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Safety & Security  

Safely buying a car

Do NOT pay any money in advance before seeing the vehicle when buying from a private seller. Only pay for the car when you are taking it away.
Make sure you both see and drive any car before you buy and preferably during the day so you can easily see any damage.
If buying from a private seller, view the car at their own address and check that it matches with the address on the vehicles registration document.
Check the vehicles market value by searching for similar cars on the website. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is so ask the seller to explain why they have priced the vehicle so cheap.
Before handing over any money, ask the seller to supply you with a reciept which includes both of your names, addresses and the exact price you are paying.
Make sure all the vehicle documentation is genuine and not photocopies and make sure that the seller is actually the current registered keeper. If not they may be selling the vehicle illegally.

Avoiding fraudulent buyers

Never let a buyer test drive a vehicle alone, there is a risk they won’t come back, even if they have left their keys with you as security – they could belong to another stolen vehicle.
Fraudsters trick victims into leaving them alone with their vehicle – often by distracting the seller with a phone call or a request to see something – as soon as the seller leaves the vehicle, the thief drives away.
Make sure all test drivers have valid driving licences and suitable insurance cover because you could be liable for any accidents they may have.
When taking payment, ask for cash and preferrably to be handed to you within the bank so the notes can be checked for forgeries and can be paid in immediately
If being paud by cheque, do not release the car to the buyer before the cash is showing as available in your account.
The safest way to take payment is bank transfer as you do not need to handle large amounts of cash but ensure the money is safely in your bank before releasing the car.

Avoiding vehicle import scams

When importing cars into Pakistan it is important to read the following guidelines to avoid being scammed.

Only deal with trusted Car Import companies.
Contact the import company on their LANDLINE number to prove fixed address of business.
Enquire about the purchase process and payment terms. Take a print out or save it then carefully go through again. If you have any doubts about the process, ask them for clarification.
Carefully read their terms and conditions. If their terms are clear and easy to understand, it is a sign that they are well experienced and honest.
Ensure you get photographs of the car from all angles and also a photo of the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN).
Ask for references from other people in Pakistan who have used them to import vehicles previously.
Make sure you understand what import duty needs to be paid, and whether that cost is included in the import deal.
To find out more about Pakistans import policy click here.

Car security

With vehicle crime on the increase it is important to make sure your car is secure. Below are some steps you can take to reduce the risks.

Getting insurance on your vehicle won't reduce the risk of vehicle crime, but it will mean that you will be covered financially should you become a victim. For newer vehicles, car insurance should be a must.
Install an alarm and immobiliser system.
Install a vehicle tracker system.
For alarms, immobilisers and trackers see our Parts & Accessiories section for companies in your area.
When parking your vehicle, try to park in a well lit secure location.
Remove all valuables from view when leaving your vehicle unattended.

Email / Text Message scams

will never ask you for personal information such as website log-in details or credit card numbers in an email, and will never charge advertisers to make changes to adverts.

Never supply personal information via email, even if you're sent emails claiming to be from internationally-recognised organisations. Common scenarios scammers invent in order to gain victim’s log-in, credit card or other personal details include:

Vehicle sellers are sent a duplicate of their advert, with a link to a bogus version of Auto Trader’s sign-in page. Once supplied, the details will be used to change the advert’s description and contact details.
Sellers are contacted by scammers claiming to be from a credit card company’s fraud department calling about unusual purchases. They will then ask for the card’s details in order to make a refund.
If you are contacted about a potential prize which asks for your credit card or bank details, do not respond

Other scenarios scammers may use to entice users to provide personal details include:

Notification of potential account suspension
Calls from scammers requesting credit card details for refunds
Emails detailing offers for customers, with a full refund if your car is not sold within three weeks
Emails purporting to be from a Facebook-type ‘friend’ prompting you to read what they’ve said about you

Only sign in to your account via the website, not from links in emails.

If you’re already signed in and are asked to sign in again after clicking on a link from an email, think twice. If in doubt, type www.car4u.com.pk into your web browser and sign in as usual.
Illegal Cars

Non Custom Paid Duties

Imports on which custom duty is not paid are not imported through proper channels and are termed as "smuggled"
If buying an imported car, ensure that all duties have been paid.
If you are caught driving a non custom paid car, you will be liable to pay the duty in full or even have your car confiscated.
All confiscated vehicles will be stored in a bonded warehouse, and if the duty is still not paid the cars will be sold at auction.

Stolen Vehicles

Make sure that the registration document is an orriginal and not a photocopy
Check that the vehicle owners name and address match the ones stated on the registration document
Check that the vehicles number plate matches the number plate details on the registration document
Stolen vehicles are often sold without the registration document claiming that it has been lost and they are just waiting for a replacement, and although this may be true there is no way of checking so be careful.

Clocked Vehicles

A clocked vehicle is one where an unscrupulous seller has ‘wound back’ the kilometers recorded on the odometer.
Ensure the numbered barrels are aligned correctly on analogue odometers
Check the general condition matches its age and mileage – worn seats and steering wheel or lots of stone chips can point to a high kilometer vehicle
Contact any previous owners to verify the recorded kilometers when they sold the vehicle

Cut and Shut

A cut and shut is where the remains of two or more vehicles have been welded together to create a ‘new’ model.
The structural integrity of such vehicles is seriously compromised, and can lead to serious injuries in a crash.
Examine the windscreen pillars and the middle section of the vehicle for signs of welding and pull away carpets and trims for signs of hidden welds
Look for poor paintwork or colours that don’t match properly and check for overspray on glass seals and trim
Watch out for badly fitting or mismatched trim
Top tips for staying safe online

Protect your PC

Ensure security software is up-to-date, including anti-virus protection, anti-spyware software and a firewall
Set a secure password for your wi-fi connection using a combination of letters and numbers
Block spam emails and use an up-to-date web browser
Encrypt your wireless network

Avoiding Scams

If a vehicle is offered at a much cheaper price, ask yourself why. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Make sure the seller has a valid address and telephone number – be wary of mobile phone numbers, always visit the seller at home and never buy without seeing and driving the vehicle first
Be wary of requests for upfront payments or private information, a false sense of urgency or unnecessary details – it could be a vehicle export scam
Never wire money abroad as it is often a fraudulent seller

Protect your identity and privacy

Avoid identity theft by using an up-to-date web browser and blocking bogus emails with a spam filter
Use a secure password, with a mix of words, letters, and numbers, and avoid using names of loved ones or other easy-to-guess passwords
Be careful about the personal information you give away online (such as on blogs and social networking sites)

© has compiled this information to be used for educational purposes only