Second-hand car buyers do not make enough safety checks, finds study

A new study has found that less than half of second-hand car buyers carry out some of the most vital safety checks on their new vehicle before they parted with their cash and driven away.

Research released by Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, also reveals that many motorists compound this by waiting for at least six months to put their newly purchased car through a service.

Although 6.4 million drivers bought their used car privately, less than one million got their car serviced immediately after buying it.

More than three million waited more than six months before having it serviced while 1.7 million admit that in spite of intending to do so, they have not had their car serviced yet.

While 61% of used car buyers check over the bodywork of their prospective purchase, far fewer check the components which are crucial for safety.

Less than half (49%) examine the depth of tread on the tyres, only 46% check the effectiveness of the brakes,  while 44% check the lights.  The figure is even lower when considering the spare tyre – only just over a third (36%) check the condition of the spare tyre, or even that there is one.

Kwik-fit found that older drivers are more likely to be more cautious over a car purchase than younger ones. Perhaps it’s the result of experience, but 62% of second-hand car buyers between 65-74 check the tyre tread on the car, twice as many as those aged 18-24 (30%).

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “Most of us are excited at the prospect of buying a car, but it would appear from this research that many drivers let their hearts rule their heads and forget to make some of the most obvious checks.  It may seem like common sense, but drivers should not rely on what the seller tells them about the condition of the car, but make sure that they look for themselves.

“If motorists are buying from a trade seller and the tyres need changing before they take ownership, we would advise buyers to insist on having new tyres fitted.  Some traders will fit part worn tyres when selling a car, but the provenance of these is not always known and they may not comply with safety standards.”

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

February 11, 2017

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