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Just bought a car that has problems, My legal rights ?

38
Found 16th Oct 2014
Hey
I bought a 53 plate Honda civic and when I was driving it, the steering felt a bit funny, but the guy said it had been sitting for a month and needed to be driven. The car was in great condition so I accepted to pay 1450.00 for it.

When I was driving it down the motorway, it became apparent that something was not right. So I took it to Honda for a Geo check, but this never sorted the problem, and fix auto said it was the rack, but I just felt they didn't want the job.

I then took it to a mate who I trust and he advised the steering rack has problems as well. Its road legal but very uncomfortable to drive and keep veering off and wheel will not return to centre, so you need to do everything yourself.

My mate said the rack comes in 3 parts, and only way of finding out what the issue is, is to take it for a diagnostic which will be £70.00 plus Vat, and the cheapest part is £350.00 plus vat, but the Diag could say all 3 needs doing which will be over £1500 as there are no after market parts for this model.

The small dealer owner is refusing pickup and saying it passed a MOT and his warranty does not cover this. But for me, the car does not feel great to drive and I have young kids.

Should I bring it to him and tell him to sort it out or refund me, or I will get trading standards involved, or have I just bought a lemon, and I have no rights ?

It does say on the trading standards website that just because a car has a MOT, does not mean that the car is road legal, and I should be able to return it, but the guy is arguing already.

The person has said not for anyone else to look at it, but I brought it to my mate for a full inspection just encase I could get it repaired cheap, but he has found other stuff like the Front Rubber Bushing has come away and should have been put on the MOT, but it has not which my mate is concerned about as he said he probably would have failed it, but some garages will only note it, but the last MOT in sept has no advisories.

Whets your thoughts guys, would really appreciate any advise before I take the car back. I cant afford the tow truck so I am going to have to drive the car very slow down the motorway as he is refusing pickup
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38 Comments
take it back if he is a dealer then you have the right to return.it as it.isn't fit for purpose if it's from a private seller then you are stuck really
you should have got it independently inspected before you bought it.

i think the AA does it at a reasonable price.

good luck anyway - a pity you're a day late for LBC's legal hour - wednesdays 21.00 hours - listeners can phone up and get legal advice.
I think you have a fair case to take it back to the trader if you've noticed this issue almost immediately and taken action, as you say. Doesn't sound like the car is particularly safe to drive. Continue with going to the Trading Standards as an angle, because this might not be the first issue that they've dealt with for this trader.
If it was a private seller, it's a bit more difficult, but I'd stick to my guns on this.
I bought a cheap part-ex car from a garage and within no time, the head gasket went. They banged on about 'sold as seen' and all that, but they soon gave in and repaired the car.
At the end of the day, yours might be the best part of 10+ years old, but it still has to be safe and road-worthy.
What model of civic is it?

The power steering on them is electric as opposed to hydraulic on most vehicles.

There's plenty of civic forums where you may find an answer.
Autopart do off the shelf seconds if you don't want a new part and like the car. But I would ask dealer to repair it..he could say you done it hitting something though. Back to your question it all depends how long you've had the car. I trust you've checked balancing and tracking
Edited by: "gr8h8me" 16th Oct 2014
small claims court mate

tell the dealer if he does not take it back due to it being not fit for purpose you will issue a small claims, it only cost £20 to issue a summons...

that will get his attention
oh and ignore the advisories they mean nothing

I took my car for a MOT and it came with 4 advisories, I did none of them and took it back the following year, it passed and none of the advisories from the previous year were on there!

I am sure they do it to tout for business
After the small dealer says it's ok, get the AA to check it out
when did you buyit

you may have the right to reject it
Few episodes from the BBC show ''The sheriffs are coming'' deal with exactly this, you have every right to file a claim. On both occasions on the the show the defendant failed to show at court and the court ruled in favour of the claimant. It can then be passed to the high court if they still refuse to comply. A live writ is then issued and you pay and admin fee for them to go and collect on your behalf.

Take this all the way even if it's a private seller and seek legal advice.
The steering rack is part of the MOT, have you checked online to see if the car failed or had any advisories at its last test?
what form of payment did you use?

Whatever you do, if you want your money back then you're going to have to get an independent inspection which says that it isn't roadworthy. You can't just say it - you'll need to prove it.
I was going to get it fixed myself as my mate was going to do it free, but he could not buy after market parts for it, he tried. I bought it a week and a half ago and only drove it to get the geo done. he told me about a hour ago to bring it back Saturday morning for him to LOOK at. no it would not show on a mot as the rack is still intact but its either the eps unit, the power/battery or the rack itself. only a full test drive would bring out the problem. goes to show if something does not feel right, then walk away. I learnt a valuable lesson trust me. going to get template from trading standards to say he has 7 days to sort the problem or refund me.
did you pay cash or card??
You have 6 months from buying a car from a dealer to seek redress. There are links above that show you your rights.
a diagnosis test does not cost £70 plus Vat....... even you're friend is robbing you.
They cost £40 No vat so go somewhere else please
sofiasar

a diagnosis test does not cost £70 plus Vat....... even you're friend is … a diagnosis test does not cost £70 plus Vat....... even you're friend is robbing you. They cost £40 No vat so go somewhere else please


"No VAT" sounds like your friend is robbing the treasury of desperately needed funds.
"when I was driving it the steering felt a bit funny, but the guy said it had been sitting for a month and it needed to be driven". Classic ! I think this was the point where you should have shook the guys hand, apologised for wasting his time and caught a bus home.
Steering rack problems are very common on this model of civic, Numerous threads about it on hondacivicforum.co.uk. It is possible to live with it but I swear, sometimes it can be quite stiff that I reckon you'll end up with early wrist arthirtis.
moob

You have 6 months from buying a car from a dealer to seek redress. There … You have 6 months from buying a car from a dealer to seek redress. There are links above that show you your rights.



I would be most interested if you can advise of current national motor dealers who give 6 months warranty on used cars. 30 days to 3 months from dealers in my area iwhich includes evans halshaw and if they still have manufacturers warranty left on them then that is what you get. However on a recent purchase from my local mini / bmw garage on a 2 year old car with no service history, they said any problems in the next year bring it back. Cars have to have full service history in order for the manufacturers warranty to apply.
scrooge

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/



Go through this site. As stated by above. Very good. Read it all .... then write a letter explaining you are entitled to a refund under the Sales of Goods Act etc. Make sure you read the stuff first. Have the appropriate legal jargon with you ' Sales of Goods Act 1979' and ensure, if you haven't done so already, that you write down all the dates, times of the calls you have made as well as what was stated and also what the outcome was.

Under this Sales of Goods Act, items must be suitable for their intended use. Items must be sold as stated.

Just a brief bit here from the website:

during the first six months:

The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund. In that case, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale. This comes from Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003

You do have a case. As it's obvious the car had faults prior to you purchasing this. You could go through smail claims court if he does not agree with you to either, repair (at his cost) the vehicle, or give you a full refund of the money you have paid.

Next Steps:
Brush up of Sales of Goods Act 1979. The above link gives you good examples of how it's been used. May sound a bit boring. End day is £1400 out of pocket boring?
- Next Write down all the dates you have phone the guy
- Call the guy. Advised him you feel he has not fulfilled (or what ever wordings there are) the legal obligations of the Sales of Goods Act
- Ask him for a full refund or to repair the vehicle at his cost
- If he says no
- Put this into writing. Give him 14 days to respond to it. Again in this letter. Detail all the telephone conversations you have had. Also the outcomes of this. Also using the above website mention that you will be taking legal action if he does not take steps to rectify this issue as the car had pre-existing faults and was not sold as advertised etc. Advise him you expect a WRITTEN response within 14 days. If not then you will take him to small claims court
- you may want to get some help in writing that letter. Ask here and someone will no doubt write it for you or give you tips. They are good at that. I could od it but dont have time tonight.

Anyway. Main thing is to know the law. Really read up on the Sales of Goods Act 1979 and look and read and re-read the above link. It will make sense.

If you want further advice. I recommend calling Citizens Advice or Trading standards. As you do have a case.
Some useful things to consider from that link

"Appeal Court Case law (Bernstein v Palmerston Motors 1987) has held that the supplier must be given three chances to rectify the fault for which the goods are rejected and must have failed to do so. The goods must be returned to the supplier together with all keys and paperwork."
- he has 3 chances to rectify the fault. You must state that you reject the contract and sale of this car.

(Scott and Scott v Blade Motor Company 1997.) And the supplier (in the case of a car the dealer principal of the dealership) must be sent a letter by recorded delivery detailing why the car has been rejected as not "of satisfactory quality".
- Make sure you send your letter via Recorded Delivery. Keep a photocopy of the ltter and the receipt (may need it for court or future letters if he hasn't responded later)

"Case law (Rogers v Parrish 1987) has put a limit of 6 months on the time you can successfully reject a car and obtain a full refund, though lesser refunds, taking account of mileage covered, may be obtained outside that period. The price you pay compared to market value will be taken into account. So if you buy a cheap car on trade terms you cannot reject it under the Act. And if you buy a cheap car (under £2,000) on retail terms from a trader, you cannot reasonably expect it to be perfect."

" The Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, is derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003. This reverses the burden of proof so that if goods go faulty within six months after purchase it is deemed they were faulty at the time of purchase and the trader has the onus of proving that the item is not defective due to a manufacturing defect."

"The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) contains a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices and, in particular prohibitions against misleading actions, misleading omissions and aggressive commercial practices." - pre-existing fault on steering rack is a misleading ommission ... or atleast can be fought at in court or via letter.

"during the first six months:

The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund. In that case, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale. This comes from Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003" - his case maybe that the vehicle had an MOT ...
Just had a look at the Quicks Cars website. Quicks are part of the Pendragon Group which owns Evans Halshaw. Quicks clearly state that all of their cars have a 30 day mechanical warranty as shown below.

30 day mechanical warranty

We know that no matter what measures you take, used cars can be an unpredictable product. Therefore, every car that we sell is covered by a 30 day warranty. If you have a mechanical problem with your car within 30 days of purchase, we will repair the fault or refund the sale price if it’s not possible to repair.

If this is contrary to the sale of goods act then why isn't something been done about national dealerships breaking the law. It's the same as the 2 year warranty on electrical goods as instructed in the EU. Some decent manufacturers such as Samsung state 24 months on their products but most other manufacturers state 12 months which is contrary to EU law, again breaking the law but nobody does anything about it.

Edited by: "Smartguy1" 17th Oct 2014
Smartguy1

I would be most interested if you can advise of current national motor … I would be most interested if you can advise of current national motor dealers who give 6 months warranty on used cars. 30 days to 3 months from dealers in my area iwhich includes evans halshaw and if they still have manufacturers warranty left on them then that is what you get. However on a recent purchase from my local mini / bmw garage on a 2 year old car with no service history, they said any problems in the next year bring it back. Cars have to have full service history in order for the manufacturers warranty to apply.



i said nothing about warranty .read the information above
Edited by: "moob" 18th Oct 2014
Wow! There are a lot of real moaners! What do you expect for the money? Perhaps the op thought this car comes with a lifetime guarantee! Get in the real world! It was £1500 fo a reason!!!!
Smartguy1

I would be most interested if you can advise of current national motor … I would be most interested if you can advise of current national motor dealers who give 6 months warranty on used cars. 30 days to 3 months from dealers in my area iwhich includes evans halshaw and if they still have manufacturers warranty left on them then that is what you get. However on a recent purchase from my local mini / bmw garage on a 2 year old car with no service history, they said any problems in the next year bring it back. Cars have to have full service history in order for the manufacturers warranty to apply.


Their warranty is irrelevant when you look at the relevant law which provides buyer with more protection. That said, it's better to have a warranty from the dealer as arguing your case using the law can be time consuming.
moob

i said nothing about warranty .read the information above



You said 6 months to seek redress which implies he has 6 months to seek compensation for any claim against the vehicle he wants to make. As a motor trading not selling a car for spares or under an auction site there is a requirement for the seller to give a minimum 30 day warranty as offered by most small dealers and surprisingly some large dealerships. If in within the 'warranty' period the car developed a fault then the seller is responsible to put right any mechanical fault. If the fault happened on the 32nd day there is no comeback on the seller unless the buyer can prove the fault was there at the point of sale. With all of these things with cars it is extremely difficult to obtain a refund or exchange or compensation from small dealers and in some cases with large dealers and new cars under warranty. Ref Citroen DS3 shown on watchdog last year, Peugeot 407's bursting into flames, Renault bonnet catches failing etc etc.

A pursuit through the court is also time wasting, can be costly if solicitors are involved and there is still no guarantee that you will get your money if you are successful. The OP would be best to cut their losses and part exchange the car for something else or do what I have done in the past and get a second hand rack with a warranty and get a quote from 3 different garages to fit it.

My other advice is never ever buy a car from a small dealer. I did this two years ago on a 3 year old car. The car was genuine but the dealer was a crook. Ripped us off with our road tax, spare wheel and had the cheek to ask for a further deposit after we had laid £300 deposit. The day we were due to collect and pay for the car I hpi'd it and it had outstanding finance owing. He also said he had done work on the car (mainly checks) and he had not as we found the car had an advisory on it's next mot which he said he had done. The car ran ok but some days it was sluggish, wouldn't pull in third gear, it missed and finally we got rid after 18 months. We bought the same car, Ford Fiesta new shape and this one is fine. A few years ago a local independent gave good advice when looking for a car. They sold cards from £3,995 to £49,995 and he said wouldn't you prefer to buy a car from a dealer who sells cars from £3,995 to £49,995 or from a dealer who sells cars from £295 to £3,995. A good point me thinks

Edited by: "Smartguy1" 18th Oct 2014
Smartguy1

You said 6 months to seek redress which implies he has 6 months to seek … You said 6 months to seek redress which implies he has 6 months to seek compensation for any claim against the vehicle he wants to make. As a motor trading not selling a car for spares or under an auction site there is a requirement for the seller to give a minimum 30 day warranty as offered by most small dealers and surprisingly some large dealerships. If in within the 'warranty' period the car developed a fault then the seller is responsible to put right any mechanical fault. If the fault happened on the 32nd day there is no comeback on the seller unless the buyer can prove the fault was there at the point of sale. With all of these things with cars it is extremely difficult to obtain a refund or exchange or compensation from small dealers and in some cases with large dealers and new cars under warranty. Ref Citroen DS3 shown on watchdog last year, Peugeot 407's bursting into flames, Renault bonnet catches failing etc etc.A pursuit through the court is also time wasting, can be costly if solicitors are involved and there is still no guarantee that you will get your money if you are successful. The OP would be best to cut their losses and part exchange the car for something else or do what I have done in the past and get a second hand rack with a warranty and get a quote from 3 different garages to fit it. My other advice is never ever buy a car from a small dealer. I did this two years ago on a 3 year old car. The car was genuine but the dealer was a crook. Ripped us off with our road tax, spare wheel and had the cheek to ask for a further deposit after we had laid £300 deposit. The day we were due to collect and pay for the car I hpi'd it and it had outstanding finance owing. He also said he had done work on the car (mainly checks) and he had not as we found the car had an advisory on it's next mot which he said he had done. The car ran ok but some days it was sluggish, wouldn't pull in third gear, it missed and finally we got rid after 18 months. We bought the same car, Ford Fiesta new shape and this one is fine. A few years ago a local independent gave good advice when looking for a car. They sold cards from £3,995 to £49,995 and he said wouldn't you prefer to buy a car from a dealer who sells cars from £3,995 to £49,995 or from a dealer who sells cars from £295 to £3,995. A good point me thinks



You are incorrect. The onus on proof on the "32nd day" is still on the dealer. See:

"The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund. In that case, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale."

I have threatened court action to a car salesman before, who tried to wash his hands of my issue, and successfully got my car repaired. The Honest John website lays out all your rights.

@ OP- read the HJ blog, it tells you exactly what to do. Small claims court is very inexpensive, you don't need a solicitor, and often the cases do not go to court, as its either done by correspondence, or the dealer settles before the court date
mikeey84

You are incorrect. The onus on proof on the "32nd day" is still on the … You are incorrect. The onus on proof on the "32nd day" is still on the dealer. See:"The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund. In that case, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale."I have threatened court action to a car salesman before, who tried to wash his hands of my issue, and successfully got my car repaired. The Honest John website lays out all your rights.@ OP- read the HJ blog, it tells you exactly what to do. Small claims court is very inexpensive, you don't need a solicitor, and often the cases do not go to court, as its either done by correspondence, or the dealer settles before the court date



Mikey, congrats at you getting your repair done at no cost to you but are you implying that every second car a dealer sells in effect has a 6 month guarantee / warranty.

quote "The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund."
Smartguy1

Mikey, congrats at you getting your repair done at no cost to you but are … Mikey, congrats at you getting your repair done at no cost to you but are you implying that every second car a dealer sells in effect has a 6 month guarantee / warranty. quote "The consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund."



Yes, and I am not implying it, I am expressly asserting it.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 Part II Section 14, as modified by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, subsequently modified by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994, means that if the consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale.

Now if you buy a car for £500, and it needs a £100 repair, you are unlikely to get anywhere, as you cannot be expected to get a perfectly functioning car for £500. However if you spend £1500, and you need a fairly serious repair, then the retailer/dealer who sold you the car has to at the very least offer you some sort of recompense . Not just ignore you.

Now I am not saying that you will win every battle, indeed the OP may struggle to get anything due to the value of the car, but people really don't understand the rights that they have when they are sold a lemon, and you don't need a solicitor!! Read the Honest John website, he lays out exactly what you can expect to do. If you have any doubt, email him. He tends to answer most questions on his website.

All it normally takes is a couple of mildly threatening letters sent recorded post, with a realistic deadline (usually 4 weeks) to gain a repair or compensation or refund, with an ultimatum of a small claim court case against them. Most dealers faced with that will deal. Those that dont, well the Small Claims process is really quite simple. Plenty of advice out there.
OP did you sort it out then
mikeey84

Yes, and I am not implying it, I am expressly asserting it.The Sale of … Yes, and I am not implying it, I am expressly asserting it.The Sale of Goods Act 1979 Part II Section 14, as modified by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, subsequently modified by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994, means that if the consumer returns the goods in the first six months from the date of sale and requests a repair or replacement or a partial refund, the consumer does not have to prove the goods were faulty at the time of sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for the retailer to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale.Now if you buy a car for £500, and it needs a £100 repair, you are unlikely to get anywhere, as you cannot be expected to get a perfectly functioning car for £500. However if you spend £1500, and you need a fairly serious repair, then the retailer/dealer who sold you the car has to at the very least offer you some sort of recompense . Not just ignore you. Now I am not saying that you will win every battle, indeed the OP may struggle to get anything due to the value of the car, but people really don't understand the rights that they have when they are sold a lemon, and you don't need a solicitor!! Read the Honest John website, he lays out exactly what you can expect to do. If you have any doubt, email him. He tends to answer most questions on his website.All it normally takes is a couple of mildly threatening letters sent recorded post, with a realistic deadline (usually 4 weeks) to gain a repair or compensation or refund, with an ultimatum of a small claim court case against them. Most dealers faced with that will deal. Those that dont, well the Small Claims process is really quite simple. Plenty of advice out there.



Ok, I stand corrected but isn't it a shame that our government who make these laws and trading standards who enforce them don't do anything about dealers who are selling cars not inline with the consumer credit act. Some of these dealers are large national dealerships. The same goes for appliance and electronics manufacturers only giving 12 months warranty on washing machines, tv's etc when it clearly states by the EU that warranty should be 24 months. Last time I looked we were in the EU. I see Samsung give 24 months on most of their products but then why are other manufacturers trying to get away with it. More should be done to make it clearer to seller and consumer and laws enforced to stop companies breaking the law.
Smartguy1

Ok, I stand corrected but isn't it a shame that our government who make … Ok, I stand corrected but isn't it a shame that our government who make these laws and trading standards who enforce them don't do anything about dealers who are selling cars not inline with the consumer credit act. Some of these dealers are large national dealerships. The same goes for appliance and electronics manufacturers only giving 12 months warranty on washing machines, tv's etc when it clearly states by the EU that warranty should be 24 months. Last time I looked we were in the EU. I see Samsung give 24 months on most of their products but then why are other manufacturers trying to get away with it. More should be done to make it clearer to seller and consumer and laws enforced to stop companies breaking the law.

the UK opted out of that EU law
why on earth did you buy the car when you thought the steering was odd when you test drove it?
Surely whatever the BS reason the dealer would give, you should just walk away.
doritos

why on earth did you buy the car when you thought the steering was odd … why on earth did you buy the car when you thought the steering was odd when you test drove it?Surely whatever the BS reason the dealer would give, you should just walk away.



That's a good point. I have walked away from a few cars because here was something wrong. Worst was a Laguna which had numerous issues. Shame as the car was mint. Same dealer had a Mondeo which I took out and drove it 50 yards and took it back as it pulled violently to the left. On both cars the dealer said he would fix the problems but I walked away. If I sell a car privately it would be as I would want to buy it and dealers should do the same.
Edited by: "Smartguy1" 25th Oct 2014
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