National Consumer Week – Buying a used car


I take exception to them stating that their complaints are about "dodgy" cars.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 8 years old.

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November is the month of the “mo” (growing a moustache for charity) and also of National Consumer Week. 

This time around it was on the theme of “Check it – Don’t regret it” and the advice given to consumer by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to those wishing to purchase a second hand vehicle has merit:

Visit Advice Guide Link

However, I take exception to them stating that their complaints are about “dodgy” cars – how can they say that when, for the most part, they only spend a few minutes speaking to one party and are often not mechanically or legally qualified?

In my time here at Lawgistics Ltd it has become evident to me that, in the vast majority of cases, consumers expect cars that are many years old, having done many, many thousands of miles and for which they paid very little for, to drive as it was still hot off the manufacturers’ production line.  The buyer has a gross over-expectation of their purchase.

However, If I had bought a washing machine for £20 that was 12 years old from a family with 6 children would I expect it to last in the same way as if was £300, new and from a High Street retailer?  No.  

Would I think that if that £20 washing machine needed a part replaced 5 months later that I had been sold a “dodgy” appliance? No.

As one of our clients stated about consumers (which perhaps can extend to some of the CAB advisers too) “They expect champagne cars for lemonade money”.

And this rant is not quite over.  The CAB state that one of the most common problems was “faults”.  Really?  How do they know that those cars were defective?  I say the most common problem is “wear and tear” – something that buyers seem to conveniently forget the moment they’ve used the mileage and previous use to negotiate a hefty discount.  

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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