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Tips and Advices

Safe Buying Tips

In situations where a seller’s phone number is not public, ask for it and call him back if necessary.

In case you are not able to contact a seller on the phone, or suspect it may be a scam ad, please report it to us.

Meet with the seller in a public place during daylight hours at a public place such as a shopping mall parking lot, business center, at a police station etc.

Speak to the seller directly since online frauds are mostly conducted via email or SMS.

If the vehicle is being offered at a much cheaper price (too good to be true), it could be the sign of a scam. Always check the market value by getting a valuation or comparing the price on sites online.

Pay for the vehicle when you physically collect it from the seller. Never send money abroad, part with any money (including a deposit) for a vehicle you have not seen and inspected, or to a ‘payment protection’ service.

Physically check the vehicle (preferably in daylight) and its documentation – V5C document (logbook), service history and MOT certificate (Vehicle inspection) before handing over any money. Preferably have the vehicle inspected by experts such as mechanics and get your own independent mechanic report.

Check the mileage appearing on the milometer matches its service history and old MOT certificates. Check the general condition matches age and supposed mileage. The odometer should not be tampered with in any way, it could be a scam.

Check that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the same as that on the logbook. This number is commonly found on the chassis, on the windscreen or on the floor by the driver’s seat. Check that this has not been tampered with.

Get a car history check to find out whether the vehicle has been recorded as stolen, written off, scrapped or is subject to outstanding finance.

Know the amount you are willing to pay and remember to bargain the vehicles price.

Be prepared to turn around and go home if the vehicle isn't exactly as described.

Safe Selling Tips

When it comes to meeting for test drives, take steps to avoid putting yourself at risk:

Take someone with you. You don’t know people; they may come with a handful of cash, a weapon, or other bad intentions.

Beware of buyer's friends since some unscrupulous “buyers” have other agendas, such as bringing friends who may break into your house for electronics or even rob you.

To avoid buyers being left alone (and potentially driving away) with your vehicle, keep hold of their keys at all times and avoid leaving them in the ignition.

Use your best judgment about whether to go on the test drive with a stranger. Accompanying the buyer is recommended to avoid vehicle theft.

Make sure any test driver has a valid driving license.

Don’t let a potential buyer drive your vehicle without you.

Do not carry with you paperwork like registration details, vehicle log books and roadworthy certificates to a first meet up with a buyer.

Carry your keys with you at all times especially when changing seats during a test drive or when entering / leaving the car.

Never hand over the vehicle keys or documentation until your bank has confirmed the full value of the vehicle has cleared into your account.

Do not send your specific personal details, any banking information, any details about your M-Pesa Account or phone account or your Carmarketkenya account details.

Don’t be pressured into releasing your vehicle – a genuine buyer will not mind waiting until the draft has cleared.

Never wire money back to buyers for overpayment before their check clears. When the original check fails to clear, the seller is out the money he wired and perhaps the car.

Independently verify a cashier’s check by calling the issuing bank. Use a phone number you find on the bank’s contact details, preferably website — not the one printed on the check itself; in case the check itself is a fake.

Hold on to the title and keys until the cheque clears.

Be careful about how you take payment:

 Cash – ask for the cash to be handed to you in a bank, where the notes can be checked for forgeries and paid in  immediately.

 Cheques – never let the buyer take your vehicle until the funds have cleared in your bank account.

 Bank drafts – are not as good as cash, so treat them in the way you would a personal cheque.

Craft a complete bill of sale that includes the phrases “sold in ‘as-is’ condition” and “no warranties expressed or implied”.