County trading standards officers have revealed that the number of complaints they get about secondhand cars is about two or three per day.
As part of a new campaign warning of the dangers when buying a used car, Lincolnshire Trading Standards confirmed that it dealt with almost 1,000 complaints in 2015-16, ranging from substandard service and shoddy business practices to warranty concerns, misleading claims and defective goods.
Now a checklist of four points has been unveiled by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, ‘do your research on the seller; ask questions: check the car over and be aware of sales patter’.
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 secondhand car with a catalogue of problems they weren’t aware of.
“Many consumers aren’t aware of their rights so that 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.”
People were advised to shop around, read customer reviews of car dealerships online and ask others about a car seller.
Other advice included asking the dealer about the car’s condition, repairs already carried out and relevant documents like MOT certificates, service history and the logbook.
People should also take a mechanic with them to inspect the car before buying it, take the car for a test drive and make sure any claims made by a salesman are put in writing.