Used Car Consumer Rights FAQ

What are Your Consumer Rights When Buying a Car from a Dealer?

When you buy a car from a dealer you have statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. These require the car to be of satisfactory quality, fit for a specific purpose and as described. Satisfactory quality includes;

  1. fitness for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are usually supplied;
  2. appearance and finish;
  3. freedom from minor defects;
  4. safety;
  5. durability.

However, the standard must be measured in the context of the type of car, its age, mileage, and price. There will be a different standard for new cars than for second-hand cars and for volume brands versus prestige.

Can I Reject a Used Car Within The First 30 Days?

If a fault occurs with the car which is considered actionable within the meaning of the Consumer Rights Act and it can be established that it was present or developing at the point of sale you will likely be entitled to exercise your short term right to reject. However, it can be challenging to satisfy the evidential test and you may require an expert examination.

Can I Return a Car After 6 Months?

Yes, it is possible to return a car after 6 months, but it naturally becomes more challenging as time goes on. As with all cases, evidence is key to establishing what the issues are with the vehicle and plotting the chronology of problems since purchase. If the defects can be traced back to having been latent or existent within the first 6 months you will be able to rely upon it to support the rejection.

Sold a Car with Fake Service History?

Service history, mileage and provenance are key to car values and saleability. As a result, fake service history and car clocking are methods of increasing profits in the trade, keeping PCP payments down and returns for private sellers up. A car that is sold with fake history will give rise to a claim for misdescription under s11 Consumer Rights Act 2015 or Misrepresentation Act 1967.

Accident Damaged Car Bought from a Dealer?

It’s estimated that at least 1 in 3 cars sold has a hidden history which includes accident or collision damage. While it is not illegal to sell damaged repaired cars, it is if you have not been informed of it or the repair has not been sufficient to make the car roadworthy or of the requisite standard.

Can I Get The Car Repaired and Send The Dealer The Bill?

In principle, it is possible to have a faulty car repaired and claim the cost back from the dealer, but it is important that you get a couple of quotes and keep the dealer informed.

If you simply instruct the local main dealer to carry out repairs in the hope that the selling dealer will pick up the bill, you could be making an expensive mistake.

Do I Have to Use The Warranty?

All new cars and most second-hand cars are sold with a warranty. This is not to replace but to augment your statutory rights and it may prove quicker and more efficient to claim from the warranty.

However, sometimes the warranty claim value won’t be enough to cover the cost or the warranty company may reject the claim: giving you little alternative than to claim from the seller.

Dealer Refuses to Refund

By far and away the most common cause of litigation between car buyers and sellers stems from the dealer refusing to accept the rejection of a car and refusing to refund the purchase price.

This could be because they’ve had the wrong legal advice, or they have evidence which supports them not being liable for the fault or because the car value would make issuing a claim very expensive. This makes your strategy in bringing a claim equally important, if not more so, than the law and your legal rights.

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