Pre-Owned Cars Bear The Brunt Of Public Angst

If you’re planning to buy your car and choosing a cheap car insurance policy, you’ll be better off with a first-hand car. Chances are, if you end up buying a pre-owned car, your insurance quotes will be skyrocketing.

This year has witnessed a higher number of official complaints lodged against used car dealers than any other trade. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) revealed that the year 2011 saw more than 56,000 UK nationals complaining to its consumer arm, that is, Consumer Direct. All the complaints were in regard to second-hand cars and their dealers. These complaints spanned the commencement of January all the way till the end of September. Compared to this number, there were around 48,000 complaints about home maintenance, 36,200 regarding furniture and approximately 35,000 with respect to telecommunications.

The number of complaints against second-hand cars means that anyone looking to compare car insurance quotes can be in for a rough time if he/she owns a pre-owned vehicle.

Of the 56,000 complaints, a whopping 70% were related to faulty vehicles, about 13% or more were regarding omissions or misleading claims by the dealers and roughly 7% were about deficiency in quality of service.

OFT looked into the issue of used cars last year and found that, on an average, customers end up losing 425 pounds each, as they are forced to fix issues and unresolved defects that the dealers are contractually obligated to correct.

Michele Shambrook from Consumer Direct warned of retaliatory action by the OFT against dealers who misled their customers in such a manner. “We continue to receive a high number of complaints which are often due to some traders refusing to deal with legitimate complaints or provide appropriate compensation. Dealers who fail to treat customers fairly or sell cars that are defective could face enforcement action,” she categorically stated.

To avoid facing such hassles, customers are summarily encouraged to ask the dealer as many questions as they deem fit before making the purchase. These questions could be related to mileage checks, history of the vehicle, mechanical errors if any etc.

If the vehicle being purchased has all the right documents, no faults or defects and is properly maintained by its owner, then even the fact that it is a pre-owned vehicle cannot possible stop a cheap cover when looking around for car insurance comparison.

Coming back to the OFT and it’s crusade against used-car dealers, the consumer strong arm has recently released a short film for the purpose of educating people about their rights and responsibilities while purchasing a car. Given the lack of knowledge among the general public when it comes to car insurance or purchase, it is seen as necessary to enlighten them about their privileges and duties, whether it is buying a car or availing of a cheap premium.

As if to prove its point, OFT recently took action this April, against a used car buying company for presenting misleading online valuation. This came after it found that 96% of the customers dealing with the company ended up receiving lesser for their vehicle than was originally quoted. Sometimes, the deficit exceeded into hundreds of pounds.