The pay-off

The pay-off

Be wary of anyone who turns up with a large amount of used notes to buy a car. Cash always looks tempting, but there's a risk - would you really be able to spot the fakes from the real? If you don't, you'll end up seriously out of pocket.

The best way to avoid being fleeced is to bank the cash before handing the car over.

Even bankers' drafts can be forged. If the bank discovers the con, even after the funds appear to have cleared, it could take the money back.

The same rules apply to personal cheques, which is why you should wait for the money to have fully cleared before you let the car go.

The best route to a painless payment is an electronic transfer, which ensures that the buyer has the money in their account before it's transferred to yours.

Once your bank assures you the money's in your account, you are safe to hand over the keys.