Purchasing a used vehicle carries a lot of potential risks. Is the car's title real, does it have problems that can't be easily seen, or will the buyer use a fake check when they make their payment?
Those are just some of the pitfalls that can lead drivers to trade in their vehicles at a dealership, even if it's for less money.
A Seattle-based company called Tred hopes to remove the private-party risks while upending the traditional dealership model as it rolls out its used-car selling and buying service in Miami, as well as in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Tred has no physical lots or sales people. Most of the process is handled via its app or on Tred.com.
The company says it's striving to make sure buyers and sellers are protected.
“There are many types of vehicle fraud. If a seller is selling a vehicle privately and the vehicle is not registered or titled in their name, then there are all kinds of ways they can bamboozle a buyer,” said Tred founder and CEO Grant Feek.
It starts with a vehicle background check. When someone signs up to sell a car on Tred, a series of reports are run, including a Carfax report. The reports include the vehicle’s ownership history and a VIN (vehicle identification number) audit.
Unless a seller has a nearly new car that’s still under factory warranty, the seller is also required to take the vehicle for an inspection at a Tred partner, such as Firestone or Pep Boys, before it’s accepted for listing.
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