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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I purchased a vehicle yesterday from a trader's showroom in

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I purchased a vehicle yesterday from a trader's showroom in Bradford for £17,950. I drove it down the motorway to reach home in Surrey and it broke down. Eventually, I got it towed home as the AA said it was not in a driveable condition.
Looking at the used sales invoice, it does not note the seller's details or VAT, Consumer Credit Number etc. I telephoned the seller and they said that as the vehicle was bought with no guarantee or warranty, they have refused to issue a refund but have offered a warranty.
Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.
Simon Zolana

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 goods have to be of satisfactory quality. This is not of satisfactory quality.

You are entitled to reject the vehicle for a major fault after such a short time and get a full refund.

However, rejecting the vehicle and getting your money out of the seller are going to be two different things.

It’s up to you whether you return the vehicle and if the seller will not refund you, you sue them, or you get the vehicle fixed and then sue the seller for the cost.

They cannot state on the invoice that you got after you purchased the vehicle that there is no warranty. They have to tell you that you buy the vehicle which clearly they did not.

Hence, they cannot rely on their comment that the vehicle was bought with no guarantee or warranty because you have the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to protect you.

You might want to ring Bradford Trading Standards who look quite closely at used vehicle sales and may have a word with the trader. They will not necessarily bring a prosecution but the last thing that a motor trader wants is trading standards on their back.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails. Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiThanks very much for your response which is extremely helpful. I will call Bradford TS tomorrow but I understand that I may have to take legal action. As it is over £5k, would this be a High Court matter and owing to the complexity of the law, would I be better off using a solicitor or can you talk me through it?Kind regards,Simon Zolana

The small claims limit is £10,000. Over that, it would be fast-track either in the County Court or the High Court, probably County Court.

What you are going to need to support your court claim is expert evidence as to what’s wrong with the vehicle.

It may be under arrival depends what the fault is. It may be a tiny tiny fault which is relatively easy to rectify in a workshop. On the other hand, it may be a major fault costing thousands of pounds.

So it depends on what the report is as to what’s wrong with the vehicle and you are going to need that to support your claim.

There are lots of experts on here and there is always someone (and me) who can advise you on filling the various bits of paper in for court proceedings.

It is worth mentioning that court proceedings are not quick and it could be 10-12 months before this got to court. Hopefully, with the threat and actual issue of court proceedings, the dealer will see sense and resolve the issue but in the dealer doesn’t, that could be the kind of timescale you are looking at. That’s why I suggested it is worth considering how much the repair costs and then suing for the repair cost.

In addition, the repair is likely to be under £10,000 and hence Small Claims Court so there is no risk that you would have to pay legal costs in the event that your claim failed for any reason.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiThe seller gave me a warranty today but with the wrong car details on it which they say they will rectify tomorrow, 17th. If I claim under the warranty which is only up to £1000 for mechanical fault, can I sue the seller for the balance of the repair if it is over the warranty amount, ie £1000 or if the part(s) are not included in the warranty (which I haven't received yet).Kindly specify what the Court expects in terms of a mechanical report ie can it be any garage or does it have to be a BMW engineer's report? As far as I have gleaned a diagnostic report alone costs £1000 and this will form part of my claim.Regards,Simon

If either the warranty will not pay up or the cost of the repair is over thousand pounds or the fault is anything other than a mechanical fault but still making the vehicle not of satisfactory quality, then sue the dealer for the balance.

A report from any competent mechanical garage would be sufficient.

You might struggle to justify the cost of £1000 for a report alone and that does seem rather over the top.

An AA inspection report would be sufficient if it highlighted the problem. All you would then need is a quote for putting it right.