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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70414
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I bought a car less than 2 weeks ago from a private seller,

Customer Question

I bought a car less than 2 weeks ago from a private seller, as we drove it from the person about to get home it started smoking so we took it to the garage and unfortunately found out that the car needs a lot of work and in its current state is not worth what we paid fro-maybe 10 times less.

unfortunately i have no agreement, i paid cash and not card or over the internet. do i have any case. there was a witness who saw the money being exchanged and the calls and txts but other than that, i have no evidence.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like to know if legaly i have a right to ask for my money back from this guy or at least part refund

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, you are not in the best position I'm afraid.

How did he describe the car at the time of sale?

Or in the advert?

What did he say about its condition?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I thought so, don't even know why I asked he just said there was a light flashing on the dashboard nothing else
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I will really need to know exactly what you asked and what he said?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If there is no case does that really matter? I can pull up the advert and give full details.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Would it be possible to tell me what you asked him about the condition of the car and what he said?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We asked if there was work which needed to be done on the car and he said no he had MOT from March and said the only thing is that there is a Reed light flashing. On the dashboard
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

The Sale of Goods Act doesn't apply to this type of sale because he is a private seller. That will mean that there is no obligation for this vehicle to be 'fit for purpose'.

However, you could drop down upon the law of misrepresentation. You have to show that he said something untrue or misleading about the condition of the car. Obviously this was not untrue but it might be described as misleading possibly.

If you asked him about the overall condition and he disclosed one fault and not many other more serious ones then that is misrepresentation.

Of course, if you were to sue him then he might not contest it anyway.

There is also the law governing sale of an unroadworthy vehicle. There is a criminal offence in selling an unroadworthy vehicle although it would be irresponsible of me not to warn you that its a very high test.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, I guess this is a lesson for me for next time. Thank you for your help and support.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, I guess this is a lesson for me for next time. Thank you for your help and support. By the way in future if buying from a private seller what is the best thing for me to do so that if problems arise, I can get my money back.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Private sales are always dangerous. Unless you get a guarantee from them there is no way of enforcing it otherwise then under the law of misrepresentation.

In fairness, often private sellers do not contest claims in court.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/