The Second-hand Car I just bought has a problem, What are my rights?



Buying a Second-hand car from a dealer


Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which replaced the Sale of Goods Act) a Second-hand car bought from a dealer must:

  • be of satisfactory quality (accounting for its age and mileage)

  • be as described (whether in the advert or in discussions prior to sale)

  • be fit for purpose


If not, then you can claim against the dealer for breach of contract.


If the car is not ‘as described’, or there was misrepresentation by the seller, you may:

  • reject the car and demand a refund or

  • keep the car and seek compensation

Rejecting a second-hand car


If your second-hand car develops an unexpected problem soon after you’ve bought it, or was not as you had been led to expect then you may have the right to reject it and get your money back.  If you reject it, you must stop using it immediately and return it. 


If you purchased the car after 01 October 2015, you now only have 30 days to reject a second-hand car and get a refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.


Returning a second-hand car


If 30 days has expired, but you think the problem was present at the time of purchase, then you are entitled to seek a repair or replacement free of charge. Usually this will be a repair, as replacement is likely to be disproportionate. 


Within six months of purchase it is the seller’s responsibility to prove the fault was not there, not for you to prove that it was. 


But after six months, you will have to prove that the fault was present from the day you purchased the car. 


If an attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you are entitled to a refund, although the dealer can deduct a sum for “fair use” after the first 30 days.


Bought with a credit card


If your car was bought with a credit card, you can also claim against the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.  Some debit cards purchasers may also be able to claim.  If you have purchased the car on hire purchase you can reject the car through the finance company if it meets the necessary criteria.


Second-hand car bought privately ; “Buyer Beware”


You have fewer rights when you buy from a private seller only part of the Consumer Rights Act applies.  The car must be accurately described and the seller must not misrepresent the car. But beware if it breaks down soon after you buy it, you may not have any right to reject it or to claim compensation.


Second-hand car bought at auction


When you buy a used car at auction you have very limited legal rights. 


Check the auction house conditions before you bid. At auction, your rights are against the seller not the auction house.


If you require any legal advice with regard to this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Robert Cox, Solicitor of Oldham Marsh Page Flavell Solicitors  on 01664 563162 : .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Oldham Marsh Page Flavell are Solicitors in Melton Mowbray.

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