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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 77750
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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This is a question about Consumer Rights Act 2015 regarding

Customer Question

Hi, this is a question about Consumer Rights Act 2015 regarding a used car that has a fault with the clutch
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Essex
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: the CAB have helped so far, we have sent letters up to the letter before court
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: we have had only one email acknowledgement from the garage then no further contact, one response from their law firm that said it is not their responsibility
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
OK
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Text is fine thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

I understand your query relates to a used car you have purchased. Please provide some more details of your situation

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
we bought the car from a garage in November 2015, it has a fault with the clutch where the pedal gets stuck down
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
it has been to our local garage and there are 2 parts to the clutch it could be either that are at fault, it is apparently a common fault with this car
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
we have gone through the process of sending letters to the garage using templates from CAB
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** did the fault first occur?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
noticed first time in February
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
sent the first email to them on 21/2/22
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

OK and you purchased the car in November 2015?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
since then been sending special delivery letters
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
we have got to the last letter before court
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I am apprehensive about going down that route
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
hello?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Thank you. What are you ideally hoping for given the circumstances please?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
originally we asked for them to fix the car, now we have asked for money back on the cost of the car to cover the cost of repair which is estimated at £2000
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 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 full reply on here; usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

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.

There is however one issue which you will face here and that is the time limit for making a claim. You said you bought the vehicle in Nov 2015. The legal time limit for claiming is 6 years which would run from the date of purchase as that is when the contract was formed. As such, the legal time limit for making a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 would have been in Nov 2021. You are now legally out of time to make a claim in court and you are solely relying on the garage to voluntarily carry out any repairs.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

I fully appreciate that this may not be the answer you were hoping for, however it is the legal position. Should you need any further clarification, I will be more than happy to discuss things further with you. Thank you

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks for the reply, I gave you the wrong year it was 2021
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I'm so sorry, I have so much going on at the moment that my concentration level is shocking
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Ok, that’s good news for you! So you can ignore the part about being out of time, but all of the remainder in my response will still apply.

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

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
we have sent all the letters up to and including the letter before court, they just do not respond
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
i am worried that because it is an issue with the clutch they will say it is wear and tear
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I have also read that even if they are found to be at fault they still may not pay out for the repair
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
are claims like this often successful?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
what preparations do we need to make to have a successful case?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

As we are just a basic chat service to explain your rights and options, it is not possible to stat discussing the specifics on how to be successful (which to be honest no one can guarantee will happen anyway).

Even if you are successful, they can refuse to pay anything but if that was to happen you can then begin enforcement action to try and get what the court has ordered them to pay/do

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I did not realise you are a basic chat service?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Unfortunately I already was aware of the information you have given me from the CAB
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

We are called JustAnswer – we just provide answers, we do not represent anyone, or provide legal advice

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
OK, thank you for your help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best.