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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71364
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I bought my car from a garage in october 2019. As soon as i

Customer Question

hello, i bought my car from a garage in october 2019. As soon as i bought the car and drove off a message on the dashboard came up saying there was a fault with the drive chain. I had a 3 month warranty included and I had to take the bar back and was given a courtesy car for the 2 days in was being 'repaired'. Unfortunately the problem continued over the next few months and I took it back on 3 separate occasions to which they said the error was due to a sensor and there was nothing wrong with the engine. i listened to them and ignored the message. More recently I took the car to another garage and on inspecting the drive chain error they told me that there is a problem with the timing chain which can be a very expensive job. Even though I have run out warranty, I feel like they mislead me when I bought the car to the condition and purposely hid the fact that the engine had a serious fault. Am I entitled for them to pay for the repairs under the consumer act?
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: nothing other then take it to another garage to get a second opinion on the issue
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: they didn't give me anything in writing, all I have as proof is the payment I made and also the log of hiring a courtesy car on my insurance the same day I bought the car due to the issue of the engine
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 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 17 days ago.

Hi there. Are you able to get this diagnosis verified at all?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
the diagnosis has been verified by the garage. However they can not go on with the repairs as it needs a specialist. I will be taking to another recommended garage on Monday so they can do the diagnostic to see the issue within the engine
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
which costs £200
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. 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 17 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 17 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.