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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17203
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I purchased a 3.5 ton horse box on 26 th September, it had

Customer Question

Hello , I purchased a 3.5 ton horse box on 26 th September , it had been M O T'd initially on 8th September and failed , retested on 14th September and passed , A friend drove it and said he didn't think it was safe , today it had a pre M O T just to check it over to make sure and they said that it would fail if they were testing it due to a lot of corrosion and other issues that should have been done for it to pass . The DVSA have advised me to contact the person who M O T 'd it and I can appeal the certificate as there is 3 months window for corrosion , do I have any recourse against the mechanics who put it through for M O T and got it passed , I am assuming that there will be no recourse against the sellers as it was a private sale and sold as seen . Thank you , Lynne .
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: No I haven't spoken about this to anyone as the box only was inspected earlier today , I am in UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have contacted DVSA and spoken to the man who tested the vehicle ,who is going to ring me back
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't know could just use some advice please .
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

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was it retested at the same garage?

and then you had it retested on your friends advice?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hello , yes it was retested at the same garage and at a local garage today , thank you
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 days ago.

Have a look at section 75 of the Road Traffic Act.

It is illegal to sell on unroadworthy vehicle. That doesn’t apply just to traders, it says “no person” so you do have recourse against the original seller although you have to remember that the original seller may not be aware. However that would be my first port of call.

Otherwise you are correct that a private sale when there is no description as to the condition, does not have to be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, it just has to be as described.

There is actually no privity of contract between you and the MOT tester although you could possibly rely on the neighbour principle established in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson which is well settled and well-established law:

As well as referring the matter to DVSA (which you have already done and they will investigate the test station) you can also refer the Seller to Trading Standards although they may not get involved with a private seller. Nonetheless they should because it’s Trading Standards that prosecute breaches of section 75.

There is however no reason why you cannot refer this to the police although you are doing don’t do it on the telephone because you will be speaking to an amoeba and you will only get fobbed off that it’s a civil matter. Turn up at the local nick with a copy of the section of the act and tell them that you want the Seller prosecuted.

Armed with all those threats (before you actually do it) the seller may decide they will agree to refund you although be careful it is not seen as blackmail. Blackmail is the unwarranted demand with menaces and although you are making demands with menaces (to go to Plod and Trading Standards) I don’t think your demands are unwarranted.

You need to remember that if it has had a test and failed, the original test is no longer valid.

A lot comes down to whether you want to return it for refund or whether you want to get it repaired and take the Seller to court for the cost of the refund.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

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Thank you.

Best wishes.