Consumers who bought cars sold as having one owner only, which was actually a fleet or rental company, could be reimbursed up to 100% of the car’s value

Buyers of used cars could be in line to receive compensation as advertising authorities clamp down on cars improperly labelled and sold as second-hand when the previous owner was a rental firm or other multiple-driver fleet. 

Up to 100% of the car’s value could be rewarded to misled consumers, depending on the details of the case.

The Times reports that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will warn manufacturers and dealers in the coming weeks not to mislabel such cars. 

Hundreds of thousands of consumers are potentially affected, having not been told that their cars, often advertised as having one previous owner, were formerly rental cars or fleet cars.

Last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Alfa Romeo were chastised by the ASA for this reason, having sold two cars that had been used for contractor training and company car purposes. 

The ASA asserted that cars from these sources “were more likely to have been subjected to wear and tear”. FCA subsequently revealed that interim measures had already been set up to stop the practice.

Campaign group Used Car Scandal, set up by the man who brought the case against FCA, has received around 200 further cases of this type, 

Following the FCA ruling, the ASA released the following statement: “If you’re a fleet operator selling ex-business-use vehicles, the ASA will expect information about the ex-fleet nature of the vehicle to be included in your advertising.  

“This is because it considers it to be material information that would influence a consumer’s transactional decision in purchasing a vehicle. Furthermore, if an ex-business use vehicle was used by multiple users while part of your fleet, that is also likely to be considered material information that must be disclosed in the ad."

The SMMT responded to the growing concerns, saying: "SMMT doesn't comment on individual ASA cases. Ex fleet vehicles can be a great used car choice, if as with any other vehicle it can be demonstrated they have been maintained and serviced properly and offer good value for money."

"We advise every consumer to carry out all the relevant background checks before committing to buying a used-car. Simple steps such as checking the log book, using the DVLA’s vehicle information checker and verifying MOT history can all offer peace of mind to car buyers."

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Comments
14

5 January 2018

Only when I got the V5 through and was able to check that it was a company which owned the car did I discover it was ex-rental.   Even then only because I googled the name did I find others stating it was Enterprise rental.

 

I simply wouldn't have purhased an ex-rental.

 

6 January 2018

Yeh it's ex-rental, but there are those who advise that buying an ex-rental or fleet car has the advantage that it will have been properly maintained.

We'd all like to think a used car has had "one careful elderly lady owner" - the truth is often very different.  It's not rocket science to spot a well used and abused car.

6 January 2018

about ten years ago I had a Mondeo, an 01’ model, after 44K miles the rubber bushes on the rear suspension failed, went to the dealer who said oh! that a thousand pound fix!, once I’d picked my jaw of the floor I argued that this shouldn’t happen so soon, all I got was a £100.00 discount!, a few months later I was cleaning the Car out whereupon I discovered a Hertz rental card in the back pocket of the Drivers Seat, now, if I’d have thought about it I should have gone back and complained.

Peter Cavellini.

6 January 2018
Hundreds of thousands of consumers are potentially affected, having not been told that their cars, often advertised as having one previous owner, were formerly rental cars or fleet cars

Reading the paragraph above I'm not sure where the issue is. These cars will only have had 'one owner', just that the owner has either rented that car out to multiple 'users' or allowed multiple driver's to use the vehicle. But it has still only had one 'owner'. I can see this having a huge impact on the value of 2nd vehicles coming off the rental fleets books, which in turn will affect the cost of car rental. I'd hazard a guess the majority of 3 - 12 month old cars from the likes of Ford, Vauxhall, BMW and Mercedes sitting on dealer forecourts will be daily rental disposals and it's likely these will take a huge hit in depreciation.

6 January 2018

I’ve always thought it obvious where all these 9-12 month old cars with 10k miles on them, which are parked 10 deep at car supermarkets, are actually from. Especially when the signs are clearly there to see - most common is the difficult to remove residue from the ‘Do No Exceed’ mileage sticker on the instrument binnacle.

I feel a bit sorry for punters who are so naive that they think there’s hundreds of thousands of new car buyers who trade in after only 9 months.

 

7 January 2018

Honesty, that’s what we’re talking about, Car vendors in the Eye of the Law at the moment haven’t broken any Law, yes the Car they bought might have been driven by numerous Drivers, some good some bad,but, if the Vendor gives a warranty with it or the balance of the Warranty left then to some extent there’s not much to worry about.

Peter Cavellini.

7 January 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Honesty, that’s what we’re talking about, Car vendors in the Eye of the Law at the moment haven’t broken any Law, yes the Car they bought might have been driven by numerous Drivers, some good some bad,but, if the Vendor gives a warranty with it or the balance of the Warranty left then to some extent there’s not much to worry about.

Quite right. Dealers are happy to advertise a car as a 'one owner' but sometimes are not so forthcoming as to who that owner was. But I'm still struggling to see how this can be so wrong, or wrong enough to describe it as a scandal. What's worse, a 6-12 month old ex hire car that's been valeted and had fluids checked every few days, serviced on the dot and any scuffs or scrapes sorted. Or a 2-3 year old ex pcp that's had family abuse, dog in the back and a patchy service history.

7 January 2018

A good chunk of cars are ex fleet vehicles.

If your happy with the condition and presentation of the car enough to purchase it and it causes no issues as a result of it being a fleet vehicle, I really can't see what entitlement you should have to compensation. Especially if you weren't bothered enough to try and find out about the previous owner when you bought the car.

Only if the car was physically advertised as "One Lady Owner" or "One Private Owner" or otherwise deliberately deceived should you have any right to some comeback. One owner is not deceptive for a fleet vehicle. Your V5 will show one keeper, and it won't have any effect on the future valuation of the car.

Having worked in the industry, fleet and ex rentals are no worse in general in terms of condition than most privately owned vehicles, which in many cases are a disgrace! They do however benefit from better servicing and maintenance in most cases.

Much fuss over nothing. Consumer rights in many cases are breeding entitled and moronic consumers who think its their god given right for everything to be somone elses responsibility.

8 January 2018

It's the first question, who owned the car before, it's that simple. If garage doesn't know or don't want to tell you walk away.

As a footnote if you try to pass a car onto WeBuyAnyCar etc and they see a previous ex-rental owned car that was owned for 6 months they check it over more careful because ex-fleet/rental cars are sold on as repairables if they need to be taken off the road for some time.

If people aren't aware of the above I recommend they save for 6 more months and buy new or a pre-registered car.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

8 January 2018
xxxx wrote:

As a footnote if you try to pass a car onto WeBuyAnyCar etc and they see a previous ex-rental owned car that was owned for 6 months they check it over more careful because ex-fleet/rental cars are sold on as repairables if they need to be taken off the road for some time.

 

And that's the problem.   When you go to sell it again, unaware you've bought an ex-rental, and the value is lower because of it.   You've paid a "one-owner" premium only to find when you sell you're getting the "ex-rental" offer.

 

Thank you!   I'm surprised the others above can't see that.

 

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