Curbsiders And How To Avoid Them


When buying a used car from either a private owner or a dealership, most of the sellers are straightforward and want to do right by the customer. The problem is a few bad seeds can make buying a used car somewhat risky. By preparing yourself with good information, you can protect yourself from Curbsiders.

Who Are Curbsiders?

Curbsiders are unlicensed retailers or car dealers selling cars with the intent of profiting from cars they have owned for a short time. Moreover, the cars sold may registered in someone else’s name. In other words they may not even belong to them.

How Do Curbsiders operate?

These type of dealers buy cars and then sell them for a markup without registering the cars in their name. They will tell a potential buyer they are selling the car for someone else. Their collection usually include various cars for sale. They will usually have a buyer meet them anywhere but their own home. Accordingly you will never know where to find them.

Avoiding A Curbsider

The car the curbsider is selling may have the odometer turned back or other hidden issues. However, he will persuade the buyer to buy the vehicle with cash to avoid a record of the purchase. There is a profit made by the curbsider. He does not pay taxes because there is no record in his name. If the car breaks down there is no protection. The curbsider does not give their real identity to the buyer.

Follow these guidelines when buying a used car

  • Be cautious of a private seller that has many cars listed for sale.
  • If the seller will only deal through email of phone, do not deal with them.
  • Get a CARFAX report for a complete history of the vehicle.
  • Ask for a picture ID such as a driver’s license and match the name to the registration.
  • The VIN should match, along with the make, model, and registration, and verify these against the CARFAX report.
  • Do not pay up front before the delivery.
  • Cash only sales should be a warning that you are dealing with a curbsider.
  • If the seller wants to use an escrow service check to see if the business is legitimate.
  • Have the car inspected by a reputable service mechanic.
  • Do not use a service the seller recommends, as they will often have an “insider” that will distort the vehicle’s condition.
  • Do not be in a hurry when buying a used car.

Finally, trust your instincts and realize that there are unscrupulous dealers out there.