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Warning after multiple cases of car sales scam

Sellers are placing ads for cars at very low prices – but there IS a snag.

GARDAÍ HAVE SEEN multiple cases of a new car sales scam over the past five months, they warned the AA this week.

The ruse involves used cars being sold privately on popular websites, according to the AA’s Conor Faughnan.

“Unscrupulous sellers are placing ads for cars at very low prices (sometimes under €1,000), stating that they have six months’ tax and/or NCT,” he explained.

“Then the buyer arrives to look at the car, all seems well and they hand over the money. However, once they realise the car has no tax or NCT, the seller assures them that it does, leaves to retrieve the paperwork and simply never returns.

The buyer is left with an untaxed car that may be unroadworthy or may need further work to pass the NCT. But with no recourse – and no laws broken beyond false advertising – they are left to foot the entire bill.

Gardaí are advising consumers never to hand over money without proof of tax, NCT and the logbook, also known as the Vehicle Registration Certificate or VRC.

The AA also told potential buyers that the scam is easily avoided through a background check on the vehicle.

When buying from a private or trade seller, just ask for the serial number on the VRC and the NCT cert/disc number, it advises. “Enter this data on an AA Car Data Check and it will be cross-referenced with what’s on file for that car.”

“We can authenticate the VRC and the NCT cert number,” added Faughnan. “You can also find out if the car is currently taxed, written-off and or used as a taxi or hackney.”

Read: Google’s newest project will let you put together smartphones like Lego

Elsewhere: TD claims garda was warned last whistleblower was “now washing cars in Navan”

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