Used car buyers happy buying unseen

* Many buy car online, unseen * 'Cooling off period' applies * How to buy safely online...

Used car buyers happy buying unseen

More and more shoppers are happy to buy their next used car without seeing it in the metal, according to internet car seller

Autoquake says that over 30 per cent of its customers are happy to have their chosen car delivered directly to their front door, without inspecting it first. A seven-day guarantee means that unhappy shoppers can get their money back, yet less than two per cent request a refund, it adds.

According to Autoquake's research, some regions of the UK are more comfortable buying cars unseen online than others.

Around 45%t of East Anglian customers buy cars unseen, closely followed by the South East, with 43%. Midlands residents are the least comfortable with buying a used car online, however, with just 19 % opting for home delivery.

Buying advice play safe online
Buy a car used car from a business over the internet and you're automatically covered by the Distance Selling Regulations. This gives you a seven-day cooling off period after youve taken delivery.

You're also covered if you place a deposit online and conclude the deal face to face. The Distance Selling Regulations don't cover you when buying privately, or if the car has been altered or personalised to your specifications.

If you pay a deposit using a credit card for an item worth between 100 and 30,000, your credit card provider becomes equally liable if the car fails to be delivered, is faulty or if the business goes bust.

Ask small or unknown companies for references or testimonials, and don't hand over any payment details unless you feel confident. If you have doubts, speak to the local Trading Standards office. Before you enter payment details online, check the website uses encryption technology to protect your data.