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 person buys a vehicle from a private seller, their legal rights will be rather limited. 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
As long as you did not specifically say to the dealer that the car was not an insurance write off, or similar, then it would have been up to them to satisfy themselves with the condition and history of the vehicle. If they proceeded with the purchase, that would be legally binding, even if they later find out issues with it, which were not mentioned in the advert or subsequent discussions.