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Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a dealer they will have certain rights under consumer law, specifically the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (“CPR”) and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (“SGA”).
Under the CPR, the following business practices are deemed unfair:
Failure to adhere to the CPR rules will be unlawful and may even amount to a criminal offence.
In addition, the buyer will have certain rights under the SGA which states that a vehicle must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match its description.
The dealer will only be liable for faults that were present at the time the vehicle was sold, even if they become apparent later on. However, they will not be liable for fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage or any issues that were brought to the buyer’s attention before the sale. In addition, if the buyer had inspected the vehicle before purchasing it and should have noticed any obvious faults with it, the dealer will not be liable.
If the vehicle does not meet the above requirements, the buyer can reject the vehicle and return it to the dealer requesting a refund. However, this will need to be done within a ‘reasonable time’, which is usually 3-4 weeks after purchase.
If the buyer is too late to reject the vehicle, they could instead request that it is repaired or replaced without causing significant inconvenience. The dealer may only reject a repair or replacement if it is impossible or disproportionate in the circumstances. If that happens, you are entitled to get it repaired elsewhere and claim back the repair costs, although there is an obvious risk in doing so as there is no guarantee in getting any money back.
If the dealer refuses to resolve this issue, you can technically take legal action against them. However, before going down that route you should try and resolve the issue directly with the dealer by sending them a letter specifying how you want this matter resolved and giving them 14 days to respond. Advise them that if they fail to respond or deal with this in a satisfactory manner, you will have no other option but to report them to Trading Standards and issue legal proceedings to seek compensation.
Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?