Car Sales Legal Advice & Services
Calls to the Second hand car sales legal advice & services line jumped 25% in May reaching over 600, the highest number since the service was launched by motor industry experts, Stormcatcher Motor Trade Law following the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act in 2015.
Aside from the usual enquires concerning the interpretation of satisfactory quality and fitness for purpose of cars bought and sold, there was a notable rise in cases concerning outstanding finance, mileage discrepancies and cars with hidden history such as insurance write off and damaged vehicles.
HPI confirmed the number of cars sold with finance owed on them rose in general to 1 in 3 becoming a growing risk of dealer fraud leaving the innocent purchaser in legal hot water, having to fight for ownership of a vehicle they’ve already paid for.
Despite it being estimated that 30-50% of second hand cars sold have been clocked, used car odometer fraud is not a priority for the government, fuelling its increase and leaving customers with little alternative than to start legal action against the seller.
With more than 5,000 customers complaining to the Financial Ombudsman last year concerning car finance, PCE and hire purchase deals, its unsurprising there’s been a significant increase in demand for Motor Trade Law fixed fee services. Although the Ombudsman service is intended to be accessed by the consumer, it has become increasingly more challenging to succeed in claims to reject or repair cars, often needing expert motor industry advice to increase the chances of winning.
Whatever, the reasons, one thing is clear, complaints to car dealers supplying second hand prestige vehicles such Range Rover, Bentley, Mercedes, AMG and Audi and performance cars like Porsche and Ferrari were top of the list, with much fewer from volume products like Ford and Vauxhall.
Naturally, this is not a reflection of the quality of these types of cars but more the volume being sold as the ready availability of consumer finance continues and of course the expectations of the buyers