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Used car buyers warned against friends' advice

Wed, 15 Jan 2014

USED CAR buyers are being cautioned against taking advice from friends when buying their next car.

Many misconceptions are passed on by well-meaning friends and, says used car history experts at HPI, this can lead to buyers losing money on their next car.

There are five myths that many used buyers believe, says HPI.

The first is that you’ve paid for the car, so you own it. Sadly, this isn’t the case if the car is stolen as the registered keeper is not the same as the legal owner.

In the case of a stolen car, the legal owner is the person who the car was stolen from and not the innocent person who has bought it.

Myth number two is you need to move quickly to get a bargain. Not true as you should be suspicious of any car advertised too cheaply.

Friend also regularly tell car buyers that it’s illegal to buy a car that has been written off by an insurance company.

While Category A and B write-offs must be scrapped, Category C and D write-offs can be returned to the road and sold if they are properly repaired, though the seller must disclose their status.

Another myth put forward by friends is it’s safe to buy from a seller at a mutually convenient place.

It is much better to buy from the registered keeper’s address that is on the V5C logbook. If the address on the logbook and where the car is being sold don’t match, you should look elsewhere.

The last myth often offered by friends is you can sell a car on behalf of your husband or wife. This isn’t true and is technically selling a stolen vehicle. You must always buy from the registered keeper on the V5 logbook.

Shane Teskey, Senior Consumer Services Managers of HPI, concludes: "One in 3 vehicles checked with HPI have a hidden history and fraudsters are coming up with new tricks all the time, helping them make a fast profit and leaving buyers severely out of profit.

"We urge consumers to use their head and always walk away if a deal feels too good to be true - it probably is."

By Press Association reporter