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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I bought a car two years ago from a garage and have had problems

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I bought a car two years ago from a garage and have had problems with it since the day I bought it. I repeatedly took it back to them to resolve the issue but they failed to fix the problem. I eventually found a garage that found the problem and I have been able to eventually get my car fixed.
Once my car had been fixed, I wrote to the garage why they were unable to resolve the issue when another garage found the problem within an hour.I have all the documented evidence and what needed to be done to resolve the issue & the costs involved.
I wrote to them asking to meet me halfway with the costs after all the hassle and complete waste of time not to mention the amount of time they had my vehicle off the road.
They answered stating the vehicle was sold as seen, I have the receipt which states no such thing. They surely have a duty of care not to mention admitting they did not know what the problem was. Selling a car with a useless engine.
Do I have a case as it has cost me in excess of £9,000 to put the car right.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask roughly when it was that you wrote to the garage and they responded in the way you describe please?

Customer: I had regular contact with the garage by phone & emails.
Customer: i wrote to them in February after my car had been fully fixed and running well, plus I wanted to gather all the evidence I needed to put my case to them. I sent the letter recorded delivery.
Joshua :

Thank you. For the avoidance of doubt I note you offered the garage the opportunity to fix but thy failed. How many times did you offer them this opportunity? Just once or more than once?

Customer: I took the car back to them on numerous ocassions and they had the car for a whole month at one point but still failed to fix it. I paid out for all the work they did thinking it would fix the problem. I have all the receipts and list of works they carried out. I even have reports from master mechanics clearly stating that the problem was there way before I bought the car and still has the old engine as proof should it need to be investigated.
Joshua :

Thanks. Lastly can you confirm I am correct in my understanding that you have what would be fair to describe as either a fairly or very comprehensive correspndence trail evidencing what you say in your last post above in the event the garage disputes your version of events.

Customer: Yes I have receipts with costs, dates etc that show exactly how many times they had my car for the same problem. When I pointed out and asked, how after all the time they had it no-one got to the bottom of it, yet a mechanic took only 1 hour to discover the issue with a scope. I feel I have been more than fair in constantly taking the vehicle back to them. It has teken me years to find this particular car and at £14,5000 I expected a better service.
Joshua :

Thanks. As you will be aware, the position here is that you have two differing sets of rights. The first set of rights you have under any warranty from the manufacturer or dealer which are somewhat limited insofar as they are limited to the terms of the warranty which are probably not overly generous if a warranty exists at all which I assume in this case it does not. I will leave this here though because of what follows.

Joshua :

You have a another set of rights by virtue of your contract with the dealer from whom you purchased the car. This set of rights are much more extensive as terms are implied into your contract by virtue of the Sale of Goods Act that the car must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose purpose and as described. During the first six months, any faults are automatically assumed to be inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage or otherwise under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. After the first six months, the burden of proof switches to you to show that any faults are inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage. Accordingly if you can demonstrate that you contacted the dealer within the first six months, you are not required to prove the fault is their responsibility (i.e. not caused by damage by you). Rather it is assumed to be their responsibility unless they can prove damage was caused by you.

Joshua :

The Sale of Goods Act gives you the right to reject a car if it is faulty but that right only exists for a short period - little more than a week so here you are likely to be well out of time in this respect but you still have rights under the above legislation. Under these rights you can insist upon a repair or replacement or refund at the dealer's discretion. You are required to give the dealer reasonable opportunity to repair. Any repair must be carried out within a reasonable period of time. What is reasonable is not defined in the legislation but must be reasonable in all the circumstances. In this case perhaps a few weeks would not be unreasonable but months would likely be unreasonable. Similarly if they were to eventually repair the car notwithstanding the above and the repair failed, they must be given the the same opportunity to repair/replace etc. There is no specific prescribed number of times that you must must allow them the opportunity to repair the car however if they have failed to repair the same more than two-three times or refuse to repair the vehicle or cannot repair in a reaonable time, this would usually be held to be satisfactory opportunity to do so and you would be within your rights to request a refund less an appropriate amount to compensate you for your limited use of the car or replacement with a vehicle of equivalent spec and age.

Customer: Well, to put it bluntly, the garage has the car with them longer than I had it in the first six months.
Joshua :

on the face of what you say, given in particular your attention to retaining documentary evidence of your encounters and exchanges with the dealer, you would appear to have what is almost a textbook claim against the dealer. Based on what you say, you would appear to have the basis of the claim for the monies you paid the dealer to repair the car which failed, the monies you paid to an alternative garage to repair the car, any associated reasonable travelling expenses on your part in returning the car to the two garages, any reasonable costs you incurred in respect of alternative transport during the period the car was not available to you and interest on all of the above at 8% per year under the provisions of section 69 of the County Courts act

Joshua :

accordingly, you may wish to write to the original dealer setting out your claim, quantifying it as above and inviting them to make payment to you within 10 days failing which you will consider issuing proceedings in the County Court to recover monies for breach of contract

Joshua :

if you are forced to do so, which is probably likely, the simplest way to issue proceedings is by using the courts online issuing service:

Customer: So what would your advice be in moving forward with this?
Joshua :

assuming you are successful, you are able to recover court fees as well as your reasonable travel expenses and loss of income and attending any hearing (subject to prescribed limits).

Joshua :

I suspect my last three posts and your last post may have crossed.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer: Your answers have given me the advice I needed and I would like to thank you for your assistance.
Joshua :

A pleasure. I am glad the above was of some assistance. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

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