Second hand car buyers across Rochdale are being offered top tips on how to steer clear of common pitfalls as part of national consumer week this week (4 – 10 November).
The campaign, which urges drivers to ‘check it, don’t regret it’ was launched as it was revealed that Rochdale Council received 237 complaints from second hand car buyers in Rochdale in the 12 months from 1 October 2012, an average of 20 a month.
Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Regulation at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Drivers who don’t make proper checks when buying a used car can end up gambling their money away on a bad deal. Not only that, if it’s in poor condition the car will put the driver and other road users at risk.”
With the average consumer losing £425 on a used car that has unresolved faults, buyers are urged to follow these tips:
- Ask about service history. If the car is three years old or more make sure there's a continuous series of annual MOT 'certificates'.
- Insist on seeing the V5C registration document. Did the previous owners service it regularly? Did they do much mileage in it? Did they have any major servicing work done on it? Did they modify the vehicle in any way?
- If you know the vehicle's registration number and the document reference on the V5C you can check a vehicle's MOT status and history (back to 2005) online too.
- You can also enquire by telephone. Contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's (VOSA's) MOT status line on 0870 330 0444.
- Misaligned panels or mismatched colours on doors, bonnet and tailgate can indicate that the car has been repaired after a shunt. Traces of spray paint on door handles, window seals and mouldings can indicate repairs too.
- Budget carefully. Get insurance quotes and check car tax before signing on the bottom line. It’s also a good idea to get loan quotes before you view any cars so you know what you can afford from the outset.
- Get an HPI check. This will reveal if the car has outstanding finance, if it has been stolen or written off. It may also highlight any discrepancy with the mileage.
More tips and information on the campaign which is being led by trading Standards North West, can be found at @TSnorthwest or www.facebook.com/tradingstandardsNW Other useful sources of information include websites like www.citizensadvice.org.uk/usedcars and www.trusteddealers.co.uk
Anyone who would like to report an issue with a used car can phone 08454 04 05 06.
Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.