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Smart Consumer: I bought a second-hand car and the seller won't give me the logbook

Q Niamh contacted Smart Consumer with a question relating to a second-hand car she bought on a classified ads website in December.

She writes: "I bought a car from the website DoneDeal.ie on December 19. I received the car that day and handed over the cash and the agreement was the owner would post on the logbook the following day once he had returned home because he didn't have it with him.

"However, I have not received the log book yet, and the person I bought the car from is not answering my phone calls."

She wants to know what she can do in this situation.

A You always have to be very careful when buying anything, and especially such a big purchase, from someone from any classified ad.

Remember that when buying from an individual seller, your consumer rights don't kick in, and there can be little comeback if something goes wrong.

It is wise to liaise with the seller and ask questions, so that you can try and rule out a bogus seller, plus to get contact details other than a mobile number.

When buying a second-hand car it is also advisable to do a car history check (available from a number of websites) to be sure that the car is registered to the seller and that there is no outstanding finance on the car among other things.

Smart Consumer contacted DoneDeal.ie on Niamh's behalf and they say: "DoneDeal strongly urges all our users to review the safety guidelines issued on our website, which provides useful help and advice to users to ensure they minimise the potential risks involved.

"Should any of our users experience difficulties or have concerns in relation to any adverts posted, we would encourage them to contact us directly at support@donedeal.ie and we will endeavour to investigate and advise on the best course of action."

In relation to the specific concerns raised by Niamh, DoneDeal advise that she reports the incident to her local gardaí who can liaise directly with them to progress this further.

They explain that: "DoneDeal has a close working relationship with the gardaí and is currently the only classified advertising website to give full direct access to its data and IT systems. This process has proven of great help in effectively progressing any gardaí investigations."

Irish Independent