Simon Read: Consumers still feel as used as their second-hand cars

 

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Tried to buy a second-hand car lately? Research suggests little has changed since the bad old days when smooth-talking sales people would try and flog you a right dodgy motor.

Complaints about second-hand cars are one of the biggest issues among visitors to Citizens Advice. In the year to March 2014, the charity dealt with 69,342 enquiries relating to used motors.

Meanwhile the AA reckons that 750,000 consumers a year face unresolved problems with a used-car purchase.

So today the consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson is calling on the Used Car Commission to act on proposals to give consumers a better deal. The commission was set up a year ago and includes representatives from consumer groups, motoring organisations, regulators and the industry trade association.

The proposals include the development of a minimum set of requirements for used- car sellers and trader-approval schemes to ensure consumers are better protected.

There are also plans for closer co-operation between the police and Trading Standards to target organised criminals who steal vehicles for export, clone them or break them up for parts.

Buying a used car is a big purchase for most of us and we deserve to be treated properly by the people who sell motors. Hopefully this is a first step towards a cleaner and more honest industry.

s.read@independent.co.uk

twitter: @simonnread

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