College motorists urged to check it, not regret it

Issued by Inverness College UHI

Inverness College UHI’s motor vehicle maintenance and repair department gave students, staff and local secondary school pupils a steer in the right direction on Friday (8 November) by hosting a series of demonstrations on what to look out for when buying a  used car.

Working with the Highland Consumer Partnership (Trading Standards Institute, Citizens Advice Scotland and Inverness and Badenoch Citizens Advice Bureau), College lecturers demonstrated how to inspect vehicles in forecourt and ramped positions, highlighting the potential risks and scams to be vigilant of when purchasing an older vehicle.

With many young people gearing up to buy their first car, the event provided an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the bad practices exercised by some dealers, how to spot dangerous faults and how to report malpractice. Staff also found the event to be very informative as it highlighted their right as a consumer to fully inspect the vehicle and ask questions.

This specific focus on motoring is part of a month-long campaign launched last week (National Consumer Week 4-8 November 2013) urging people to ‘check it, don’t regret it’ when buying used cars.

Alasdair Christie, General Manager of Inverness and Badenoch Citizens Advice Bureau, said “It is important that people are aware of their rights, particularly young consumers, for whom buying a car is likely to represent their first big purchase and may involve taking out credit for the first time.

“We would encourage consumers to follow the simple checklist, giving tips on things to consider before buying a used car, as it may help people avoid some of the pitfalls in the buying process.”

David Gavin, Programme Development Manager at Inverness College UHI added: “The College is pleased to offer its facilities and expertise to raise awareness of the issues consumers can face when buying a used car. Many of our students are of an age where they are purchasing their first vehicle, so we are delighted to be part of a campaign that will help them make sound, safe purchases now and in the future.

“Staff also welcomed the event as it gave them the opportunity to talk to mechanics about their experiences and what they should do when negotiating with used car dealers in the future.”

As part of the Highland Consumer Partnership, both Highland Council Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Scotland have devised a practical video which gives advice and information on consumer rights when buying a used car. This can be accessed by visiting http://vimeo.com/78169280.

Highland consumers can speak to an advisor regarding their rights through their local Citizens Advice Bureau or by telephone to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.    Alternatively consumers can also speak to an advisor in person by visiting Highland Council Trading Standards, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness (opening hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays).

For more information about motor vehicle maintenance and repair related courses at Inverness College UHI, please visit www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk

12 Nov 2013
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