Is this a way to find a road to buying a car?

BUYING A car, says Matt Murphy, is one of the most stressful things people do in their lives. Along with moving house, divorce and (gulp) dealing with builders, you might add, but he has a point.

He says that his firm, cheekily called Fairtradecars.net, can make it less stressful. Murphy, who has strong Hackney connections, promises: “This service will guarantee that you will not be ripped off… It is about saving everyone money.”

He goes to auctions to find the car a buyer wants. He explains: “So, you can leave it to me to buy you a car, at the trade price, saving you thousands and saving you the hassle.

“You pay the auction for the car you wanted and that I have found for you… totally transparent, as you know what the car cost.”

He charges the buyer a commission: £275 upwards. Most of the vehicles are ex-company cars selling for between £3,500 and £15,000.

Murphy, pictured, says that usually he bids for dealers, who will ask him to find specific cars. He gets paid a commission and the motor dealer pays the auction firm for the vehicle. His Fairtradecars is an extension of that service to the public.

He emphasises that auctions operate on a buyer-beware basis, but adds that fleet cars have usually been well maintained, and good value can be found.

Of the cars he assesses at auctions, “about 60%” are rejected. “Fairtradecars are car-auction specialists,” he says. “I have contacts around the country who can go to an auction if I can’t, unlike a car broker, who doesn’t go to auctions every day.”

The respected Daily Telegraph writer Honest John, who has mentioned Murphy positively, advises caution in buying a used car at auction. Perhaps the answer is to hire an expert. Murphy, who is proud of his 30-plus years’ experience, says that he even offers clients the chance to join him in action at an auction.

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