rac buysure scheme

to give used car buyers confidence the rac has created the buysure programme which provides nationwide access to a network of approved used car dealers, independents, car supermarkets and franchises.

The RAC's BuySure scheme is designed to create 'a high level of protection and reassurance for used car buyers.' BuySure is a four part package consisting of an 80-point RAC Approved Preparation Standard, a minimum of three months' RAC Warranty cover, and three months of complimentary RAC Roadside breakdown cover. Buyers are also enrolled in the firm's Accident Management Service, supporting the motorist in the event of an accident.

Car dealers benefit from being given 'RAC Recommended Dealer status' too, and feature on the RAC's website which the firm says receives around one million unique visitors per month. Dealers are also entitled to use 'extensive' RAC branding across their premises and marketing materials, and those with garage services attached will be 'invited to join' the RAC's Approved Garage Network too.

However, dealers can't simply apply and receive the status, as each business needs to be approved by the firm. What's more, 10 per cent of every dealer's stock is audited by the RAC to ensure vehicles are 'prepared to the required standard'.

Four of the top five claims made under the RAC Warranty scheme were related to electrical problems that have the potential to prevent a car starting or cause serious engine faults - highlighting the increased dependence modern motors have on electrical systems.

In 2012 the RAC Warranty scheme paid claims totalling £5 million, but of these claims 38 per cent were made in the first months after taking out the warranty and 68 per cent in the first six months.

The top 10 most common RAC Warranty claims during 2012 were:

1 Alternator: Provides electrical power to the car when the engine is running and makes sure the battery is adequately recharged after the car is started. Fault: Internal or wiring failure causing loss of vehicle electrics. Average pay-out: £342

2 Coil: Transforms the voltage in the car to create electrical sparks needed to start the ignition. Fault: Internal or wiring failure causing engine running faults. Average pay-out: £125

3 Sensor: Captures and transmits information about the engine to its control module to ensure efficient running. Fault: Internal or wiring failure causing engine faults. Average pay-out: £206

4 Starter motor: Electrical motor that turns the car's flywheel when starting the engine. Fault: Internal or wiring failure leading to failure to start. Average pay-out: £256

5 Water pump: Circulates coolant in the engine to prevent overheating. Fault: Internal failure causing overheating. Average pay-out: £258

6 Lambda Sensor: Measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas.

Fault: Internal or wiring failure causing engine running faults. Average pay-out: £189

7 Gearbox: Transmits the engine's power to the driven wheels. Fault: Internal fault causing loss of drive. Average pay-out: £1,000

8 EGR valve: Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve diverts exhaust gas back to the cylinders for recombustion under certain conditions. This reduces nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. Fault: Valve sticks or jams, causing engine running faults. Average pay-out: £285

9 Window motor: System of switches and motors that raises and lowers side windows. Fault: Internal fault causing the windows to stop working. Average pay-out: £243

10 Cylinder head gasket: Seals the joint faces between the cylinder head and the cylinder block. Fault: The gasket fails causing overheating and other engine faults. Average pay-out: £486

Buying a second-hand car can be a worrying experience and motorists can find themselves confused and unsure about who to trust. The RAC's BuySure used car programme includes an 80-point RAC Approved Preparation Standard on every vehicle bought through RAC Approved Dealers, and therefore it removes the uncertainty surrounding the purchase of a used car. Remember though, that RAC BuySure is only available at RAC Approved dealerships.