Do you feel ripped off when you are buying a used car? You can now call a new watchdog to seek redress.

A new official industry-wide service called the Motor Ombudsman has now been set up to deal with motorists feeling ripped off, cheated or let down by car dealers and garages to seek a resolution free of charge.

This is a first for the motor industry and covers new and used cars, service repairs, finance and warranties.

The aim is to resolve disputes between customers, garages and manufacturers before they get to Court. It is expected to receive about 30,000 enquiries a year, resulting in about 1,000 cases being taken on.

The new Ombudsman provides an official and impartial adjudication service. The aim is to resolve motoring related disagreements between aggrieved customers and 7,500 accredited motor businesses including vehicle manufacturers, warranty providers, dealers and independent garages. All of its decisions are binding.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) legislation came in to effect in October 2015 to deal with this, but it’s clear that consumers demanded more powers and have got them.

A cursory glance at reviews online reveals that this appears to be a watchdog with no teeth with consistently bad reviews.

Your consumer rights provides you with better cover than any warranty. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you up to 6 years cover in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland which gives traders very little wriggle-room to avoid their obligations.

Have you used this new watchdog? If so, what was your experience?

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