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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71401
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I bought a second hand car from a dealer 2 months ago and

Customer Question

Hi, I bought a second hand car from a dealer 2 months ago and have just discovered it has some faults, leaking water pump, brokenauxiliary belt and tensioner and although on a MOT advisory one of the rear suspension springs have broken, these are very expensive repairs, I have spoken to the company and am taking the car to them this afternoon, what are my rights, can I ask for a refund? replacement? full repair? So far he has been ok on the phone but I just want to know my rights before hand.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bristol, GB
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I phoned and reported it on Friday and arranged to meet today, he was qhite pleasant and said he'd see what he can do, I am taking it back later today but suspect it is going to be awkward, although I could be wrong.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so thank you
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 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.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
ok
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hi there. Can I just check if an independent garage can confirm if the other faults were pre-existing at the time of purchase? Please can you also tell me when exactly you bought the car?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I bought it 08/09/20, it broke down and I took it to my local garage who diagnosed thes issues, I was aware the suspension was an advisory on the MOT but the other issues were pre existing
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I cant afford a phone call
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Don’t worry about the pop-up mentioning a phone call – this is an automatic offer made by the system giving you the opportunity to pay extra to discuss things over the phone. However it is entirely optional and we will continue in writing on here

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

In the meantime, please do not worry and leave it with me for now; 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

When a private consumer buys a vehicle from a dealer, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

- fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If the vehicle does not meet any the above requirements, the buyer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the vehicle does not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the vehicle and request a refund – this is known as the ‘short-term right to reject’ and must be applied within 30 days of purchase or, if later, delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this is still an option in the first 30 days, if the consumer does not want a refund and becomes the standard options after the 30 days have passed. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the vehicle can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the vehicle, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with it. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

In the event that a refund is issued, the seller is legally able to deduct an amount to reflect the usage costs incurred whilst the vehicle was in the buyer’s possession, such as the extra mileage on the car. Any amount deducted for that must be reasonable and fair.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the vehicle, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.