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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Private sale of goods I advertised a 17 year old road

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Private sale of goods
I advertised a 17 year old road Triumph motorcycle with only 4300 miles. Advertised as immaculate. The buyer phoned and I explained it had only been dropped in my driveway, had a few scratches on the fairing and sent photos of these.
I explained that since 2005 it had only been ridden to a MOT test centre, passing each time and that I started it every few weeks.
He said he would come to view and test. He tried to arrange dates and I changed my schedule to accommodate his. We discussed the bike.
He said he would agree to buy and have it collected. I suggested he did view and test, but he transferred payment and had the bike collected.
Day after delivery he called as he could not start it. I explained he was using wrong procedure and he started it. His only comments were some scratches and more decals on it than expected.
He did not use it for 4 months and emailed me to say it did not live up to his expectation as being immaculate, and on his first ride it overheated.
I said both friends and I felt for it's age it was, but not new and showroom condition if that was what he expected.
The overheating was diagnosed as a sticking thermostat and that to repair that was £170 and he wanted various parts of bodywork replaced, total cost £1200 and if I did not pay or buy the bike back he gave me until July 2016 transfer money to his account. Or he would take legal action.
He accused me of full knowledge of the condition. I replied I had only ridden it for MOT tests and he knew it was hardly ridden since 2005. He was given all copies of MOT certificates and on collection his driver was given 'Sold as seen; receipt'
Whilst I am disappointed he feels it did not live up to expectation, I had no sympathy as he called me a liar.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, this Mike
Have you had opportunity to see my initial notes

Hi Mike. Do you have any documentation in relation to the conversations you had with the buyer, prior to him purchasing the bike?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you feel a voice discussion easier, please call me 01296 48

Hi there. I am unable to talk at the moment but if you provide the information requested, I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message after you have provided the information as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a few emails since the complaint, but most was telephone discussions prior to purchase.My laymans position after research says it comes under 'Buyer Beware' and the interpretation of'immaculate'I will attach relevant mails.His mail to me
MikeJust to inform you that the local Triumph dealer Lings will be picking the bike up to examine the cooling system and any other suspect parts. They will quote for repairing / replacement non working and damaged parts to restore the bike to better condition than sold to me.It will still not be immaculate as you stated. I will send you a complete total for you to pay into my account, by recorded delivery to your address. If you then decide to avoid payent I will go to my local court to issue an order.I totally misjudged you to be sincere which again has not been the case and am very disappointed at your deception.Stated TruthfullyAdr***** *****Sent from Yahoo Mail on AndroidOn Tue, 12 Apr, 2016 at 18:18,***@******.***
<*****@******.***> wrote:
Dear *****I have had no response from you.Please find the text from your Auto Trader advertisment which was the basis on which I purchased the Triumph, below. This clearly states you sold this as an immaculate machine.I can prove that the vehicle was not taxed until the 1st of April 2016 then ridden by me only covering approximately 10 miles since its last MOT by you. I can demonstrate that none of this damage was caused by me or lack of maintenance of the cooling system was caused by me also but is long term neglect.Before I take this further legally I'm going to give you two options.1. The first is to buy the bike back at £2600 and pay for the delivery I paid on top.
2. You pay for a mobile local motorcycle mechanic to come and service the cooling system (and determine if any damage has been caused further to this ) then after pay for the bodywork to be restored to an immaculate condition including rear tailight , taped up gear lever and bent brake lever all replaced. Also there is brake fluid spill damage to handlebar near the reservoir. I will do the oil and filter change as advised by you.I cant believe you would have morally let me ride the bike back to home to Frinton.If you dont reply I will get these things done and quoted etc and issue you with a court summons which could get you a CCJ.I am hoping your conscience will come clean and give you until the end of the week to respond.RegardsAdr***** *****On Tuesday, 12 April 2016, 17:47, ***** ***** <*****@******.***> wrote:Hi Adrian,
Please find below the information that was on the advert when you purchased the vehicle, however some changes can occur.
You will need to pass this information on to trading standards (03454 04 05 06) and any more information we can only release to trading standards.
When you speak to them please advise them to contact our customer security team on 0330(###) ###-####who will discuss further.
One owner (ex IoM rider, age 71) only 4150 genuine miles. 2000 model 955i silver. immaculate. Carbon rear wheel cover and tank protector. Rear seat cowl. New, Full service history, MOT due on 08/07/2016, 2 keys, Electric start, As new, insured as classic for £3000. Will appreciate., 2 keys, Electric start, Exhaust - Steel. SILVER, £2,750.
Kind regards
Customer Service
Tel: | Mob:
This e-mail is sent on behalf of Auto Trader Group Plc, Registered Office: 1 ***** ***** Place, Manchester, Lancashire, M15 4FN (Registered in England No.(###) ###-####. This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may be legally privileged, and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender. This email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses.

Thanks for your patience. When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a dealer.

In general, there is no legal requirement for the vehicle to be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose as if it had been bought from a dealer. Therefore, the buyer will only have rights in the following situations:

· If the vehicle did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions. This would amount to breach of contract or misrepresentation

· If the seller broke a specific contractual term – e.g. if they fail to do something they specifically agreed to, for example, fix certain faults or provide an MOT. This is also going to be a breach of contract

· If the vehicle is unroadworthy – this occurs if its brakes, tyres, steering or construction make it unfit for the road. This will also be a criminal offence.

The main issue here is whether the description of the bike as being ‘immaculate’ was a form of misrepresentation. Not only that but also whether the issues experienced by the buyer subsequently were present at the time of sale.

There was a gap of several months between purchase and the time the issues were spotted. It is for the buyer to prove that these were present at the time of sale and that may not be that easy in the circumstances.

Whilst there is nothing stopping the buyer from taking this to court, it is not as easy as it sounds as it is his claim and it would be down to him to prove that the above conditions were not satisfied and that he has a valid claim. In the circumstances that may not be that easy.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the legal position if he was to make a claim, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben. I agree all your points and all that happened was on my part open and honest,I have found these reply emails from purchaser which I believe on receipt of bike he said 'nice'. Then after some mechanical problems scrapped barrel for all emotive issues. I have photos sent of scratches on bodywork sent to him.Regarding unknown mechanical problems, caused by lack of use I assume, I would have been prepared to offer a contribution, but not after he questioned my honesty and integrity.Thanks againWhere do I make a comment re service, which has been 100%

Hello Mike, even if described as immaculate that would be judged on its age, mileage and condition at the time, so as you have identified. If he was to issue a claim then at least this will go in the small claims court which is a low risk option for you - even if you lose you will not have to pay his legal fees if he had engaged a lawyer to deal with this and assuming he can convince a court that he is right, which will not be that easy, you can just take the bike off him and refund him and that will avid any CCJ issues and your credit rating being affected. However, all of this is on the assumption that he actually makes a claim to start with and that he wins.

If you wish to leave feedback for the service, please choose one of 3,4 or 5 stars at the top of the page, many thanks

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear BenI did receive the attached letter in May and have not replied. A thought is to reply summarising all the points I have made in emails, and include copies of photos previously emailed showing scratches etc. And reminding him he commented in his email 'nice' on receipt of bike in January.I had thought of offering a contribution to the over heating problem that I certainly was not aware of.Appreciate guidance on a) should I send a formal letter reply, including copies of photos showing scratches and chip out of rear light, plus reminding him he on receipt of bike commented 'Nice'? b) if I offer a contribution towards unknown heating problem is that partly admitting to guilt?My objective is to avoid the inconvenience of any SCT and certainly any payment as requested.Max points highlighted
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Forgot to attach letter (apologies if already sent)
Cannot attach as ticked stars. And wanted to tip when finally finished

Hi there, you have nothing to lose by re-stating your position and including the photos, his correspondence right after getting the bike and the details of the scratches you sent him. Try not to rely too much on the ‘nice’ comment though as that in itself will not change much, but do mention it if you want.

If you wanted to offer a contribution to the overheating problem then may do so and it will not amount to an admission of liability as long as you make it clear, such as by making the offer as being a ‘discretionary contribution without any admission of liability’.