The recently launched government helpline and online advice service Consumer Direct has been inundated with 25,000 calls from worried and angry car buyers.
Consumer Direct offers the public advice regarding problems and disagreements with suppliers of all goods and services, but has found that one in 10 callers need advice regarding new and used car sales. No other single product generates as many enquiries.
During the second half of 2005, there were 5000 complaints regarding new cars and 19,000 about used cars.
According to Consumer Direct, half of the complaints involved vehicle defects, such as condition of bodywork, window seals and electronics.
Breach of contract accounted for 10% of complaints, while verbal misrepresentation and customer service generated 6% and 5% of complaints respectively.
Consumer Direct is available throughout the UK (except for the North West, West Midlands and North East where the service is due to arrive this spring) on 08454 04 05 06 or www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.
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