Your right to know all about your car before purchase

If either of the statements, ‘I wish I’d been told about that before I bought my car’ or ‘the car salesman failed to tell me about this…’ sounds familiar – then read on.  

The Highland Council’s Trading Standards team is today launching an online Used Car Buying Survey in conjunction with Trading Standards authorities across the North of Scotland.  The survey is targeted at consumers who have purchased a used car only to find out later that certain information about the car was not disclosed to them by the dealer.  

Gordon Robb, Trading Standards Manager for Highland Council explains; “Used cars remain the product type that Highland consumers complain about the most.  Cars are often the most expensive purchase we make aside from our homes and if things go wrong, sorting them can be expensive.  

“Many of these car complaints stem from issues which were not explained properly before a car is purchased.  For example, was the car previously used by a hire car company or was the car accident damaged or perhaps modified in some way?  Also does it have an underlying fault or is there a part due for imminent replacement?”  

Trading Standards is concerned that many consumers and probably traders fail to realise that sellers are under a legal obligation to disclose upfront information which a consumer needs to take an informed purchasing decision.  Importantly this includes possibly negative or off-putting information. This means a seller cannot remain silent or fail to disclose information they know or ought to know about.   

The survey is aimed at finding out more about the real world experiences of North car buyers and to establish if there are steps we can take to improve the car buying experience for consumers and to advise the car trade on best practice.  

Gordon Robb continued: “If you’ve recently bought a car and then subsequently realised that you didn’t get all the information you feel that you should have, then we want to hear from you.  We will use the survey responses to inform our ongoing work with the trade to ensure that consumers are fairly treated.” 

Car buyers can complete the survey at:

14 Oct 2014