Used cars are the focus of National Consumer Week

4th November 2013

It's National Consumer Week, and Get Safe Online is getting behind Citizens Advice and Trading Standards to in support of their campaign to urge used car buyers to ‘check it, not regret it’.

The majority of used cars are found online, and this website has its own advice page on the ins and outs of searching and buying cars on the internet and paying for them – as well as selling them safely. Citizens Advice and Trading Standards, however, are focusing on what to check that the vehicle itself is roadworthy, well maintained, not stolen and worth what you are paying for it.

The most complained-about issues dealt with the Citizens Advice consumer service are associated with second-hand cars, with 6000 complaints reported a month … with faults being one of the most common problems. Together with Trading Standards, Citizens Advice has produced a list of simple checks to help you make sure the car you buy is safe, legal and matches up to how its description. These are as follows:

– MOT certificate check – indicates if car is roadworthy
– Service history check – shows if car has been maintained
– Registration document check (V5) – shows if car is stolen
– Write off check – helps you know what you are buying
– Finance history check – ensures car doesn’t have an outstanding hire purchase agreement
– Test drive and walk around check – for signs the car isn’t what it seems
– Engineer’s check – shows condition of car and any hidden dangers
– Price value guide check – indicates reasonable price to pay
– Car recalled check– shows if car was recalled for safety reasons by manufacturer.

Readers who have a problem with a second hand car can get help from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 (08454 04 05 05 for the Welsh language line). Their advice gude can be found by clicking here.

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