Consumers in the East Midlands are being urged to avoid being caught out when buying a second hand car by following four key tips issued today by Derby City Council.


Many people are unaware of their rights as a consumer when buying a second hand car and don’t know that any faults that appear within the first 30 days after the purchase will mean the consumer is entitled to a refund and after 30 days to a repair or replacement.

Some of the most common issues experienced by consumers include:

  • Traders denying buyers of their legal rights
  • Failing to tell consumers about known problems with the car or past history
  • Misleading claims in adverts or during the sales pitch, and hiding faults in the car
  • Poor after sales care when rectifying faults, such as traders passing the buck to the warranty company when consumers have rights with the seller.

Derby City Council’s Trading Standards team has produced some top tips for consumers who are looking to buy a used car:

  1. Do your research on the seller: Shop around, look for customer reviews of your dealership online and ask friends and family;
  2. Ask questions: Ask the dealer about the condition of the car, repairs carried out on the car, and the relevant documentation for the car such as MOT certificates, service history and the V5C registration document (logbook);
  3. Check the car over: Take a mechanic with you to view and inspect the car before purchase, and always take the car for a test drive;
  4. Be aware of sales patter: Ensure any verbal claims made by the salesman are put in writing.

For guidance on the checks you can make before buying a used car and your consumer rights, visit the Citizens Advice website.