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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69542
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have purchased a second hand car from Carshop. The advertised

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We have purchased a second hand car from Carshop. The advertised mpg ("industry quoted standard") was 47.1 . On purchase we could not get over 38mpg. The car went to Skoda who found a faulty glow plug which was replaced. The mpg has not gone up and Skoda say there is a problem but cannot identify it. Skoda have no suggestions for further investigations.
We have returned the car to the Carshop and told them it is not as advertised. I enclose copy two emails I sent to them before Christmas at the end of this.
Today they have taken the car for a test drive with my husband as passenger and driving at less than 55mph they achieved 42.5mpg. Still less than advertised and driving at a speed which one would expect to achieve well over 50mpg.
Are we within our rights to return the car under these conditions. We do not want a car that cant perform and we are concerned about the underlying unidentified problem. we no longer want to deal with this company as we have lost faith in them too. We want a full refund.
We do not want to return the car under the 7 day return scheme. We were not told about the penalties incurred if using this scheme, it would cost us close to £700 as on top of a £299 admin fee they charge £2 per mile.
Further to the above we have just had this email from Carshop
'Carshop does not accept rejection of your vehicle for the reason you have put forward. We believe that with the vehicles age and mileage that the fuel consumption would deteriorate naturally to the current level of average consumption, therefore your options with the vehicle are as follows.
You have the options of an exchange vehicle which i believe we have already exhausted as we do not have another vehicle to match the specification of the one you have purchased.
You may return the vehicle under the seven day return option inclusive of the return charges that you were made aware of when you purchased the vehicle.
You may keep your vehicle and collect it from our premises when convenient.
I look forward to your response to these options as soon as you have considered them."
Your advice would be appreciated.
Emails sent to Carshop previously:
I write to all in the hope that someone will take responsibility for sorting this out.
I have just been on the phone to try and talk to someone about our predicament. I called before 1700 but was told by Alex that everyone in customer experience had gone home.
My husband and I are completely fed up with the complete lack of communication and inertia from you. We have had this car for 10 days now, we are trying to return it to you.
The reason for our return is that the car is not fit for purpose nor as described by you the seller. You stated the mpg was 47.1 average and the car does not do anywhere near this in any driving condition. Skoda Robinson have told us this is not right even though they have been unable to find a cause. As this has not been able to be fixed we now exercise our rights under Consumer Contracts Regulation.
We demand a full refund of all monies paid to yourselves as part of this contract or in the event that you have a satisfactory alternative vehicle in a reasonable timescale we would consider a swap.
We are very disappointed in the service we are receiving from yourselves where no one takes responsibility and no one calls when they say they will. You may have a good business model but you are seriously lacking in customer care.
Whilst we appreciate that this is a holiday time of year we too need our car and need to travel to visit friends and family. We have been already seriously inconvenienced over this.
See email below sent before on Dec 17th.
Claire Darrah
To***@******.******@******.***
Dec 17 at 9:41 AM
Trevor, please see below and please forward to appropriate person, cant find any email addresses...
Dear *****
We purchased the above Skoda Octavia last Friday 11th December.
The advertised mpg for this car on your advert was 47mpg.
We have driven the car and have been unable to get anywhere near this mpg. 38.3 being the best we can get.
The car was tested at Skoda in Norwich yesterday who found nothing on this initial diagnostic test. They reset the computer.
The car was driven again at 60 mph in 6th gear for 25 miles at a steady and constant speed and only achieved 40mpg.
We know from our previous Skoda which had the same engine (and 172000 on the clock) that in these conditions we would be getting in excess of 60mpg.
We spoke to Skoda again after this test drive and they said that it is not right and that they would need the car for a further 2 days to investigate further.
We are concerned that you have sold us a a car that does not do what you advertised.
We would like to know what you propose to do about this.
We would an immediate response to this urgent problem.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are our rights under the new Consumer Act regarding returning this car to the seller? It does not do the mpg it was advertised at. There is perhaps an underlying fault with the car.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
How old is this car and when did you buy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the car is 2009 and we purchased it on 11th December 2015.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we got the 7 day return period extended to 14 days when we realised there was a problem. We returned the car within that time. When we took delivery of the car no one mentioned the return charges and the piece of paper which requires a signature to confirm you have been made aware is unsigned by me. The charges are in tiny print item 16 of a whole list of 25 T&C
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I'm really sorry but you are overestimating the strength of your position. At the very highest point, this is a misrepresentation. That is covered by the SGA and the new Consumer Act but it isn't entitle you to return the vehicle unless, of course, the additional guarantee that you have says that you have a no quibble return or words having equivalent effect. The MPG per se might amount to a misrepresentation. The best claim you have there is the difference between the price you have paid and the price the car would have been worth if the true MPG had been known. That is probably miniscule. If the MPG evidences an underlying fault then that is different. Nobody really seems to be confirming that at this stage. If one evidences itself at a later stage then you could rely on the fact of early complaint to bring yourself within the presumptions that it was there at the time of sale though. Even at that stage though, your only claim would be for a repair. I'm afraid their response is likely to be upheld as correct in law. They seem to be offering an exchange. They seem to be offering a return but would be entitled to levy charges to represent their losses as this is just plain not a Consumer Act issue. The charges would need to represent their losses and not amount to a fine though. I'm very sorry but their offer is a good one and more than they are under a duty to do. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Can you please explain why in their response "we believe that with the vehicles age and mileage that the fuel consumption would deteriorate naturally to the current level of average consumption..." they can get away with advertising the mpg for a car and then it not being able to achieve this? As you may have seen I have a 2002 same engine Skoda with(###) ###-####on the clock and I still get over 60 mpg and I am not light footed?
Also if they did not make us aware of the penalties,( neither of us were told on ANY occasion nor did i sign to say I understood them), can they charge them? They are punitative ....
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, as I have said really.
At the very highest point, this is a misrepresentation. That is covered by the SGA and the new Consumer Act but it isn't entitle you to return the vehicle unless, of course, the additional guarantee that you have says that you have a no quibble return or words having equivalent effect.
To be wholly honest, I suspect a court would not find the complaint compelling. It is only a very small difference.
If it is evidence of an underlying fault then that is different.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Skoda have again told us the car should be doing over 50 mpg and they are waiting for the manufacturers technical department to give an opinion. They said again there is something wrong.
What about the penalties if I return the car? Can I argue I was not told about them which is the case?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
They would be entitled to levy charges to represent their losses as this is just plain not a Consumer Act issue. The charges would need to represent their losses and not amount to a fine though.
Whether you were told about them is a non issue if they are in the contract that you signed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, so why is misrepresentation not a reason to return a car. It doesnt do what they advertised!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
surely it is not as described?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Because it is not a serious misrepresentation.
To be wholly honest, I suspect a court would not find the complaint compelling at all. It is only a very small difference.
A serious misrepresentation would be something like advertising a car as having had one careful lady owner which is true but fails to mention that it has also had several careless male owners.
The difference in MPG is not really comparable and I'm afraid I have to warn you that a Judge would probably not consider it a misrepresentation at all.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69542
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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