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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I bought a car on the 11th of June and it has proven unfit

Customer Question

I bought a car on the 11th of June and it has proven unfit for driving.
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: Yes. I got the car through finance and the ad was very appealing, saying the car only has 70000 miles and that it has a full Nissan service
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 months ago.

How can i help with this please?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello! I got a finance for a car in June and I have recently discovered that the car is unfit for driving. The finance company only works with trusted dealers, so they "made" me take the car from one of their trusted dealers, which I did. The car ad looked very nice: Nissan Xtrail, 70000 miles, £4800, full nissan service, mot valid until 2017 etc
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 months ago.

Yes, I have read the facts.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I would like to know if there is any way I can give back the car. I do agree to pay whatever amount is owed for having used it, but I definitely do not want to keep it
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It is in very poor shape: full of rust and it makes a lot of noises when driving. I am in fact afraid it may break down on me. I am not driving it anymore and I am awaiting for a resolution from the finance company.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They suggested that maybe I have been driving it aggressively and that is why it has the problems, but that is impossible and I have documents from an authorized service stating the problems of the car just days after I had bought it.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I would rather type than call because I tend to get overly excited on the phone and forget details, whereas while typing I keep track of what I am sending across
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Have you contacted the finance company about this? Also, what type of warranty did you get when you bought the car, if at all?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have spoken and emailed with them several times so far and what they did was send an independent inspector to view the car and compile a report on its state. What he did was he told me that I paid way too much for the car, that it's not worth much and that "he's seen enough". He then sent the report which concluded that "the car was fit for purpose at the time of the sale"
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The warranty I got from the dealer is for 3 months, but it only covers engine and gearbox...not the rust or other issues that the car is having.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a dealer they will have certain rights under consumer laws. If you bought it using finance then the seller for legal purposes is the finance company, not the dealer, so your rights will be against them. For ease of reference I will refer to the dealer but read this as being the finance company.

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. So you may be a bit late now to reject it for a refund an you will likely be looking at a repair or replacement.

So 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 if they fail to resolve this, 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, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. In the event that this cannot be resolved amicably, you will be looking for compensation for any losses 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 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply, Ben. However, I am simply looking for them to take the car back because it is unusable. I am not seeking financial compensation of any sort and I am even willing to pay whatever amount is fair for my usage of the vehicle. What should I do in this case? Or do you think it's best I ask them for financial compensation? Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hi, whilst you can ask them to take the car back, as you are now over the initial 30 day period you cannot legally ask them to take it back for a refund. Of course they may allow this but if they do not, you cannot force them to. So you may still try and negotiate with them for this outcome but if they are adamant they will not accept it then you will be looking for compensation for things like repairs, replacement or depreciation in value.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your help so far! They actually sent me a final response today in which they mistook my complaint/case for someone else's, saying that I took the car to a garage because the engine management light came on. This is not what happened and I did not take it to a garage since I got it. They eventually said in their letter that the car was for for purpose at the time of sale so my complaint is closed. Do you think that works to my advantage? The fact that they are not treating the complaints individually and that they just copy&paste answers/problems into the letters that they send out.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

well don't concentrate too much on that because businesses can adopt time saving exercises to deal with complaints so just because they have not gone into great detail does not change anything - your rights remain the same however they have investigated the compliant

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
OK, I get that.
With this final response that they sent me, can I appeal it and ask them to replace or repair the vehicle? I believe I am being reasonable, because I do not even want to exit the financial agreement or get any refund. I only want the car replaced or fully repaired so that I can use it.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

yes of course you can, but be aware that they are not obliged to hear any appeal by you

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
basically my only "hope" right now is either the trading standards/citizen's advice or a court
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
to prove that the car is not driveable and the dealer knowingly sold it with those problems.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

yes correct - you just cannot force them to resolve this even if hey should, so if they have closed this and are refusing to deal with it any further, you will have to go elsewhere to assert your rights

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay, I understand. Do you know, if I was to go to court how much it would (roughly) cost me? Solicitor fees, legal fees etc. and whether or not the process would be too lengthy.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

The claim and court fees will be several hundred but you can potentially claim these back if you are successful. You do not need a solicitor for this you can do it yourself, most people do for these smaller types of claims.

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