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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I purchased a car privately. the car appeared to be in good

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I purchased a car privately. the car appeared to be in good working order, however I have had it inspected after 2 days use and discovered that the 4 tyres are completely warn on the inside edge (mechanic wrote damaged on the report) and the rear shock absorbers are leaking.
I had to leave the car at the garage to be repaired as it is not roadworthy (would fail MOT and potentially unsafe) in its current state. Can I used RTA S 75 against the seller and ask him to pay for the repairs as it was his obligation to inform me of the car was not roadworthy and it is otherwise illegal to sell a car in an unroadworthy state?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am afraid that the fact it would fail the MOT does not mean it is unroadworthy within the meaning of S75.
S75 is a very high test and, in truth, you are not describing an unroadworthy vehicle. That is not to say that there are not other faults that would offend against S40 but it is not unroadworthy.
You may be able to drop down upon the law of misrepresentation if he overtly said something untrue or misleading about the condition of the car but I am afraid that S75 is unlikely to assist you if the only complaint are bald tyres and leaking shock absorbers.
Sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For my information - What is the definition of unroadworthy? I read several articles on this giving general problem areas (including faulty tyres).
Other irregularities were the description which stated the car was modified to 600bhp, while the garage who offer the modification state it at 590bhp. The car was described as being in 'fantastic condition', however I imagine this is open to interpretation, or can the damage be considered at odds with this description?
Lastly, upon my inspection the owner specifically described the tyres to be in order as I couldn't get under to fully assess them and despite a few stone chips on the front to have no problems whatsoever (verbally of course)
There isn't a set definition. That is one of the problems. S75 unhelpfully does define it.
It comes down to an overall interpretation of the state of the car.
Faulty tyres can form part of an unroadworthy car but it is not usually sufficient on its own.
The modification could form part of a misrepresentation argument.
'Fantastic condition' is another unhelpful phrase. It is one that private sellers quite often use. I don't think they do it deliberately but it just clumsy langage. A court may say that it isn't necessarily at odds with the need for some work depending on the age and history of the car and the price you paid for it.
That said, personally I would sue on that basis. You have the basis of a misrepresentation argument and quite often sellers will settle. He isn't going to want to court and be scrutinised about this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Last few questions...the sales receipt had the option of marking the purchase sold as seen. However we did not check it. Does this have any bearing on the case?
Does the fact it would fail an MOT not have any bearing on its roadworthiness?
1 No. It is a complete myth. That will not stop a claim
2 Only to the extent that if it were an MOT pass then you could not argue that it is unroadworthy. An MOT fail does not prove unroadworthiness
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The misrepresentation argument is clear.
Slightly confused with the second answer. The car has a valid MOT dated August 2014. The damaged tyres would make it fail an MOT now, so could IT support a claim of unroadworthy ness?
What are the appropriate resources to help determine basis for a road worthines argument?
I have searched the MOT handbook, the 'Road Vehcles (Testing)', 'Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) and the DVSA website, they all point to an annual roadworthyness test, which I infer as the MOT for the UK, ergo a vehicle that would fail an MOT is unroadworthy.
What would a court look to in respect of legislation and definitions?
No. An MOT fail does not prove unroadworthiness.
There isn't a set definition. That is one of the problems. S75 unhelpfully does define it.
It comes down to an overall interpretation of the state of the car.