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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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, we bought a car on the 6th of march, drove home and

Resolved Question:

hello, we bought a car on the 6th of march, drove home and car seemed a bit sluggish, but put it down to car being stood for a while, but noticed the engine management light came on, told the chap who we brought from, and he said he would come next day, which he did but when we tried to start the car the battery was flat, we managed to get it started, he took the car away to resolve the car problems he had the car over a week and we have text which we had kept up to date on the process, he then send a text stating they are still working on it if cant be sorted he would sort out a refund, we then said that we really need the car back this was a the Thursday, he sent a message saying if ok think it is sorted and returned it next day and all he did was put the key through the door and went, so when I noticed the key on the floor I thought great car done so we out to check and NO not fixed and to make matters worse another warning has appeared so we said straight away to the seller, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH the car is not fit for purpose and want our money back, his words were well you CANT as spent it. since that we have taken the the car to a main ford dealer, and got told the cant even do anything as the car is impossiable to do anything with. so to top it off I need a car for mobility reason and all this is making me ill. PLEASE HELP
RACHEL
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you buy the car from a dealer or in private sale?

Customer:

hello private

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

hello how long does this take

Ben Jones :

not long

Ben Jones :

When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a dealer. Certain sections of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which mainly applies to business transactions) would still apply but the buyer’s protection would certainly not be as extensive.

In general, there is no legal requirement for the vehicle to be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. Therefore, the buyer will only have rights in the following situations:



  • If the vehicle did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions. This would amount to breach of contract or misrepresentation

  • If the seller broke a specific contractual term – e.g. if they fail to do something they specifically agreed to, for example, fix certain faults or provide an MOT. This is also going to be a breach of contract

  • If the seller was actually a dealer posing as a private seller - this is an unfair commercial practice and can even be a criminal offence

  • If the vehicle is unroadworthy – this occurs if its brakes, tyres, steering or construction make it unfit for the road. This will also be a criminal offence. However, it does not cover things like a flat battery, engine management issues, etc – it has to be the structural integrity of the car which makes it unfir for the road.


In the first instance, any issues with the vehicle should be resolved directly with the seller. You can also use threats of legal action as a negotiating tool, although I would only recommend formal legal action if you have valid grounds where you can show your situation falls within one of the circumstances listed above.


Customer:

ok to be honest we knew most of that but wanted to know if there is anything else

Ben Jones :

I appreciate you may have known that but this is really your legal position - you can only legally reject the car and ask for a refund if any of the conditions listed are satisfied - as a private sale it will not be covered by the legislation on sale of goods so thee are rather limited options

Customer:

ok thankyou so I basically I wont get our 2000 back

Ben Jones :

you won't have the right to request it and expect the seller to give it back - you can apply as much pressure as you feel is necessary, even making a claim in court if you want to show you are serious but he can still refuse to repay the money and then it would be a matter of you convincing a court you have a valid claim to be able to take it further

Customer:

ok thanks for you help

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Customer:

bye

Ben Jones :

goodbye, thanks for using our site

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