How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69995
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Dear JustAnswer, I recently bought a used car for £2495

Customer Question

Dear JustAnswer,
I recently bought a used car for £2495 from a private buyer who I can demonstrate (I am sure) misrepresented the state of the car which, I have now discovered, was a category C write off.
To complicate matters, I commissioned an independent engineer's pre-purchase inspection report from The report mentioned only a frayed auxiliary belt and the need to re-gas the air-con, whereas I now have a report from my local garage cataloguing numerous serious faults. ClickMechanic are in discussions with their engineer.
My question is how best to seek redress and recover my money.
With thanks
Dr Stephen Pumfrey.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the misrepresentation please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The advert, of which I have a copy, stated that the car had a "full service history" which, on closer inspection, I realise ended in 2012-13, before the insurance write off. If it were full it would have included details of the accident repair, I understand. It also stated that the windscreen had a "small crack" which was in fact more than 20cm long. This was the major reason given for the reduced price. A second reason was that the information panel read "check airbags" and the seller said I would have to have them checked. In fact, they are absent. following the accident. The given mileage was slightly low. The advert also stated that the car was owned by a "careful lady owner", supposedly the seller's mother, but I am now doubting that.

Above all, the engineer's excuse for including nothing in his report about the vehicle's material condition (which is very poor) was that the seller said that she had already told me that the car had been in an accident. This is categorically untrue, and my son is a witness to that.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Failing to declare a cat C write off is not a misrepresentation unless, of course, the seller actually said something untrue or misleading on that point. There is no duty to declare an insurance write off.
However, if the assertion that there was a 'full service history' was false then that would amount to a misrepresentation.
The crack is an arguable point. 'Small crack' is clearly minimising the issue but whether it amounts to a misrepresentation is another matter particular because I presume that you would have seen the vehicle at some point before purchase. There is case law that says that misrepresentation does not assist when there was an opportunity to inspect and a fault would have been obvious.
Understating the mileage is a misrepresentation.
It is quite unlikely that you will get a full refund. Recission of the contract is rare with misrepresentations. What will probably be available is the diminution value between the price you paid and the price the vehicle would have been worth had its condition been known.
You need to send the seller a letter before action asking for an offer within 14 days and making clear that you will sue if you do not receive one.
If that fails then you can sue here
You may as well seek recession of the contract since its a proper application and the sum in question is still a small claims court sum.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69995
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** is helpful.

I have two final questions.

1. Is it material that independent inspection engineer has stated that the seller told him that she had told me that the car had been in an accident, when she had not?

2. ClickMechanic's advert, which was on the very page of the Gumtree advert for the car, states "Protect your purchase with a ClickMechanic pre-purchase inspection."

Although the person I have spoken to at ClickMechanic seems to have been helpful and sympathetic, he has also stated that my contract was with the engineer and not with ClickMechanic, which I find puzzling.

Clearly I would not have purchased the car if the report had been competent. Do I have any redress against the engineer or ClickMechanic for the problems they have caused? Their offer of only refunding the £75 inspection fee seems mean.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
1 Not necessarily. It depends.
If there was something in the report that you relied upon at the time of sale that was untrue or misleading arising from this then that could be relevant.
The only issue there might be negligence of the inspection engineer possibly.
2 That depends on their set up. In fairness, they may be wrong on that point. Denying a contract doesn't mean that one doesn't exist.
However, whoever your contract is with, your claim in misrep is against the seller.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, Jo.


This has been an excellent service.As others have said, the answers were prompt, relevant, clear and very helpful.


Please feel free to use the above in your publicity.



I may sleep tonight!



Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

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

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice