Buy & sell safe

The process of buying or selling a vehicle is usually straightforward but both buyers and sellers can leave themselves open to becoming the victim of fraud or other crimes. Be careful not to let the excitement of buying or selling a vehicle compromise your safety or your money.

Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. The advice below is to help you avoid being a victim of crime.

It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that a transaction is legitimate. disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on information published on the site.

If you would like to report an advertisement you believe is fraudulent please feel free to notify us, but in the first instance please contact action fraud.


When buying a car, especially through a private seller, it's wise to do your research on the seller as well as the vehicle


You need to see the V5C vehicle registration document which shows the registered keeper plus MOT certificate


Above all, make sure you have seen the car and are completely satisfied before you hand over a penny or make any commitments


Never send online payments without seeing the car. Use trackable payment methods such as a credit card

Buying advice

It's important to stay safe when buying a used car. It is a case of 'Buyer beware', with common sense prevailing.

If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't. Take a look at our advice on how to avoid potential fraudsters.

Selling advice

While there tends to be more risk in buying a car, private sellers, too, are not immune to targeting by fraudsters.

To help you avoid falling victim to a crime, we have some advice for things to know when selling your car.

Buying advice

Avoid Car Crime

Sometimes things aren't quite as they seem, with some sellers doing their best to scam you either by selling you a car that's stolen, been written off or has another piece of unsavoury history. We asked industry expert Peter Stratton from Trading Standards for his buying advice.

Find out more

Document advice

What documents do I need?

Whether you're buying a used car privately or from a dealership, it's important to know just which documents the car should have with it and how to check them over. We asked industry expert Tim Shallcross from the Institute of Advanced Motorists what to look out for.

Find out more

Selling advice

Selling Advice

Selling privately isn't necessarily going to be trouble-free and you could find yourself on the wrong side of consumer trading laws if you're not careful. We have expert advice from Peter Stratton on how to stay safe when selling on your car privately.

Find out more

Important information

There are many sources of additional information about how to keep safe when buying and selling cars, we have listed a selection below.

  • Action Fraud

    To report cyber crime or fraud, visit Action Fraud at

  • Fraud & security news

    Read the latest news on security advice and known scams at

  • Fraud alert

    For advice on criminal cashback and other frauds that may be attempted against vehicle sellers and buyers, and how to report spam emails go to

  • Citizens Advice

    For advice from Citizens Advice visit or call 08454 04 05 06

  • MOT test certificates

    Compare your MOT certificate's details against what's recorded online to make sure it's genuine. Visit or call 0300 790 6802


    For further advice and information on buying or selling a used car, including fraudulent advertisements and how to stay safe online, visit the Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group (VSTAG)

Contact us

To report fraud, please contact Action Fraud . If you have any questions or concerns about any car listed on, please contact us straight away on 01235 330220 and select option 1, email or tweet us @motorscouk. is committed to treating customers fairly in its capacity as an Appointed Representative of Consumer Credit Compliance Limited. For more information, please see our policy on Treating Customers Fairly.

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