car ownership might sound expensive, there are plenty of affordable options. If you’re on a shoestring budget looking for a reliable vehicle, take a look at some of the best cars for £3000.

Top cars for £3000

 

1. Suzuki Celerio

The Suzuki Celerio is one of the cheapest cars on the market that you can purchase new from around £5,000. If you have a strict £3,000 budget, look for older models that feature the compact 1.0-litre engine. Not only does this make the car cheap to insure and tax, but you can enjoy a basic budget car that is ideal for town or city driving. 

2. Dacia Duster

The budget Dacia Duster has always been a bargain. Costing a mere £10,000 new for a family-sized SUV, older versions (pre-2015) can be had for under £3,000. However, make sure you find one with a decent spec as the basic models don’t even have a stereo or speakers.

Dusters are known for their rough-and-ready build quality. The interior is built to last, and there are roof walls which are ideal for when you need to lug around extra kit. There doesn’t tend to be many reliability problems with the Duster and it’s a great choice for travelling long distances. Most Dusters are 2WD, but there are 4WD options if needed, naturally costing a little extra. 

If you want to stick to your budget without compromising on family road trips, the Duster is a great way to go.

3. Peugeot 407 SW

Need a bit more space than what a Duster can offer? It may be an older model, but the Peugeot 407 SW estate is a vehicle large enough to haul all the kids and their luggage – and then some more! It’s a proper and practical family car with a no-nonsense approach. 

To keep to your £3,000 budget, you may need to look for 2.0-litre models with over 50,000 miles on the clock. But fear not, these tend to be great wearing cars that are built to last. When test driving the car, listen for rough sounds coming from the engine. As always, check the paperwork thoroughly before committing to the purchase. 

4. Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is arguably one of the top affordable sports cars on the market. It certainly tops the best-selling charts, with around one million bought in the past 30 years. It’s also incredibly affordable on the used market. The open-top fun, exciting handling and jazzy colours offer plenty of style without having to part with too much cash. 

Look out for a 2005/06 registration with a 1.8-litre to give you the best used vehicle for your money. When testing out the used vehicle, make sure to check that the soft-top operates smoothly as the plastic gears can wear unevenly. 

5. Ford Fiesta

Known as one of Britain’s best-selling cars, the Ford Fiesta makes for an affordable vehicle to buy, run, tax and insure. If you don’t mind a higher-mileage vehicle, then you can get a sixth-generation Fiesta for your budget.

Ford redefined the supermini segment when it released the sixth generation of Fiesta (2008 onwards), and you can find a range of economical engines on the second-hand market. The award-winning vehicle also features low running costs, a fun driving experience and excellent practicality. 

If you’re looking for a familiar vehicle that fits within your budget, keep an eye out for older models of the Ford Fiesta.

6. Volkswagen Polo

Logic dictates that if a Ford Fiesta is included in this list, then the VW Polo must also be considered. Another one of the nation’s best-selling cars can be found within your budget. Your £3,000 will get you a decent fourth generation (2002-2009) VW Polo, and you’ll most likely be looking at a well-maintained 1.2 or 1.4-litre engine. 

The Polo’s reasonable running costs, easy handling and excellent German build quality make for a genuine bargain on the used car market.

7. BMW 3 Series

Believe it or not, but £3,000 can land you one of the finest all-round driving machines – the BMW 3 Series. Your budget will limit you to around the fourth generation, which was built between 1998 and 2006. Whichever trim and engine you go for, you’ll get to enjoy a great ride and lots of style.

Finding a used vehicle

It goes without saying that an inspection and test drive is a must, especially for cars that are older and have significant mileage. Keep in mind that the average Brit drives 10-12,000 miles per year, so look for a used car that has done less than that compared to their age. 

With used vehicles, it’s essential to find one that has a full service history, complete MOT certificates, maintenance receipts and the correct V5C paperwork. A car without these documents could indicate that the owner/s did not take proper care of the vehicle. Generally, the cleaner the service history, the better shape the vehicle will be in. 

Make sure you assess the number of car owners as more than two previous owners can sometimes be problematic. It can suggest that there is an ongoing issue with the car that the driver does not want to address or is financially unable to do so. 

Finance your next vehicle

Finding and purchasing your next vehicle doesn’t have to be difficult. At My Car Credit, we provide affordable car financing options for everyone. 

For an instant quote, and to see what car finance plan you can be eligible for, take a look at our simple car finance calculator. Our friendly agents walk you through the car financing process so that your car-buying experience is hassle-free and easy.

For more information, call us on 01246 458 810 or email us at enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk.

 

Representative APR 23.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
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Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!