Used car dealer Cazoo comes under fire on BBC’s Watchdog over its 300-point checks

  • Cazoo featured on tonight’s Watchdog programme as three customers complain to show
  • Online dealer fixed problems but show slams it for not sharing checks it made with customers
  • Car Dealer contributing editor Rebecca Chaplin interviewed as part of the programme

Time 7:44 pm, April 6, 2022

Online used car disruptor Cazoo has come under fire from BBC1’s Watchdog programme tonight over its 300-point checks.

Three customers told the programme they were not happy with the quality of the cars they bought from the online dealer.

Presenter Matt Allwright took issue with Cazoo’s ‘300-point check’ which it says it carries out on all cars.

When asked by customers who complained about their cars for a copy of the 300 point checks, Watchdog said Cazoo was unable to provide the documents.

In the show, Allwright said: ‘Cazoo, you spent millions getting your name out there and encouraged us to trust that name by saying you provide a thorough system of checks and inspections. 

‘But, if when their cars go wrong, you can’t provide customers with evidence of those inspections, what are they really worth?’

The first customer featured in the Watchdog programme bought a Ford Ka in March last year which had a problem with the gearbox and the exhaust snapped. 

Cazoo eventually bought her car back and paid her a £700 goodwill gesture.

A second customer bought a BMW who took it to a franchised dealer for a health check and they identified it ‘had a problem with the brakes’. 

Cazoo told Watchdog the brakes were legal when it checked the car and paid to replace them.

The third customer bought a Mazda MX-5 that had issues with the traction control and headrests. 

When the customer priced up the repairs, Cazoo wouldn’t pay for them, but it did offer to exchange the car for a different MX-5 and knocked £500 off the price.

But when he got that vehicle and washed it for for the first time, the roof leaked and filled the car with water. Cazoo paid for his car to be repaired.

The customer asked for a record of the 300-point inspection it carried out and it couldn’t provide him with one, said the show.

Cazoo trucks

Allwright said: ‘Things can go wrong unexpectedly and it does seem like when that happens Cazoo is trying to do the right thing, but if, as it appears, there’s an internal record of every car’s 300 point inspection, why not share the result with customers if there’s a problem?’

Car Dealer contributing editor Rebecca Chaplin was interviewed by Allwright as part of the programme.

She told Watchdog: ‘I think this is really something that Cazoo needs to look at and rectify. 

‘If a car is coming to you and you’ve never seen it before you want to know it is going to work.

Becca on Watchdog, 6 Apr 2022

Rebecca Chaplin is interviewed for the BBC’s consumer series Watchdog. Image copyright © BBC

‘Being able to provide something that says “this is what we found, this is what we checked and this is what we fixed” will fill a customer with confidence a lot better than coming back and finding there’s a problem.’

Cazoo told Watchdog that it was ‘sorry the customers didn’t have an experience that matched their expectations’.

It said it did ‘all it could’ to rectify the ‘isolated issues and ensure they weren’t left out of pocket financially’.

Cazoo said also told the show it has sold 60,000 cars in the last two years and 95 per cent have rated Cazoo as ‘excellent’ or ‘great’ on TrustPilot.

The Watchdog section was broadcast as a section as part of the April 6 One Show on BBC1 and can currently be found on the iPlayer.

Last week, Car Dealer published a special video investigation into Cazoo which looks at where it came from, where the money was raised and what its plans are. You can watch it below. The feature is also available as a podcast on your favourite platforms – just search for the ‘Car Dealer Investigations’ series.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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