What to do if you're sold a bad car, from a dealer

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What to do if you're sold a bad car, from a dealer

Post by warpc0il » Tue May 28, 2019 10:08 am

This from a currently live thread, copied here for future reference...
New Duke wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:34 am
Straight away (like TODAY) I would contact [the dealership owner] directly (maybe on Facebook) and politely but clearly explain that you're not happy, the car isn't as sold, his company has breached your contract and they really need to do what you ask (whatever that may be - see below). Because his company has a good reputation and it would be a shame to tarnish that over a car sale, but mainly because if they don't then you will take formal action. Be confident and clearly state what you are entitled to but be polite. You want to give him an opportunity, but being aggressive usually makes people get defensive.

That's the easiest and quickest route to happy rotary ownership - helping the seller see it your way. I'd even ask for an MOT on the car out of good faith given it's clearly not as sold. But if that personal approach fails-

Dealing with a faulty used car purchase 101 (mods you may want to sticky this)

These are your two main resources which every car buyer should bookmark and read:

Your rights when you buy a used car:
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights ... -my-rights

How to complain when that car turns out to be faulty:
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights ... o-a-dealer

How long ago you bought the car is the biggest factor to your rights. Good news is that in your case as a minimum, the seller must repair or replace your car. But the hard lesson is that buying a used car and leaving it sat for 2 weeks isn't a good idea, you need to use it right away to find those faults.

As you'll see in the links within 30 days of purchase you have the right to reject the car and have a full refund. After that 30 day window but up to 6 months the seller has to repair or replace the car - unless they can prove that the fault was not there at the point of sale (which is nearly impossible)

(You mentioned previously in one of your posts that you expressed an intent to return the car for refund and they refused. If that's correct and you did actually ask to return it and it was still during the first 30 days and they wouldn't let you return it; then that's a breach of the Consumer Rights Act and they must comply. Rejection of a car doesn't have to be in writing - though it does make it easier to prove as shown below)

If you bought the car on a credit card or with any type of finance (like a loan) then notify the credit card provider or finance provider as they are equally liable with the seller. If you paid via PayPal then you can enact the Buyer Protection. That's really handy leverage. On occasion it means that the credit card company or PayPal can refund you directly then they pursue the seller - which is rightly a serious matter for the seller.

So if all the personal/charming/informal methods have failed and you want to get formal:

Step 1: Send a letter

There's a handy template for this letter in the second link or if you really love letter writing you can write you own. Here you outline everything that happened to date, even the obvious stuff. That you bought the car from them, when you bought it, how much you paid, what car it was. Including anything optional that you feel you should mention; maybe the V5C not being available or anything that didn't match the advert.

Then you explain what the fault is in plenty of detail, when you noticed it and what impact it has on the performance or safety of the car.

Then outline what you want with respect to your rights. A refund if eligible? A speedy repair or replacement? Maybe you think they should throw in an MOT for your peace of mind? Did you ask for a refund in the 30 day window already but were refused?

Finally add that you've tried to resolve the matter with them personally but they haven't been willing, and give them a deadline to respond. Maybe 14 days or whatever. So be sure to date your own letter.

Then sign and scan that letter and post it to the seller. Email a copy to them so they can't use the 'we didn't receive it' excuse.

Step 2: Small Claims Court - (now Money Claim Online)

Hopefully that shocks them into action. If not go straight to the SCC. Some people suggest going to an ombudsman or regulator first... but I've found them to be ineffective and prefer to cut to the chase.

Website here: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

I really like this method. You fill in an online form, pay a small fee, and supply any supporting evidence (that letter we wrote earlier comes in handy here!) and submit. The court reviews it, sends the seller the claim and gives them the chance to dispute it. Which in cases like this is almost impossible to dispute. The court then makes a ruling for the seller to submit to your claim. You win, and you get your money/new car etc with court bailiffs available to assist if necessary. It takes a couple of months all in.

There's a further process to deal with companies that don't adhere to SCC rulings (it involves shutting them down) but I won't deal with that here.

Good luck.
Note that the above applies to England and Wales. Similar but slightly different rules apply in Scotland and NI, though the basic principles are the same.
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