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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66463
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My son recently sold his van privately. The buyer took it

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My son recently sold his van privately. The buyer took it for a*****test and checked the van over including the engine. My son told him of a minor oil leak that was flagged up on the MOT done 6 weeks previously (but he was told it was not an issue and would be checked on the next MOT). The buyer was happy with the van and paid and changed the V5 online there and then. He then drove the hours journey home. Three days later my son has been contacted by the buyer saying he took the van to a mechanic to check the oil leak and make sure it was ok and was told the engine was "no good". My son replied that the van had always been a good runner and he hadn't had a problem with it, the buyer then said that he had taken it to the garage as it was billowing smoke and the mechanic has fould a large hole in the engine, he sent photographs of the engine with the large hole and covred in oil. He now wants a refund
JA: Where is this? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: Private sale at home in London. The purchase was made on 26/11/19
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None at the moment
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.

When exactly did your son sell the van?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I can't call at the moment

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. 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

If he does not believe that any of these apply, he does not have to issue a refund and can argue that he gave all the information he had at time of sale and was truthful about this issue. Therefore, the buyer was fully informed and also had the opportunity to check it out further before deciding on whether to buy it or not.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you for your help

All the best

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