Buying a used car isn’t always easy. Are you getting the best deal? Or are you being taken in by a scammer wanting to make a quick buck? Here’s Jo Swinson on what’s being done to get you a better deal on used cars.
Whether it’s a first car, a reliable vehicle for your commute or a safe way to do the school run, most of us will have bought a second-hand car at some point. And when we do, we want to know that we’re getting the best car we can and can trust the people we’re buying from.
According to the AA, as many as 750,000 people a year say they faced unnecessary problems while buying a used car, which shows just how many of us are affected.
Problems when buying a used car
This is why I launched the Used Car Commission and set the challenge of understanding the causes of consumer complaints in an industry that’s valued at £38.1bn per year. The Commission brings together the expertise of representatives from Which? and other consumer groups, motoring organisations, regulators and the industry trade association in an attempt to investigate fully what can be done to limit the problems you face.
The Commission has now reported back and found that the industry often works well for consumers, but that there are areas for improvement. It has put forward proposals to get a better deal for consumers, including closer cooperation between the Police and Trading Standards to target organised criminals and the development of a minimum set of requirements for used car codes and trader approval schemes.
Getting you the best used car deals
This is a great start and something I’ve given my full backing to, but there’s more to do to make sure you’re getting the best deals possible. I will be working with the Commission over the next few months to ensure their proposals are implemented.
I want to be clear that most dealers provide a good customer experience. It’s the rogue few who rip people off and then refuse to sort any problems out that I want to tackle. That way, when you drive away in the car you’ve just purchased you’ll have the trust and security that you deserve and won’t have to go through undue stress and hassle.
Have you ever bought a used car? Did you experience any problems? If so, I want to hear from you.
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This post, published in advance of National Consumer Week 2014, is from Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson. All opinions expressed here are Jo’s own, not necessarily those of Which?.