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    Car bought privately, now showing problems... advice appreciated.

    Hi all,

    My partner bought a car 2 months ago from a private party, a 2001 Seat Leon, petrol, 118000 miles on the clock for £1500 with full MOT and service, however since owning the car there has been numerous problems.
    Brake pads not replaced
    Hole in radiator, now needs replacing
    Central locking is faulty, may need replacement
    Oil light keeps coming on despite oil being in car and now cuts off the engine
    Battery doesnt hold its charge

    I know that there are restrictions when buying a car privately but I honestly believe that these are things that should have been picked up at the service or MOT. I have the guy's address from the registration documents... would we have any legal stance as far as this all stands, as the car is now sat outside literally a hazard to drive!

    Any advice would be appreciated as we plan to contact the seller for mis-selling the car but am unsure of where we would stand.

    Thanks in advance!

    39 Comments

    Do you have a bill of sale ?

    Does it say sold as seen ?

    Only the brake pads would be relevant to the MOT. A Seat with 118k miles on it would need a fair bit of maintenance anyway. Sorry, but if you want a warranty buy a new car or from a reputable dealer.

    i doubt it too be honest we bought a range rover vogue in november 2008 on a 04 plate it cost use 26,000 and 3 months down the line something went wrong and we had to call the aa out it cost us 800.00 to get sorted and they wouldnt do anything about it because apparently they dont have to on a used car even though we paid so much and that was a garage.we looked into trading standards and they said the same that legally they dont have to give warrenty lucky enough we have had no more problems but apparently the bloke who sold it us hung his self as he owed that much money.

    not sure...an MOT means the car (in theory) is roadworthy.....the last buyer cant forsee any future problems...I guess you would need to prove the problems were there, the seller knew about them and he neglected to inform you about them at the point of sale.
    Gonna be pretty hard to prove really

    None of the falts are part of an MOT.
    2 months on i dont think you have any rights.
    Hole in radiator a stone chip or normal ware and tear for 120k milage
    Central locking is faulty normal google it for part.
    Battery doesnt hold its charge cold weather will kill your battery.

    to be honest most of them could go at any time, radiator hole, and for the oil light that could be a sensor or connector (with the damp cold weather could have disturbed it). Not sure if you have a leg to stand on tbh

    Unless he is a mechanic or car dealer its not expected that he would know of any problems with the car. Its a case of buyer beware and up to the buyer to have the vehicle checked before purchase.

    MOT is not a guarantee of anything except that the car is fit to pass MOT on day of test. Think it says its not a guarantee of car or something on the MOT certificate.

    lil_tiger;7462319

    not sure...an MOT means the car (in theory) is roadworthy.....the last … not sure...an MOT means the car (in theory) is roadworthy.....the last buyer cant forsee any future problems...I guess you would need to prove the problems were there, the seller knew about them and he neglected to inform you about them at the point of sale.Gonna be pretty hard to prove really



    A MOT doesn't mean that really, it means thatit was roadworthy at the time of the test as per the MOT checks.

    2 months into the ownership I wouldn't entertain anything - you bought the car and either bought it with those faults of they have occured since. Have a read of:

    adviceguide.org.uk/ind…htm

    All an MOT says is that at the time of testing the car is fit to be on the road.

    ie your car could pass its test and then you could change the tyres and put 4 bald ones on.

    With an old car with 118000 miles on i don't think you have much come back to be honest. Even if receipt doesn't say sold as seen, things go wrong with cars all the time, even new ones.

    Try getting in touch with seller and stating the problems and try to come to some agreement but think you may be struggling on a legal basis.

    On your own I think. Sorry.

    the only thing that should have been noticed on the mot is the brake pads, bearing in mind the minimum thickness for brake pads on an mot is 1.5mm about the thickness of a 5p piece ! any less is a failure.

    if i had noticed the leaking rad then i would have advised on it, but it isnt a legal requirement to do so.

    the rest should have been noticed on a service, thats of course if it had had a service.

    Ask at forums.pepipoo.com/ but I don't think there is any comeback on the seller for a private sale.

    richp;7462374

    the only thing that should have been noticed on the mot is the brake … the only thing that should have been noticed on the mot is the brake pads, bearing in mind the minimum thickness for brake pads on an mot is 1.5mm about the thickness of a 5p piece ! any less is a failure.if i had noticed the leaking rad then i would have advised on it, but it isnt a legal requirement to do so.the rest should have been noticed on a service, thats of course if it had had a service.



    There is, if the car is defined as unroadworthy and not sold was such.

    as with all high value private car sales get it examined by a decent mechanic , the AA or the RAC,hundred quid or so but you'll save a fortune if problems are picked up

    pghstochaj;7462402

    There is, if the car is defined as unroadworthy and not sold was such.



    not quite sure what you mean ?

    greyparrot;7462317

    i doubt it too be honest we bought a range rover vogue in november 2008 … i doubt it too be honest we bought a range rover vogue in november 2008 on a 04 plate it cost use 26,000 and 3 months down the line something went wrong and we had to call the aa out it cost us 800.00 to get sorted and they wouldnt do anything about it because apparently they dont have to on a used car even though we paid so much and that was a garage.we looked into trading standards and they said the same that legally they dont have to give warrenty lucky enough we have had no more problems but apparently the bloke who sold it us hung his self as he owed that much money.



    HE HUNG HIMSELF!!! Is that true!!!

    Not a lot you can do now I think, just learn from this. If it was a dealer you could have perhaps done something but as you bought it privately doubt there is much you can do

    Some ppl will say on here bla bla bla take them to court its not road legal, BUT as it is you who should be looking out for such faults. Nothing you can really do

    In a nutshell you ain't got any recourse with the original seller - sorry.

    As others have said proving these faults were there at the time you bought them is going to be hard.

    For all the items you listed you should have spotted these on your test drive/ review of the car. If you didnt get an inspection report from the likes or the AA or RAC then it really is a case of buyer beware when buying second hand vehicles.

    I know its a bit late now but see here for some useful tips on buying second hand vehicles and what to watch out for.

    theaa.com/mot…tml

    The extract from the above when buying privately

    Private
    If you buy privately, you won't be protected legally if the car doesn't come up to scratch. It's up to you to ask the right questions and have the car thoroughly inspected before you buy.

    Safeguards Essentially it's a case of 'Buyer Beware'. As the onus is on you to make sure the car is sound, it's a good idea to get an independent engineer to give the car a thorough mechanical inspection.

    richp;7462453

    not quite sure what you mean ?



    It was meant to say "not sold as such".

    If you sell a car which is unroadworthy (I don't believe the car in question would meet that definition) then the buyer does have a comeback, unless it was sold specifically as unroadworthy and for spares or repairs.

    pghstochaj;7462514

    It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is … It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is unroadworthy (I don't believe the car in question would meet that definition) then the buyer does have a comeback, unless it was sold specifically as unroadworthy and for spares or repairs.



    yep i get you now, but its 2 months down the line, if the pads are that bad the OP could have appealed up to month after the test was done for mechanical defects. The rest possibly wear & tear for a 2001 118k .

    I'd be very surprised if they get a decent outcome from the seller.

    I was led to believe that in a private sale caveat emptor applies - car is sold as seen and the buyer has no comeback with the seller whatsoever. Obviously this doesn't apply from a trader. Harsh I know. If you want some expert advice then try the beards at Pistonheads :thumbsup:

    pghstochaj;7462514

    It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is … It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is unroadworthy (I don't believe the car in question would meet that definition) then the buyer does have a comeback, unless it was sold specifically as unroadworthy and for spares or repairs.



    Yeah, but they had the chance to inspect it before purchase, drove an old high mileage car around for two months that now has faults that you'd expect from a car of that age.

    I really don't think the OP has any recourse from the private seller - different if it was a trader.

    Best to speak to Consumer Direct about it and clarify.

    ]http//ww…uk/

    pluves1;7462509

    As others have said proving these faults were there at the time you … As others have said proving these faults were there at the time you bought them is going to be hard.



    Even if it could be proved they were there, it begs the question why didn't you see them when you examined the car prior to purchase?

    richp;7462592

    yep i get you now, but its 2 months down the line, if the pads are that … yep i get you now, but its 2 months down the line, if the pads are that bad the OP could have appealed up to month after the test was done for mechanical defects. The rest possibly wear & tear for a 2001 118k .I'd be very surprised if they get a decent outcome from this.



    The only item which would be considered to cause the car to be unroadworthy would be the brakes. If the brakes didn't work when the buyer went to buy it then it is unroadworthy, I presume (because they bought it) that the brakes did work. It could be unroadworthy if a modification had been carried out or damage occured which caused the brakes to fail occasionally, but this sounds like a wear issue only. At the time of the sale, the car was probably road worthy on the information given.

    The RTA does not define roadworthy, but some information is here:

    northlincs.gov.uk/NR/…pdf

    AberBargoed;7462619

    I was led to believe that in a private sale caveat emptor applies - car … I was led to believe that in a private sale caveat emptor applies - car is sold as seen and the buyer has no comeback with the seller whatsoever. Obviously this doesn't apply from a trader. Harsh I know. If you want some expert advice then try the beards at Pistonheads :thumbsup:



    Not quite true as I have been saying, but it doesn't apply to things that do not endanger life.

    pghstochaj;7462514

    It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is … It was meant to say "not sold as such".If you sell a car which is unroadworthy (I don't believe the car in question would meet that definition) then the buyer does have a comeback, unless it was sold specifically as unroadworthy and for spares or repairs.



    The only item on the OP's list that would make the car 'unroadworthy' would be the brakes. So they could have been 'roadworthy' at the point of sale and now are 'unroadworthy'.

    All other items do not make a car 'unroadworthy'. Undriveable yes;-)

    deek72;7462646

    Even if it could be proved they were there, it begs the question why … Even if it could be proved they were there, it begs the question why didn't you see them when you examined the car prior to purchase?



    I agree. I was trying not to rub salt into the OP's wounds;-)

    pghstochaj;7462658

    Not quite true as I have been saying, but it doesn't apply to things that … Not quite true as I have been saying, but it doesn't apply to things that do not endanger life.



    My understanding is that unless the seller categorically stated on the advert that those particular components were 100% perfect there is no comeback.

    There is no obligation for a private seller other than to make sure the car meets any criteria you lay out in the advert at the point you sell it.

    Have you got any examples of where this isn't the case? I must admit to not seeing any - especially a couple of months down the line.

    mrman007;7462491

    HE HUNG HIMSELF!!! Is that true!!!



    yeah he did some time last year found out through friends the garage is now closed down.

    AberBargoed;7462771

    My understanding is that unless the seller categorically stated on the … My understanding is that unless the seller categorically stated on the advert that those particular components were 100% perfect there is no comeback. There is no obligation for a private seller other than to make sure the car meets any criteria you lay out in the advert at the point you sell it.Have you got any examples of where this isn't the case? I must admit to not seeing any - especially a couple of months down the line.



    That is an additional part that I should have mentioned actually - they are liable for false advertising. The best source is this information from the CAB:

    adviceguide.org.uk/ind…htm

    You have very few legal rights if you have bought the vehicle from a … You have very few legal rights if you have bought the vehicle from a private seller rather than a dealer.The vehicle doesn't have to be of satisfactory quality. However, if the seller offers a description of the vehicle, it must match the description given. It must also be roadworthy and the seller must have 'good title' to the vehicle. This means that they must be the legal owner in order to sell it to you.If the vehicle doesn't match the description given, you may be entitled to compensation. You may also be entitled to compensation if you have bought an unroadworthy car from a private seller, which has caused injury to someone. However, it may be especially difficult to get compensation from a private seller.You will only be able to claim against a private seller for one of the following reasons:•the vehicle doesn't match the description they gave you•the seller broke a specific contract term•the seller was actually a dealer posing as a private seller•the seller did not have good title to the vehicle•the vehicle is unroadworthy.



    I am making the assumption that they didn't advertise it as perfect mechanical order, central locking operational etc. etc. nor that they advertised it as unroadworthy at the opposite end of the scale. On that basis, the only come back is if it is unroadworthy, which is reasonably defined here:

    northlincs.gov.uk/NR/…pdf

    Banned

    4 of the 5 items on your list are things you should have checked at purchase. The fact you couldn't be arsed means you've got what you deserved.

    Seller cannot be held liable at all from the description given.

    I'd have thought any court would reject the notion that the seller is in any way qualified to assess the integrity of the mechanicals and would concur that said seller is in any way obligated to warranty the car.

    AberBargoed;7462930

    I'd have thought any court would reject the notion that the seller is in … I'd have thought any court would reject the notion that the seller is in any way qualified to assess the integrity of the mechanicals and would concur that said seller is in any way obligated to warranty the car.



    I don't think intent matters - it would come down to what is reasonable of the individual.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the advice, I guessed that there wouldnt be anything that could really be done rather than repair the car, but it just seems that there are a lot of faults that I thought would have been picked up at time of MOT etc. Taken on the chin as a learning curve I guess.

    cozlw;7462987

    Thanks for the advice, I guessed that there wouldnt be anything that … Thanks for the advice, I guessed that there wouldnt be anything that could really be done rather than repair the car, but it just seems that there are a lot of faults that I thought would have been picked up at time of MOT etc. Taken on the chin as a learning curve I guess.



    Go and look at [url]www.motester.co.uk[/url] for an idea of a MOT covers, it doesn't cover things like central locking or battery capability and wheels are not removed during the test.

    if you input your Mot serial number here:

    motinfo.gov.uk/htm…tml

    You can at least read all the advisory notes that were issued for the last couple of years for your vehicle.

    Might put you in a stronger position if you are to contact the previous owner.

    it doesnt appear likely, but did you get a mechanic to check it over first? if so they might be held liable.

    im not a car owner here, but isnt a mot just to say "yes its safe" rather than "yes it runs perfectly"

    As mentioned, the problems you've had wouldn't have been picked up at an MOT. The MOT makes sure the car is roadworthy, and things like mechanical failure aren't checked as these are down to the owner to identify and maintain/have fixed.

    I had to replace the radiator in my car last month for the same reason, but I was having to top the water up in it daily until the mechanic had space to take it in. If you weren't having to top the water up within the 2 months since you had it, I doubt the owner knew there was a hole, it was just bad luck.

    It's also a well known fact that batteries can and do die in cold weather. Again, something you can't really hold the seller responsible for. Break pads aren't really something you can take any action over either because they are general wear and tear. Car owners should expect to replace these probably annually, depending on how many miles are driven. They're cheap to buy online from the right places, so not really a biggy.

    The only things the seller may well have been aware of before selling the car was the central locking problem and the oil light issue. Most cars have their own forums online where you can detail the problems your car is having and other forum members can give advice. Or if you're not mechanically minded yourself, find a trusted garage and pick their brains, but in both cases it could be something simple to repair. Don't use main dealer garages as they charge well over the odds for labour, and that's before they even look at the parts your car needs :thumbsup:
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