Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Was this a used or new vehicle at the time you bought it?
OK thank you for your response. As we are practising lawyers and do this in our spare time there may be a slight delay in getting back to you as I am in the final day of a complex trial today so may not be out until late. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will respond as soon as I can, no later than tomorrow at the latest. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you for your understanding
Thanks for your patience. First of all it is important to mention that as you are a business buyer instead of a private one you may not have the same legal protection. However there is a possibility that you may have roughly the same level of protection as a private consumer. This would depend on the terms of the purchase contract you had with the seller. The key is whether the contract terms said that the Sale of Goods Act 1979 is being disapplied. If this piece of legislation was excluded through the terms of the contract then your rights will be somewhat more limited but you will still be able to pursue it.
So if the SGA applies your 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.
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 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 must follow if you have to take this further, 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
Thank you. As you may not be able to reject the van and get a refund the most likely outcome would be you seeking compensation, either for repairs or for the diminution in value of the van or the difference of getting a replacement. 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.