Cars can be expensive and it’s always tempting to keep an eye on the local buy, sell and trade groups when you need a new one.

However, Brits in need of a fresh motor have been urged to always use reputable dealers instead of doing things on the cheap – because old bangers may have underlying problems that could cost big money to repair.

Common faults with high prices

To illustrate this, AA Cars has put together a list of the most common faults it sees on used cars, as well as the potential cost of repairing them.

It’s fair to say it makes for eye-watering reading. For instance, repairing an automatic gearbox can sometimes be more expensive than replacing it entirely, with a price tag of between £1,000 and £5,000.

Failure of turbo functionality is another big one, with drivers likely to be stung for £1,000 if these go wrong.

Meanwhile, problems with the clutch can be a key reason for people to seek to get rid of cars – but if you buy a car that needs a new one, it could cost £400. What’s more, the AA pointed out that dual mass flywheels commonly fail alongside the clutch and that they can cost £800 to be fixed.

Finally, there was the head gasket, which you’ll know all about if you’ve ever been saddled with a clapped-out vehicle. Although parts for this are cheap, a repair job is likely to come with a high price tag for labour, leading to final costs of over £500.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, chief executive of AA Cars James Fairclough said people need to be as sure as they can that they aren’t getting a raw deal when they buy a car.

“It is always advisable to buy a used car through a reputable dealer rather than a private seller. To ensure that you are completely protected, ideally you should do business with a dealer who has signed up to a quality standard,” he added.

Last year, Warranty Wise put together a list of the least reliable cars in the UK, which brought up some very surprising results. Among those shamed where household names like the Peugeot 207, the Vauxhall Astra and the Seat Ibiza.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “There’s nothing as nerve-wracking as car shopping and no one wants to be stuck with a dud. We’d agree it’s always best to stick to showrooms with good reputations, rather than relying on the classifieds.”

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