AA warns car buyers not to pay with cash

New research from the AA Car Data Check team has revealed that as many as 20% of those who buy used cars are paying ¾ of the value upfront in cash in order to secure the purchase of their dream car.

They also revealed that 14% of those who responded to the AA’s survey said that they would pay in cash. The AA is warning buyers that they should never pay cash for a used vehicle, not even a slice of it, as this made it so much easier for fraudsters to make a deal then disappear with your cash.

“Despite continued warnings to people about the potential consequences of paying in cash for vehicles, it’s clear from our survey that consumers continue to place their trust in sellers.  This is particularly true if it looks like they will get their ideal car for a bargain price, which is a time when they should be on their guard the most,” explains Jeremy Tiffany of the AA. “Paying in cash to complete a deal is a risky decision to make and one that is not really necessary.”

The AA advises car buyers that they have a couple of payment options available to them today – banker’s drafts are still generally accepted or, the most common method of transferring money in the modern age – simply transferring funds via online banking.

Tiffany continues, “If you have cash burning a hole in your pocket there is the temptation to make an impulse purchase before you have had time to conduct the proper research.  But bringing cash with you to collect a vehicle leaves you open to several threats.

The most obvious one is that carrying a large amount of money is always dangerous, as the seller could simply take the money with no intention of handing over the car. More importantly, there is no ‘Proof of Purchase’ when you pay for a vehicle in cash, meaning you have no comeback with the seller should something go wrong.

The AA Car Data Check is the best way for buyers to spot the difference between a bargain and a nightmare on wheels. Buyers should get an AA Car Data Check before they purchase to be sure.

For just over £20 buyers will be informed if a vehicle has been stolen, is an insurance write-off or ‘total loss’ or has any outstanding finance registered against it. In addition, an accurate valuation will be provided. All this information is also protected by a £30,000 Guarantee should the data provided by the AA Car Data Check be incorrect.

Tiffany concludes, “Paying cash for a vehicle means the seller can effectively disappear without a trace. So if that bargain turns out to be recorded as stolen with the police, an insurance write-off or on outstanding finance, the seller will be long gone and so will the money.

A vehicle history check can offer buyers the vital protection they need against the risk of buying a dodgy vehicle with something to hide. Don’t take the risk, always get a vehicle history check and never pay in cash for added protection.”