Lincolnshire County Council has revealed that it received almost 1,000 complaints from people who’ve experienced substandard services and defective goods when buying second hand cars in one year.
In 2015-16 the council received on average two or three complaints per day from Lincolnshire residents.
Some 964 calls from anxious consumers focused on second-rate services, shoddy business practices, worries around warranties, misleading claims and defective goods.
Mark Keal, business and public protection manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Every year hundreds of people fall victim to rogue sellers and end up buying a second hand car with a catalogue of problems they weren’t aware of.
“Many consumers aren’t aware of their rights, for example if any faults appear on the car within the first 30 days, they are entitled to a refund, and a repair or replacement after that.
“We’ve put together some tips to help consumers avoid getting caught out by rogue sellers or by purchasing a problem vehicle in the first place.
“We will be targeting the sellers we are aware of to try to bring them into line or to take action where appropriate.”
The council’s top tips for buying a used car:
- Do your research on the seller: Shop around, look for customer reviews of your dealership online and ask friends and family;
- Ask questions: Ask the dealer about the condition of the car, repairs carried out on the car, and the relevant documentation for the car such as MOT certificates, service history and the V5C registration document (logbook);
- Check the car over: Take a mechanic with you to view and inspect the car before purchase, and always take the car for a test drive;
- Be aware of sales patter: Ensure any verbal claims made by the salesman are put in writing.
For extensive guidance on the checks you can make before buying a used car, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Have you had an unfortunate experience with a second hand car bought in Lincolnshire? Get in touch with the news desk via firstname.lastname@example.org.