More than 40 second hand car dealers in Norfolk to be visited by county council trading standards watchdogs

Consumer watchdogs are set to visit more than 40 second hand car dealers in Norfolk after hundreds of complaints from members of the public about vehicles they had bought.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards officers say 'consumer feedback' has sparked the visits, which will take place over the coming weeks.

Officers from the council department are keen to talk to traders about the consumer laws that govern the selling of second hand cars, whilst also talking about consumer expectations and what traders should not be expected to have to do when selling a vehicle.

The Trading Standards department receives hundreds of calls from people each year about second hand car buying.

They say many of the calls are about cars which people consider to have been sold with faults, or in an unroadworthy condition, whilst many also relate to the expectations of some consumers when buying a low cost second hand car.

Officers will particularly be visiting traders located in areas of the county that see higher levels of deprivation - where people may find their finances more limited when buying a second hand car.

Ann Jackson, senior Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Officer, said: 'Second hand car buying results in more consumer calls to Trading Standards than many other subjects.

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'Consumers should rightly expect the vehicle that they have purchased to be safe. But equally they should be mindful that when paying a matter of hundreds of pounds for a vehicle, it is likely to have more wear and tear than a new car and issues may arise more quickly.

'We have many fantastic car dealers in this county and we hope that traders who do receive a visit from us find our guidance helpful.'

Andrew Bracking, from Robinsons Motor Group in Heigham Street, Norwich, said: 'It won't phase us because we have high standards which we adhere to, while the manufacturers regularly audit us on that.'

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

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