Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
For the avoidance of doubt please, do I understand your son bought it from a dealer - i.e. a person who deals in cars - as opposed to a private individual - i.e. a chap selling his own car please?
Thanks. When did he purchase it?
Thanks. Are you satisfied from what you know that the individual selling the car does not periodically or regularly sell cars to make money?
Thanks. Finally was the car advertised with any description to your knowledge?
OK thanks so in summary the car was simply sold as seen without any written description and your son did not get any represetations in writing from the seller?
Thanks. When you buy a car privately as opposed to from a business seller you have very limited rights. You have a right to require that the seller has lawful title to sell the car and that the car is as described.
In addition it is also an offence under the Road Traffic Act to sell an unroadworthy car. The Road Traffic Act 1988 does not give a definition of what is "unroadworthy", but instead makes reference to the following areas that, if not satisfactory, may lead to a vehicle being unroadworthy: • Steering and steering gear• Brakes and braking systems• Tyres;• Exhaust systems;• Seat belts and seatbelt anchorages;• General condition (corrosion, suspension etc).
Because the car had no description to fall back on to show that the seller misrepresented anything to your son your son will have to rely on the provisions of the Road Traffic Act above. In order to have a chance to lawfully claim his money back he will need to show that the car is unroadworthy and based on its condition was likely to be unroadworthy at the time he purchased the car
In order to do this he will need to obtain a report. This could be done quite cheaply either by taking the car to an MOT test centre and asking them to carry out an inspection to determine if the car is unroadworthy or alternatively an independent garage for a qualified city and guilds or better mechanic to produce a report or finally ask an independent car inspector to inspect - the latter is likely to be a little more expenive though.
If you prefer the latter, you can source a car inspector by contacting 0800(###) ###-####(Motor Codes)
He will need to act very quickly because he needs to be able to show the car was unroadworthy at the time of purchase and this becomes increasingly difficult if he lets too much time go by.
If he can obtain a report that shows the car is and likely was unroadworthy a couple of days a ago the seller is guilty of a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act and he can be invited to refund your sons money in full failing which he can issue proceedings in the small claims court to recover his money
He will need to retain the above written report as evidence in this respect and the report will need to confirm that in the mechanic/inspector's opinion the car is unroadworthy and was likely to have been unroadworthy on [the date of purchase]
If he has to issue proceedings in the small claims court the simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing service:
A pleasure. I hope your son manages to get his money back. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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