OFT cracks down on webuyanycar.com valuations

The car buying giant, webuyanycar.com, has been forced to make changes to its website following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

The company came under scrutiny following concerns that its online valuations were misleading. The OFT discovered that 96 percent of customers received less than was originally quoted following an on-site inspection of their car.

The firm's representative would often cite 'other factors' such as market conditions, as a reason for lowering the first offer. The OFT also discovered that the vehicle inspectors were set targets for purchasing vehicles, which may have included reducing the quote by 25 percent on reappraisal.

The watchdog also decided that sellers were potentially being rushed into a decision by the impression that the online figure was only valid for seven days.

Webuyanycar.com fully complied with the OFT's investigation, and agreed to make several changes to its website.
  • It will make clear that the website valuation is not a price at which the company is offering to buy the consumer's car and that a range of other factors might be taken into account
  • It can't set targets for vehicle inspectors which have the potential to encourage them to reduce the valuation offered for inappropriate reasons
  • It won't deduct from the final price the amount of any refund available to the customer from the DVLA for the road tax remaining on the car
  • And finally it must make it clear to customers that the next working day payment service (which incurs an additional charge of £24.75) is optional.
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