Used car buyers need greater protection to ensure they are not left out of pocket if the buying experience turns sour.
It’s a view taken by the Government, which has now tasked its Used Car Commission with developing minimum requirements for used car dealers operating under approval schemes.
In a year long study, the Used Car Commission has explored problems reported by consumers about the sector, which has a value of £38bn and 7.1m used car sales annually.
Complaints about second-hand cars are one of the biggest issues people take to the Citizens Advice consumer service. From April 2013 to March 2014, Citizens Advice dealt with 69,342 enquiries relating to second hand cars, and the AA estimates that 750,000 consumers per year face unresolved problems with a used car purchase.
It equates to 2.48 complaints nationally per 1,000 registered cars registered.
The Citizens Advice data shows 78.1% of complaints related to independent used car dealers.
The address this, the commission implement proposals including the development of a minimum set of requirements for used car codes and trader approval schemes to ensure consumers are better protected and improve customer services, closer cooperation between police and Trading Standards to target organised criminals who steal vehicles for export, clone them or break them up for parts, and a focus on information gathering on used cars so current and emerging issues can be quickly identified and acted on by police and Trading Standards.
Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said: “While the majority of second-hand car buyers will have a trouble free experience, too many consumers are left with unresolved issues or thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“The recommendations are an excellent starting point and it is good to see the sector working together to get the best possible outcomes for consumers."