Buying a car can be fraught with potential risks, so here's our advice on what to avoid.
Avoid dealers that are pretending to be a private seller by being as vague as possible when you make the first call. If you say “I am calling about the car” and they reply with “Which one?” then you are probably talking to a dealer who is pretending to be a private seller.
When viewing the car, do so at the home of the seller. If the car is stolen then the person selling it will often avoid this. So, to be on the safe side, ensure that the seller is comfortable showing you the car at their own home.
Always carry out a vehicle history check. These can cost as little as £5 and they offer you plenty of useful information to make sure you are not being scammed. They can inform you that the car has been written off or if it has outstanding finance payments. https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla. The AA can be helpful here http://www.theaa.com/car-data-checks/
Check the data. Once you have carried out the check you should look at the V5 document and the car itself to make sure that everything matches up. If there are some differences between the document and the car, then you may be looking at a stolen vehicle.
To get a little more information, it is always worth asking the seller directly if they are the owner, and you should also find out why they are selling the car.
The service history is another document that you should check. Always check to ensure that the actual history is the same as what the owner is telling you.