posted 6 years ago

Motorists Spent £360 Million On Iffy Second-Hand Cars

Citizens Advice Bureau Reveals Alarming Conclusions

Citizens Advice has revealed that motorists spent more than three-hundred and sixty million pounds on problematic second-hand cars in twelve months. As such, it received eighty-four thousand enquires from unsatisfied customers. In a sample of more than two-thousand five hundred taken in September 2013, eighty-three percent of the complaints involved faults with the vehicles. Of these, fifty-three percent had problems within one month of the sale and eighty percent required “essential” repairs relating to corroded brake pipes, engines, etc. Furthermore, seventy-five percent of the complaints involved independent dealers and older cars were more problematic than the newer cars.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Discusses Second-Hand Cars

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, explained: “People are spending, on average, over five thousand pounds on a second hand car with many drivers saving for months on end or taking out expensive finance packages in order to afford it. With rising day to day costs putting extra pressure on already tight finances, people cannot afford for such pricey purchases to go wrong.  Not only could it cost families money but it can mean their car is off the road because it is unsafe”. She concluded:” “The second hand car industry needs to put the brakes on malfunctioning motors by making sure the cars they sell are in good working order.  That way people aren’t wasting their time or money trying to fix issues that should never have been there in the first place.”

A Motorist's Rights When Buying A Second-Hand Car

The Citizens Advice Bureau has confirmed that motorists have rights when buying a second-hand vehicle. It must:

“Match its description. This means it must be as described by the seller. This includes any written description in an advertisement or catalogue.”

“Be of satisfactory quality. This means the car must be in reasonable condition, considering its age and make, its past history and the price paid.”

“Be fit for its purpose. If you request a vehicle which is capable of towing a large caravan, it must be capable of doing the job. “

“Be roadworthy.  It is a criminal offence to sell an un-roadworthy car. A car is not roadworthy if its brakes, tyres, steering, or construction make it unfit for the road. Even if the car has an MOT certificate, this doesn't necessarily mean that it is roadworthy.”