Used-car buyer beware – even from a dealer

 

Citizens Advice is warning consumers to be on the lookout for problem motors after dodgy used cars bought from dealers topped the list of the most complained-about consumer issues between April and June this year.

Thousands of motorists are likely to be trading their cars in this month in order to buy vehicles with the new "62" registration plates. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders forecasts that private buyers will spend £2.5bn on new cars in September alone.

Citizens Advice received more than 12,000 complaints in just three months about second-hand cars bought from independent dealers. Two-thirds of the complaints were about the car being faulty and more than one in 10 claimed that salespeople had given misleading information.

Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "It's time these dealers parked their sharp practices. If you're not a motor head, stepping on to a used car dealer's forecourt can feel like entering a lion's den. But there are things consumers can do to protect themselves, like looking out for unusually low mileage on an old car, which could mean it's been tampered with."

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