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Motorists have lost their rag, says major car retailer

More than 70 percent of motorists are driving around in cars with defects which their parents would have put right in two flicks of an oily rag.


More than 70 percent of motorists are driving around in cars with defects which their parents would have put right in two flicks of an oily rag.
That’s the finding of a national used car retailer which says that most of the vehicles it buys-in now come from a generation who regards DIY as a dirty word.
Leaking hoses, worn-out wiper blades, broken bulbs and water-starved radiators are all common shortcomings which might once have been fixed on a Sunday morning.
ACF Car Finance, which has vehicle showrooms throughout the UK, says the deficiencies come to light and are remedied during the 136-point RAC-approved inspection given to each car before sale.
Mark Jones, Senior Manager of Operations of the company, believes that basic maintenance skills have been lost to a world in which cars now rarely put a foot wrong:
“People new to motoring within the past ten years have probably never heard the heart-rending sound of an engine turning furiously and refusing to fire,” said Mr Jones.
"But just a generation ago, knowing how to remove and clean a set of spark plugs, or to trace a fault to a blown fuse, was often crucial to staying on the road.
“It’s wonderful that reliability has improved so greatly, but now many people regard minor faults as something you simply live with until the next service, or the car is replaced,” he said.
Mr Jones concedes that fear is also likely to deter people from tinkering with the highly sophisticated inner workings of a car, but that many DIY options were still left open:
"We’ll often see wiper blades that have clearly perished long ago, radiators in desperate need of a top-up, and dip-sticks with almost nothing to dip into - all five-minute jobs to remedy.
"Of the hundreds of two and three year old cars which we acquire each year, around seven out of every ten show deficiencies which the previous owner must have lived with for some time.
"We carefully hand-pick every one of our pre-owned vehicles from high quality trade sources, so the overall number of  DIY-free cars could be much higher than the percentage we find.
“It certainly suggests that anyone buying a used car should ensure that the dealer has thoroughly checked for both major and minor snags before accepting delivery,” added Mr Jones.
ACF Car Finance specialises in supplying used cars and arranging loans for the growing number of people whose credit records affect their borrowing ability.
The company has showrooms throughout the country, and the locations of these are detailed on its website at
ACF Car Finance is Britain’s leading supplier of high-quality used cars to people whose credit status might otherwise prevent them from obtaining car credit ( ACF Car Finance has earned a strong reputation within the finance and motor industry for its standards of customer care, and the quality of the friendly, professional advice provided by members of its fully-trained team. The company has a Facebook page at, and can be followed on Twitter at

ACF Car Finance Limited. Registered in England number 4757280. Registered office address: International House, Kingsfield Court, Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9RF.


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