Tips on buying a used car

Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, community safety committee chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, community safety committee chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council

Council chiefs have released some top tips to avoid being caught out when buying a second hand car.

Notinghamshire County Council has issued the advice as problems with used cars remain the most common issue that consumers raise complaints about after falling victim to rogue sellers or unknowingly buying a problem vehicle.

There were 6,098 complaints from East Midland’s consumers in relation to second hand cars in the year 2015/16.

The most common reported issues were defective goods (73 per cent), misleading claims omissions (11 per cent), substandard services (five per cent) and business practices (three per cent).

A total of 1,520 of these complaints came from consumers in Nottinghamshire, amounting to 15 percent of all complaints received by the council’s Trading Standards team.

Additionally, the rise of car sales on online auction sites, online dealers and sales on social media has meant that many people are buying from a person whom they do not know how to locate should problems arise in future.

The council’s tips for consumers who are looking to buy a used car are -

• research the seller – shop around, look for customer reviews of the dealership online and ask friends and family

• ask questions – ask the dealer about the condition of the car, repairs carried out on the car, and the relevant documentation for the car such as MOT certificates, service history and the V5C registration document (logbook)

• check the car over – take a mechanic with you to view and inspect the car before purchase, and always take the car for a test drive

• be aware of sales patter – ensure any verbal claims made by the salesman are put in writing

Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s community safety committee, said: “Many people are often unaware of their rights as a consumer when buying a second hand car, not knowing that any faults that appear within the first 30 days will mean the consumer is entitled to a refund, and a repair or replacement after that.

For extensive guidance on the used car checks visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk