Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

Buyers who’ve unknowingly purchased ex-company or rental cars could get refunds of up to 100%...

Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

If you’re one of the million UK buyers who unknowingly bought an ex-rental or company car in the past year, you may have been mis-sold the vehicle and could therefore be entitled to compensation.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has published an online advice guide for sellers of ex-business use vehicles. It states that the ex-fleet nature of any car’s ownership must be made known to potential purchasers, especially if multiple drivers have used it.

The reason for this is that the buyer’s decision to purchase the vehicle could be influenced by the knowledge that it had previously been on a fleet rather than have had ‘one careful owner’.

The ASA says it is going to send warnings to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), the trade association that represents the car industry in the UK, so that it can draw attention to this new guidance by those in the trade.

The SMMT does not comment on individual cases, but it stated: "Ex fleet vehicles can be a great used car choice, if as with any other vehicle it can be demonstrated they have been maintained and serviced properly and offer good value for money. We advise every consumer to carry out all the relevant background checks before committing to buying a used-car. Simple steps such as checking the log book, using the DVLA’s vehicle information checker and verifying MOT history can all offer peace of mind to car buyers."

The guidance is comes after the ASA criticised Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK and Glyn Hopkin of Romford and Chelmsford in October 2017 for advertising two ex-fleet cars for sale without disclosing that they were previously used for business purposes.

Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

Legal firm Harcus Sinclair is reported to have said that not reporting such information could constitute a violation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Under these regulations, anyone who has been mis-sold an ex-rental car could be entitled to compensation of 25-100% of the car’s purchase price in damages.

Top 10 best used small SUVs

Today’s best SUVs combine a high driving position that allows you to see out clearly with practical, versatile interior space that means there’s room for the whole family. But of course, you’ll probably also want a car that’s light and easy to drive, and not so large that it’s impossible to park – which is where smaller SUVs like the ones we’ve featured here come in.

Not everyone wants to buy brand new – and why would you, when there’s a plethora of great options on the used market? That massive choice can be confusing, of course – which is why we’re here, and why we’ve rounded up our 10 best used small SUVs to help you work out which one’s best for you.

Best used small SUVs

10. Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross

Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

It isn’t the most sophisticated small SUV going, and its interior feels rather cheap in places, but the Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross is still decent enough to drive and spacious enough for most families. It’s great value, too, with lots of low-mileage examples going very cheaply, and it comes with plenty of equipment. What’s more, Suzuki has a great reputation for reliability, so the SX-4 S-Cross should be dependable.

We found: 2013 1.6 SZ-T, 17,000 miles, £8807

Read the full Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross review

Find a used Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross in the What Car? Classifieds

9. Kia Soul

Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

Average ride quality and so-so handling mean the Kia Soul isn’t great to drive, but if you can live with that you get a small SUV that offers huge amounts of room in every seat thanks to its boxy profile, and a huge boot as well. There’s also plenty of equipment, and it all comes backed up by a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty – so even if you buy a three-year-old example, you’ll still have four years’ warranty left to run. And with seriously low prices, the Soul looks like fabulous value too.

We found: 2013 1.6 CRDi 2, 19,000 miles, £7488

Read the full Kia Soul review

Find a used Kia Soul in the What Car? Classifieds

8. Hyundai ix35

Car mis-selling scandal - second-hand car buyers could get compensation

It’s not much fun to drive and the engines are noisy, but the Hyundai ix35 is at least reasonably comfortable on most road surfaces, and if you’re not all that fussed about its stodgy handling, it makes a good, dependable small SUV. There’s plenty of room in both the front and the back, while the boot is big and well-shaped, and unless you choose the entry-level S version, you get plenty of toys too – and every ix35 came with a five-year warranty from new.