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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6056
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I sold my 15 year old car privately 4 days ago, had it for 5

Customer Question

Hi I sold my 15 year old car privately 4 days ago, had it for 5 years never any problems, recent MOT and service, buyer now saying there is a problem with the car that will be costing him £420 in repair costs. He thoroughly checked the car (which was advertised and sold on Facebook), test drove the car had no problems with it all. Threatening to take me to small claims court unless I pay the repair costs. I already lowered the price for him and he was very happy with the overall transaction
Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, where is this? And can you tell me what's been officially filed?
Customer: Does he have a claim?
Customer: bought and sold in good faith.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: United Kingdom, Peterborough. No steps taken so far just received a message from the buyer saying refund/pay for repair costs or he will be forced to take it to small claims. No this is all of the information on the whole process of sale
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

The buyer has very few rights as they purchased from you as a private seller. The only responsibility you have is to answer any questions truthfully if asked, and not to describe the vehicle wrongly, so if you say it has full service history and it doesn't then the buyer can sue for misrepresentation. You would also have sell a roadworthy vehicle. The fact the buyer has now found faults is not your liability any more - you should reply to the buyer to say that they were happy, you did not misrepresent the vehicle and you were honest. If they do issue a small claim then you should defend it - the court will send you a response pack to fill out which lets you fill out a defence. You need to remind the buyer you are not a dealer so the Consumer Rights Act 2015 does not apply - rather basic contract rules apply only here.

You can of course come back to this site and I will be happy to help further.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (the top right of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you very much. Are there any laws and regulations relevant to this situation that I should know about?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

In relation to private car sales, like I say, it is basic contract rules under common law in the UK.

If they bought from a trader it would be the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which applies.

In your case it would be the Sale of Goods Act 1979 which applies but only if the car was not as described, not of adequate quality and not fit for purpose. You have a defence though as the buyer checked the car over, you did not mis-describe it, and you had the car for years with no problems (plus it is roadworthy with a valid MOT). He also test-drove the car. In my view he has no comeback here.

This link has a good summary: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/105951/your-rights-when-buying-a-used-car

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 11 days ago.

I hope I have helped. Before you go please don't forget to rate the answer by clicking the 5 stars on screen and clicking “submit”.

Have a good evening.

Jim