Craigslist used car...
 

Craigslist used car scams  

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lescooper
Posts: 157
(@lescooper)
Advanced Member
Joined: 4 years ago

I am looking to buy a used car. Lot of craigslist listings that are priced too good to be true. I have read others warning about scams. Aside from the too low price, how do you know if it is a scam?

My problem is that I live in the states and trying to buy a car for my vacation home on St Croix. Don't want to pass up a legit deal but don't want to get scammed either.

9 Replies
Alana33
Posts: 12153
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 7 years ago

Buy one in the states and ship it so it arrives at the same time you do.

Reply
OldTart
Posts: 6523
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 8 years ago

My problem is that I live in the states and trying to buy a car for my vacation home on St Croix. Don't want to pass up a legit deal but don't want to get scammed either.

NEVER buy a car sight unseen (nor take a term rental likewise). Do as Alana suggests or wait until you're on island before you start looking around. And if you're not (auto) mechanically inclined, ask for leads and references for an island mechanic who'll check it out for you for a reasonable fee to make sure it doesn't have serious problems not easily visible.

Reply
ernieandmaryjo
Posts: 117
(@ernieandmaryjo)
Advanced Member
Joined: 6 years ago

No front license plate, no VI inspection sticker on the windshield, non-tropical background (oak, aspen, pine trees in the picture are common). A lot of the scammers lately have their email address in the photos, and it's almost always a Gmail email. These are a few obvious red flags. Good luck!

Reply
SunnyCaribe
Posts: 495
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago

I'm car shopping too. The best way to tell is often the photos of the car are clearly not taken anywhere near our latitude. Trees with no foliage are a sign that it's a stateside vehicle. VI plates are also a good clue, although some people don't like to show their plates so they remove or obscure them.

The decision to ship a vehicle from the 'States can be complicated, but there are some things weighing in favor of that option.

Used car prices are usually lower stateside, and roads being better, a stateside car will be in much better shape for equivalent mileage.

You'll pay road tax (.16/lb) on a car you ship, but smaller vehicles don't weigh so much and the lack of used small crossover suv's, for example, means your car will jump up in resale value enough to cover the tax and at least some of the shipping costs. With any luck you can maintain that value until you sell.

Excise tax applies to some vehicles, so if you can settle for a vehicle with a VIN starting with 1, 4, or 5, you won't pay any excise tax.

Edit: This article is informative, in case you haven't seen it. And I would contact Paradise Freight if you plan to look into shipping a vehicle to STX.

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