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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently (10th Jan 2015) bought a car from a dealer and part

Customer Question

I recently (10th Jan 2015) bought a car from a dealer and part exchanged my old car. Two weeks later I had to call out my car recovery after the car developed what I would say is a significant defect, the battery keeps going flat when the car is turned off and not being used. The dealer sent it to their local garage who discovered a battery drain. They also advised me that it is a new battery fitted to the car only on the 6th Jan the morning of me viewing the car. The garage thought they had fixed the problem by resetting part of the electrical system. However 2 days later I went to start the car and the battery was flat again. the independent dealer I brought the car from sent the car to Mercedes to establish where the battery drain is coming from. I have been advised it's the radio which is taking a drain from the battery even when the car is off and locked. Apparently a new radio has been ordered and will be fitted this week, I hope. It will also need a new battery again as the current one is of no good after all these problems. I am trying to establish where I stand legally if the replacement of the Radio doesn't fix the problem. The car is very unreliable almost having a flat battery every 24-36 hours. It is not fit for the purpose I bought it for. I rely on my car to get me to work. unfortunately I don't drive the car every day as I spend 2-3 days a week away with work. Unfortunately on my return I will always have a flat battery. If the replacement radio doesn't fix the problem am I entitled to give the car back and get a refund? I also paid the difference for the car on a credit card, does this provide any protection?
thanks for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether it was new or used? How much did you pay, what was the age and how many miles had it done?

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

It is a second hand Mercedes C class estate. It has 90,000 miles and I paid £5000. I part exchanged my old car for £2000 and paid the £3000 difference.

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

Sorry the age of the car is 10 years old. It is on a 04 plate.

Alex Watts :

Do they know what the problem is?

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

they say it is the radio. They are going to replace it this week. However in the meantime they have said if I keep the radio switched off at all times the battery shouldn't drain. However It has. I will wait to see if the new radio and battery will fix the problem. I am trying to establish where I stand legally if it isn't fixed after being replaced. can I get a refund?

Alex Watts :

Sadly not. This is because under the Sale of Goods Act when you purchased used or secondhand goods your rights are far more limited.

Alex Watts :

If you had purchased a brand new Mercedes then the quality of that car and its fitness for use is going to be far higher than a 15 year old car with 100,000 miles on the clock. The same standard of quality is not going to be expected.

Alex Watts :

Given that you can drive the car, there appears to be an issue with the radio and that the vehicle is 10 years old with 90,000 miles you would not be able to reject and seek a refund.

Alex Watts :

Indeed if this was a brand new car, you would not expect a refund with a fault such as this. The fault has to be significant, ie it can not be driven.

Alex Watts :

Whilst you can insist on it being fixed you can not demand a refund

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

My understanding is because I brought the car from a dealer, under the sale of goods act 1979 the car should be

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

1 of satisfactory quality

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

2 fit for intended purpose

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

3 as described

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

Well the car is certainly NOT fit for purpose and it doesn't start!

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

and there for not of satisfactory quality.

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

Also as the fault is serious, it is within reasonable time of the sale and I have stopped using the car due the fault does this not mea I can get a refund?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.



If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.



The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.



If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.



Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-dgoaqtxd- :

obviously didn't read the details correctly and answered the question incorrectly. I have some basic understanding of the law and wanted confirmation. which I got when I pointed out the details!

Alex Watts :

As I said, I don't think you have a claim, but went on to outline the details of making it for you.

Alex Watts :

Initially I said I don\t think it would be successful. But then you asked if you could claim a refund.

Alex Watts :

I said yes, you can ask for a refund and outlined the process.

Alex Watts :

I don't necessarily think they would give you one.

Alex Watts :

The law says:

Alex Watts :

Consumers are entitled to vehicles of ‘satisfactory quality’. Satisfactory quality means that the vehicle you sell should be of a standard that a reasonable person would expect, taking into account a number of factors including the vehicle’s: • age • value/worth • history • mileage • intended use • make • durability • safety • description (whether made verbally or in writing).

Alex Watts :

The car is 10 years old and has done 90,000 miles.

Alex Watts :

Therefore whilst I don't think a claim would be successful you can certainly ask for a refund.

Alex Watts :

They are likely to say no, but once you issue the claim, they are more likely to negotiate.

Alex Watts :

But if they fix the problem with the vehicle then the fault will have gone.

Alex Watts :

The only other difficulty is that you have a limited time in which to reject the goods.

Alex Watts :

You purchased this on 10th January 2015. It is not over a month and the goods have not been rejected.

Alex Watts :

They may also raise an issue in relation to this.

Alex Watts :

But once you issue a claim then they are likely to consider settling the matter. As it would be a small claim they would not be able to recoup of the legal costs, save in certain circumstnaces.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify matters for you?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


If the system won’t let you please click reply.



Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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