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OFT guidelines to help car buyers

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New guidelines offered by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) can help dealers comply with consumer protection legislation and car buyers reduce the £85 million bill from fraudulent used car buying activity each year, according to motor history checking experts HPI.

The vehicle data verifying firm has said that the new guidelines can be adhered to by searching records of the purchase vehicle to ensure that it is not subject to outstanding finance, stolen, clocked or previously written-off by car insurance companies.

With the new legislation in place, car buyers, who spend £24 billion per year on 3.6 million used cars, will be safeguarded.

Alan Bishop, Industry Relations Director for HPI, said: "The OFT guidelines clearly require dealers to complete proper vehicle checks before displaying a vehicle for sale and what's more to advise the customer of any findings.

"Not doing so will substantially increase a dealer's risk of breaching the Consumer Protection Regulations (CPRs). Simply telling the consumer that a check has been made does not remove the risk of a breach and disclaimers cannot substitute for proper and fully completed checks."

© Press Association 2010