Car key

Barking and Dagenham’s Trading Standards provide top tips for buying second-hand cars

In recent weeks, the council’s Trading Standards service has received several complaints from people regarding second-hand cars that they have purchased.

Although buyers would like to blame the trader if something goes wrong, they’re not always at fault, so Trading Standards have provided some useful guidance to ensure residents don’t get caught out when buying a second-hand vehicle:

  1. Be extra cautious when buying a vehicle on social media
  2. Make sure you see the vehicle and test drive it before you buy it
  3. Check the vehicle for dents and scratches
  4. Check the mileage on the vehicle with the last MOT documents – this can be done online
  5. Make sure the vehicle is not an insurance write off and there is no outstanding finance
  6. Check the trader has good reviews and a proven track-record
  7. Do not get pressured by traders to make ‘here and now’ purchases
  8. Do not part with your money until making sure the vehicle is what it says it is
  9. Ensure you get a full receipt and read the small print. Make sure none of the T&Cs are struck out and are eligible
  10. If in doubt, walk away – there are plenty more.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety: “Our Trading Standards Team have received a number of complaints in the past weeks regarding used vehicle traders and it is important that people follow the above tips to make sure they don’t lose out.

“Sometimes going for something that is a little bit cheaper isn’t always the best option. Make sure you always do your research and don’t get forced into something that you don’t want to do.”

If residents are aware of any foul play when it comes to second-hand vehicles, they should report it to