Selling Your Used Van? Watch Out For These Possible Scams

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Listing your van for sale is easy. What is difficult is to avoid expert swindlers who will try almost immediately any number of creative tactics in an attempt to deceive not only money or personal information but also your precious vehicles. Approximately 3 million used vans are bought and sold annually by the people of the United Kingdom. This is a large market with many potential targets for scammers. And if there is something to learn, it is this: trust your intuition and proceed with care.

Scams are not just something that buyers should be aware. Before placing an ad to sell a used van, you need to know the common scams and learn how to avoid them. Use this guide to make the transaction as safe and painless as possible.

Common Scams To Avoid

You can avoid scams easily if you know about them. Common scams you should keep in mind when you sell your van:

If The Buyer Offers To Buy Without Looking At Your Van

A buyer who offers to buy his van without first looking at it must be considered a warning sign. Often, this is part of a bigger scam. The buyer will send a check without funds or a promise that you will be sent money by post and that someone else withdraws it. This is always not the case but you should be always cautious when selling your van which is an asset to you.

Paying With Checks Or Money Orders

While it is not always the case, a common scam is to pay the seller a check or money order that is false. If you sign the title before the money is canceled, the van is no longer yours, and it remains for you to have virtually delivered the van for free. Therefore, you should take care of this to avoid any possible scams.


In this case, a buyer will tell you that another person owes him or his money more than the cost of his van. He or she will ask the van and promise the payment by the other person.

Another scam in excess involves the promise of linking additional funds or sending a larger check to pay for the cost of shipping. The buyer will send a fake check and ask you to deposit it. If you send the vehicle before it is empty, it gets you in a lot of trouble; locating and recovering a vehicle that has already been shipped is expensive and takes a long time, especially if you are out of the country.

Payment Plans

The promise of making monthly payments is generally not a good way to sell your van. Since you are not a financial company and have no other way of getting the payment if a buyer does not meet or suspend payments, it is best to avoid these offers.

Escrow Services

In this situation, the buyer will use an unknown warranty service to complete the transaction. It will seem safe, but once you give them the signed title, the money will no longer be available.

A custody service is a third party used in high-value purchases to maintain liability during the transaction. You should always use the safest method for the transactions that you already know about.

Asking For Your Personal Information

Some buyers may promise to send money via e-mail to obtain personal information, such as:

  • Social security numbers.
  • Information on the bank account.
  • Credit card numbers

This can be an attempt to identity theft. You should always research prior to selling your vehicle about what kind of information or documents might be required during the procedure and should not give more information than that. Scammers might misuse your personal information. Therefore, you should keep it private.

Safety Tips For Van Sellers

In order to avoid the above-mentioned scams, you should be careful and take the following measures. Some of the safety tips for people who want to sell their vans are;

Verify Checks Before You Transfer The Title

To be on safe side, try checking with the authorities of the bank directly about the check and the account from which the check is issued if there are enough funds in that account or not rather than checking later when you cannot do anything. Complete the transaction at the buyer’s bank to make sure the funds are available, if possible.

Don’t Ship Your Van Vehicle Overseas Until All Payments Are Clear

It is important to not to send your vehicle to the buyer if he has not completed the payment yet. Because, if there is a scam, you’ll lose your vehicle once it is out of your hand. Therefore, you should consider this factor while dealing with the buyer.

Be Careful Of Unknown Escrow Services

Using a third-party escrow service can be a good idea to make sure that the transaction is safe and secure for both the parties. Making use of a reputable lawyer for this purpose is the best option.

Make sure you research about the escrow service before agreeing to use it for the transaction. There are a lot of other means you can use for the payment but be sure about the method and safety of your money.

Document Everything

Make sure that you keep a copy of everything that has been signed by either of the parties. Document the whole process and keep records of phone numbers, names and other information of the buyer. This will help if an investigation is required along the way. You will not necessarily face these after you sell your vehicle, but it is always better to be on a safe side.

Screen Callers

This will help you accept only legitimate buyers’ test units. If you think it’s a scam, it’s better to end the conversation sooner rather than later.

Don’t Sign Over The Title Without Cash In Hand

Most scams are made through fake checks, money orders or money transfers. Never give the vehicle or the title to the buyer until payment has been issued to you and you have confirmed it.

Use Your Best Judgment

Trust your intuition. Mostly, it is probably a scam if you think it is. Instead of jumping to the first offer, it is better to be patient and wait for the right buyer to arrive.

Want To Avoid Scams And Frauds?

We-Buy-Vans is a service where professionals visit you upon your call and evaluate your vehicle for free and even if you want to sell your van, we buy from your doorstep.

It is always better to sell your vehicle to trusted buyers and professionals. So, if you want to sell your van with us, give us a call.

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