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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48210
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I've just bought a second hand car on eBay (I picked up

Customer Question

Hi, I've just bought a second hand car on eBay (I picked up the car on Saturday the 28th November 2015) and it's a complete mess. Not only is the car not as advertised (as in it's missing key features like parking assistance) but it has a number of engine
errors that weren't disclosed and the body work and interior is in much worse condition than advertised. Do I have any statutory rights (or any rights at all) in this instance? Thanks Paul
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you buy it from a private seller or a dealer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For Ben JonesHi Ben, it was a individual who runs his own business so it was through the company which I'm just checking out on Companies House.ThanksPaul
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Is his business selling cars though, or does he just happen to have an unrelated business on the side?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For Ben JonesHi Ben, it definitely seems to be his main business. He has a garage and several cars although it's all dome online rather than through a traditional forecourt.Paul
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Was the advert not consistent with what you actually ended up with?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For Ben JonesHi BenNo very different, the car is not at all as described. It's missing key features such as parking assist which simply isn't on the car. It has numerous faults that were not disclosed and the interior and exterior description is grossly misleading. I've had a specialist check it out and his view is that the description of the actual car is totally inaccurate and very misleading.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a dealer they will have certain rights under consumer laws.
First of all, the following business practices are deemed unfair if they prompted you to make a decision to buy the car in question:
• Giving false information about the vehicle or deceiving the buyer through false advertising
• Giving insufficient information to the buyer, for example leaving out important information about the condition of the car
Failure to adhere to these rules will be unlawful and may even amount to a criminal offence so if you believe that the dealer acted in contravention of these rules you can bring this up with them when you contact them about this.
Your other rights state that when you buy an item from a business seller it must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match its description. If the car does not satisfy any of these, the dealer will be responsible.
They will only be liable for faults that were present at the time the vehicle was sold, even if they become apparent later on. However, they will not be liable for fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage or any issues that were brought to the buyer’s attention before the sale. The age and value of the vehicle will also be relevant and the expectations of older vehicles will certainly be lower.
If the vehicle does not meet the above requirements, the buyer can reject the vehicle and return it to the dealer requesting a refund. However, this will need to be done within a ‘reasonable period, which is usually 3-4 weeks after purchase.
If the buyer is too late to reject the vehicle, they could instead request that it is repaired or replaced without causing them significant inconvenience. The dealer may only reject a repair or replacement if it is impossible or disproportionate in the circumstances. If that happens, you are entitled to get it repaired elsewhere and claim back the repair costs, although there is an obvious risk in doing so as there is no guarantee in getting any of the money back.
If the dealer refuses to resolve this issue or accept any liability, you could take legal action against them. However, before going down that route you should try and resolve the issue directly with them by sending them a formal letter specifying how you want this matter resolved and giving them 7 days to respond. Advise them that if they fail to get back to you or deal with this in a satisfactory manner, you will have no other option but to report them to Trading Standards and issue legal proceedings to seek compensation.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should yo my decide to claim compensation, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your rating. See if you want to take this further and pursue the seller for repair costs value of the car you can treat the costs as type of debt. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.