RAC Car Data Checks are now only £5

Article date: 10 August 2007

RAC has reduced the price of its RAC Car Data Check1 to just £5 (per vehicle) to help motorists avoid the pitfalls of buying a car with a hidden history.

Buying a used car is one of the most expensive purchases people make but many fail to get the car's history investigated beforehand. With one in three cars2 having a potential problem, equivalent to over nine million cars, motorists are leaving themselves open to expensive mistakes. For the not too dissimilar cost of a trip to the cinema, a paperback book or a gallon of petrol, an RAC Car Data Check enables them to check out a vehicle before spending their hard earned cash.

An RAC Car Data Check will tell you if the vehicle:

  • Is stolen
  • Is an insurance write-off
  • Has outstanding finance on it
  • Is displaying a mileage lower than one that may be held upon our system
  • Has had previous plates
  • Is at risk of being sold illegally
  • Number plate matches the chassis number
  • Matches the latest data on the Vehicle Registration Number Database.

"Consumers spend a considerable amount of time and money deciding which car to buy, only to find that the car has a suspect history - written off, outstanding finance or even stolen," says Joe Doyle, director, RAC. "Buying a car with a hidden history not only leaves motorists open to putting their lives at risk but could leave them seriously out of pocket.

"We've decided to reduce the price of these checks to encourage motorists to check out several cars much earlier in their car search, before settling on the one to purchase, to help avoid making a mistake.

"Knowing up front that a car is all it appears to be will give the consumer the confidence to go and view the car and perhaps make an offer."

In addition, motorists who purchase an RAC Car Data Check online will be offered access to the new RAC Car Buyers website. The website will help and advise customers through every stage of the car buying process as well as providing offers, worth over £250, on RAC products aimed specifically at customers buying a car. 

To help motorists avoid the pitfalls of buying used cars, RAC Car Data Checks has the following advice:

  1. If you lack confidence in buying a secondhand car, try and take along a knowledgeable friend or relative to help you examine the vehicle.
  2. View the car in daylight at the seller's address so you can confirm the address is the same as the V5 vehicle registration document.
  3. Look for signs of clocking - does the condition of the car match the mileage?
  4. Is there wear on the seats, pedals or steering wheel? Check for rust and general corrosion on the bodywork. How worn are the tyres?
  5. Take the car for a test drive on a variety of roads, but make sure you are properly insured.  Listen out for any odd noises from the engine and suspension.
  6. If you feel unconfident assessing the car yourself, get a vehicle examination, which can help to identify potentially expensive problems and signs of major accident repair. 
  7. Check out the history and status of the car with an RAC car data check - the check will reveal whether the car has any outstanding finance against it, has been written off or reported stolen by the Police. RAC Car Data Checks cost £5.

For more information about RAC Car Data Checks and Inspections, visit www.rac.co.uk/checks or call 0800 975 5867

-ends-

RAC Press office contact:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224/07800 692909

Notes to editors

1 The RAC Car Data Check comes with a guarantee giving up to £5,000 of cover. The guarantee applies to any losses suffered arising from inaccurate or incomplete information supplied by RAC. Terms and conditions apply, please visit rac.co.uk/checks.

2 Based on vehicles checked with RAC in 2006.

About RAC
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organizations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicle inspections and checks, legal and financial services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs. RAC incorporates BSM, RAC Auto Windscreens, RAC Direct Insurance and HPI.

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15%.

RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.                                      

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