Used car expert shares ‘red flag’ that could see vehicle repossessed

In the video, Grant discusses how he fell for a scam that could have seen his car repossessed (Image: YouTube @ScottishCarClan)

A popular motoring personality has taken to YouTube to highlight a used car scam that could see motorists get their recently-purchased vehicle repossessed.

Grant runs the YouTube channel Scottish Car Clan and regularly posts videos recommending the best used cars to buy and showcasing some of the vehicles he has recently bought.

In a popular video, Grant recalls buying a used Ford Focus ST to make some videos with, only to experience a concerning issue with the V5, a document that all motorists must sign when buying or selling a new or used car to indicate the change of ownership.

He explained: “Off I go to look at a used car, which was perfectly imperfect. There was a little bit of rust around the wheel arches and edges, but the seller seemed a genuine enough guy. He threw me the keys, said I could take it for a test drive and have some fun, which I did.

“I returned from the test drive, hands were shook, deals were done, money was transferred, and then all we need to do is the paperwork. The seller had the V5 document, which is sent off to the DVLA and then they give the new keeper a new version of it. So I bought my car, put it on the driveway and waited for the new V5 to come through. Ready for the first red flag? That V5 never came through.”

The YouTuber wanted to buy a 2007 Ford Focus ST to create videos for his YouTube channel (Image: Getty)

After a few days of the V5 did not arrive, the YouTuber called the DVLA to see they had processed it, making sure that he was now recorded as the registered keeper.

After explaining a few details, the organisation informed him that the document he signed was not the latest version.

As a result, Grant had to pay £20 for a new V5 document to be printed and sent to his home so he could declare himself as the new owner of the car.

All used car buyers need to fill out a V5 form to state that they are the new registered keeper (Image: Getty)

In spite of this, Grant told viewers that he was able to enjoy his time behind the wheel of the car. However, upon selling it to a friend, the YouTuber found a much serious issue with the vehicle.

He continued: “Fast forward about seven or eight months, which is the time that I had it in my ownership, and a friend asked if he could buy it from me. At this stage, I knew it was a good car and could vouch for it, so I said ‘give me what I paid for it’, which they did, and it went off.

“They kept the car for three or four months, but at the end of their ownership they took it to a car supermarket to trade it in against a new car, who rejected it because it had outstanding finance on it. Cue a rather confused friend calling me to ask if I took out finance on a 15-year-old Focus and didn’t tell him about it.”

When trading in the car for a new model, Grant’s friend found that the Focus had outstanding finance (Image: Getty)

Confused, Grant recalled that he used an online vehicle checker to make sure that the car did not have any outstanding finance before buying it, only later discovering that the owner had refinanced it once it was sold.

He added: “As a matter of principle, I would never ever buy a car without doing a proper HPI check, which looks for things like outstanding finance. I looked back, and sure enough I looked back and the car had no finance on it when I bought it. I sent that HPI report to my friend to be clear, and I certainly didn’t take any finance out, but it did not help the quandary they were in.

“Are you starting to see what is happening here? We’ve got this old V5 document, mystery finance deal? What happened was I checked the vehicle, bought it and been given the old document. All the details matched, but it was the old V5. He had retained a new one, possibly when he put on a private plate, in order to refinance the car after it went into my ownership.”

Upon doing some research, Grant and his friend found that the company who refinanced the vehicle accused the new owners of breaching the contract, threatening to repossess the car.

The YouTuber noted that, in England, the law states that the company are within their rights to do this. However, other parts of the country, such as Scotland, allow drivers to apply for a ‘good title’ if they unknowingly bought a vehicle with outstanding finance, meaning the hidden costs were removed.

Nevertheless, Grant warned buyers to always check that a used car they are interested in buying does not have outstanding finance, looking in particular for evidence of multiple V5 documents.

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