News

Used car dealers top complaints list

  • Complaints about independent dealers
  • Up 8% on 2009
  • Report due in the spring
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

Need a valuation?

Obtain a FREE used car valuation for any vehicle.

GB

An article image
An article image

Have you bought a second-hand car from an independent dealer? How smoothly did the transaction go?

In 2009, more than 50,000 people complained about the purchase process when buying a second-hand car from an independent dealer.

It's the fourth year in a row that issues involving car purchases have topped the complaints table published by Consumer Direct, an online and telephone service that gives consumers advice about their rights and how to resolve disputes with shops and traders.

The most common concerns relate to defective vehicles, services and potentially misleading selling, according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which manages Consumer Direct.

OFT investigates
The high number of used car complaints prompted the OFT to launch a study into second-hand car sales last May, and the final report is due out in the spring.

So far, the study has revealed that almost one in five of those buying a second-hand car had subsequently experienced problems with it.

In 2008, around 7.5 million used cars were sold, generating sales of 35 billion.

The industry responds
The Retail Motor Industry (RMI), which represents independent dealers is working with the OFT on its study.

Sue Robinson, RMI director said: 'We would strongly encourage car buyers to go to a reputable garage that is a member of the RMI because we offer conciliation services to assist consumers and garages.

'In our experience, misunderstandings can arise from a breakdown in communication, and, as a result, many potential complaints can be resolved simply.'

Goods and services
Second-hand cars from independent dealers
TVs
Mobile phones (agreements)
Mobile phones (hardware)
Lap-tops, notebooks and tablet PCs
Car repairs and servicing at independent garages
Second-hand cars from franchised dealers
Upholstered furniture
Womens clothing
Telephone services (landline)
Total of all complaints2008
47,026
20,314
31,269
20,160
12,395
16,181
15,236
14,532
14,391
12,290
874,3072009
50,790
22,184
22,172
18,470
17,611
16,387
14,693
14,457
14,201
11,631
849,827Increase / decrease
+8.0%
+9.2%
-29.1%
-8.4%
+42.1%
+1.3%
-3.6%
-0.5%
-1.3%
-5.4%
-2.8%