Only 10% of used buyers check a car’s history


New data collected by the RAC shows that 90% of motorists are taking an unnecessary risk when buying a second-hand car because they’re failing to check its history before handing over their cash.

used cars

This means that 2.5m of the 2.8m used cars sold every year are not checked for such issues as outstanding finance, being written off for insurance, or even being stolen. With the average price of a used car up for private sale currently standing at £2,465, over £6.1bn is spent annually on cars that could be hiding a nasty secret.

used cars

The RAC data – taken from over 21,000 checks – found that 23% highlighted issues of concern, including: 12.5% with outstanding finance; 9.4% had been recorded as an insurance write-off; 0.8% had undergone a colour change; 0.1% recorded as having been scrapped; and 0.05% marked as stolen.

A separate study of drivers who had purchased an RAC Car Passport data check found that 33% decided not to purchase the car they were looking at based on the information they received in the report, which takes a minute online.

The other 67% went on to buy the vehicle that they had originally had their eye on after completing the check and 48% of these had the confidence to complete the deal in under 48 hours.

RAC Car Passport managing director Robert Diamond said: “These figures reveal the risks used-car buyers are taking by not obtaining a simple car data check to uncover any suspect history their intended purchase may be hiding.

Buying a car can be a stressful experience because of the sums of money involved so it makes sense to find out as much as you can about a car’s history as it may just save you thousands of pounds.

RAC Passport outlines a number typical car data check alerts and what to do if confronted by them.