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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70873
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I bought a car privately almost a week ago. I was told the

Customer Question

Hello, I bought a car privately almost a week ago. I was told the car had no problems and that it had never been in an accident, I have now discovered this is untrue. Is there anything I can do?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hampshire, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have messaged the person I bought it from but have not received a reply.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That is all I believe
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

How much was it?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Is what I paid
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

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.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I asked the seller before going to view the vehicle if it had been in any previous accidents and he replied that it had not been
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Also, A day after buying the car, the hand break light and the air bag light turned on despite the fact that he claimed the car had no problems and had been checked recently
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

You can certainly challenge him on the statement it has not been in any accidents as that is proven to be untrue and makes it not as described

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best