Find a trader and check you can trust them
You can look online to find a trader you can trust, for example a builder or car dealer. There are organisations that can give you a list of traders, including:
your local council
schemes that recommend traders
If you need a builder, find out what other checks you should do before you ask a company to do the work.
Check with your local council
The best place to start looking for a trader is your local council - you can find your council’s website on GOV.UK. If you have more than one council, choose the county council.
Search the council website for ‘approved traders’ or ‘Trading Standards’. Trading Standards is a council department that makes sure companies don’t break the law when selling to customers.
The council might list traders they’ve approved, or they might link to another website that lists traders in your area you can trust.
Check schemes that recommend traders
You might need to try more than one scheme to find one that covers your area and the kind of trader you’re looking for. You can try:
TrustMark - the Government’s trader scheme
If you’ve already got a trader in mind, they might say they’re a member of a scheme on their website or any letters they’ve sent you. You should check the scheme’s website to make sure they’re really a member.
Find a trade association
If you still can’t find a trader, you can check if there’s a trade association for the type of company - for example the Retail Motor Industry Federation for car dealers. Trade associations often set standards for companies that join them.
You can find most trade associations on the Trade Association Forum website - read through the list or search by the type of trader. There might be more than one trade association for each type of company.
If you find a trade association, go to their website and look for a list of members.
If you’ve already got a trader in mind, they might say that they’re a member of a trade association on their website or any letters they’ve sent you. You should check the trade association’s website to make sure they’re really a member.
If you need help
Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helplineif you need help with finding a trader, for example if you have a disability that means you can’t easily look online.
Page last reviewed on 09 May 2019