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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I purchased a second hand car from a trader on 19th February.

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I purchased a second hand car from a trader on 19th February. The car had a recorded mileage of 100,960. The advert stated that it had been serviced @ 100k, and had a previous cam belt change. I noticed the car had had a fairly recent body work repair by the slight difference in colour and it had a new nearside head lamp.
The invoice has written as seen across it, and I bought knowingly that there was no guarantee. However, the car failed to start whilst out which resulted in the car having to be towed to my mechanics workshop. This incident occurred after just 600 miles from purchase, but I accept was not the fault of the trader. However I was advised by the mechanic that the car was unsafe and that the brakes, rear shock absorbers needed immediate attention. There were several other faults but the final fault came to light when the car was MOT'd on Friday, the new N/S headlamp fitted was wrong, it was for left hand drive model and has to be replaced.. So far I have paid out £1187.20 in repairs and will have to pay around another £100 for the light replacement and around £400 for the cambelt replacement. Have I a valid claim for redress on the grounds that the vehicle was not fit for purpose?

Alex Hughes :

My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.

Alex Hughes :

When you were informed that work needed to be done - did you contact the dealer and ask for them to do the repair or refund you?


No, at the time I needed the car back on the road


Is this it?


are you still there/

Alex Hughes :

Its right to say that the Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives you a right to repair or refund of the car if it is not of satisfactory quality. But there is case law which states that you should give the dealer a chance to inspect and repair the vehicle before you carry out the work yourself. Or you can seek a refund by returning the car. So you can certainly ask the dealer to contribute to the cost of repair but they would be able to challenge your claim on the basis that you did not give them notice and did not give them a chance to inspect the vehicle and did not give them a chance to repair.

I'm not sure if you received my answer as you've asked if I'm still here! Here is some more information which may assist you:

In the first six months from when you buy something, the onus is on the seller to prove it was of satisfactory quality when you received it.

So if something goes wrong then under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 you can ask for a repair or refund.

If the seller simply says the problem must be due to something you've done, it's for them to prove that.

If something is not of satisfactory quality, you have a statutory right under the Sale of Goods Act, to a refund, have it replaced or repaired for free.

You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whichever would be cheapest. Whatever they choose to do, the starting point is that you have to notify the retailer first.

If the retailer refuses to repair the faulty goods, you may have the right to arrange for someone else to repair them and claim compensation from the retailer for the cost of doing this.

If the retailer refuses to provide any remedy, such as replacing or refund, you can either have your money back minus an amount for the use you've had of it, or keep the item and get a reduction on the price you paid.

The difficulty I foresee in your case is that the dealer might refuse to entertain a claim because you have gone ahead with the repairs without notifying them of the problem first.
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