Used car buyers urged to 'check it, don't regret it'
Trading Standards Service is steering people in Northern Ireland in the right direction when it comes to buying a used car. The drive is part of a month-long campaign urging people to ‘check it, don’t regret it’ by assessing whether the used car they're buying is safe, legal and is what it seems.
Used car checklist
A second-hand car that isn't up to scratch and is littered with faults can be a danger to the driver and other road users. Trading Standards Service has issued the following checklist to people buying used cars:
- check the MOT - it shows the car was roadworthy when the test was passed
- check to see the full service history, to show what maintenance has been done on the car. See if the car has been serviced regularly and make sure that the mileage on the paperwork makes sense
- check the registration document, to avoid buying a stolen car. Ask to see the V5C registration document, better known as the ‘logbook’
- check if the car has been written off. Cars are written off when insurance companies decide they are too expensive to repair or too damaged after an accident. There are different categories of write-off depending on the damage to the car
- check the car doesn’t have an outstanding credit agreement or logbook loan
- check the car and test drive it before you buy, to spot signs it isn’t what it seems
- get a check to show the condition of the car and to check for any hidden dangers. You can also check that repairs have been completed properly if the car is a write-off
You can get more useful information at the pages below:
- Advice on buying a used car (motoring section)
- Advice on buying and selling a vehicle (motoring section)
Action taken against car dealers
Trading Standards Service has taken enforcement action against a number of car dealers in Northern Ireland in the last year, over concerns about:
- car clocking
- business practices when selling cars
- finance and after-sale guarantees
Anyone who has a complaint about used cars should contact Consumerline on:
- phone: 0300 123 6262
- internet: Consumerline website
Used cars continue to top the number of complaints to Consumerline, with over 1,000 people complaining about problems with them in the last year.