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Published Date: 09/11/2012

Choosing a reputable used car dealerSome may think that the Arthur Daley days are thing of the past, but according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) around 3 million people a year experience problems after buying a secondhand car.

To help you avoid the pitfalls associated with buying a used car, we have gathered some interesting information about the problems some people encounter, what the law says and what you should be looking for when visiting a used car dealership.

Consumer Rights

Although the Sale of Goods Act protects the consumer in so much as the dealer or seller should resolve the problem if it was a defect when sold, a staggering 30% of buyers questioned by the OFT ended up forking out for the repairs themselves.

An OFT report concluded that buyers should always choose legitimate dealership and shop rogue traders to the local trading standards department. Emphasis has also been placed on the fact that buyers should “use their heads not their hearts” when buying pre-owned cars.

Common Problems

  • As many as 67% of problems with used cars, often mechanical, are discovered within the first month of ownership.
  • Consumers buy vehicles sold with an illegal disclaimer such as ‘sold as seen’.
  • Value of car falsely inflated by illegal clocking – as many as 1 in 8 cars have a mileage discrepancy and according to the HPI checking service the average figure is out by 67,000 miles.
  • Dealers fail to tell customers whether history of car has been checked.


When it comes to buying a used car – the reputation of the dealership is everything, and in reality, consumers should be doing more to check the credibility of the dealers they are visiting than the history of the vehicle themselves.

  • A long established dealership is a sign that the business has stood the test of time, and therefore is doing something right.
  • A professional, courteous attitude without pushy sales tactics is also a sign of a good dealership.

Importantly, being able to share vital information about the history of the car and provide up to date information about checks that have been made. Ideally a warranty will be included when buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Reasons to choose Cooper for a used BMW

If you don’t fancy running the gauntlet with Daley-esque dealers, here are just a few reasons you should visit your local Cooper BMW to buy a used BMW:

  • One of the UK’s largest approved BMW dealers
  • 16 dealerships nationwide
  • All pre-owned BMW’s undergo 120 rigorous checks
  • Full BMW service history
  • Independent mileage and history check
  • 12 months unlimited mileage warranty
  • Includes parts and labour
  • Roadside assistance in UK and Europe
  • 12 months MOT cover

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