Advice from well-meaning friends could come back to haunt second-hand car buyers, experts say.
Used car history experts at HPI say following suspect advice can result in people losing money and they have highlighted several myths often wrongly taken as gospel.
They say although many motorists are advised to move swiftly to get a bargain they should always be wary if a car is advertised too cheaply.
Also, despite being told that once they have parted with their cash a car belongs to them, those who innocently buy a stolen car will find the legal owner is still the person it was taken from.
Despite advice to the contrary HPI says it's not always illegal to buy vehicles that have been written off bycar insurance firms. Category A and B write-offs must be scrapped, but those in category C and D, however, can return to the road and be sold if they are properly repaired, although the owner must disclose what has happened.
And instead of following advice to buy on convenient neutral territory, buyers are always urged to do so from the seller's home address to ensure it matches the one on the vehicle's V5C logbook and they are buying from the registered keeper.
RAC vehicle inspections manager Mike Hill said: "Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases most of us make and it can be a worrying and frustrating business.
"We know that not everyone wants to spend a fortune on a car and that sometimes it is a question of getting the best quality car for the money you are able to spend so we are here to help drivers make the right choice and avoid unnecessary stress and expense.
"The RAC has a range of products which will help buyers use our experience and skill to choose a safe and legal car. Our vehicle inspectors are trained engineers who understand all of the pitfalls of buying a used car and have seen literally thousands of both reliable and problem cars and know exactly what to look for and the questions to ask.
"They will carry out a full vehicle inspection, test drive and data check providing the buyer with a written report and the buyer is welcome to call them for additional advice and opinion."
Copyright Press Association 2014