Yn cynrychioli holl wasanaethau safonau masnach ledled Cymru
Representing all trading standards services across Wales

How to avoid vehicle anxiety

The car is probably our first large purchase as a consumer; and requires careful navigation for both the initial purchase and its life and servicing.

During 2022, there have been 1,360 car purchase related complaints in Wales, estimated at a total value of £12.8 million, an average of £9,691 per complaint.

Buying from a trader offers a consumer some protection with statutory rights if things go wrong, something not afforded by buying from the often cheaper alternative of buying privately.  However, 44% of TSW intelligence reports involving vehicle purchase, relate to traders masquerading as private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities.

During the pandemic, like other trade sectors, many car traders moved to selling their products online. TSW’s Operation Quattro tasked authorities to monitor social media channels over a one-week period to identify car traders posing as private individuals.  Eighteen traders were identified, and further investigation showed a total of 430 vehicles had been sold by these 18 over the previous 12 months.

During 2022, safety checks on traditional car sales forecourts showed broad compliance.  Trading Standards officers have taken the opportunity to provide advice to traders who are now offering cars for sale online, rather than simply advertising online.

We encourage car dealers to seek advice from their local Trading Standards Department or via the Chartered Trading Standards Institute 

We strongly advise consumers to carry out pre-shopping checks prior to car purchasing:
Should any issues be identified with your car, complain to the trader as soon as the fault appears and within 30 days of purchase.  
Time is very important when dealing with car complaints.  
You may have been supplied a warranty with your vehicle, but this is over and above your statutory rights.

If you have a complaint about a vehicle purchase, please contact the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.  Trading Standards Departments receive complaint notifications from Citizens’ Advice, which help us target rogue businesses.

You can listen here to our Ask the Regulator podcast for Day 2.

Citizens Advice Consumer Service

Business Companion Guidance on Used Cars

Business Companion Guidance for Dealerships on Cars and Consumer Law

Previous articleNext article
Your session will expire in xx.xx. Do you wish to Continue or Log Out
Your session will expire in xx.xx
Continue or Log Out