Used car website Trusted Dealers has launched a car buyer mediation and arbitration helpline and free used car buyers' guide.
It comes during National Consumer Week, which starts today, and has been done in partnership with the National Franchised Dealers' Association (NFDA).
The launch of the telephone service follows recent research from the Citizens Advice Bureau which found 73% of consumers seeking assistance last year needed guidance on how to deal with faulty second hand car purchases.
The helpline provides a legally binding solution for both the dealer and the buyer to ensure peace of mind.
The helpline is open to anyone purchasing a used car from Trusted Dealers and NFDA members, and trained experts can mediate an agreement between the two parties, or act as an arbitrator to finalise a mandatory decision in favour of one or the other.
In support of National Consumer Week, Trusted Dealers has also launched an online ‘scambusters’ guide to help buyers avoid the most common purchasing pitfalls, ensuring their search for a used car runs as smoothly as possible.
The guide is available at: www.trusteddealers.co.uk/scambusters.
Neil Addley, managing director of Trusted Dealers, said: “Trusted Dealers offers one of the safest ways to buy a used car online through franchise dealer members who all sign up to our ‘10 points of difference’ standards, offering an assurance of quality and security.
"Although the Citizens Advice Bureau research showed only 14% of consumer complaints related to franchised dealers, for us this still signifies a need to offer buyers more support which we’re delivering through the helpline and ‘scambusters’ guide.
“If the worst happens and a buyer does experience a problem, the new mediation and arbitration service provides an efficient ‘one-stop’ service to resolve any issues.
"The report also revealed the top complaints from used car buyers included defective goods, receiving substandard services and being misled by incorrect claims and bad business practice. Buying from a Trusted Dealers member safeguards against these."
Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: “The new helpline is an important tool that can help regulate the industry of used car buying whilst also informing customers of their consumer rights.
“This new helpline, backed up our new 'used car standards' and handy reference guide for consumers firmly establish Trusted Dealers as the safest place to buy a car online.”
Trusted Dealers launched in 2011 and incorporates 886 of the UK’s largest used car dealers and attracts over one million users each month.
The NFDA’s membership now covers 85% of all dealer networks in the UK.