Facebook & Ebay and other online platforms – please take this as a genuine warning be very careful!
We live in a digital age and everyone is looking for value for money and a deal, for us we need to source stock and regularly look on Facebook & Ebay and other places where many “bargains” are to be had but the stark reality is large numbers of cars that we see are not properly advertised.
We are very fortunate we have the facility to HPI check as many cars as we like within a monthly fee that we pay, you a personal buyer can pay for HPI inspections but it adds up and after 4 or 5 checks people often decide to save the money, no problem with that but can you trust the seller?
After probably 100’s of searches I would estimate that of the cars that we think look to be a low enough price to buy and sell on of the vehicles advertised many are insurance write offs but we estimate that in 50-70% of cases the buyer doesn’t declare it (look for the phrase CAT S, C, D or N).
When we have queried with sellers “Is this a write off” the response is often “Not that I know of it looks and drives perfect …” ” It’s just passed an MOT … ” or “Yes but it was very minor damage” and a photo with a minor amount of damage follows which never looks serious the images are NOT in line with the level of damage the car is likely to have had. For example Cat S is structural the car has had severe damage not as has been claimed it was written off due to the bumper being broken.
For that reason we strongly recommend you HPI the car for verification ; see our page on Insurance Write Off Categories for levels of damage.
This is how bad it is we have now decided it wastes so much of our time that we have now stopped looking on both Facebook, Ebay, Gumtree and other sites; we have never been able to buy a car that we would stock from any of these sources. The only exception to the rule that we know of is if buying from AUTOTRADER they automatically check the status of a car and publish if it is a write off or not which, in our opinion, is how all platforms should work.