To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he proposes to combat the sale of unroadworthy secondhand cars; and if he will make a statement.
Together with my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for corporate and consumer affairs, I had a useful discussion on 15 December with the Director General of Fair Trading and a range of local authority, motor trade and consumer organisations about this problem.We agreed the desirability of amending section 60 of the Road Traffic Act 1972 to make it easier for trading standards officers to deal with sellers of unroadworthy vehicles. We are also exploring further the possible extension of trading standards officers' powers to inspect cars on garage forecourts.Buyers of second-hand cars would be well advised to arrange a pre-sale inspection. An up-to-date MOT certificate is a guide to the condition of the main safety features such as brakes, steering and lighting.