Used Car Legal Rights & Obligations

Used Car Legal Rights

Despite what it says on the internet or what citizens advice may tell you car consumer rights and the legal rights when buying a car from a dealer are complex and widespread. Used car legal rights include trading standards complaints, used car warranty law, mis-selling, misrepresentation and of course fraud to name but a few.

However, the law is naturally there to protect car buyers from dodgy car dealers and to offer motor traders protection from spurious consumer claims.

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Consumer Rights Act

The Consumer Rights Act covers cars bought from a motor dealer after 1st October 2015, which provided that cars are required to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and described. The Act goes on to describe the rights a buyer should the car not meet these standards or is not as described which is essentially a breach of contract. These include the so-called 30 day right to reject, the right to a repair or replacement and the final right to reject.

However, rejecting a car is not as easy as it sounds and some customers have found that taking a motor dealer to court is challenging resulting in court decisions going against motorists who attempted to reject used vehicles with minor faults.

At its centre is the question of expectations and the common perception that consumer rights kick in when a second-hand car demonstrates any fault at all. Then there’s the question of what issues can be expected with the type of car and the characteristics of the car. Finally, there’s the question of who bears the burden of proof and what evidence is required to make the claim out.

Unfair Trading Regulations

The unfair trading regulations cover misrepresentation, that’s to say things said or done which influenced a buyer to make a decision to buy the car and were subsequently found to be false. This is commonly referred to as mis-selling a car. The law also covers things not mentioned which could have affected a buying decision.

Simply dealers need to disclose everything about a car’s history, whether that’s the number of previous owners, service history, whether its been involved in an accident or written off. If they don’t the customer may have the right to unwind a contract or reject a car for being unfairly sold.

ADR Directive

In concert with the Consumer Rights Act comes the ADR Directive encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution and settling customer complaints without having to go to court. The scheme is voluntary and reliant on both the motor dealer and customer agreeing to a third party mediator trying to broker a settlement agreement.

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