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Brits spend a massive £5.5 billion repairing recently bought cars

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Jul 26, 2016


We Brits are a nation of unreliable wheeler dealers, new research has suggested.

Within three months of buying a second hand car, half of us have discovered a fault that needs to be repaired, according to a study by auto-trader SellCar.

These repairs cost the driver an average of £182.65.

With 30,461,100 licensed cars in the UK, drivers are spending billions every year repairing dodgy vehicles.

So who is to blame?

Well, 28 per cent of us have bought a second hand car without even test driving it first, so perhaps we need to do our research properly.

But there’s little doubt sellers are conning customers by flogging them vehicles with hidden defects.

One in five admitted to lying to shift a car.

To get a sale through the door, salesman admitted to lying about a car’s brakes, mileage and even its history.

Men are more confident (or is that arrogant) when it comes to buying cars, with 31 per cent happy to make a decision themselves compared to just 9 per cent for women.

When we do seek out advice, we certainly don’t turn to car dealers – only 18 per cent of respondents said they trusted a car salesman.

Confusing jargon could explain the lack of confidence amongst car buyers.

14 per cent admitted they are unwilling to ask the seller to explain complex terminology when making a purchase.

SellCar has put together this handy graphic that helps you unravel some of the lingo car deals use.

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Three tips on how to stay safe when buying a used car

1) Ask for expert advice

Before you part with your hard-earned cash, seek out expert advice on whether you’re getting value for money. If you’re not a car person, ask a friend who is, or find someone who works in the industry who can help out.

You’ll need to check things like mileage (the average covered is around 10,000 miles a year), condition (any scratches or dents), poor repairs, the engine and whether the radio works.

2) Pay on credit card

Where possible, pay for every penny of your new vehicle using a credit card. If something goes wrong, you’re protected for purchases between £100 and £30,000 under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Even if you can only pay a bit on credit card, it’s worth doing.

3) Take it for a test drive

Spending a load of money on something you’ve never used is not wise. Before you buy your new car, take it for a drive on different kinds of roads.

Ask yourself: is it comfortable? Does it veer? Is the boot big enough? Does the brake work? Does the suspension soak up bumps and corners?

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