Confirm the Seller's Identity
Make sure you have complete contact information and identification of the seller, not just a mobile phone number or an email address. Ask for any identification from the seller such as government-issued ID and/or confirm whether they're officially-connected with a licensed used car dealer.
Be wary of who you transact with and avoid transacting with persons or dealers you are not confident with.
Check the Vehicle's Details
Confirm that the vehicle has complete documents and that it has a clean record. Request to see the Original Registration (OR), Certificate of Vehicle Registration (CR), and that the details match the vehicle's chassis number, engine number, plate number, and color. You may also check the vehicle's records through the LTO.
If the ownership of the vehicle is different from the name of the seller, ask questions and request for supporting documents of the original owner such as the Transfer of Ownership. Also, ensure that it is not an encumbered vehicle with a bank.
Walk away if the seller cannot present all these info.
Have a Mechanic Inspect the Car
It is a good idea when purchasing any used car to have a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle first before purchasing. Check for mechanical problems, leaks, rust, possible collisions, or signs of flooding. You may also check the vehicle's documents for a service history if available.
If It's Too Good To Be True
If the vehicle's asking price is well below market value or if its description is too flashy, find out why. The seller might also offer or demand certain conditions that are not of the norm, which you should watch out for as warning signs.
Beware of Odd Payment Scenarios
Even if everything checks out and you're ready to buy, don't let your guard down when it's time to pay. Be suspicious if the seller requires you to send payment to a different individual or demands for extra fees that were not discussed during the negotiation process.