Private sellers are not required to pass on information

Drivers are being urged not to buy a used car online, as it could potentially put them in a dangerous situation. The warning has been issued after inspectors from London Trading Standards examined advertisements for a total of 155 cars for sale from private sellers around London. Alarmingly, they found that roughly one in six in the industry were believed to be so-called rogue traders. Eighteen of the vehicles examined by officials either had no tax or MOT, and six, startlingly, had had the mileage tampered with.

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Drivers are required to take out insurance to ensure they are legally compliant. Ten of these vehicles which were investigated by London Trading Standards were found to be insurance write-offs. While traders are legally required to inform buyers, surprisingly, private sellers are not required to pass on this information.

A vehicle without insurance is certainly not a bargain if it proves to be unsafe in any way or has been tampered with. And if you believe a seller is not obeying the law, then they can be reported to Trading Standards for possible breach.

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Don’t be taken for a ride when buying a vehicle

Motor trade insurance can be obtained from reputable sources such as Find Motor Trade Insurance at . The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency stores full information on vehicles, and this is free for the public to access. It’s a useful tool and will enable you to check thoroughly before parting with cash.

According to The Express one in five people has experienced safety issues with cars purchased online – a worrying statistic.

It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and the excitement of buying a car, but these alarming figures should remind prospective buyers to do their homework and to think carefully about the pitfalls when buying a car online. Safety is paramount and it can be the difference between life and death.

All the paperwork of the prospective car should be studied carefully and the DVLA website and other services are available online to read up on the history and background of the vehicle before making that all important purchase. Don’t be caught out by a rogue trader – do your background checks.