Which? probes cold-calling car sellersSome firms took fee but found no buyers

25 October 2007

 

Red car front

Motorists wanting to sell their car should be wary of cold-calling companies offering to do the work for them, Which? warns.

In recent years, firms have sprung up promising to help bring car buyers and sellers together.

If you advertise your car for sale, these firms phone you and offer to help sell it for a fee.

But when you've handed over the cash,  you can sometimes find the prospective buyers don't materialise.

Car advert

After receiving complaints about such services, we decided to investigate. Posing as a consumer offering a Peugeot 106 for sale, we placed a £40 advert in Exchange & Mart and paid a further £67 to place one in a number of local Hertfordshire newspapers.

We were contacted by several cold-calling firms - Cardata, Motor Help UK and Vehicle Seller and paid £80 to £90 each for their services.

Cardata came up with three prospective buyers, as did our newspaper adverts, but Motor Help UK and Vehicle Seller produced no potential buyers

This is despite the fact that Vehicle Seller told us: ‘We have buyers today.’ Motor Help UK said it was illegal to sell to us if it didn't have anyone interested.

'No guarantee'

David Matthews of Motor Help UK said it didn’t guarantee it would sell your car: ‘All we do is market your details. We don’t follow up with buyers or put pressure on them.’

If you are tempted to use a cold-calling company, check the terms and conditions.

And the company claims to have buyers, and it doesn't, you may have a legal claim for misrepresentation.