‘Ullo John! Gotta new motor?

Yes unfortunately there are still some ‘Arthur Daley’ rogues out there, so here are a few tips for buying a used car from a dealer.

If you’re buying a car from a franchised dealer, such as Roy Chapman Ltd, then almost every manufacturer offers an approved used car scheme.  Our approved used car scheme with Ford is called Ford Direct, which means you can buy with confidence:

  • Your car complies with its original Ford specification, including jack and tools, spare keys and service pack
  • Any replacement items are all Ford approved and fully comply with the vehicle’s original specification
  • Your car has a full service history, as recommended in the Ford Service Plan
  • Your car has been inspected and approved by the RAC
  • Plus… all Ford Direct Cars come with a 2 year comprehensive unlimited mileage warranty included within the advertised price
  • And… to make sure that the mileage shown on your Ford Direct vehicle can be 100% trusted and has not been tampered with in any way, all Ford Direct vehicles are checked via the National Mileage Register before we offer them “for sale”.

In addition to the above, buying from a dealer gives you the all-important legal protection under the Sale of Goods and Trades Description Acts.

If you’re buying from a non-franchised dealer (an independent) then check first if it’s a member of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (www.rmif.co.uk) which demands certain industry standards.  The more professional company will also offer cars that have passed an RAC or an AA pre-sale check.  If not, you may pay less but may not drive away with the same level of reassurance!

Our tips for buying a used car are as follows:

  • Do consider your needs and how much you can afford to spend before you start looking, both on the car itself and how much it will cost to run, ie, fuel, insurance, maintenance etc.
  • Do look at the car in daylight and take an ‘expert’ friend for both security and confidence.
  • Make sure all of the controls, switches, displays and lights work as they should.
  • Check the carpets and seats are dry and therefore free from leaks.
  • Check the bodywork is free from dents, scratches and rust, ill-matching colours or buckling in the metal.
  • Pull back the rubber seals from around the windows to check for any signs of overspray or repair.
  • Check the depth of tread on the tyres with a 20p coin (the outer band should not be visible if they are within the legal limit).
  • Test drive the car and check it drives in a straight line when you loosen your grip on the steering wheel and listen out for any strange noises or juddering.
  • Do negotiate on the price but do your research beforehand.
  • And finally, don’t succumb to emotional blackmail of the ‘other’ interested buyer…


What if something goes wrong?

For further information on what to do if something goes wrong with your used car after you have bought it, contact www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help you negotiate if something is wrong with your vehicle.


For those who wish to know (or remember!) “Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?” is a song written by the comedian Alexei Sayle, originally released as a single in the UK in 1982. The single eventually achieved UK Top Twenty success in 1984, following a re-issue.  The song and its title have subsequently been adapted and reused in a number of different cultural contexts.  Source:  Wikipedia.