Buying and selling guides

Why the fear of buying a dud is giving used car buyers sleepless nights

Buying a used car privately can be a risky business, with as many as 45% of motorists believing they were deceived in some way by the person who sold it to them. Yet despite this, some 2.7 million cars are bought and sold privately in the UK each year, with motorists opting to take a chance on lower prices, rather than the greater security of a trade sale.

According to an RAC survey of more than 2,300 motorists, 67% of drivers think they were sold a faulty car and 21% believe they paid too much for the car they ended up with. This is despite nearly half of all motorists spending upwards of 10 hours researching their next car purchase. It would appear that no matter how long you spend on the internet, you’re still entering a dark world of hidden secrets and deceit. And you thought buying a car was easy.

Thankfully, the RAC have a selection of useful guides so you can stay informed during the process.

RAC Vehicle Check

Buying a car? Check the history first with the UK’s most comprehensive car check. Selling a car? Give your buyers confidence with our seller’s report.

Unsurprisingly, a mechanical fault tops the list of concerns, with 29% of respondents claiming they had sleepless nights worrying about a catastrophic failure. Over two-thirds of the motorists surveyed also had concerns over buying a stolen or written off car. But it doesn’t have to be like this. There are far too many other things to worry about than to be concerned about something that should give you years of trouble-free motoring.

Which is why we’ve launched the Car Passport, a service which should take the headaches out of buying a used car.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the Car Passport can help. Buyers can get online access to a range of information about their next car, including common problems and things to look out for in a test drive, as well as a comprehensive history report for that vehicle. We’ll even tell you how much you should pay for the car and tips on how to haggle for a better price. In fact, the only thing we won’t do is visit the seller with you and help you negotiate a hard bargain. The Buyer’s Report costs just £14.99 and comes with £30,000 insurance cover to protect against a financial loss as a result of incorrect vehicle alert information.

Help is also at hand for sellers, with our new Seller’s Report helping private vendors achieve the best price for their vehicle. The price for this service is just £24.99.

Speaking about the new Car Passport, Robert Diamond, the managing director at RAC Car Passport, said: “While there are many good vehicles out there for sale, there is always the fear of buying a dud. Motorists don’t want nasty surprises.

“With our new Car Passport, buyers can get peace of mind about what they are looking to purchase. Armed with the best possible insight, it allows them make a better, smarter purchasing decision.”

If the Car Passport isn’t enough, don’t forget we also offer our Vehicle Inspection Service, which includes a visual check-up and a road test Combined with our new Car Passport service, there really is no excuse for buying a lemon or paying more than you need to for your next car. Leaving you free to drive off into the sunset with a massive smile on your face.