• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

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Dodgy deals: 75,000 cars are bought each year for much more than their worth

  • One in every 100 cars sold on auto trading websites has a dubious past
  • Clocked odometers, ex-taxis and cars which used to be scrap are resold as pristine
  • Expert shares tips on how to identify red flags when shopping for a used car

An estimated 75,000 cars are bought each year for much more than their worth, according to new research from GoCompare.[¹]

One in every 100 cars purchased online has a hidden past, despite being resold as pristine. This means 1% of all vehicles listed on auto trading websites have unseen faults, data which isn’t showing up on a standard vehicle history check. [¹]

Issues could range from clocked odometers to repaired write-offs offered as clean vehicles for much more than their actual value.[¹]

GoCompare also spoke to vehicle history expert Marcus Rockey at CarVeto, a free-access vehicle check database for drivers. His top tips to keep consumers safe when shopping for used cars are as follows:

  1. Always run a comprehensive vehicle history check. Don’t rely on an old report kept by the existing keeper or trader, as a vehicle’s history can change quickly.
  2. Insist on seeing the V5 logbook before making a purchase and before the seller taxes the car. This will ensure you’re aware of any previous owners and if any ‘categories’ are recorded, such as whether it’s an ex-taxi or has a suspicious history.
  3. Make sure to check the manufacturer database to confirm a vehicle’s services, dates, and mileage, including any warranty work that may have been carried out. If this information doesn’t exist, especially with premium cars, it could be a red flag.
  4. To help identify tampered odometers, look out for unusual wear and tear in the seats, steering wheel, door mirrors and cosmetics (particularly across the vehicle’s front end). This often gives a physical indication of how many miles a car has travelled. 
  5. If you’re still feeling uncertain about a vehicle, you can arrange a professional vehicle inspection to clear up any doubts. Inspections include a verbal and written report, vehicle examination and checks of the overall mechanics and documentation. This kind of inspection doesn’t provide any guarantees but does offer peace of mind for buyers investing in a new car. [3] 

Ryan Fulthorpe, car insurance expert at GoCompare, commented: “In the UK, it is against consumer law to hide any information about a damaged car when advertising for sale.

“Despite this, thousands of vehicles are being sold under false assumptions, misleading potential buyers. Carrying out some smart checks before making a purchase is essential to avoid being made a victim of a used car scam.”

More information on how to protect yourself when purchasing a used car can be found on GoCompare’s website

By admin