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  1. Fraud in private used car deal

    Hi guys,   Recently I bought a used car from a local family in a small city. After that, I found there's a crack in the plastic part of the front bumper. Then my landlord's nephew helped me to check the car again. He said the license plate frame was moved up by someone on purpose to hide the crack. He also checked the registration paper and surprisingly found the seller cheats me on the number of pre-owners. She always claimed 2 (including the seller herself) and wrote down 2 on our contract, while there are 4 actually. I contacted the family, the seller's mother said she never had an accident and know nothing about the number of pre-owners. When I was still discussing this thing with them, they were yelling and hung up the phone rudely. I've never ever dealt with such kinds of people in my life, like a bunch of savages. Because they still owed me the winter tires, so I messaged them again. They didn't reply at the very beginning. Then I asked again about when, they said a date. While nobody appears at all. I listened to someone's advice to write a formal letter to ask for a deadline. Finally, I got a message the winter tires are in front of the garage. I looked outside right away, nobody was there. They had escaped. Their behaviour shocked me and I start to be suspicious of the locals.   I went to a lawyer, he said I have to prove they know the crack and the number of pre-owners. Otherwise, he sees a very high risk. I called the dealer where the family bought the car, because he is a crucial witness. But when he realized I'm not going to buy a car, just want to ask questions, he changed his altitude immediately and said he knew nothing, but the car he sold never had a problem.   I'm so speechless to these people. Now I'm not expecting to ask for my money back. But I don't wanna let it go without doing anything. It seems those people know the loophole of the law. Each of them claims knowing nothing, as long as there's no direct evidence, they are always on the safe side to cheat people without paying a price. They get money by fraud but pretend to be innocent people. It's ridiculous. They should get punished. Do you guys have any suggestions? Thank you. I wish these bad things will never ever happen to you.
  2. Hey all, I was hoping someone could help me with my search for a used car. Specifically, I've looked at a few cars being sold buy private sellers (i.e. not purchasing from a dealership), and I get this recurring theme of being shown the car buy a 'brother', 'cousin', or 'friend', coupled with an elaborate story about why the actual owner couldn't turn up ("Sorry, I've just flown into Berlin, and I need to get a haircut urgently" - seriously that was one excuse). All of these are cars that I saw in person, which drove perfectly fine, and all three were happy for me to take the car to an indepenent mechanic or DEKRA to get it inspected before sale. My questions are: 1. Is there some obvious scam or reason for this I'm missing? Or is it one of the following: -(a) The cars belong to dealers who want to sell privately to avoid having to give the 12 months warranty/avoid paying taxes? -(b) The cars belong to dealers who received them then inspected them and were like "this won't last 6 months" and so they're trying to sell them privately to avoid the 12 month warranty (same as (a) but slightly more malicious)? -(c) the cars are stolen 2. Is there anything I can do to protect myself against buying a stolen car, or check if it's been written off before/been in a crash? (Similar to in the States)? I know DEKRA do the mechanical equivalent of this, but is there a way to check if it's stolen? 3. Outside of getting a mechanic to look at the car first, are there any other steps I should do to be on the safe side? The worst part of this is, I'm looking to buy a car off someone who I don't think is a scammer, but who was out of town when I previously looked at the car and had his friend let me take it for a test drive... so I'm really struggling to tell the difference between genuinely nice person whose friend helped him out and weird seedy scammers. 4. Ultimately I might end up going with a dealer, simply for the 12 month guarantee. I'm VERY aware this is no iron clad guarantee, but the cars I'm looking at are all around 3000 Euros or less, and will be used for a holiday which would've cost 1500 in rental car costs - so if it's covered for that first period then I'm more than happy to let the used car gods do with me what they will. But is there anything dealer wise I should be aware of? I'm also going to request an inspection from an independent mechanic (DEKRA) if I buy there and do the usual due diligence. But would be grateful for any help. Thanks in advance!!