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Brits take risks with 'criminal cars'

Britain's used car buyers are unnecessarily putting themselves at risk, according to a new report.

Britain's used car buyers are unnecessarily putting themselves at risk, according to a new report.

Some 2.8 million used cars are sold privately each year in the UK and 946,000 of these are thought to have an adverse history which could affect safety and value.

Outstanding car finance is the biggest problem, More Than reports, with 29 per cent of vehicles at risk in this way.

Until the finance has been settled, individuals buying a vehicle do not actually acquire the legal title to it. This means that the car can be repossessed at any time without any hope of recovering the original fee.

Even more worrying is the fact that many cars have been written off already, after insurers said they were beyond repair. Unscrupulous owners have been known to put these vehicles back on the market, leaving new buyers at serious risk of injury.

The new More Than report suggests that, in many ways, British used car buyers are extremely thorough, with 60 per cent using the internet to research their purchase. Disappointingly, however, only 11 per cent carry out the necessary checks on the history of a vehicle before opening their wallet.

Interestingly, laws are in place to prosecute traders who sell cars with an adverse history, but private sellers who fail to disclose a car's history are not punished.

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