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Is a SellCar UK a scam?

in Motoring
5 replies 1.4K views
jim1999jim1999 Forumite
146 Posts
Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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I arranged a short while ago to sell my car through C-4 UK Ltd / SellCar / Sell-Car UK, and went through the usual tribulations. Is SellCar trustworthy? Is SellCar reliable? I'd heard of the horror stories with WeBuyAnyCar etc, but I was assured by their sales rep on the phone that they were totally different.

According to him, they paid out 97% of what they offered on average, and as long as you described your car accurately, they guaranteed to pay what they offered on the phone when they came to your property to collect. I was told to walk round the car and check it for damage, and after telling them about some minor damage to the wheels, we negotiated an offer of £5k which I felt was acceptable - not great, but it was acceptable.

They came over to my property around 12:30 on a Saturday, and started to look at the vehicle. It was unbelievably in-depth, looking at every single panel, wiping them all clean and then running fingers across every single mark to work out what exactly it was. At one point the gentleman thought he came across a scratch, but then decided it was just a mark. Then a while later he decided it actually was a scratch, and with my nose a couple of inches away from the car I could see a very narrow grey mark along the front and rear door, though it was nigh-on invisible from any further away.

So several very long hours after they arrived, their HQ told the inspector that they would decrease their offer by £1,000. Not very happy, given that they had guaranteed their payment, I declined and wondered how a virtually invisible scratch could cost £1,000. They then rang me and increased it again by £510. I declined this offer, and asked why they had low-balled me on the first offer, when they say their payments are 'guaranteed'. I then spoke to a manager who blamed an inexperienced staff member, and said they never should have offered me the second offer of £4,510, which sounded very fishy.

So I told them to leave, and that I wanted my deposit of £90 back, given that 'walk around the vehicle' was a totally misleading way of describing the check I'd need to conduct. They tried to photograph the scratch to report back, but after a while they gave up as it couldn't be caught on the camera. And unsurprisingly, given the bizarre way they'd conducted themselves throughout the affair, they totally dodged the question and talked about it being unreported damage.

Personally, I'd avoid SellCar like the plague now, but am I the only one to have had this experience? I know a lot of the big firms have awful reputations for doing this - turning up and low-balling you, but they were absolutely adamant that they 'were different' and that it wouldn't be like that. As for how they come up with that 97% figure, i have no idea. It's not detailed on their website as far as I can gather.

TLDR: They made an offer on the phone, but after several hours checking claimed I'd lied about some barely visible damage, and then cut the offer by £1k. After rejecting that, they agreed to cut only by £500, but then claimed that was a mistake. They won't return the deposit.

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