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Young drivers must get used cars checked

  • Trading Standards surveys used cars
  • Five out of eight aren't safe to drive
  • Young drivers should get cars checked
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Young drivers should carefully check any used car they're looking at buying, especially after a recent Trading Standards survey revealed that many aren't safe.

Trading Standards and Hertfordshire Police performed an undercover survey, which showed that five in every eight (62.5%) low-priced used cars - the kind young, first-time motorists often buy - weren't safe to drive.

Information from RAC Inspections supports the new survey's findings, too - almost three-quarters of used cars inspected by the RAC have faults that would cause the car to fail an MoT test. A further one in three have potentially dangerous or illegal faults.

Matt Sanger, What Car?'s used car editor, said: With the cost of motoring so high, it's hard for young drivers to ignore the cheapest cars on sale. Whatever you buy, though, get it checked over by a mechanic to ensure you're not driving a death trap.

Help in buying a used car
Buying a used car doesn't have to be a minefield. A few common-sense tips can help you sift the bad or downright dangerous from the good.

Take a knowledgeable friend or relative along with you to examine any car you're interested in, for example. Do your research, too - there are plenty of reviews on whatcar.com to help you.

For advice you can study or take with you when you view the car, click on the links below. They'll take you to our factsheets, which are in handy PDF format for you to print off easily:

Buying a car

Selling your car

Taking delivery of your car

Looking after your car

Motoring tips

If you want to be sure a car is in good condition before you buy, the best advice is to get it professionally checked. The AA and RAC both offer inspection services.

It's also worth finding out if it's been stolen, had its mileage 'clocked' (falsely altered), been written off or if it still has money owed on it from a previous owner. Autocheck is one company that will do this for you - to find out more, click here.