Reject a Faulty Car Bought on Finance
Do you know your rights if you’ve been sold a faulty car bought on finance by a dealer? The Internet forums are full of advice and comments of what you should do and how but still only 30% of consumers have their complaints upheld by the financial ombudsman: so what’s going wrong?
Probably the most common problem is the misconception that you can just return a car on finance when it goes wrong providing it’s within 6 months of delivery. On the other hand that you can book your car into your local dealership to have it repaired and just send the bill to the trader to be paid. Both are wrong.
Whether you want the car repaired or want to return a car on finance, you will be well advised to have the car checked by a garage or have to get a health check at a main dealer. Understanding what the problem is crucial to understanding what your rights are.
Simply just because it’s broken down, or parts need replacing, does not necessarily mean it’s not of satisfactory quality giving rise to the right to a repair or reject a car on finance.
This naturally can leave many people being pushed from the car dealer to the intermediary or finance broker and the finance company, each telling you the other is responsible. If you’ve bought a faulty car on finance and are getting nowhere, call a car finance lawyer.
Right to Repair
The right to repair or replacement is the most common claim by car buyers. The law recognises that things go wrong and that dealers should be at least given the opportunity to put them right. However, this does pose questions for many buyers such as:
- Can the trader use second-hand parts?
- Can the dealer use my warranty to claim the cost of the repairs?
- Do I have to use the warranty?
- How long is a reasonable period of time to carry out the repair?
Reject a Car on Finance
Rejecting a car on finance can occur in 3 circumstances:
- The first is when a fault occurs within 30 days of taking delivery, this is known as the short term right to reject. This is probably the most difficult reason to return a car, largely because of the evidential burden.
- The second, when the car has been repaired the first time but the repair was unsuccessful. Alternatively, the original repair worked but the car has developed another fault. So can you reject a car if it’s a different fault than the original one?
- Finally, when the car can be repaired but it’s either disproportionate to do so or it cannot be done without causing you inconvenience or within a reasonable period of time.
Like all legal cases to successfully reject a car on finance depends on the strength and reliability of the evidence and correctly applying the law.
What we do know is, that relying on the consumer rights rebuttable presumption where the dealer has to prove the problem with your car wasn’t there when you bought it is asking for trouble.
Making a Complaint to The Financial Ombudsman
If the car finance company rejects your request to return a car on finance, you can escalate your complaint to the financial ombudsman service. The Ombudsman or FOS is a free service tasked with reviewing and adjudicating on complaints involving consumer regulated finance agreements.
FOS decisions are binding on the car finance company. However, only 30% of people making a complaint to the financial ombudsman were successful last year.
The problem is in large part, due to consumers not knowing how to complain and how to prepare their case and give them the best chance of success.
The FOS was set up to resolve complaints “quickly and with minimum formality” and as an alternative dispute resolution. Consumers are not expected to present “legal pleadings”.
However, the statistics speak for themselves. If you want to give yourself the best chance to return a car on finance is to approach making a complaint to the financial ombudsman as if you were bringing a claim in court.
To assume the Ombudsman is on your side, knows or understands about cars or that they are a car finance lawyer or even legally trained, could prove to be a costly mistake. This is especially true for claims over £10,000 where the FOS presents the most cost-effective method to return a car on finance rather than going to court.
Although consumers don’t have to accept the Ombudsman’s decision and have the right to take the finance company to court, the cost of litigation will likely prove prohibitive.
Financial Ombudsman Claims
If you’ve bought a faulty car on finance or not as described and would like expert help making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman we can help.
To assist customers in trying to increase their chances of succeeding in their claim in rejecting a car on finance Stormcatcher Car Finance Lawyers offer a fixed fee package costing either £595 + VAT (£714) or £995 + VAT (£1,194) depending on the size of the claim.
The service includes all correspondence with the garage, broker and finance company, witness statements, case preparation and correspondence with the Financial Ombudsman, and legal advice through to the final decision.
If you succeed in making a claim to the Financial Ombudsman the finance company may be required to repair the car or agree to you rejecting a car on finance and unwind the agreement.
This may involve the return any money put down as a deposit and reimburse any monthly payments as well as costs incurred and interest. Naturally, there is a spectrum of outcomes and remedies available but it is possible to in effect to reject the car and get your money back.