Car-buying Britons open to abuse

Britons looking for a new car are leaving themselves open to "dodgy dealing" and possible danger as they cut corners during the recession, a study has shown.

Research by revealed that more than a quarter of motorists (28%) were willing to buy from an unknown private seller.

Of the 1,642 surveyed, one in 10 said they would choose a vehicle without knowing anything of its service history as long as it was affordable, while 2% said they would even pay for a vehicle over the telephone without having seen it in a bid to save cash.

And 60% of people who had previously bought a car said they did not check that it was safe and legal, with the majority unsure about log books, mileage checks or vehicle identity numbers.

Katie Armitage from added: "There are around seven million used cars bought and sold every year at an average cost of £5,000.

"If your new car is found to be illegal you lose this money outright without hope of redress. Our research has found that because of the credit crunch more people are taking risks and so more are prone to being caught out."

Copyright © Press Association 2009