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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Friday 14th Oct 2016. Took car out for a test drive, all

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Friday 14th Oct 2016. Took car out for a test drive, all fine. Drove it away after purchasing, got into some traffic about 5 miles away and steam started billowing from bonnet. I called the dealer who said it might be water on the engine, and it should evaporate in 10 minutes. I continued, but it still billowed, and the temperature gauge went up. I found a safe place to pull in and examined the engine and the coolant was low. I called the dealer again to tell him it was overheating, and he told me to put the blower on to release some of the heat from the engine, so I did that, and drove to the nearest garage to buy coolant, and refilled it. When I pulled away there was a clunk at the back, I stopped and noticed the exhaust was loose at the back, so I decided to drive it back to the dealer. He wasn’t there, so I rang him and told him the problem, and he told me to get it towed home by the AA. Then some guys came along (unrelated to trader) and helped me with it, looked at the engine, filled up the radiator - the cap was not on, which was why it was losing water, and the coolant was low again, so they filled that up, and through it would be fine to drive as long as I kept the coolant topped up. So I did. Stopped at Leeds services and refilled coolant again. Drove as far as Doncaster and it broke down, and then AA towed back to mine.
Phoned on Monday to ask about getting it fixed, offered to pay half. Took it to garage, engine is fried.
I have since found out that the car has not been driven since it's last MOT in December 2015, possibly even not since the last tax expired April 2015. This was not told to me when I bought the car, and it clearly had not been examined as fit for driving, therefore had acquired untold damage whilst off the road.
Phoned again today, to ask for a refund, he says it was my fault for driving it while it was overheating. He says he will get an independent engineers report to prove that it was my fault.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Please can you clarify; is the dealer refusing to repair the fault and / or refusing to refund the amount you paid?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has suggested going halves on repair, however it will likely cost in excess of £1000 to strip the engine. He has refused to refund me.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben, I look forward to hearing back.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience. When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a dealer they will have certain rights under consumer laws.

First of all, the following business practices are deemed unfair if they prompted you to make a decision to buy the car in question:

{C}· Giving false information about the vehicle or deceiving the buyer through false advertising

{C}· Giving insufficient information to the buyer, for example leaving out important information about the condition of the car

Failure to adhere to these rules will be unlawful and may even amount to a criminal offence so if you believe that the dealer acted in contravention of these rules you can bring this up with them when you contact them about this.

Your other rights state that when you buy an item from a business seller it must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match its description. If the car does not satisfy any of these, the dealer will be responsible.

They will only be liable for faults that were present at the time the vehicle was sold, even if they become apparent later on. However, they will not be liable for fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage or any issues that were brought to the buyer’s attention before the sale. The age and value of the vehicle will also be relevant and the expectations of older vehicles will certainly be lower.

If the vehicle does not meet the above requirements, the buyer can reject the vehicle and return it to the dealer requesting a refund. However, this will need to be done within the first month after purchase, which you are still within.

You could instead request that it is repaired or replaced without causing you significant inconvenience. The dealer may only reject a repair or replacement if it is impossible or disproportionate in the circumstances. If that happens, you are entitled to get it repaired elsewhere and claim back the repair costs, although there is an obvious risk in doing so as there is no guarantee in getting any of the money back.

If the dealer refuses to resolve this issue or accept any liability, you could take legal action against them. However, before going down that route you should try and resolve the issue directly with them by sending them a formal letter specifying how you want this matter resolved and giving them 7 days to respond. Advise them that if they fail to get back to you or deal with this in a satisfactory manner, you will have no other option but to report them to Trading Standards and issue legal proceedings to seek compensation.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you should follow if the matter still remains unresolved. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this Ben, this is really helpful. My main concern however, is if the dealer has a case against me for driving it while it was overheating following his advice to get it towed home by the AA. If he does, then I would be inclined to take his offer of paying half for the repairs. Let me know what you think.

There may be a case for contributory negligence against you where you would be responsible for part of the issues, whether it is half or more/less is something only a court can decide and it would depend on how much your actions contributed to the issues. Splitting it half/half could be an easy way out if you are willing to do this

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben, this is what I suspected, but needed a legal viewpoint. I will go ahead and pay half the repairs and draw a line under the whole sorry affair. Thanks again for you help.

You are most welcome, all the best