When honesty and quality take a back seat…beware!

Burnt-out husk of car

When honesty and quality take a back seat…beware!

With counterfeit products, parts and even entire vehicles placing strain on buying decisions, reports motoring writer, Iain Robertson, receiving straight service, with warranted components, becomes a financial priority.

An in-depth survey, carried out by a vehicle information service provider, has revealed some fascinating and more than slightly worrying facts. Around 3.3m used cars sold in the UK in 2015 had a debt, write-off, or stolen warning placed against them.

It is always advisable to have a vehicle checked out, before you part with hard-earned cash for it. There are several reputable firms capable of carrying out such checks, most of which can be arranged via the Internet. Interestingly, the most frequently searched manufacturers were Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen, with the top three models being the Ford Fiesta (9.3%), Mini Cooper (8.5%) and the VW Golf GT TDi (6.5%). The average invoice value was a substantial £7,632.

Almost half of the owners surveyed elected to buy their vehicles from private sellers and not dealers and the frequency of vehicle changes is given as every two to three years. However, the report turned up some other fascinating statistics, notably on the ‘warnings’ issued, with 48% of them related to licence-plate changes, 29% being declared as ‘write-offs’ and around 13% for unsettled finance agreements. In fact, a sizeable 46% of all vehicles searched in 2015 had at least one warning placed against them.

The importance of making a provenance check cannot be overstated. While the new and used car markets are in definite flux at the moment, most of the industry is reporting positive stories, with dealers experiencing almost unprecedented demand for cars of all types, predominated by SUVs and crossovers, with city cars and executive machines following up closely. The report is careful not to point accusatory fingers at anyone in particular, as the seller often does not know, or understand, the provenance of the vehicle being represented. Yet, for the equivalent cost of a full tank of fuel, finding out the truth can mark the difference between driving a vehicle that might be illegal, or simply not meeting required standards, which might lead to a total loss situation.

Mr Clutch is exceedingly careful about the reputation of its Autocentres. All of its parts, components and services meet exacting standards, of only the highest possible quality. It is the company’s intense buying power that enables the right prices to be obtained, which are passed on to its customers, to ensure that a value proposition is adhered to. All work carried out by Mr Clutch technicians is warranted, which means that, should there be any come-back, the customer is covered comprehensively.

The bottom-line is self-protection. Unless you want to stand beside a storm drain, tearing up £10 notes and allowing the pieces to be washed away, never to be seen again, insist on only the highest quality of transaction. Make those essential checks. Avoid the crooks. Invest wisely. Mr Clutch will help with the rest.