Healthplan Spain


Spain's National Police Shares 5 Tips To Prevent Second-Hand Car Scams Expat Tips

Purchasing a car usually involves a significant financial commitment, which is why it's important to carefully consider such a decision. This is especially true if you're planning to buy a used car in Spain to save some money. Buying a second-hand vehicle can be tricky, as there are several factors to consider in order to avoid getting scammed and purchasing a faulty or unreliable car.

Unfortunately, there are numerous scams associated with the purchase of used cars, including document forgery, selling non-existent vehicles, concealing breakdowns or accidents, and tampering with the vehicle's condition, among others. Falling prey to any of these scams could make the purchase much more costly than anticipated. In order to avoid such pitfalls, Spain's National Police has provided five tips to help you avoid being scammed when purchasing a second-hand car.

1. Be wary of low prices

If you come across a car with an excessively low price, it is important to be cautious and consider whether there might be something wrong with it. While it is possible that the owner simply wants to sell the car quickly for genuine reasons, such as moving away or needing the money urgently, such situations are rare. Therefore, it is wise to approach such deals with scepticism and thoroughly examine the car before making a purchase.

2. Don't part with your money too quickly

When buying a second-hand car, it is important to be cautious with the payment process. It's recommended to not make any payment until the car is physically in our possession or all necessary documentation has been signed. It's crucial to be sure about the purchase before parting with any money and avoid making any payment such as to reserve the vehicle.

3. Verify the identity of the seller

Along with checking the condition and history of the car, it is equally important to verify the identity of the seller when buying a second-hand car. It is always better to purchase from someone you trust, but if that is not possible, you should at least ensure that the seller is a legitimate individual and not someone who may be trying to deceive or scam you in any way.

4. Be aware if they tell you they are in another country

Verifying the reliability of the seller is crucial in detecting potential fraud or deception. However, it's also crucial to have the opportunity to test the car to ensure it's in the condition as described and doesn't have any hidden issues. If the seller claims to be located outside the country, and the vehicle is also out of the country, it's best to avoid making the purchase.

5. Request a vehicle data report from the DGT

It is crucial to not overlook the history of the car, despite having tested it and inspected it in person. Therefore, it is recommended to obtain a report that reflects its past before making the purchase.

This can be done by requesting a report from the corresponding vehicle registry, such as Spain’s DGT (Directorate General of Traffic). The report can be obtained online, and there are both free and paid options available.

It is worth considering opting for the more comprehensive paid report to ensure that all relevant information is obtained. At just 8.67 euros, it is an extremely small price to pay for peace of mind and to avoid losing all your money.

Learn more about buying a second-hand car in Spain and how to change ownership.