Used Car Consumer Rights
Used car consumer rights are your rights when buying a used car from a dealer. Consumer rights law states that a used car should be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and to match the description given by the used car trader.
If the car is not fit for purpose, has been mis-sold, not as described or not of satisfactory quality, the car buyers have the statutory right to have the car repaired, replaced or receive a refund.
However, while used car consumer rights are intended to prevent people being sold an unroadworthy car or a car not fit for purpose, car traders have rights too and rejecting a used car is not straightforward.
Consumer Rights Law says that second-hand cars should be of satisfactory quality. That’s to say that the car meets the reasonable expectations of a car of the age, mileage and type of the one being sold. Unfortunately what the car dealer thinks is to be expected and what the car buyer thinks is likely to be different.
This made more difficult as cars become more advanced, have more features and are more expensive to repair. As a result, while wear and tear parts are generally accepted as being excluded from used car consumer rights this is no longer completely accurate.
Parts such as the clutch and DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve which do require periodic replacement are not automatically excluded from used car consumer rights.
This is also true for telematics and infotainment which includes sat-nav, comms and mobile phone integration. Defects, faults and issues have been previously dismissed by dealers and manufacturers as requiring a software update are now gaining increased support for grounds for rejection
Your Rights When Buying a Used Car From a Dealer
Like many things, the Internet paints a simplistic view of your rights when buying a used car from a dealer.
It is true that you have the right a short term right to reject a used car within 30 days, the right to have it repaired, replaced, a price reduction or the final right to reject a used car.
However, enforcing your legal rights and rejecting a used car is a whole different matter. The internet forums would have you believe that its as easy as taking an unwanted Christmas present back to Argos: it’s not.
Rejecting a used car is arguably the most challenging due to the burden of proof being on the buyer although this is, itself contentious. Cynics would say that the law is weighted in favour of having the vehicle repaired rather than rejection which there is a fair bit of support for.
On the other hand, others would say there’s little point in having a right to reject a used car and make it unnecessarily difficult to invoke.
Deduction for use
After the first 30 days a dealer can make a deduction from a refund due to a customer rejecting a motor vehicle to account for the customer’s use since the purchase of the car. Give our legal experts a call for guidance on the calculation of any reduction.
Rights When Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller
Your rights when buying a used car from a private seller are different from consumer rights when buying a car from a dealer. But, there is some legal protection.
Amongst the most common complaints from people who bought a faulty car privately are misrepresentation law, buying a car that has finance owing and buying a stolen or cloned car.
It is true that consumer rights laws encourage car buyers to buy from a dealer giving then statutory protection and remedies but the classified ads are still full of private sales, some, of course, are really car traders masquerading as private sellers.
What is true is your rights when buying a used car from a private seller do not include the implied terms of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose but it’s not true to say you have no rights of recourse.
Retail Motor Industry Expert
Offering a refreshing alternative to motor solicitors and consumer rights solicitors, we are automotive specialists and used car experts.
Advising car dealerships and handling customer complaints and private clients on your rights when buying a used car from a dealer, used car consumer rights laws and rejecting a used car.
Defending and bringing claims gives us the real world insight into what judges and the Ombudsman look for, what issues gain favour and what don’t, most importantly what it takes to win.
Used car consumer rights is far from a walk in the park and is likely to cause businesses in the automotive sector some problems which can be reduced with appropriate terms and conditions, policies, procedures and staff training.