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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11620
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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What are your rights regarding returning a second hand car

Customer Question

What are your rights regarding returning a second hand car to a dealer? It fills up with water wen it rains.
JA: What state are you in? And is a local attorney or other consumer protection advocate helping with this?
Customer: UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Spoken via text. Initially the dealer said he would refund £100 (purchase price £4200). My daughter said she would find out how much it would cost to replace the door seals and got a quote for £300 parts,no labour. She got another quote for £500. He said because she had got the second quote from a Ford dealer, he was witrhdrawing his offer and it's all her fault! She then said she would return the vehicle, as she's inside ths 30 days. After some tooing and froing, his final answer is that she must return it by Thursday at 17.00. She said she couldn't as her husband is on exercise but that he would be back and able to accompany her on Monday. Dealer pretty much said bugger off, I'm not talking to you any more, see you in court.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I didn't know I was going to have to talk to anyone this evening. It really needs to be my daughter, so I'll have to get her to contact you.
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will resolve this for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue. Luckily you have strong rights against a dealer. As you are within 30 days you can return it - the request must be made within 30 days, which is fine in your situation as you have already asked the dealer. They have already said "see you in court", though a letter before action should be sent to them now.
To summarise the law, if you purchase a used vehicle from a dealer you have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which states that the vehicle has to be:

· of satisfactory quality in that it must not be faulty or damaged when received

· as described in that the vehicle must match any description given at the time of purchase

· fit for purpose in that it should be fit for the purpose intended

If the vehicle does not meet the above then you will be able to enforce your rights and sue for your money if the dealer refuses to give you the money back. The claim would not be against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible under their warranty which came with the vehicle.

There is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, faults that were pointed out at the time of sale or if you change your mind and no longer want the goods. The age and value of the vehicle will also be relevant and the expectations of older vehicles will certainly be lower.

The rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the vehicle and request a refund which must be done within 30 days of purchase or delivery.

2. Repair or replacement and this can be done within the first 30 days or after, if that deadline has passed and a rejection is no longer possible. If a repair is not possible or has failed, the vehicle can still be rejected for a refund, or if you want to keep it, you can ask for a price reduction. If asking for a refund or a replacement, the current value of the vehicle will be used, taking into account any depreciation in value for usage by the buyer since purchase. If the repair would put you are considerable inconvenience - e.g. taking several weeks, you can demand a refund. They are only allowed one chance at the repair - if that fails, you are due a refund.

I would advise that you report the dealer to Trading Standards (tel: 0808(###) ###-#### and commence legal proceedings via the money claim online site ( for your money back.

Before you do this however you should send them a 14 day letter before action to warn them of your intentions, to allow them to avoid litigation and resolve this dispute. I attach a template letter for you to use which will hopefully resolve the dispute. If it is possible to hand the car back, you should take it back and hand the keys over to them. If they refuse to take it back, you should bring it back to your property for the time being. It remains your property until you have been paid back. Finally, if you paid £100 or more towards the car with a credit card, your card provider is jointly liable here - you can ask them for a full refund under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. They will then pursue the dealer for their outlay.

I hope this helps and answers the question - please feel free to ask me anything else.

Have a good day,

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi, thank you. The only issue with that is what do I actually do with the car? I am currently in possession of the vehicle and the dealer is a couple of hours away.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** to arrange collection of the car. As your consumer rights have been breached and you have requested a rejection within 30 days. If you email or write to the dealer and tell them they can collect it - tell them if they do not, you will report to Trading Standards and issue court proceedings for your money back.
Many thanks