You must have read it in your local paper, but also online, where someone purchased a used car – it was a bargain – and later found out it was subject to a bill of sale loan, which is the proper name for a logbook loan. Imagine that you have purchased a great used car. Then, one day, an enforcement officer just shows up at your door, asking you to hand over the keys. Or even worse, your car is gone and after a lengthy search, including having police file a stolen vehicle report, you find out that your car was subject to a logbook loan and was repossessed.
There is not much you can do, once the car is gone, other than repaying the loan and suing the person who sold you the car originally. Such an action may just prove to be more hassle than it is worth, mainly because the scammer who sold you the car originally did take out the loan because that person was broke in the first place. You were just another victim down the line. Yes, you could go to the police and file a fraud report or whatnot, but do not expect to get your money back. In fact, you should have been aware that something was wrong from the get go, because of certain pointers you must have realized immediately.
The logbook was missing. You went to buy a car and the owner did not have the vehicle registration document, the V5, only a copy of it. No matter what the story, you should have right then and there left the building. Additionally, you could have carried out a history check on the car before you hurled your money out of the window. Logbook loan providers have to log the logbook loan there and you would have known immediately what is going on.
There are several ways how you can check a car’s history, or rather perform a vehicle history check and find out if your car is being sold illegally. DVLA, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, provides a couple of verification and checking utilities, online and per phone, where you can find out if the seller of the car is legit and if the car is not subject to some kind of a loan. You can also obtain a private history check through the AA and the RAC. Furthermore, there is the MOT checking utility provided by the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency, the VOSA.
There are several guides available online, which can help you when purchasing a used vehicle. Just because you are getting your car from a seemingly legit used car salesman who has a seemingly legit store, it does not mean that the car is truly legally available for purchase without hire purchase obligations or similar. Make sure you visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website and the guide for purchasing a used car, such as Which.co.uk.