What Car? guide to... complaining - Ask for help
Our Helpdesk is inundated with requests for advice and can't respond to every problem individually, but you can download a free factsheet that explains where you stand with the law and offers common remedies by clicking here
Besides us, Consumer Direct should be at the top of your list of white knights. This Government-funded consumer service will give clear, practical advice over the phone (call 08454 040506).
They will also pass on your details to Trading Standards if the case is serious enough. Consumer Direct's website (www.consumerdirect.gov.uk) is a good source of legal information, too, as is the Office of Fair Trading's website (www.oft.gov.uk).
For a different kind of help, try the Institute of Automotive Engineers Assessors (www.iaea-online.org). If there's some dispute over the nature of a technical fault, an independent inspection is often the most sensible way forward.
If the problem relates to finance or insurance, try the Financial Ombudsman (www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk).
Should you opt to take legal action - and you should see this as a last resort - you won't need an expensive solicitor if you go through the Small Claims Court (see www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk), which can deal with claims of up to £5000 in England and Wales, or £3000 in Scotland. See www.courtsni.gov.uk if you live in Northern Ireland.