Check your used car out before you buy

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If you’re thinking of buying a used car, take time to make a few simple checks or you might regret it later.

That’s the message from this year’s National Consumer Week campaign, which is supported by North Lanarkshire Council.

The campaign, which is run by the Trading Standards Institute from November 4 to 10, advises consumers to ask three key questions before buying a used car: Is it safe? Is it legal? Is it what it seems?

Councillor Helen McKenna, convener of the environmental services committee, said: “Buying a car is a major expense and it’s vital that it is safe and legal. There are a number of simple checks that people should do before they buy any second hand car, to prevent making a decision they later regret. It’s also worth considering where you buy a car, either from a trader, online, at an auction or privately, as you will have different legal and consumer rights depending on which option you choose. Our Trading Standards officers can offer advice on consumer rights and help if you believe those rights have not been met.”

When you buy a used vehicle from a trader you are making a legally binding contract and you have legal rights against the trader under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. The vehicle should be: of satisfactory quality, fit for its purpose, as described, and roadworthy. For more on how to carry out checks on used cars, go to www.adviceguide.org.uk/usedcars.