Motoring: Driving a hard bargain

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Bargain hunters who spent the bank holiday looking for a used car may well end up disappointed, according to a report. For one in four buyers, their cherished motor is not what they expected, says a survey by Yorkshire Bank.

The holiday weekend is a peak period for second-hand buyers, but too many have their priorities wrong, it adds. Some 56 per cent are influenced by whether the car has good bodywork, as opposed to 21 per cent who put the engine at the top of their checklist.

Only 12 per cent of buyers say they would commission a vehicle inspection report from an independent assessor, and 46 per cent rely on a second opinion from a friend or relative.

Yorkshire Bank spokeswoman Helen Kettleborough, said: "Cars represent a significant spend and so the survey findings are quite alarming. It seems that many buyers make very little attempt to check out the car and its history and as a result, run the risk of ending up with a vehicle which doesn't match their expectations."

One in eight owners give their car a name, according to the bank. The survey showed most cars are "female", with names such as Betsy, Bessie and Lucy topping the list of favourites.