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Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4252
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
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My son sold a used Alfa Romeo Mito in May this year and the

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Hi. My son sold a used Alfa Romeo Mito in May this year and the buyer now wants a full refund and is threatening court action, as the car is now not roadworthy anymore.She says the contract is void as the goods were not as described. The car is 2010 reg and has had 7 owners.The buyer appeared somewhat naive when she bought the car, she did not bring an expert for inspection, she test drove the vehicle and agreed to purchase it. My son showed her paperwork but not the full MOT certificate which had a number of advisories. Am I correct in thinking that this is not something she could use as evidence of misrepresentation since MOT certificates are public information and she should have done her research? Also she alleges that there are a number of things wrong with the car, i.e. gears, breaks, cracks on rims, etc. She had it inspected by a garage who discovered a long list of things that are wrong with the car. My son was not aware of all of these issues.
He had however hit a kerb a while ago, had the damage professionally repaired and he did not tell her about this. Her garage now says the car has been in an accident. She did not ask whether the car had been in an accident but she did ask if there is anything she should know to which my son replied no.The buyer has offered conflict resolution, i.e. she would resell the car (which is now SORN) and for my son to pay the difference to the original sale price to her.What are her chances of winning a court case?
Should my son agree to a compromise? (without admitting guilt)Thanks so much and is there are charge for your advice?

Welcome to Just Answer, I am a solicitor in England and Wales and I will be dealing with your case today. Please note, Just Answer is an information sharing platform in a Q/A format and does not provide legal representation in any form and as such no legal lawyer/client relationship is formed.

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I will go through your question and will get back to you with my answer shortly.

Hi there,

Consumer rights act does not apply to purchases from private sellers.

If your son has sold this car as a private seller, then buyer do not right to reject the car and ask for full refund.

What that means is , if the vehicle was accurately described or the purchaser has chance to inspect the vehicle before buying then buyer can not claim refund or repairs from the private seller.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks Vineet. My son may have been aware of some of the issues, but he truly did not know that the car was unroadworthy and dangerous to drive. You say 'if the vehicle was accurately described OR the purchaser has chance to inspect the vehicle before buying', does this mean that if the purchaser has had the chance to inspect the vehicle that then it's on the buyer to identify these issues, even though some of them cannot be seen? My son would have agreed to a full inspection by an expert prior to sale but she did not ask for this.
What about him not mentioning that the car had hit a kerb and was repaired by a professional garage and released as roadworthy? Should he have told her this when she asked whether there was anything she should know?

The car was "sold as seen" by your son, the buyer had chance to inspect the car , now buyer has no claim against the private seller.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok thanks. She sent a letter with a claims number from Trading Standards. Is this correct? I thought trading standards is only applicable for businesses?
What are normally the chances of a buyer being able to successfully take a private seller to court? How difficult would it be for her to prove that my son missold the car?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I do feel a bit sorry for her. If my son offered her a sum of money, say £500 as compensation without admitting guilt could she then use this as evidence in court against him if she decided to pursue him for the full amount?

As consumer rights act does not apply here, buyers rights are limited.

Buyer only can take seller to court, if buyer was not given chance to inspect the vehicle and seller failed to accurately describe the vehicle.

If the car is roadworthy ( minor defects gears/brakes/cracks on rims are irrelevant ), then buyer has no claim against the seller.

There is no need to pay the buyer any amount .

As buyer has inspected and tried and approved the car before buying it.

It is pertinent to mention here car was  " sold as seen"

Your son should reply that car was sold as seen, as she( buyer ) was given chance to inspect and test ride the car , shown paperwork , before selling her the car.

I hope this is clear.

If you need further assistance, please let me know.

In the meantime, thank you for using Just Answers. Best wishes.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks so much Vineet. You say if the 'seller failed to accurately describe the vehicle'. My son did not mention all the defects he was aware of, when she asked him if there is anything else she should know. Nor did he list them in the ad on Autotrader. Can she use this as evidence that he missold her the car? I must stress though that he did not know that the car was unsafe or not roadworthy.

it is either of

if the vehicle was accurately described or the purchaser has chance to inspect the vehicle before buying

Here the buyer was given chance to inspect and test ride the car , so buyer approved the car after inspection and taking test ride ,

Having met with an accident previously , does not make cars unroadworthy.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks Vineet. But should he have told her that the car had hit the kerb? Can she use it against him that he did not tell her about this when she asked if there is anything else she should know? Even though the car was professionally repaired by his garage?

No, car hitting a kerb does not make them unsafe or unroadworthy.

There is a maxim" buyer beware" it is the duty of the buyer to do due diligence before buying.

Buyer was given the chance to inspect and test ride the car before buying , she approved it .

She has no claim against your son, she need to get legal advice, as she seems to be  misinformed regarding her legal rights here, due to the private sale.

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks so much Vineet!

You are welcome. Have a good one.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Can I have a record of this conversation please?

You can save it in  your private drive for future reference.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok thank you and have a nice day!

Best wishes.

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