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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I've just retired as a teacher. I wanted to buy a cheap

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Hi! I've just retired as a teacher. I wanted to buy a cheap small car to drive around locally while my wife goes to work in the main family car. Two days ago I bought a car privately through Gumtree. It is a Toyota Yaris and cost £600 which I paid in cash. The following day it was obvious the car had oil and fuel leaks. Today I took it into a garage and they have just called to ask me to collect the car as it is basically junk and is unsafe to drive! I am aware that I do not have the same rights of redress as I would had I purchased the car from a dealer, however, on reading the advice provided on a couple of sites there is no doubt that the car was not sold to me "as described". Furthermore there is no doubt the faults would have been obvious to the seller given that they did not happen overnight. They are not immediately obvious on a cursory examination. Do I have the right to get my money back? Would I have any chance of wining if I took him to court? I've tried phoning him without luck, however, I know his address.....!!

Whether there are faults with the vehicle, obvious or not, doesn't matter in a private sale as the legislation doesn't have the same application to private sales and section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 concerning an implied obligation of satisfactory quality doesn't apply to a private sale. The sole issue is whether the seller made a misrepresentation, either in the advert or verbally. In other words if he said something about the car which later turns out to be untrue you can sue on that misrepresentation for damages. If he remained silent, however, there is no claim. So whilst you don't go into detail, you suggest that the description of the car was false. That being so you have a case against him, but based solely on his misrepresentation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that. His ad says: "For sale my beloved Toyota Yaris 1 litre. Super tidy inside out. Runs amazingly as it should. Only thing is a light on the dash saying that it's running rich. Internet says it's the O2 sensor."

Furthermore, in front of a witness (my wife) I asked the chap (who is Argentinian, which explains the slightly unusual phraseology) if there was any other issues with the car that he was aware of. He replied "No".

Would this support my case if it comes to litigation?

Runs amazingly as it should and him saying there were no issues are misrepresentations. You would need the evidence of a mechanic to say that on a balance of probabilities the defects would have existed pre sale and that any reasonable person would have known about them. You can get the AA to do a report for you I think or a Toyota dealership.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

FYI I had the car in a garage today and I have all the evidence I need as far as expert opinion is concerned. The folk at the garage say there is no doubt as to the pre-existence of the problems.

Thanks for your advice. I'll try to give you a positive rating now though it's the first time I've used this service so apologies if I mess up!

Many thanks.
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