MILLIONS of buyers of second hand cars in Britain are failing to check the vehicle for safety before parting with their cash, according to new research from Kwik Fit.
And most of the 20 million drivers who bought their current car second hand failed to have it serviced for months after buying.
The Kwik Fit study found that less than half of second hand car buyers carried out some of the most vital safety checks on their new vehicle before they drove away.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: "Most of us are excited at the prospect of buying a car, but it would appear from this research that many drivers let their hearts rule their heads and forget to make some of the most obvious checks."
In the study, Kwik Fit found that while 61per cent of used car buyers check over the bodywork of their prospective purchase, far fewer check the components which are crucial for safety.
Less than half (49 per cent) examined the depth of tread on the tyres, only 46 per cent checked the effectiveness of the brakes and only 44 per cent checked the lights.
The figure is even lower when considering the spare tyre where only just over a third (36 per cent) checked or even looked to see if there was one.
Although 6.4 million drivers have bought their used car privately, less than one million got the vehicle serviced immediately after buying it. More than three million waited more than six months before having it serviced while 1.7 million admitted that in spite of intending to do so, they have not had their car serviced yet.
"If motorists are buying from a trade seller and the tyres need changing before they take ownership, we would advise buyers to insist on having new tyres fitted," said Mr Griggs.
"Some traders will fit part worn tyres when selling a car, but the provenance of these is not always known and they may not comply with safety standards."
Kwik Fit says the concern is not only that drivers don't make these checks before they buy their ‘new' car, but that many motorists are not in the habit of making safety checks on a regular basis once they own the vehicle.
"Prevention is always better, and cheaper, than cure, so we would encourage car owners to get into the habit of making some regular simple checks," added Mr Griggs.