When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will certainly not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a dealer. The legal principle of ‘buyer beware’ applies, where the buyer needs to satisfy themselves that they are happy with the condition of the car before they purchase it.
In general, private vehicle sales would only provide the buyer with rights in the following circumstances:
· False description - if the vehicle did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions, it would likely amount to a breach of contract or misrepresentation. However, the seller does not have to reveal any issues with it, just not make representations that will make the description false
· Un-roadworthy vehicle – every vehicle must be roadworthy and if the condition of its brakes, tyres, steering or construction make it unfit for the road, it will not be roadworthy, which is also a criminal offence. However, there is just a rattling issue with the car, which will not really make it unroadworthy
So he may be threatening court, which he can do if he really wanted to, but it would be a steep hill for him to go up and prove that you had knowingly or negligently sold a car with that fault. It would make it even harder as he had the chance to inspect the car and satisfy himself with its condition before buying it.
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