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Questions to Ask the Seller

Asking a few simple questions before leaving your home, can save a lot of time

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6. Was the car involved in any accidents?

This is a very important question because vehicles that have been involved in accidents are usually likely to have more problems and its value will be less. Make sure to find out about any incidents no matter whether it was a minor fender bender or a major accident. Ask them where on the vehicle the damage occurred and what repair work was done. It would be great if the response is ‘no’, but you should still do your homework. If you determine that it’s been damaged and repaired, do not trust the seller and you should walk away.

7. How many km’s are on the odometer?

This is your chance to double check that the km’s quoted in the ad matches the car’s current odometer reading. Having the correct odometer reading is important for price negotiations as it is a big factor in determining a car’s value. If the odometer reads significantly higher upon inspecting the vehicle, you could be dealing with a dubious seller.

8. Was the car regularly maintained and by whom?

Ask the seller if any maintenance / service records or receipts are available. If the car is an older model, dealer records might not be available. Some owners may take care of the servicing themselves, or have the car serviced at a third party and not the manufacturer. If the seller did keep record of the servicing, it can be good indication of how well the car was cared for.

9. Is the price negotiable?

By asking this question you are indicating to the seller that you are not likely going to pay the asking price. This could give you an idea how desperate the seller is to get rid of the car and whether you might be able to pick up the car at a good discount.

10. Could you send some more pictures?

Does the responses to any of the questions above leave you feeling a little uneasy about the legitimacy of the car? By asking for a number of photos or specific details or angles of the vehicle, you can determine the validity of a listing quickly. If the seller refuse or fail to send anything, the listing could be a scam. (Sometimes scam artists copy photos from other genuine ads and have no others.)
For more information, please read our ‘Safety & Security’ page carefully.
This set of questions can help you determine the real condition and the history of a used vehicle. It is also important to check what seller have said compared to any difference, if any, found when inspecting the car.
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