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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45315
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I sold a vehicle on the 19/09/2016, when the buyer came and

Customer Question

i sold a vehicle on the 19/09/2016, when the buyer came and looked at the vehicle i told him about the problem with the vehicle and he was happy and said he would solve it. the next day after he brought it, he has obversely been to a garage and theres more involved. i am NOT a dealer. it was a private sell and he wants me to pay for the repair. the vehicle is 12 years old, lots of miles and as describe on advert. he knew the problem with the van hence the good price i sold it to him for. he has sent me a letter with a couple of altermatumes saying he has rights due to the consumer rights act 2015. i has looked into these and they manly apply to dealers. i am just a private seller and he knew the condition of the vehicle upon purchase.
he is saying if i dont repair or give him a full cash refund he is going to claim agaisnt me in county court for recovery of the money without further reference to me. from what i have read on which.co.uk and citizensadvise.org.uk, i am in the clear as i am a private seller and he was told of the condition and problems of the vehicle before purchasing.
many thanks
***** *****
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
hi ben. what are my nexts steps.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Did the buyer present you with new issues, that were not stated in the advertisement or that were not pointed out by you at the time of sale?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
it was only a small advert with van and price, he test drove it and there seemed to be a problem with power and he said thats fine with a van of this age and mileage and said he'd sort it. now hes saying theres more faults but hasnt told me what. nothing was stated about faults on advert and i made this clear to him and said there could be underlying problems as its been sat there for 6 months doing nothing. he was happy with this and brought it anyway. by my understanding i told him about fault so he wont be entitled to anything.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a dealer.

In general, there is no legal requirement for the vehicle to be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. Therefore, the buyer will only have rights in the following situations:

· If the vehicle did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions. This would amount to breach of contract or misrepresentation. In your case you had given a description of the vehicle and the problems and the buyer was aware of what was wrong with it and what he was buying.

· If the seller broke a specific contractual term – e.g. if they fail to do something they specifically agreed to, for example, fix certain faults or provide an MOT. This is also going to be a breach of contract

· If the seller was actually a dealer posing as a private seller - this is an unfair commercial practice and can even be a criminal offence

· If the vehicle is unroadworthy – this occurs if its brakes, tyres, steering or construction make it unfit for the road. This will also be a criminal offence.

So on the assumption that the seller was reasonably informed of what issues the car had and bought it on this basis, there is very little chance that they can sue you for repairs and get compensation. Whilst there is nothing stopping them from trying their luck in court, they will have to prove that the car was misdescribed or that you had misled them about its condition to be able to take this any further.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the legal rights you have should a claim be made, 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: 45315
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Ben. Thanks for replying. What should my next steps be as in to the letter he sent me. Do I write back to him or leave it and see what happens next?
Many thanks
Andrew
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi there, you do not have to reply to the buyer unless you wanted to. You could send one reply just to clarify your position and why he does not have any rights here and remind him that going to court is going to be a pointless exercise which will only incur him further costs. Probably best not to engage in prolonged correspondence so just one reply at most at this stage, with any further correspondence only if a claim is issued

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi. I read somewhere last night that if you brought a car privately you cannot go through the small claims procedure because you cannot take a case against another consumer. Is this a true fact or not?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

That is completely untrue I'm afraid, not sure where you read that but there is no truth to that at all

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Ben. I ignored the first letter from the buyer of the vehicle. Today another has arrived saying he's had some work done to the vehicle and there is more to do, with an invoice and what it will cost for the rest of the work. He's demanded 7days to hear back or will go for legal action. Should I write back? If it goes to court and I win. Who pays for my solicitor fees? Me or him?
Many thanks
Andrew
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi Andrew - you do not have to write back unless you want to and have anything to say. If this goes to court and assuming it goes in the small claims court (if the value of the claim is below £10k) then each party pays their own legal fees. So even i they take you to court and you win, they would not be responsible for your legal fees - if it was a larger claim over £10k then a court application for costs can be made where the losing party can be made responsible for the other side's fees, but not in the small claims court

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