Tips to stay safe online when buying a car

Buying a vehicle can be a safe and straightforward process, as long as you take these few simple steps to protect yourself when buying online.

Avoid scams

  • If a vehicle is offered at a much cheaper price, ask yourself why. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Make sure the seller has a valid address and telephone number. Be wary of mobile phone numbers, always visit the seller at home, and never buy without seeing and driving the vehicle
  • Be wary of buyers who want to buy the vehicle without seeing it, request upfront shipment payments or private information, display a false sense of urgency or unnecessary details – it could be a vehicle export scam
  • Never wire money abroad as it is often a fraudulent seller

Protect your computer

  • Ensure the security software is up-to-date, including anti-virus protection, anti-spyware software and a firewall
  • Set a secure password for your wi-fi connection using a combination of letters and numbers
  • Block spam emails and use an up-to-date web browser
  • Encrypt your wireless network to protect against eavesdroppers and freeloaders

Protect your identity and privacy

  • Avoid identity theft by using an up-to-date web browser and blocking bogus emails with a spam filter
  • Use a secure password, with a mix of words, letters, numbers and punctuation. Avoid using names of loved ones or other easy-to-guess passwords
  • Be careful about the personal information you give away online (such as on blogs and social networking sites)

What are your responsibilities when selling a car?

From being able to sell the car in the first place, to advertising it fairly, anyone selling a car has many obigations to fulfil

It may sound obvious, but one of the most important responsibilities for any seller is to ensure that they are actually entitled to sell the car.

If you have outstanding finance on a car, it will need to be settled before you can be paid. So, if you are selling privately, you should speak to your finance provider to see if you need to do this in advance of the sale (which is likely). However, if you are selling to a dealer, they may be able to do this as part of the exchange.

Remember, though, that this does not apply to personal loans, as they are not secured on the car.

Whoever you sell the car to, it is important to be honest. So, you should describe the vehicle as truthfully and fairly as possible. This should reduce the risk of future disputes and any claims that you have misrepresented what you are selling.

That doesn’t oblige you to reveal any information about faults on the car – although you must not sell a car that isn’t roadworthy – but you must not be misleading and you must answer questions truthfully.


  • Be sure you are entitled to sell the car
  • Clear any outstanding finance before you sell
  • Always be truthful and fair

Are private listings free?

Private listings on are completely free! You will not be asked to submit a payment or enter billing information at any time.

I want to sell my car on AutoAlley,ca

If you are a private seller you can list your car on for free! You will never be asked to enter your payment information.

To list your car for sale, please click here Sell My Car or click on the Sell My Car tab at the top of the home page and follow the prompts.

I am a dealer. Where I can I advertise my inventory on

If you are a dealer and you would like to inquire about our dealership products, please visit our dealer sign-up page OR contact us and One of our knowledgeable representatives will be in touch soon!

How do you value your car?

Of course, it’s natural to want to get a decent amount of cash for your car, but if you set the asking price too high, no one will take a second look. At the same time, though, you do need to leave a little wriggle room because potential buyers will expect to be able to haggle the price down a little.

The good news is that the internet is your friend, and you should take full advantage of it when deciding on the asking price.

You could also try calling some local dealers to see how much they would be prepared to pay for your car. Last, but not least, in your calculations, remember to take into account any extras fitted to your car, as well as its history, mileage and condition.

All these steps will help you to produce a price that you will be happy to advertise the car for if you decide to sell it privately; but, at the same time, also set in your own mind a minimum price that you will be willing to accept for your car. Whatever you do, though, don’t tell anyone this price!


  • Do as much research as possible before setting a price
  • Be realistic with the valuation, allowing room to be beaten down a little
  • Set a (secret) minimum price that you will not go below
  • Set the price at a round number.

How should you write an advert?

A good advert can help to sell a car more quickly and for more money, so it’s important to do it as well as possible

If you do decide to sell privately, then it’s vital – not to mention, a legal requirement! – that you pay plenty of attention to writing any advert for your car.

Make sure to include details like : Make and model, Age, Body type, Colour, Transmission, Engine size, Fuel type, mileage, warranty information, service history and any attractive, optional features it may have: for example, things like whether there is air-con, sat-nav or leather upholstery.

Remember, it’s against the law to mis-describe a car, so you must be as accurate as possible in what you say and include any defects you know about. Be honest about the car’s condition.

The number of owners the car has had, whether you’ve made any modifications to it, and perhaps even why you’re selling it, can all be of interest to a potential buyer. Above all, though, be concise. In our experience, between 50 and 75 words is the ideal length for an online advert.

Last, but not least, remember: be clear; don’t use block capitals, which make the advert harder to read; avoid clichés, such as ‘lovely driver’ and ‘first to see will buy’; and, don’t use terms that won’t mean anything to buyers.


  • Be honest, concise and accurate
  • Avoid clichés, vague terms and block capitals

Tips on selling a used car safely

Selling your car yourself can seem pretty daunting, but follow these key points so that you can stay safe and sell your car quickly.

Be prepared
Have all the relevant paperwork together, service history and relevant certificate, for a potential buyer to review.

Beware of scammers
Beware of scammers, and always meet the buyer. A genuine buyer should want to view the vehicle before making the payment.

Request the potential buyer’s contact details, such as their mobile number, landline number and full home address. This should give you further reassurances, and a legitimate buyer should be happy to provide this information.

Stay together
Always accompany the buyer on a test drive. Make sure you ask them to bring their driving licence when arranging a visit if they are expecting a test drive. Also check that they are covered by insurance to test drive the car, this should prevent you being liable for damages.

Hold tight
Keep hold of the vehicle and all the documents until the full payment has cleared in your bank account.

In plain sight
Always ensure you can see the car keys, and make sure you take them out of the ignition when you change seats on the test drive. You should also make sure you can see the buyer at all times.

Stay on home ground
Always arrange to meet a buyer at your home or a location you are familiar with. Never……allow a buyer to test drive the car alone.

And, never leave a potential buyer alone with the vehicle, give them the keys or let them borrow the car documents. If you have a keyless fob, keep hold of it at all times, even on a test drive.

How do I contact the seller? does not sell cars. To contact the seller of a car listing that interests you, simply fill out and send the contact form provided on the listing detail page. If the car you are interested in is at a dealership, you may find the dealer’s phone number under the listing photos!

You must click into the car listing to see that contact form. Once you’ve submitted that form, we’ll notify the seller that you’re interested and pass along your contact information. You should hear back from the seller soon

I have a question regarding financing. Who do I ask? provides an Auto Loan Calculator at the bottom of every listing page; however, be mindful that this only gives you an estimate based on the information you provide. Be sure to contact the seller for more information regarding financing.

Please note that does not sell cars, nor do we have phone numbers for sellers. Please direct all payment-related or financing questions to the dealership, banking institution, or credit union with which you are dealing. Financing involves many important decisions, so be sure to do your research and shop around for the best rates!

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