Tips for Students: How to Not Get Scammed When Buying a Used Car


Your life is full of adventures from the very start, but you easily forget about them by the time you’re in high school or college. Your life goes through rapid changes during that period. You start feeling more adult and independent. And you have to go through a lot of struggles, like trying to balance your life, studying, and odd jobs.

Speaking of odd jobs, what do you need them for? Well, firstly they secure your independence. You either no longer have to rely on your parents’ money, or you rely on them less. Your odd job allows you to pay rent and tuition, as well. Besides, it provides you with some work experience that you can put on your resume later.

Juggling work and studies often leaves little room for personal time, as ideally, you’d split your waking hours evenly between the two. However, there’s a workaround for those crunched schedules. If you’re falling behind on your term paper, there’s a convenient solution: consider buying research paper online. This approach allows you to entrust your assignment to skilled professionals from a reliable term paper writing service, giving you the breathing space you need in your busy schedule.

The money you earn can also bring you freedom of movement or make your dream come true. Everything depends on your attitude to buying a car. For some, it’s just a means of transportation, while others get obsessed with it. Still, being more realistic, chances are that your odd job salary won’t be enough to buy a car. But you can use a student car loan. To get it, you will need:

  • A reliable source of income
  • Good grades
  • Good credit history
  • A co-signer

The last point is optional, but you can always ask one of your parents to become a co-signer. So, when you get your student car loan, you start shopping for a vehicle. Given that you stick to a realistic budget, you’re most likely looking for a used car. And here you need to be extremely careful, as there are a lot of scammers. So, below are some tips on how not to get scammed.

Be Cautious With Online Marketplaces

When you start looking for a prospective car purchase, Craigslist and eBay are going to be the first places you’ll check. However, you need to be careful when you’re dealing with online marketplaces. They neither guarantee sales nor do they ensure the legitimacy of their sellers. Chances are that you’re going to lose your student car loan without getting a desired vehicle.

Also, if you’re not a frequent listener of true crime podcasts, you don’t know all the Craigslist-related horrors. People often go missing after going to check out the car they are about to buy. In less severe cases they had to reject unwanted advances from sellers or escape the attempted kidnapping. So, be cautious when it comes to online marketplaces.

Have the Car Inspected

You may wonder why on Earth this article has this point here. Of course, you’re going to test drive a car before buying it. And you’re going to make sure that everything functions properly. That’s fair. Every buyer must do that. However, you must remember that being a driver doesn’t make one a car mechanic. Yes, you know the car well, but you may miss things that a car mechanic will notice.

Thus, it makes sense to bring a mechanic you’re familiar with to inspect the vehicle that you’re about to purchase. You can settle on the independent mechanic as well. Yes, that kinda looks like distrust to the seller, but you’re doing it for your own good. After all, you don’t want to learn that your recently bought used car has weak brakes or cannot take a road trip. The vehicle should serve you and not lead to your demise in a car crash.

Check Out Vehicle Liens

Now, imagine that everything works perfectly. The seller wasn’t a weirdo who tried to kidnap you, and the car was intact mechanically-wise. Everything is fine and the purchase is done. You take care of the car. You use it to get to college and back. Finally, you have a chance to enjoy visiting drive-ins. The dream has come true. Then, all of a sudden, they take the car away. Who are they, you may ask? Bank, loan company, or some other authority.

Yes, the seller wasn’t a creep, but they didn’t bother to let you know that there’s a lien on the vehicle. And you didn’t bother to check it. If you don’t check whether the car has any liens on it, it can be confiscated for the unpaid loan of its previous owner. That’s why it’s crucial to check out whether the vehicle you’re about to purchase has any liens on it. You can check the liens at the website of the transportation agency of your state.

Do a Car History Check

Have you ever read Stephen King’s “Christine”? Or maybe you’ve watched John Carpenter’s adaptation of the book. Okay, if you have to write an essay on it, you can task one of the  best research paper writing services with doing it for you. But we strongly suggest either reading the book or watching the movie, if you’re planning to buy a used car. It serves as a perfect cautionary tale on why you should perform a car history check.

Okay, it’s unlikely that your purchased vehicle will be possessed by the ghost of its former owner or start to live on its own, but you can run into other problems. What if the vehicle used to belong to a criminal at large? So, it’s better to do a vehicle history check before you make a purchase.

Final Thoughts

So, when you decide to buy a car as a student, you need to be careful when it comes to the online marketplaces. Get a vehicle inspected by a mechanic whom you trust. Make sure that there are no liens on the car, and perform a history check. This way you won’t get scammed.