Thank you very much for clarifying. When a person buys a vehicle from a private seller, their legal rights will be rather limited and will certainly not be as extensive as if it was bought from a dealer. The legal principle of ‘caveat emptor’ (also known as ‘buyer beware’) applies, where the buyer needs to satisfy themselves that they are happy with the description and condition of the car before they purchase it. There is no legal right to expect that the vehicle is of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose.
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 with the seller, it will amount to a breach of contract or misrepresentation. However, the seller does not have to reveal any issues with it, even if they knew about them. They simply should not make statements that will make the description false
- Roadworthiness - every vehicle must be roadworthy and if the condition of its brakes, tyres, steering or construction makes it unfit for the road, it will not be roadworthy, which is also a criminal offence
Any issues with the vehicle should initially be attempted to be resolved directly with the seller. If they are unwilling to co-operate, or no agreement can be reached and there is evidence that they had breached their obligation as listed above, further action can be considered. This could eventually lead to a claim for compensation, such as for any repair costs or for the refund value of the vehicle.