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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I bought a second hand car that has developed significant

Customer Question

I bought a second hand car that has developed significant faults during the first two months of ownership. The garage has not been helpful and told me it was fixed only for the problem to happen again. What are my rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello when did you actually buy it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought the car at the end of May 2016
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

what were the issues with it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Multiple warning lights including engine management light, restricting to limp mode, DSC failure, tyre pressure monitor failure, all on the motorway. Took it back to the garage who weren't going to do anything till I threatened to reject the car, three weeks thus the same problems. They have the vehicle back currently for investigation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't trust the car at all or them.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.

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 the first month 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 to pursue this formally if they refuse to assist, 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, there is no extra cost and 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. In the circumstances you would either be pursuing them for compensation for the repairs or for the value of the car. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. 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 other side 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again, if I pursued them for the value of the car is that a realistic position?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Obviously you cannot keep the car and get refunded for it, so it would have to be the difference of the value of the car, as it stands now with the issues and what you paid for it, or you have to return it and get you money back

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would be more than happy to return the car for a refund at this point. I'll see what they say this week. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

you are welcome, best of luck