Second-hand car dealers are more trusted among car buyers than private sellers found online or through classified ads, Which? research has found.
The study found that six in 10 (62%) car buyers trust a second-hand car dealership, with the vast majority (81%) thinking that a dealership would be more likely to uphold the legal rights of a buyer and 72% expecting them to provide a better quality product. As many as 65% thought dealers would be more likely to provide an accurate history of the car.
In contrast, just four in 10 (42%) car buyers trust a private second-hand car seller. The consumer group found that this was the case even though half (53%) thought private sellers would offer better value for money than dealers.
The Which? survey also revealed that one in four (27%) encounter problems with their vehicle when buying a second hand car, with one in five (19%) saying it emerged that the car had a minor fault and 6% saying there was a major fault with the car.
Despite these figures, just 28% had the car checked by a mechanic before buying and a third (33%) ran a vehicle history check for any prior accidents and number of previous owners.
Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Editor, said:
“Buying a car is a significant decision and one that you will likely live with for several years.
“Regardless of whether you bought from a used-car dealer or a friend of a friend, you do have rights. Make sure you have a contract in place and run a full vehicle history check to avoid any nasty surprises.”
Advice for buying a second-hand car:
If your car is faulty you have 30 days from taking ownership of it to reject it and get a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act.
If you reject a second-hand car bought in the UK, you must stop using it immediately.
If you’re past the first 30 days but a problem has arisen that you think would have been there at the time of purchase, you’re entitled to ask for a repair or replacement free of charge. In most cases this will be a repair, as whoever sold the car to you will usually be able to prove that the cost of replacing it would be disproportionate. If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you’re entitled to a refund. But the car dealer can make a deduction from the refund after the first 30 days for ‘fair use’.
Find out more about your rights when buying second-hand cars by visiting: https://www.which.co.uk/consum
Notes to editors
Populus conducted 2,106 online interviews on behalf of Which? with a nationally representative sample of respondents aged 18+ in Great Britain concerning their views and experiences with purchasing second-hand cars. Fieldwork was conducted between 23rd – 25th May 2018.
For Which? advice on buying a second-hand car, visit https://www.which.co.uk/review
s/new-and-used-cars/article/ho w-to-buy-the-best-car/how-to- buy-the-best-used-car
Which? has information on your rights if you find a fault after purchase. Visit the Which? Consumer Rights website for more information.