Buyers at risk of having cars repossessed by finance houses

Study shows one in six used cars for sale carried outstanding debt

“If a consumer purchases a car with outstanding finance on it, the car could be repossessed by the lender, even if the consumer has already paid the previous owner for it,” says a v spokesman.

“If a consumer purchases a car with outstanding finance on it, the car could be repossessed by the lender, even if the consumer has already paid the previous owner for it,” says a v spokesman.

 

One in six used cars on sale may be at risk of repossession as they still have finance outstanding on them.

In a study of a sample of 5,906 used cars offered for sale and history-checked by vehicle history checking website Cartell.ie, 16.6 per cent still had outstanding debt, meaning the finance provider was the ultimate owner of the vehicle and not the seller. In December 2017 it stood at 14.3 per cent. In July 2016 the rate was just 9.5 per cent.

A spokesperson for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said: “If a consumer purchases a car with outstanding finance on it, the car could be repossessed by the lender, even if the consumer has already paid the previous owner for it.

"Unfortunately, as the financial institution is the legal owner there are very few options. Individuals may wish to seek legal advice as to whether there are redress options available to them personally in order to pursue the person who sold them the car.

“It is worth noting that all Society of Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) dealers have access to a car history check service and they cannot sell a car which has outstanding finance on it. Consumers can also do their own independent check on a car and there are a number of companies who can check the history of a car.”