DVLA gives used car buying advice

If you are shopping for a used car, there are some things you ought to be aware of, aside from the obvious perils of hidden mechanical damage or illegally adjusted odometers.  The DVLA has a list of suggestions, available on their website that could save you a lot of grief, not to mention money.

A BBC investigation last year revealed that used car buyers had lost at least £13 million to car thieves that were using blank V5C forms stolen from the DVLA in 2006.  Information from legitimate log books (V5C’s) was copied onto the blank forms and used in the sale of stolen cars, but when the new owner tried to re-register the vehicle it showed up stolen, and the buyer ended up sans money and vehicle.

BBC said that some of those forms are still out there, and won’t be finally obsolete until August 2012, so buyers should be very cautious and check first with DVLA if there is any doubt.

Other ‘buyer beware’ advice from DVLA says to ask for the seller’s proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale, and if you do buy the car, don’t pay cash, and always get a signed receipt. They offer many other good tips, but the bottom line is, if you’re not very knowledgeable, take someone with you who is, and as for that “unbelievable bargain”:  don’t believe it.