The Motor Ombudsman has warned motorists not to cut corners when buying their next used car.
The cost-of-living crisis has led to an increase in first-time buyers considering cheaper options when the time comes to purchase their next vehicle.
However, despite mounting costs elsewhere, the Motor Ombudsman says a used car is certainly not an area to look for quick shortcuts, particularly when going to a private seller.
A poll of 2,043 UK driving licence holders revealed that over seven in ten consumers would be more likely to buy a second hand car this year rather than a new one, in order to make the most of limited cash reserves.
More than a quarter of those respondents also explained that it would be their first ever experience of buying a used car.
The resounding reason for the switch was found to be concerns over rising inflation with 87 per cent admitting to being worried.
Elsewhere, 85 per cent said that rising household bills were forcing them to reconsider their options.
Almost half of those asked said they were considering buying from a private seller they did not know to source their next vehicle with a third saying they believed the route to be cheaper than buying from a dealer.
However, the Motor Ombudsman has now urged extreme caution to anyone taking that approach.
Bill Fennell, managing director and chief ombudsman at the organisation, said, “In an era of rising bills, and increasingly stretched budgets, it can be very tempting for individuals to cut corners to make their hard-earned money go even further.
“Even though it may be perceived by some consumers that savings can be made in the shorter term by buying from a private individual, this could prove to be a false economy, as repair bills may mount up in the longer term, and turn a car into a very expensive liability.
“What’s more, The Motor Ombudsman would be unable to enforce any calls for help with resolving a consumer complaint if something was to go wrong after taking ownership of the vehicle.”