Record numbers of used car buyers are suffering at the hands of dodgy car dealers, according to Consumer Direct.
In the first six months of 2010, the Government's consumer helpline received over 38,000 complaints about second-hand cars, that's 18% up compared with the same period last year.
Just as in 2009, used cars generated the highest number of complaints, ahead of mobile phones and TVs.
Last year, the Office of Fair Trading launched an investigation into the second-hand car business, and concluded that almost a fifth of buyers experienced a problem with the car after they bought it, and that around 30% ended up fixing the fault themselves, spending an average of 465.
In response, the OFT issued a set of guidelines for car dealers to ensure they're clear on their responsibilities when selling a used car. This includes being open and honest about a vehicle's history, ensuring that cars are of a satisfactory quality and that no underhand tactics are used to persuade buyers.
• Next week, whatcar.com is offering a special. five-day advice session, to help stay out of trouble when buying a used car. We'll have help and advice so you can shop more safely on the forecourt, as well an analysis of your consumer rights. On Tuesday September 21 we'll have an exclusive live Q&A session with experts from Consumer Direct and What Car? to answer you used-car conundrums.