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Politics and regulation

Scottish drivers most likely to take risks when buying a used car

Drivers in some of Scotland’s largest cities are the least likely to check whether cars they are looking to buy have shady histories, new figures from the RAC indicate.*

Glasgow is joined by Edinburgh and Perth as the top three locations where drivers are most prepared to ‘risk it’ by not checking the history of a vehicle they are interested in, followed by Sunderland and Newcastle in the north east of England. In fact, analysis of RAC data shows drivers in these cities are around half as likely to get a check compared to those who live in Birmingham, Bradford and Truro, the latter the home of Great Britain’s savviest used car buyers.

Comprehensive vehicle history checks provide a low-cost way for drivers to identify if a vehicle they are thinking of buying has been stolen, written-off or is even still owned by a finance company, regardless of how it is advertised by the seller. Buyers that don’t get one therefore run the risk of spending money on a vehicle that at best isn’t worth the money, and at worst is unsafe to drive.

According to the RAC’s analysis of sales of thousands of checks, the cities where drivers are least likely to buy a vehicle history check are:

1. Glasgow (least likely) 6. Aberdeen
2. Edinburgh 7. Lancaster
3. Perth 8. Durham
4. Sunderland 9. Inverness
5. Newcastle 10. Liverpool

The locations where drivers are most likely to buy a vehicle history check are:

1. Truro (most likely) 6. Coventry
2. Bradford 7. Bristol
3. Birmingham 8. Plymouth
4. St Albans 9. Leicester
5. Chelmsford 10. Gloucester


RAC Motoring Services spokesperson Sophie Steane said: “It is drivers north of the border who appear to be most likely to ‘chance it’ and go without checking the history of their next used car, and that is a concern.

“A comprehensive vehicle history check is an extremely low-cost way for any driver to help satisfy themselves that their next car purchase won’t turn out to be a dud. Important information about a car’s past, such as whether it has previously been written off after an accident, or if it’s still owned by a finance company, could help a buyer work out whether it is one they want to spend their money on – or if it’s safer just to walk away. After all, a few red flags could be a sign that there are other, undisclosed issues with a vehicle.

“Every driver who is in the market for a used car, especially if buying from a private seller, should make sure they get a history check and this, combined with a thorough inspection of a vehicle and its paperwork, can go a long way towards providing the reassurance that the car is worth what they’re being asked to pay for it.”

Automotive Industry Digest

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