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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73923
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I bought a car online, with 3 months warranty. I didn't

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Hello there! I bought a car online, with 3 months warranty. I didn't receive a new keeper slip upon delivery, and had to wait weeks for a V5C so I could tax it. Therefore I obviously couldn't drive it until then. Upon first drive out, I found the gearbox is shot, and it won't go into 1st gear without great force. I've contacted the dealership for a refund, however they're refusing. do i have a leg to stand on.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hull, England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I've sent numerous e-mails, and had phone calls to try and resolve this amicably, however It's gotten me nowehere. I'm now trying to find out what my options are.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I wasn't sent an invoice for the transaction, however I do still have e-mails confirming the cost and date of sale.

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.

When did you actually buy the car?

and have you obtained an independent expert opinion on the gearbox to establish what the issue is?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
i bought the car on 22/04/2021. I haven't obtained an expert opinion on the gearbox.

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.

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

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.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Brilliant, thank you for you assistance. it is greatly appreciated!
Would it be advisable to seek legal representation first in the event of proceeding further, or should I go ahead and contact the dealer in writing first, detailing my intentions?

I would avoid legal representation at this early stage as it is just unnecessary extra costs which you won’t get back so try to resolve it directly with the dealer to start with

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
No problem. Thank you!
Would it be inappropriate to ask to to view the E-mail before i send it to them?

If it’s just a short email then no problem I can have a look, it is more detailed documentation that I may have to charge extra for but I will advise in advance anyway

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
It's only a short e-mail. Thank You!!
Hello.
As trying to resolve this amicably by e-mails, phone calls, and texts has clearly gotten me nowhere. I have contacted a solicitor for legal advice. As suspected, you are indeed denying my consumer rights.
This e-mail is to serve as one last opportunity for you to refund me £2695.00, plus arrange collection of the vehicle, before I proceed with a report to Trading Standards, and potentially a claim through the county courts.I await your response within the next 24 hours, to arrange my refund and collection of the vehicle.
Kind regards, *****

No worries, some slight changes below:

Hello

Whist I have tried to amicably resolve this issue via e-mails, phone calls, and texts, I have unfortunately had no luck in doing so.

I have therefore contacted a solicitor to obtain legal advice. As suspected, you are indeed denying my consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This e-mail is to serve as a final opportunity for you to refund me £2695.00, plus arrange collection of the vehicle, before I proceed with a report to Trading Standards, and potentially a claim through the County Courts to pursue a claim for the refund amount and any associated costs.

I await your response within the next 24 hours, to arrange my refund and collection of the vehicle. Kind regards, ***** *****

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