As you posted your query in our Law category I assume you want legal assistance so will provide a general answer based on the information I have so far.
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:
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