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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71147
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Bought a used car from a private seller over the weekend. Inspected

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Bought a used car from a private seller over the weekend. Inspected the car and all seemed fine. Even drove it myself for a couple of miles. However, only after paying and when driving home it suddenly shut down on me on several occasions - i.e. the engine just stopped in the middle of the road. Obviously this can be extremely dangerous, particularly when on a motorway. Contacted the seller who says that is not his problem as I inspected it. However, I read somewhere that selling a non-roadworthy car is a criminal offence. So I would think I have some kind of leverage to return the car and get my money back or require him to pay for the repair?
What is the exact fault with the car?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
unclear..but engine suddenly stops without warning
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have booked the car into a mechanic to figure out why this is happening. Thing is I don't believe the seller was not aware of that as it happened to me several times within short time intervals.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello? Are u there?
Well, he probably wasn't. That doesn't make it unroadworthy. That just makes it faulty.Unroadworthy is quite a high test. It means something like a car with tyres that do not comply with the Construction and Use legislation. Being a faulty car is not sufficient.The seller would not have liability for a fault alone unless there was a misrepresentation at the time of sale about the condition of the car. He is not under a duty to disclose. What he must not do is mislead or lie.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago. he can just claim that he was not aware that the car is doing that even though he most likely was but I cannot prove that. Obviously I asked him about any issues he experienced with the car and the car suddenly shutting down in the middle of the road for an unspecified reason would seem a pretty major thing.
It doesn't matter whether he was aware or not. He is not under a duty to disclose. What he must not do is mislead or lie.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Isn't it a lie to say nothing is wrong when something is clearly wrong? Of course if he doesn't know it wouldn't be a lie.
It is not a lie to say nothing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He said something; i.e. "Nothing is wrong"
In response to what specific question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"Was anything ever wrong with the vehicle. Any issues?"
You could argue that amounts to misrepresentation.The only issue there will be whether he accepts what he said and, if not, you can prove it.The spoken word is generally harder to prove that the written word.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well..I suppose the only way I could prove that is if I had recorded it. Or is there any other way?
So what would be the procedure to take legal action in this case. Is there something like a small claims court?Also just heard from my mechanic. He says the clutch is gone and its very costly. I asked the seller several times if there is a problem with the clutch and he said that's nothing to worry.R
Yes, you could give evidence upon it. He can deny it. Who the Judge believes is a matter for him. It is often possible to get a court to accept it without signed writing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So what would be the next steps? What would be the costs involved? Do I need to hire a solictor for that? Do I just write to a court? We are talking about £2750. Would it be worth it?
Yes, it is a small claims court sum. It would be cheap enough to issue. Under £200.I would send him a letter before action before you do issue though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I just write to small claims court or I need a solicitor for that?
£200 would be the initial admin cost or the cost for the whole thing?
i.e. if it came to trial and I lost how much would I be out of pocket?
How much would I be out of pocket if I won?
You can issue here but I would send them a letter before action first. £200 are the court fees and you would recover if you won.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Great thanks....I just sent him a text and he flatly refused any settlement. Is a text sufficient to show I tried (I just read somewhere I need to make an effort to settle matter out of court beforehand)
Texts are OK but I would suggest a proper letter as well.He will ignore it but it will protect you from costs.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok..thanks...that was all very useful