Buying a Car? Get it Inspected!


One of my brother-in-laws passed his driving test last Thursday and promptly went out and put a deposit down on a ten year old Ford Fiesta from a local used car dealer.

He picked the car up at 6.00pm last night and no doubt being extremely excited went to collect his wife from work where the car then broke down. He’d had the car less than one hour.

I was called out and found the battery not just discharged but dangerous. The state-of-charge indicator in the top of the battery was showing red. I was told the car dealer had serviced the car prior to collection. As you can see from the photo above the oil filter hadn’t been replaced so it hadn’t been serviced at all. The bonnet wouldn’t lock down properly leaving it at risk of flying open when driving. The car also had a full MOT but the passenger side windscreen wiper blade was split. If they’ve missed a wiper blade what else have they missed?

This all could have been avoided if the car had been inspected prior to purchase and any repairs subsequently carried out by the car dealer checked before handing over any money. It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending £500, £5000 or £50,000 on a used car, it’s cheaper to get it inspected than to find yourself stranded miles away from home.

Which? The second-hand car I bought has a problem, what are my rights?

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