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How long ago did you sell and how long after purchase did the buyer come back to you?
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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. There is nothing there which makes representations for the issues they experienced so that should not be an issue
· If the seller broke a specific contractual term – e.g. if you fail to do something you specifically agreed to, for example, fix certain faults or provide an MOT. This is also going to be a breach of contract
· 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. Whether the issues were so bad here would be a matter for a professional to decide, so a mechanic who can inspect the car and decide if it is actually not roadworthy. They have not produced any evidence to that effect yet so do not be too concerned at this stage.
You are not obliged to refund them – you do not even have to correspond with them. The only way they can force you to pay is to go to court and win. This is a long way away and there is not even any guarantee they would go that far. So see what they do and consider your options along the way.
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The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence to sell an unroadworthy car. Worn out brakes would not automatically make it unroadworthy, but if they make the car unsafe then it can be an issue. This is regardless of whether you would have carried on using it or did not know about it. So the key is how badly worn they were ad if the vehicle was nroadworthy as a result.
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