Buying A New Car & Using Your Credit Card

By Doris Barnes,2014-05-15 12:33
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Buying A New Car & Using Your Credit Card

PRESS RELEASE 13 October 2000

    New Consumer Guidelines -

    Buying A New Car & Using Your Credit Card

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) has issued a set of new user-friendly

    guidelines for consumers on Buying a New Car and Using Your Credit Card.

    These new leaflets are part of the ECC’s free information and advice service to

    help consumers to shop with confidence.

The brochure on Buying a New Car explains your consumer rights under the

    Sale of Goods & Supply of Services Act, 1980. It also provides guidelines on

    arranging car finance and includes advice on your rights when buying a car in

    another EU Member State.

So far this year an average of 6,000 new cars are sold each week. Given the

    large volumes, minor faults and teething problems that can be promptly remedied

    are inevitable but serious faults and poor after-sales service are not acceptable.

    The ECC estimates that about one-third of the 770 car related queries received

    so far this year were problems that were not remedied after one repair.

    According to ECC Manager, Tina Leonard ‘feedback from people contacting our

    office suggests that many consumers are not receiving a satisfactory level of

    after-sales service and technical support. We urge all car dealers to honour

    consumers’ statutory rights.’

The European Commission’s Competition Directorate is currently examining

    whether to extend the EU’s ‘block exemption’ (beyond 2002) which allows car

    makers to dominate and control the distribution and retailing of their brands.

    Tina Leonard states ‘we must seriously question whether it is advantageous for

    consumers to maintain this exclusive dealership network when distribution costs

    can account for up to 30 per cent of the pre-tax price of a new car’. She adds

    that consumers can also exercise their rights to buy a car in another Member

    State where prices may be lower. However consumers should bear in mind that

    VAT at 21 per cent is payable and Irish consumers are also liable for Vehicle

    Registration Tax (ranging from between 22 to 30 per cent of the pre-tax price of

    the price of the car in Ireland).

Many consumers are also having problems with car finance agreements sold by

    garages (hire purchase and leasing agreements) that are authorised as credit

    intermediaries. According to Tina Leonard consumers are buying financial

    products often without being fully aware about the type of credit agreement they

    are entering into or their long-term obligations under the contract. The ECC’s

    Legal Adviser, Colin Daly points out that in a hire purchase agreement ownership

    of the car only passes to you when the last payment is made. In a consumer

    hire or leasing agreement you will never own the car. He adds that consumers

    also have a responsibility to read the terms and conditions of the contract

    carefully before signing and seek independent expert advice if necessary.

The second brochure Credit Cards Your Rights provides advice on choosing

    a credit card and how to get the best deal available. It also sets out your rights

    and obligations when cancelling credit card transactions and your liability in the

    event of credit card fraud or if a company goes into receivership. It features

    handy tips when shopping online and using your credit card abroad. Tina

    Leonard points out that credit card ownership is on the increase so it is important

    that Irish consumers are aware of how they work.

The European Consumer Centre is part of a network of consumer offices around

    Europe and is based at the Consumer Advice Shop in Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

    The ECC advises local consumers on their consumer rights but also helps EU

    consumers exercise their rights when shopping across borders. The ECC

    received over 12,500 consumer queries in 1999 and is on target to exceed this

    figure in 2000. The ECC provides a free Litigation Advice Service for

    consumers involved in Small Claims Court actions. The Centre also offers an

    educational outreach services to schools and community groups. The

    European Consumer Centre is jointly funded by the European Commission

    (Directorate General Consumer Policy & Health Promotion) and the Office of

    the Director of Consumer Affairs.

For further information contact:

    Caroline Waters, Marketing & PR

     Tel: 01 8090607/086 6793610


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