Recently, a member of the Carlist family met with an unfortunate incident. While out on a test drive with a potential buyer of his car, the ‘buyer’ whipped out a machete from his bag and robbed the seller of his car, leaving him stranded on the highway as he drove off.
Fortunately, our colleague was not harmed during the ordeal but his plight serves as a sad and painful reminder that we should always be careful, especially when dealing with individuals you’ve just met hoping to buy your car.
Which is why we have prepared a list of precautions that you should take when meeting any potential buyers of your vehicle for a better selling experience:
Gather information and keep your relatives informed
Before meeting the buyer, inform your relatives about the location of your meetup. If at all possible, snap a photo of the buyer (by asking permission) and forward it to your friends or family. Also, trade identification details and check if it matches that of the person you have just met. If they are carrying a bag, ask for a quick glance if possible to ensure there are no weapons in it.
It is understandable that this might make your buyer feel a little uncomfortable but explain to them that it is in the interest of safety for both parties and it’s nothing personal.
This is helpful because in the event you are robbed, there is a high possibility your phone might be taken along with your other belongings and with photographic evidence, it could assist in investigations.
Never go alone
Consider asking someone to follow you along on your test drive as having someone along can provide a better sense of safety. A lone person serves to be an easier target compared to two people together.
Plan your test drive route
When choosing a location to meet up for the test drive, choose locations where you can be seen and heard if necessary. Crowded locations such as the entrance of a mall would certainly be safer than at a highway rest stop.
While on the test drive, take roads that have CCTV coverage like PLUS highways for example. In that way, if the worse occurs, the police can look up the CCTV footage to track down the criminal.
Ask plenty of questions
While on your test drive, talk to the buyer and get to know them a little better. Find out how they are planning to pay for the car. If the response sounds too good to be true and comes off as being too quick (aka jumping the gun to answer “no problem”), be cautious.
Normal buyers would apply for a loan first and such actions take time to finalise and if your buyer seems a little too eager to guarantee whatever you are looking for in the deal, chances are something is up.
Based on our comments from car dealers in the country, cash buyers are generally quite rare here as well.
Cars today can be retrofitted with a GPS vehicle tracking device. This allows for real-time tracking of the vehicle and some even have features that disable the vehicle or sounds the alarm. Of course, this option is available if it fits into your budget.
We hope with this tips, your experience of selling your car will be a safe, smooth sailing one.