A WARNING has been issued by the council about the importance of doing essential research before buying a used car.

In February and March, Barnsley Council and Trading Standards carried out 12 days of action where officers checked 176 vehicles being offered for sale by 20 different businesses.

Checks were made to assess the accuracy of advertisements and roadworthiness; there was an issue with 83 per cent of vehicles assessed.

There was a pricing discrepancy with 91 vehicles being advertised. The biggest difference between advertised and actual price was £2,698.

Other discrepancies related to mileage, keeper details, service history and length of MOT remaining. A motor engineer conducted on-site inspections of 64 of the vehicles across all the businesses. The engineer’s report concluded that 17 of these vehicles were unsafe in their current state. 29 of the vehicles inspected were described as in a dangerous or potentially dangerous condition.

Matt Boxall, City of York Council and Chair of Yorkshire and the Humber Trading Standards Group, said: “The high number of problems found on the days of action is unacceptable. Consumers should take some reassurance in knowing that the businesses visited were targeted because Trading Standards had received complaints about them.”

Owen Kennedy, Chartered Trading Standards Institute Lead Officer for Motor Trade, said: “Cars remain one of the most expensive and complex consumer items most of us ever buy.

"When buying second hand it can be very hard even for the most experienced of us to spot the tell-tale signs that should warn us to keep clear. An independent examination of the vehicle could save you from buying a car you later regret. If in any doubt – walk away!”