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Fault comes in "20% of dealer cars"

Monday March 22nd 2010

One in every five used cars bought from a dealer ends up developing some type of problem, the Office of Fair Trading has said.

And around 70% of the problems develop within the first month. Around a third of people who contact the dealer about the problem never get it fixed and are each forced to spend an average of £425 (a total of £85 million a year) repairing the faults which were the obligation of the dealer to correct, according to the OFT.

Motorists could also be paying £580 million a year needlessly because of illegal "clocking", when the car's mileage is deliberately lowered.

The OFT survey found 27% of motorists believe car dealers to be "very unhelpful" and 11% said they are "fairly unhelpful". It also proivided a wake-up call for motorists who are yet to invest in a car value protector scheme, which could save them hundreds of pounds in the event of a problem.

The OFT's Heather Clayton said today: "Buying a second-hand car is an expensive purchase for many people. Many dealers provide high standards of service and comply fully with the law but there continues to be high numbers of complaints to Consumer Direct which are often due to dealers' refusing to deal with legitimate complaints or provide appropriate redress."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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