Used Cars – Drivers are losing £500 when they buy a used car after failing to check this

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Used cars for sale are tempting for motorists due to knock down cheap prices for some good models with low mileage, but simple mistakes can cause drivers paying out more than they should for a vehicle. Research has found motorists buying a used car could be missing out on £496 annually for failing to carry out enough checks on a car when they are buying one. Almost half take someone who knows a little bit about cars when they are looking at buying a secondhand motor. However, the research has highlighted many leave themselves exposed by not asking simple questions which could reveal major car faults.

Almost three-quarters of motorists have not asked to look at a car price index before buying a used car.

These sheets give an average valuation of how much a car could be worth and prevents sellers from charging prices higher than they should be.

A total of 64 percent of drivers have failed to request a written receipt as 56 percent didn’t ask to see a car’s logbook.

Almost half of motorists did not take the car on a test drive before buying which could have exposed faults a seller may have been hiding.

In other shocking statistics, a total of 41 percent of motorists said they often do not know whether to trust a seller, with 61 percent admitting they would never try to negotiate on an asking price.

Previous Gumtree research uncovered that general awkwardness when buying vehicles could lose drivers a stunning £496.20 annually.

Gumtree’s head of Motors, Vik Barodia said: “The research results are very surprising – test-driving a pre-owned car is imperative so people can feel confident they are purchasing a second-hand vehicle in good condition.

“At Gumtree we see over 12 million people come to the site each month on a mission to buy a car, so we know there’s an appetite for pre-owned vehicles,

“However, from preparation through to signing on the dotted line, there are some simple rules of the road people should follow to help them feel more in control the whole experience.”

To avoid being scammed or ripped off by dodgy sellers, RAC has recommended a string of tips for worried motorists.

They urge drivers to make sure their car is of a reasonable quality as soon as possible and then report any damage instantly.

All traders need to comply with the Consumer Rights Act meaning drivers who have purchased a faulty car may be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund if the vehicle is sold in an unsatisfactory condition.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 also states no-one can sell a vehicle in an unworthy road condition so buyers do have rights when it comes to purchasing a used car as well as new.

The RAC also push drivers to conduct a thorough check on a car before agreeing to purchase it.

They say drivers would need to check the car’s tyres, look for any dents or scratches, assess the panel gaps and check up on fluid levels, oil, electrics, glass, upholstery, spare wheels and a vehicles general wear and tear.

They also say it is important to find out as much as possible about a car’s history which will help identify any hidden issues with a vehicle.

As well as checking either var has been stolen, crashed or has outstanding payments on it, they urge drivers to check for mileage discrepancies to make sure they are not buying a clocked vehicle. 

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