An expert has warned consumers to be aware that the used car they are buying might have a "hidden history".
Kirk Fletcher, managing director of the automotive division of Experian, which specialises in helping consumers manage the risk of financial decisions, thinks that we hear far too many rip-off stories involving "innocent used car buyers who see a car advertised privately".
Mr Fletcher said: "These cars appears to be legitimate and the buyers are persuaded into parting with their money only to later find that it had a hidden history.
"However, they could have quite easily protected themselves by checking out the status of the car through services like Experian’s AutoCheck. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind."
According to Experian research, women drivers are more vulnerable to being caught out by a car’s hidden history than men, as they are more likely to buy older cars.
Over two out of three (69 per cent) of women hold onto their cars for over three years compared to 60 per cent of men.