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51% of second hand car buyers don’t know their rights

Don't buy a banger this National Consumers Week


According to a new Which? survey, more than 50% of people who bought a second hand car in the last 5 years didn’t know that if their car developed a fault within the first six months they could have the right to get it repaired for free.

The onus is on the seller to prove the fault wasn’t inherent in the car at the point of sale. 

Nearly half (49%) of people surveyed believed they had no rights at all because a second hand car is a wear and tear item.

The Which? survey was carried out to coincide with National Consumer Week (4-10 November), during which the Trading Standard Institute, in conjunction with Citizens Advice, is focusing on buying used cars.

If you buy a second hand car, it is covered by the Sale of Goods Act. You can expect it to be of satisfactory quality, meet any description given to you, and be fit for purpose. 

Your rights differ between a private seller and a car dealer. Find out more about what to do if your second hand car develops a problem.

Faulty second hand cars

Which? surveyed 1000 people, and more than one in ten of them who had bought a second hand car in the last 5 years, had discovered a fault during the first six months.

If the second hand car you’ve bought is not as described, is not fit for purpose or not of satisfactory quality, you have the right to complain. Read our guide on how to complain about a second hand car to a dealer.

Buying a second hand car

Our survey also highlighted that 61% of people felt cheated by the seller when they’d bought a car unaware it had a fault.

If you’re thinking of buying a second hand car, our video buying guides are a quick and easy way to get all the important facts you need about a second-hand car, including how a car stacks up against its rivals.

The car that received the highest satisfaction rating in the 2013 Which? Car Survey is the Toyota Yaris Verso (2000-2005) with a score of 96%.

Members can find out satisfaction ratings in order for each class by looking at our model satisfaction scores.

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