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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Bought a second hand car from a vauxhall dealership 12 weeks

Customer Question

Bought a second hand car from a vauxhall dealership 12 weeks ago. 5,500 paid with barclaycard. Two weeks ago took car back and it now needs a new gearbox which they are going to replace free of charge. I told them that under the sales of goods act I am entitled to have my money back, they said they will buy the car back for 4,600 which they say the car is worth now. I did less than 700 miles in the time I have had the car.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jo c

What info do you need
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I just need to know what is your question about these facts?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Am I entitled to full refund and if so can I take them to small claims court
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
For Jo c

Am I entitled to return of the full amount paid and if so what is the best and quickest way to get it back as I have no car at the present time
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I do completely see why you are aggrieved over this but ultimately we are all hampered by the law to some degree.

This is a purchase to which the Sale of Goods Act applies. That will mean under S14 SGA it must be ‘fit for purpose’. That does not mean perfect but it does mean reasonably good with reference to the price you paid for it, its age and history. This is a fairly recent purchase and it wasn’t an insignificant price. Clearly it is faulty and they seem to accept that by offering a repair so that should be no difficulty.

You do have to reject anything you purchase under the SGA which has a fault if you have not already ‘accepted’ it. What it means to ‘accept’ an item depends on the nature of the purchase, the price of the item, the length of time you’ve had it.

It is possible that a Court could say you have accepted this vehicle given that you’ve had it for three months or so before it was returned. There are cases that allowed for much longer periods of time but generally they involved fairly catastrophic failings with the vehicle.

The fault was, however, discovered within the first six months of sale so there is a presumption in your favour that it existed at the time of sale.

You do have a right to demand either a repair or a like for like exchange. The dealer can only refuse one or the other if he can show that the remedy is impossible or disproportionate. He is probably relying on the latter.

In truth, they are offering a reasonable deal. Their obligation realistically is likely to be just to offer a repair because of the delay here. They are offering a refund in the interests of good business. You could try arguing its inadequate but they are entitled to reduce the payment to reflect the use you've had from it.

Ultimately if they refuse though, they cannot be forced to provide you with an exchange. All you can sue for is damages in default.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.