Buying a used car from a dealer
There are more complaints about used cars than any other purchase. In fact, in 2013, there were 84,000 such complaints according to Citizens Advice, and 7% of the time, the car needs to be scrapped. So it’s no wonder buying a used car can be nerve-wracking. Buying a used car from a dealer can be more expensive than buying one privately, but you have more legal protection, and by using an RAC Approved Dealer, you’ll have added peace of mind that comes with RAC BuySure, our promise that all vehicles are prepared to our exacting standards giving you confidence in your purchase.
Follow our guide to help you when you come to buying your next used car from a dealer.
Choosing a used car dealer
It can be difficult to know which dealer to buy from. Look for used car dealers who have their cars inspected by an independent engineer or motoring organisation, such as the RAC, as well as dealers with a trade association sign, meaning they follow a code of practice. Avoid dealers displaying ‘sold as seen’ or ‘no refund’ signs.
Used car dealers’ responsibilities
Car dealers must adhere to the Sale of Goods Act, which states that any item you buy must be:
Of satisfactory quality – of a standard you would expect considering its age, make, model, history, mileage and price
Fit for purpose – you must be able to use the vehicle for the purposes you would normally expect, and if you want to use it for something specific, such as towing, tell the dealer
As described – if the dealer or the advert says there is a CD player or heated seats, they should be present and work properly
Roadworthy – the Road Traffic Act makes it illegal for anyone to sell a car that is not fit and safe to drive.
Dealers are not liable for fair wear and tear, your misuse of the car or accidental damage you cause.
Your rights when buying a used car from a dealer
You could claim a full or partial refund from the seller if a fault you were told about turns out to be worse that described or if you discover an undisclosed problem.
If you're buying online from a dealer, you have the same rights as you would if you bought in person from a dealership. The Distance Selling Regulations give you the additional right to cancel your order within seven working days and receive a full refund within 30 days.
Contact us today
Find further information on RAC Approved Dealer or speak to one of our advisers on 0844 891 3111*.
* Calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute, plus a 15p call set up fee from landlines. Calls from mobiles are typically between 5p and 41p per minute. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded.
Breakdown cover provided by RAC Motoring Services (Registered No 01424399) and RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall, WS5 4AW. Arranged, sold and administered by RAC Motoring Services who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities only. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.