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AA Cars finds that faulty brakes are the most common issue with used vehicles in the UK

  • Brake issues are the most common problem found with used cars – AA Cars
  • Problems cost an average of £400 to repair, according to new data
  • 70 per cent of used cars assessed by vehicle inspectors have at least one fault

Time 7:33 am, August 17, 2023

AA cars has warned used car buyers to be on the lookout for faulty brakes after they were found to be the most common issue when buying a second-hand vehicle in Britain.

The platform has been analysing data from its expert assessors, who found at least one fault with 70 per cent of the used cars they inspected.

Issues with brakes were found to be the most common flaw, with issues costing an average of £400 to fix.


Aside from brake issues, the next most common fault was found to be signs of previous accident damage and corrosion, followed by clutch related malfunctions, which cost between £600 and £800 to put right.

Of the most common faults, the ones which are likely to hit drivers hardest in the pocket are timing chain and belt fault noises, which could cost as much as £1,200.

The full list can be seen below:


The survey also researched how much buyers know about potential faults on a used car with 85 per cent of would-be customers say they lift up the car’s bonnet.

However, almost half (45 per cent) admitted they have no idea what they are looking for and just a quarter (24 per cent) knew that brakes were the most common flaw to be on the lookout for.

Reacting to the findings, Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘A car is often the second-biggest purchase people make after their home.

‘Most people wouldn’t dream of buying a house without a survey — yet many car buyers don’t stop to consider the benefits of a pre-purchase vehicle inspection before parting with thousands of pounds.

‘Many of the most common problems vehicle inspectors find during assessments are hard for the average person to spot. Even if drivers carry out some checks themselves, such as looking at the bonnet, many do not know what they’re looking for.

‘AA vehicle inspectors carry out up to 206 checks on a car, and this is nearly impossible for non-motoring experts to replicate.

‘Yet if a fault goes undetected, drivers could find themselves forking out hundreds of pounds to repair it. With 70 per cent of used cars assessed found to have some kind of issue, drivers who make a purchase without getting an inspection could be taking a big financial risk.

‘Vehicle inspections can give drivers valuable peace of mind that a vehicle is in good condition and they won’t be in for any nasty surprises. If a fault is found, this can give the buyer the power to haggle down the price or request a repair before they purchase the car.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.



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