Help on hand to steer people away from buying bangers in Hartlepool

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CITIZENS’ advice chiefs have joined forces with trading standards officers to steer people in the right direction when it comes to buying a used car.

Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and officers from Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards team have teamed up to help prevent people buying a banger when they are looking for a second-hand car.

Dodgy second-hand cars is the most complained about product to the Citizens Advice consumer service and the CAB in Hartlepool.

The drive is part of a month-long campaign, launching today, at the start of National Consumer Week.

The campaign is urging people buying a used car to ‘check it don’t regret it’ by assessing whether it is safe, legal and what it seems.

Joe Michna, manager of Hartlepool CAB, said: “Not only can drivers find themselves out of pocket or with a string of unexpected expenses, the car could be unroadworthy or unsafe.

“But there are some simple steps drivers can take to make sure what they are buying is safe, legal and what it seems.”

Ian Harrison, the head of Hartlepool Trading Standards Team, said: “It’s important the used car industry puts a brake on bad practices by dealers being up front with their customers about the condition of cars. That way people can make an informed choice as to whether it is the car for them.”

Top tips include checking the MOT certificate, service history, V5 registration document, finance history, and test drive and walk around the car.

If you have a problem with a second hand car, you can get help from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk.

For more information and advice contact Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau at 87 Park Road, Hartlepool, or email enquiries@hartlepool.cabnet.org.uk