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Top 10 myths about ordering a Certificate of Conformity online

(that will save you plenty of money)


Seeing what is going on the market of COCs, we put together the most frequent mistakes customers make when buying COC online. Please read these top 10 myths quickly, or in a full article below

Myth #1: Someone who speaks my language knows the product the best.
Myth #2: If they have a hotline, that means the service is good, right?
Myth #3: I can easily tell for myself that a website is credible.
Myth #4: Working with new companies on the market gives me a price advantage.
Myth #5: Cheap web design means a cheaper price.
Myth #6: Whether VAT is included in the price is none of my business.
Myth #7: It’s best to buy a COC at the best price available.
Myth #8: The faster the delivery, the more professional the company.
Myth #9: The internet is totally safe for making payments.
Myth #10: I found the Holy Grail – the cheapest solution on the market!

A Certificate of Conformity (COC) is basically a vehicle’s “birth certificate;” it’s a document issued by an automobile manufacturer that contains all the important data on a specific vehicle. The first copy is always provided free of charge to a new car owner when purchasing a new car, but things can get pretty complicated if the owner happens to lose their COC and wants to sell their car abroad.

But buyers beware! Due to the fact that having a Certificate of Conformity is becoming increasingly more popular for European car importers and exporters, more and more fraudulent companies are out on the prowl to take advantage of you and your wallet! A Certificate of Conformity will generally cost you anywhere between 120 and 300 euros (sometimes even more), which can be quite a hefty sum depending on your financial situation. And it’s from this hefty sum where fake COC providers got the idea to rip you off! Just think about it. Scamming 10 people out of nearly 300 euros each month is quite a decent salary. Certainly not a bad business at all, save for the fact that it’s completely illegal!

There are a number of these fraudulent companies (websites, portals) operating on the market who will pretend to sell you a COC at a discounted price, or even at the standard price. It all seems fine and dandy until that package never comes… And then, after weeks of waiting for an imaginary COC, all you’re left with is an empty pocket and a sad look on your face. Well, we’re here to help to make sure this doesn’t happen to you!

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 myths to look out for when shopping for a new Certificate of Conformity. Be sure to check them out below so that you’re guaranteed to avoid these scammers at all costs! Don’t fall for their trap!

Myth #1: Someone who speaks my language knows the product the best.

The best guarantee that a company can truly process COC orders for cars that come from all over the EU is a multilingual customer service staff and NOT a single-country provider. Single-language providers usually focus on just one market and don’t have the necessary experience in cross-border trading. This may not seem that important to you but obtaining a COC quickly and for a good price requires daily communication with suppliers from all over the European continent.

Some companies that sell Certificates of Conformity limit their service to just a few markets, but if you’re looking to avoid being scammed, getting the best quality service, and the best price, then it’s a good idea to go with a company of professionals who have Europewide experience.

Myth #2: If they have a hotline, that means the service is good, right?

Wrong! A hotline by definition is a direct telephone line set up for a specific purpose, particularly for emergencies. Just pick up the phone, give the company a ring during their opening hours and see for yourself. Is it multilingual? During what hours is the hotline open? Is it a real human answering the phone or is it an automated voice message system? These are the three questions you need to ask yourself when scouting for a reputable COC provider.

Myth #3: I can easily tell for myself that a website is credible.

Don't forget to check customer reviews of a COC provider. For example, check out this website https://www.signal-arnaques.com. You can find relevant feedback for companies operating in France. Since Certificates of Conformity are popular in France, most companies (including scam companies) operate on the French market, which is why doing a bit of research beforehand will help you save a lot of money. Search the name of the company you’re looking to buy a COC from and see for yourself. But definitely make sure to double-check the name of a particular company, as most fraudulent companies tend to use a very similar name to a credible one, which is one of the oldest tricks in the book. A simple investment of just one minute of your time could save you hundreds of euros.

Myth #4: Working with new companies on the market gives me a price advantage.

Although start-ups are great for disrupting any industry, you better think twice before sending your hard-earned cash to a company that is still learning how to work the business. Only deal with companies that have a proven history of providing COCs. As with everything in life, proficiency grows from experience. Don’t always go for the cheapest solution because it may end up costing you more than what you’ve bargained for!

A good sign of quality service is when the company is affiliated with other professional associations. Professionals stick to professionals, so don’t let yourself be fooled by start-ups that have virtually no experience whatsoever. Check their website, see who they work with, and eventually call the associations they claim to be affiliated with so that you can get some valuable feedback. This especially applies to those who are professionals and require more than one Certificate of Conformity for their business. Chances are that an established company will even have a VIP program for professionals who order more than one COC at a time, so definitely be on the lookout for this!

Myth #5: Cheap web design means a cheaper price.

And cheaper quality …. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but this is a COC we’re talking about! Don’t underestimate a website’s appearance. Pay very close attention to how professional their website looks, and if the overall layout of their site looks a bit dodgy, then it probably is! Many fraudulent companies on the market don’t care about the design of their website. All they care about is taking your money with no remorse. What a proper web design looks like may be based on personal taste, but we believe that if you’re looking to spend over a hundred euros on a Certificate of Conformity then you probably already have experience with shopping online. The website should look clean and organised, it should be easy and intuitive to navigate, the telephone number should be visible, and prices and delivery options should be transparent and laid out in clear terms. A cheap-looking website means the company is cheap, has cheap customer service, and does cheap delivery. Do you really want to test the waters with a cheap company just to save a buck or two? Just put yourself in their shoes for a moment. They want your money but can’t afford a proper website? How successful can they be as a company if their website looks like trash. Save yourself the headache and steer clear from them!

Myth #6: Whether VAT is included in the price is none of my business.

This happens all too often. It’s not clear from the website whether the prices include taxes or not. Again, if you’re not sure (and still want to do business with such a company), simply call and ask for yourself. However, keep in mind that a proper COC provider would never make you go out of your way to call and ask for this information. Instead, they would have all this information in plain view for you to see on their website. If VAT is not mentioned, then you have 2 possibilities: either a fraudulent company is behind this website or you will find out during checkout that the price is actually much higher than you had originally anticipated. Professionals who are registered VAT payers have the option to either pay without tax or reclaim the VAT back. Professional companies should make sure that their supplier is handling VAT properly, otherwise there may be an unpleasant visit from the fiscal authorities.

Myth #7: It’s best to buy a COC at the best price available.

But as we’ve already indicated in Myth #6, the price listed on their website doesn’t necessarily mean the final price. This is Scammer Tricks 101. There are COC companies on the market who will accept a COC order with a low price. When the COC arrives, they will call you and ask for additional payment. Usually, they claim that there were some unforeseen costs. This sneaky little trick goes as follows: The COC arrives to their office from the supplier, but you’re not notified. You really need a Certificate of Conformity, because you need to get your license plates (number plates) sorted. So you call them up and they tell you that there’s one small problem (e.g. the COC got stuck in the post, it’s stuck with the supplier, bla bla bla, yada yada yada), but if you pay them an extra 50 euros, they can solve the problem fast. Imagine being at your wit’s end, desperate to finally drive your car, so you end up surrendering to their dirty tricks and pay up – I mean, it’s only an extra 50 euros after all. But for the company, this is their business model and although it’s quite profitable for them, it’s actually illegal. A professional company would never change the price on you like this!

Myth #8: The faster the delivery, the more professional the company.

Companies that resell Certificates of Conformity on the internet do not produce them themselves. Therefore, they have to place an order with the car manufacturer and wait for physical delivery to their address. They may or may not check the data and send it to the customer. Usually there is a chance to speed up the process of delivery by selecting a courier when checking out – but it’s very difficult to make car manufacturers work any faster. In August, when factories are closed for vacation, real delivery times may be extended by an extra 30 days or more. But for the rest of the year, obtaining a COC will generally take around a week at minimum. Don’t always make your decisions based on delivery times. Delivery times that are too fast may just be another trap to take your money and run.

Myth #9: The internet is totally safe for making payments.

Security is, hands down, the most essential thing when it comes to making payments online!!! Always check to make sure that the payment portal is safe and secure. Usually, you’ll be able to tell when it comes time to make your payment. The payment portal should be encrypted and the HTTPS protocol should be visible in the browser. You will either pay through a bank system directly or through one of many fin-tech companies that are on the market. Many of them (like PayPal) will even give you the option to claim your money back if your argument is justified.

Myth #10: I found the Holy Grail – the cheapest solution on the market!


Are the prices listed on the company website significantly lower compared to other companies on the market? Maybe you really did hit the jackpot, but chances are that if it’s too good to be true, then it’s a scam! Just so you know what to look out for – a Certificate of Conformity is almost never priced lower than 120 euros. The price of a COC reflects the price policy of the manufacturers who need to make a profit after the costs for administration and bureaucracy are taken into account. Therefore, they will charge a lot for a vehicle’s “birth certificate” a.k.a. a Certificate of Conformity. Professional websites dedicated to selling Certificates of Conformity work with a small margin and the prices differ only by small amounts. Any large discount should immediately raise your suspicions.

BONUS Myth: I just got ripped off, there’s nothing I can do…

The best way to “help” a fraudulent company continue with their “business” is to walk away without taking any action. If you get cheated by a fraudulent company, go after them! Every country has its own regulations and safeguards against fraud and there is generally always a way to file a consumer complaint about an online store. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to file a complaint and/or criminal report with the police. The least you can do is leave a bad review on the company’s Facebook page, LinkedIN, or Trust Pilot. If you pay them for their service and never receive your COC, then this is theft and it should be treated as such. Don’t let others fall for their dirty tricks! Take action!

We hope that after reading this enlightening article, you are now an educated COC buyer who will not fall prey to these internet predators seeking to steal your money. We wish you the best of luck while shopping for a Certificate of Conformity and finding the best possible COC provider possible.