6 Safety Tips When Selling Your Car in Malaysia

Published by on . Updated on 3 Mar 2022

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Looking to sell your car to direct buyers but uncertain of the risks it might pose? Let us help you out in keeping yourself safe and protected in your transaction.

Online car scams have been on the rise in the past two years, with 678 cases of fraud reported in 2020, a 22.8% increase from 2019. 

Alarmingly, the rate has risen further, with 461 cases reported in the first 5 months of 2021 alone, a 94.5% increase from the same period last year. 

This can be attributed to the pandemic and the prolonged restrictions such as the Movement Control Order (MCO) that followed, with many residents losing their jobs or living with reduced income. 

It is a dire situation that has understandably led to desperation for some. With this in mind, how do you keep yourself safe when selling your car?

Here are some tips that will help you navigate your car selling journey safely. 

1) Take precautions when doing test drives

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Usually, buyers would request a test drive to check out a vehicle’s condition and suitability for themselves. It is vital to take some form of precautions when you accept these requests as the rule of stranger danger states that you should always be on heightened alert around people you don’t know. 

You should let family and friends know about your whereabouts. Using location sharing functions on applications such as Google Maps or Find My Friends would be a nice safety net just in case any unfortunate situations arise. Bringing along a friend may also be a good call.

You may also want to verify and make a copy of the potential buyer’s driving licence and keep the copy somewhere safe such as at home or with a friend. 

2) Question your customer

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What do they need a car for? What type of car are they looking for and how does your vehicle fulfil these criteria? These types of questions will help you find out how serious the buyer is and detect any potential ill intentions they possess. 

There are also non-serious buyers who exhaust your time and effort just to get an insight into the current market values of the vehicles. 

On the upside, questioning your customer would help you understand the intrinsic needs and values of these customers, actionable information you can use to convince customers into a purchase.

3) Opt for safer payment options

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Without a doubt, the payment stage of the transaction is its Achilles heel and is often the main target of online scammers. From fake bank cheques to counterfeit notes, there are several ways these criminals carry out their misdeeds.

Prolonged private payment plans are most susceptible to a scam as these people can disappear without making payment. 

They might not even have had the intention of carrying out a con going into the deal but private payment plans offer them the chance to do so at every step of the way until payment has been completed. 

Thus, always say no to private payment plans unless it's with a trusted family member or friend!

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Similarly, bank cheques offer a window of opportunity for buyers to disappear, albeit a shorter one. Con artists could disappear with your vehicle in the time it takes the bank to process and bounce the cheque. 

Cash is regarded as a safer option but even then you can unknowingly end up with counterfeit notes. Even if the notes are legal tender, holding large amounts of cash in Malaysia is never the best idea. 

The best option would ultimately be to make your transactions at the bank. Have your payment processed and verified on the spot be it through bank transfer or a cash transaction with on-the-spot verification of its authenticity. 

Ultimately, never ever hand over the keys to your vehicle until the funds are safe in your bank account.

4) Document your vehicle

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There is very little that can come in the way of physical documentation about important attributes your car holds. Show your car some TLC and get it inspected for that sweet PUSPAKOM report to certify that your car is without a doubt in serviceable condition and free of defects or illegal modifications. 

Besides the report, you should also prepare your vehicle insurance records, registration certificate and maintenance and accident records to dissolve you of any liability after the sale and to facilitate a smooth and quick transaction.

5) Know your vehicle

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Seems like a simple concept right? But you’ll be surprised at the limited extent of knowledge some car owners have about their vehicles. Make and model should be the floor, not the ceiling of what you need to take note of about your vehicle. 

Fuel economy, its fuel tank capacity and its safety features are just some of the car specifications you need to keep in mind. 

If you weren’t the first owner of the car, understanding what modifications have been made, its total mileage so far and any previous accidents the car has been in during its time on the road are also important points you should pay heed to.

There are two main reasons why knowing your vehicle is important. At the post-transaction phase, not understanding what you’ve sold can lead to dissatisfaction on the buyers’ side, arising from misinformation or lack of information about various aspects of the car. 

This could escalate to legal proceedings as the customer seeks claims for misrepresentation of the product. 

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You do not want to go into proceedings with little knowledge of what you’re selling either. This leaves you susceptible to getting ‘smoked’ or manipulated into lowering your prices by buyers that are more versed in the world of cars, leading to unnecessary and avoidable loss of profits. 

6) Get a proper valuation of your car done

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Even if you have a good gauge of your car’s market value, it is advisable to get a professional valuation for a more comprehensive and accurate measurement. 

This concrete backing of a third-party appraiser would allow you to enter negotiations with a stronger foothold as you would then be able to avoid debates about your car’s value that’s based on opinions. 

Motorist Malaysia is an example of a platform that provides such car valuation services for you to take advantage of. Find out more below!

Find the true value of your car here

Read More: Checklist: Trading-In VS Selling Your Car in Malaysia: Pros & Cons

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