Second hand car sales in Norfolk spark 1,100 complaints to watchdogs

Watchdogs have received more than 1,100 complaints about second hand car sales so far this year, it has emerged.

The high number of complaints has spurred Norfolk County Council trading standards officers to produce a buyers' guide to purchasing a used car.

The vast majority of complaints to Consumer Direct, which are then passed on to Norfolk County Council, relate to vehicles that buyers claim has a defect.

Most of the defects quickly became apparent after purchase, and largely in cars priced at the lower end of the second hand market.

Trading standards officers have produced the consumer guidance leaflet, 'Your Guide to Buying a Second Hand Car', which is available by visiting and typing 'consumer advice leaflets' into the search engine.

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People without the internet at home can use computers at any Norfolk library, all of which have internet access.

Ann Jackson, Norfolk County Council senior trading standards officer, said: 'Every year we receive a large number of complaints about a wide range of issues from consumers who have purchased a second hand car.

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'To help consumers consider which car to buy, we have produced a guide containing key information that they should bear in mind before making a purchase. It's essential they know their rights ahead of buying.

'It's also important that we try to manage consumers' expectations because the large proportion of complaints can be put down to customers' expectations in that they don't expect to encounter any problems, even though the price of the vehicle suggests it may have encountered some problems during its lifetime.

'What consumers should expect is that the vehicle has been described correctly and is safe to use on the road.'

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