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Scots being ripped off by used car dealers

4 Nov 2013

Scots are spending over £600,000 a week on Used Cars which are faulty – according to new evidence from Citizens AdviceScotland. 

The charity reveals today (Monday 4th November) that nearly 100 Scots contact its special consumer helpline every week after being ripped off by irresponsible Used Car dealers. In one out of every 10 of these cases, the car is un-safe to drive.  The figures are part of the ‘Check it, don’t regret it’ campaign launched today by the CAB service UK-wide for National Consumer Week. 

Citizens Advice Scotland’s Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says, 

“The CAB service is one of the main consumer support agencies in the country. And what we are finding is that used cars are one of the biggest areas where consumers are being exploited. At a time when many Scots are struggling financially and looking for ways to save money, rogue car dealers are cynically ripping them off by selling them vehicles they know are duds. 

“Every industry has its rogues, and it’s only fair to say that many used car dealers operate fairly. But the minority in this industry who exploit their customers are not only ripping them off, but in many cases are putting lives in danger by letting cars on the road that are not safe to drive.  

“These figures are shocking, but it’s worth remembering that these are just the cases that were reported to us at the CAB service. There will be many more cases out there which have been reported to other authorities, or which haven’t been reported at all. Many people feel that when they buy a Used Car they don’t have the same rights and guarantees that they have if they buy a new one from a garage. 

“One of our messages today is that consumers always have rights as a customer, and we will help you stand up for those. It’s also vital that you check what you are buying before you part with your money. You don’t need to be a car expert to be able to spot what’s not right. We have a list of easy checks you can make when buying a used car. And anyone who has a complaint about a used car dealer can get specific advice by calling our special Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.” 

John Cleland, former racing driver and a responsible car dealership owner who is backing the campaign, says: 

“Buying a car can be one of the biggest purchases anybody makes and it’s important that you get a fair deal. There are a number of quick and easy steps people can take to make sure they are buying a decent motor, taking the car for a test drive can really help you decide if the car is right for you. Watch out for things like frayed seat-belts, signs of big accident damage or heavily worn tyres that should be a red light to buyers.” 

The UK Government’s Consumer Minister Jo Swinson MP is also backing the campaign. She says, 

“Last year over seven million used cars were sold in the UK. As Citizens Advice Scotland figures highlight, too many consumers end up footing the bill when their car needs repairs or, worse still, is unsafe to drive just weeks after purchase. 

“Consumers need to know what to look out for when buying a used car. The nine top tips launched during National Consumer Week are an excellent way to make people think about some of the basic checks they should be making before parting with their hard earned money.” 

To arrange interviews, please call us on 07774 751655. 

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