Don't Be A Victim!

Author:

Petra Orta Public Safety Computer Specialist Records & Technology Operations

Summary:

Safety tips for buying and selling a vehicle.

Last Updated:

6/30/2008

Follow These Rules When SELLING A Vehicle.

  • Don't invite a buyer you don't know to your home to conduct the sale
  • Don't give out unnecessary personal information
  • Do not let the person test drive the vehicle alone unless you feel confident the buyer is legitimate. Always leave information about the driver with someone you know and is not going on the test drive with you.
  • Do not hand over ownership documents until you have verified that the funds are valid. If you accept a significant amount of cash, do it in a location where you can immediately deposit it rather than carrying it with you and becoming a victim of robbery or worse.
  • Complete a bill of sale with an odometer reading and all information about the vehicle and buyer as well as date and time of sale. Keep a copy for your records.
  • Immediately notify Motor Vehicle Division of the sale. You remain liable for accidents and other incidents related to the vehicle until the proper paperwork is filed with Motor Vehicle Division.
  • Use common sense. If it doesn't seem right, don't go ahead with the transaction.

Follow These Rules When BUYING A Vehicle.

  • Don't go alone or at least make sure someone not going with you knows where you are going and who you are meeting. Make sure you tell the seller you are not bringing cash, but will pay by personal or cashier's check of some other means if you decide to buy it.
  • If the ownership documents are recently issued or it is a duplicate title, this could be an indication it has changed hands recently or the title was lost. Inquire why.
  • Be sure all the numbers on the documents and the vehicle match. Look at the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate; they should be the same as on the owner ship documents.
  • Do not buy a vehicle that appears as if the VIN plate has been tampered with. Also note differences in interior colors or paint color. Does it appear to have been changed? If so inquire as to why.
  • If the title shows it to be a salvaged vehicle, be cautious of it. Salvage vehicles are ones that had something wrong with them at one point and may have parts replaced on them. Many are rebuilt with stolen parts and are unsafe. Ask why it is salvaged.

Related Links

The following web sites are provided to assist you in buying a vehicle or inquiring about one that seems suspicious. It allows you to check to see if a vehicle is listed as stolen. This is not to be used to report a vehicle as stolen. Contact your local law enforcement agency to complete a stolen vehicle report.

Please note that the following link(s) are not part of the City of Yuma official web site.

Close-up of one person handing a set of car keys to the other.

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