The Car Lawyer, Used Car Expert

The Car Lawyer is the nickname of Philip Harmer a lawyer and used car expert specialising in all aspects of the retail motor industry.

The Car Lawyer

Philip has earned a reputation for representing car dealerships and car traders but has built a hugely successful business advising private clients and car collectors on car repairs‌‌, motor vehicle restoration and car sale disputes involving the Consumer Rights Act, misrepresentation law‌‌, mis-selling and fraud.

However, his no conflict of interest policy prevents him from giving legal advice and taking on cases against existing motor industry clients.

Call The Car Lawyer for First Free Advice

0333 700 7676


His unique expertise and experience in a wide and diverse range of vehicles along with his insight into the tricks of the motor trade has led to him becoming in high demand by car dealers, dealerships and private clients throughout the UK and internationally.

Used Car Expert

Distinct from motor trade solicitors and motor solicitors who will deal with car problems, as a used car expert, he understands the technical side of the cars and has unrivalled experience of the characteristics of specific makes and models.

His insight into the tricks of the car trade and how to reject a used car and deal with issues such as a car has been written off and not declared, buying a car with outstanding finance, cloning, ringing and clocking is second to none.

Renowned for his straight-talking used car legal advice and down to earth practical approach to resolving consumer legal rights claims and misrepresentation law has put him in high demand.

First Free Advice on How to Reject a Used Car

0333 700 7676


Return a Car on Finance

These days most new and used car are bought on finance. As a result, people wanting to return a car on finance is amongst the most common customer complaint and the bane of the retail motor industry.

There are many reasons which give rise to the right to return a car on finance. The usual suspects include being sold an unroadworthy car, fake service history, car on finance broken down or engine blown and of course car not fit for purpose.

However, practically, rejecting a used car can be difficult with the finance company and dealership doing their best to offer a repair rather than rejection.

Contrary to popular belief the Consumer Rights Act is not always as successful as people think, but neither is it the only legal basis to return a car on finance.

Misrepresentation law, unfair commercial practises, cancellation rights for distance contracts and mis-selling finance are all potential reasons to return a car on finance.

Your Rights When Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller

Unlike buying a car from a dealer, your rights when buying a used car from a private seller are limited. Nevertheless, you do have rights.

Amongst the most common are claims for misrepresentation or not as described. This may include the car having a hidden history whether that’s because it’s been cloned or advertised as fault free.

Title claims involving people who have bought a car with outstanding finance are becoming increasingly common.

Probably the single biggest issue, is cars being advertised as a private sale when they are really a trade sale. This is an offence under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Always check the name and address on the log book matches the seller’s and always take a copy of their driving licence.

For More Information About Your Rights When Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller, Call The Used Car Expert

0333 700 7676


Car Repair Legal Advice

Vehicle repair complaints, car accident repairs and vehicle servicing disputes between consumers, car body shops, mechanics & servicing departments are amongst the most contentious motor industry legal issues.

Car repairs costing more than estimated, taking longer than expected and substandard works or not as good as new or fixed at all are just some of the vehicle repair complaints made against car accident repairs centres, dealerships and garages.

With a background in the motor industry, panel beating, spraying and mechanical repairs our motor trade lawyers understand the language and processes of the repair industry. As experts in their field uniquely qualified to offer car repair advice and solutions on car & motor trade legal disputes.

Panels not lining up, colour match problems, non-original equipment parts, filler not replacement and repairs taking too long to complete are just some of the complaints directed at bodyshops and accident repair centre.

Diagnostics, estimates and unexpected costs feature highly on the most complained about car related issues along with wrongly fitted parts, poor workmanship, inadequate road testing and poor garage service.

Misrepresentation Law

Misrepresentation law is a powerful piece of legislation which if successful may result in a claim for rescission or unwind the deal and the customer getting their money back. However, it could result in a partial refund or damages in lieu of rescission.

Misrepresentation law‌‌ is classified as a false statement fact, made by the seller which the buyer relies upon in entering into the contract and suffers a detriment as a result. This could be a car being advertised with a full-service history or one owner when it hasn’t or never having been involved in an accident when it has. But in any event misrepresentation law‌‌ is complex and rarely as easy to make claim as it seems.

Free Initial Lawyer Consultation & Car Repair Legal Advice

0333 700 7676


Motor Trade Retained Legal Service

Philip offers a bespoke and comprehensive motor trade legal services and consultancy services to independent car dealers main dealers and motor finance companies on a retained subscription basis.

Whether you want to have the car lawyer on hand to provide legal advice, opinion and legal services including complaint handling and dispute resolution or just want to safeguard yourselves we have the service for you.

With 30 years experience in the motor trade both operationally working for Mercedes-Benz UK, Jardine Motors and independent dealers before and during qualifying as a lawyer and being called the the Bar and after, representing dealers, manufacturers and private clients throughout the UK; It’s fair to say Philip knows the motor industry inside out.


It is an offence under consumer law for a trader to give false, misleading or deceptive information about the history of a car, including false information about a clocked car, ie changing the genuine odometer reading of the car in order to make the car seem like it has been driven less than it actually has.

Write Off

Selling insurance ‘write-offs’ isn’t illegal and they can be legitimately allowed back on the road, but failing to disclose the car has been crashed is against the rules and maybe against the law, if they are beyond repair or structurally compromised and dangerous.