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Staying safe on Auto Trader

Visit our Safety & Security Centre Tuesday 23 August 2016

Read our top tips and advice about buying and selling vehicles on Auto Trader. If you receive a call or text from someone claiming to be from Auto Trader asking for your Two Factor Verification Code, please do not disclose it. Auto Trader or any other third party will NEVER contact you by phone, text or email asking for your code.

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Buy and sell with confidence

Buying or selling a car should be a pleasant, hassle-free experience‚ and at Auto Trader we do everything we can to make sure that's the case. Our handy hints and tips will ensure you stay safe online, whether you're buying or selling a car.

Contact us or call us on 0330 303 9001
  • 1We advertise cars on our websiteBut we don’t own, buy or sell any of the vehicles advertised on our website.
  • 3Shipping servicesWe don’t offer any kind of shipping service for vehicles. Never send money for a vehicle you haven’t seen.
  • 2We don’t offer payment servicesAuto Trader don’t provide or recommend any payment services or get involved in transactions between buyers and sellers.
  • 4Emails and TextsWe’ll keep in touch by email and text message, but we will never ask for your personal or financial information via these.

We have tips and advice on all aspects of staying safe whilst buying and selling a car. Choose the option below that suits you best.

Buying advice Selling advice

You'll find lots of tips and advice to help you buy or sell a car in this section. However, there are many other organisations and industry bodies that can also provide help:

  • VSTAG helping to protect buyers and sellers from vehicle-related fraud.
  • Get Safe Online offers help and advice to avoid scams and stay safe on the internet.
  • Citizens Advice can provide advice on your consumer rights.
  • Action Fraud is the UK's national online crime reporting centre.
  • The DVLA maintains registers of drivers and vehicles.
  • GOV.UK has official advice about MOT and emissions tests, insurance and more.

Who's your buyer?

If you're contacted by a company promising to buy your car or claiming to have buyers ready and waiting, beware.

These are usually scams - some even use the Auto Trader name to appear legitimate.

What to look for

Safe payments

No matter whether you're buying or selling, a smooth payment is the best way to end a successful transaction.

Read here to understand the main payment options available and how to take the risk out of making or receiving a payment.

Whatever method of payment you choose, never send money for a vehicle you haven't seen.

Payment advice


Short for "SMS phishing", SMiShing is a security attack in which the user is tricked into downloading some type of malware onto their phone or mobile device via a text message.

Read more about how to protect yourself from SMiShing.

SMiShing advice

Online scams

Just like every part of the internet, the world of buying and selling cars can attract fraudsters.

So you don't get taken in read this information and learn how to stay safe online, how to spot a scam and the warning signs to look out for.

Common scams

Checking a vehicle

Once you've found a car you like, it's important you spend some time checking it over.

Make sure you know what to check and where you can get further information.

Vehicle advice

Insurance categories

What you need to know about buying or selling a car in Insurance Category A, B, C or D.

Insurance categories