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08 Aug 2022

Advice issued over used car sales following case near Laois

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People are being urged to exercise caution when buying used cars through online websites.  

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission(CCPC) issued the warning following a recent court case near Laois. 

They said the seller in question was registered as a private seller despite having had 125 ads on one online site over a two year period. The CCPC described the seller as a “disguised” trader.  

One buyer who complained discovered a car they had bought had been set to display mileage, which when converted back to kilometres indicated over 100,000kms more on the clock than they had been led to believe. 

“Consumer law requires traders to provide correct and full information to consumers so they can make fully informed purchases. A trader cannot falsely claim or create the impression that they are acting in a personal rather than a business capacity when selling a car. If a car dealer does not disclose that they are selling the car in the course of their business, they may be guilty of engaging in a disguised trader sale, which is against the law,” the CCPC stated. 

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Member of the CCPC Úna Butler said:  “Over the past number of years, Brexit and COVID–19 have both contributed to significant increases in the cost of buying second-hand cars, creating circumstances where consumers may be even more vulnerable to the kind of misleading practices evident in this case.

She said: “The CCPC will continue to use its powers to challenge and take enforcement action against traders found to be exploiting consumers, and urges consumers who may have been misled by a trader to report them to the CCPC.” 

“If you are considering buying a car, read our section on car checks(https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/cars/car-checks/) for useful tips. You should also look at our car buyer’s checklist(https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/09/Car-buyers-checklist.pdf) which lists important questions consumers should ask before they purchase,” Ms Butler concluded.

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