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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 77874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I’ve purchased a car privately for £1,530 but the car has

Customer Question

Hi, I’ve purchased a car privately for £1,530 but the car has many serious problems that has not been mentioned. What are my rights and what can I say to the seller?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Doncaster, South Yorkshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We sold the car for £400 as it was not worth a lot and they are asking back for £200 and take it to get it scrapped or we can have the car back for a full refund (£400). I was thinking what if we get the car back and talk to the seller who sold the car to us and ask for refund
JA: The Lawyer will be able to walk you through that. Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The car is not even on the sellers name and there is no logbook
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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 15 days ago.
That’s okay
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

I understand you have purchased a car privately that has many issues. I am not clear on the agreement you are referring to in relation to the car you sold for £400. Please provide some more details of what exactly has happened

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We purchased a car and decided to sell it. We sold it for £400 as the car has many issues. This person who bought it for us realised that it’s not worth it to fix the problem. Now we have 2 options. We either have the car back and give them full refund or we refund them £200 and they take it to the scrap
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** exactly did you buy the car?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
29th of April
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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 15 days ago.
We have no legal proof that we purchased the car from him
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

I understand. Leave it with me and I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

No problem

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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 person buys a vehicle from a private seller, their legal rights will be rather limited and will certainly not be as extensive as if it was bought from a dealer. 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

Any issues with the vehicle should initially be attempted to be resolved directly with the seller. If they are unwilling to co-operate, or no agreement can be reached and there is evidence that they had breached their obligation as listed above, further action can be considered. This could eventually lead to a claim for compensation, such as for any repair costs or for the refund value of the vehicle.

If you wanted to take it further due to the seller not willing to compensate you, then any claim would go to the Small Claims Court and you can start the process online via

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you. Does this mean I’m no under obligation to give £200 compensation for the person who bought the car from me?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
As he knew the car was faulty and needs repairing and still decided to purchase it for only £400
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hello again and thank you for your further queries, which I will be more than happy to answer. I assume that they knew of the issues with it before they purchased it and that you did not provide a false description for it?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We weren’t aware of the issues and we were going to sell it for £1,400 as we weren’t aware of these problems. Once they came to view it they discovered a few issues as they were the ones who identified them themselves so they were aware that the car is faulty before purchase. That’s why we agreed to sell it for £400.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Ok thanks, ***** ***** aware of the issues and bought the car on that basis. If they then decided to scrap it because these issues made it unsuitable for use, then cannot hold you liable for these costs and you can refuse to compensate them for it

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
They might have discovered further issues and decided that it’s not worth repairing
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

any issues you did not mention cannot be used against you, remember you are not obliged to list issues as long as you do not make statements which make it look like these issues do not exist

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Great thank you that clears it up. I appreciate your help! Have a great day :)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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.