First time poster here desperate for some advice after google has proved fruitless. This is a long ongoing story so please forgive the length and thank you in advance if you manage to read everything.
I bought my first car 28/06/2018 from a car dealership in Hounslow, ATM Motor Trade. I found the car on Auto Trader, the dealer had good reviews and it was a good deal for the car that I wanted. The drive from my house was around 90 minutes each way but I was confident I was going to love the car.
The saleswoman seemed knowledgable and friendly and I bought the car that day. I paid by bank transfer (stupid looking back) and drove the car home.
Already on the drive home there were some minor problems with the car not wanting to change into third gear which I put down to my inexperience in driving it and figured I would learn to do it properly. I was also trying to be eternally optimistic and hoping the car was fine despite my instincts now starting to say otherwise.
I got into the car the next day and the check engine light was on. This concerned me enough to get the bus to work but I also called the dealer to explain that the engine light was on. They said it was just an issue with the emissions on the vehicle, there’s nothing to worry about and it’s safe to drive. I asked for this to be put in writing for me - already losing my trust and sensing the worst - but that was declined.
Having lost all faith in the dealer, I decided to take the car to a trusted mechanic for an assessment. He plugged in the diagnostics computer and also did a thorough check of the vehicle. The number of faults that came up on the computer was higher than 20 and that’s without the physical issues that were found: holes in air pipes, badly worn brake discs, a puncture, even the battery wasn’t attached properly.
I took photographs of all of the evidence on the diagnostics computer and areas of the car where the faults could be seen and then the mechanic and I decided it would be best to wipe the faults from the cars internal computer to see if they would recur.
I emailed the dealer that day with the evidence I had and told them I would be returning the car for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act. Initially they tried to offer a repair or a replacement instead but as you can imagine I had no faith in them at this point.
Eventually they agreed I would return the car to them. I did so on 08/07/2018. I had driven the car a total of three times - two of those being home from the dealer and back again. The saleswoman was the same person who sold me the car and after much resisting sent me a text message to say that I had returned the car and could expect a refund in 14 days.
After the 14 days were up I received an email claiming that there were no faults with the car, they claimed they had driven it everyday with no issue and it was “functioning” and therefore they would not be offering me a refund. They also would not return the car to me but only offered a replacement vehicle. I declined this offer and stated once again I wanted my money back.
I have not heard from the company themselves since this date. I ended up escalating the issue to MCOL. The dealer did not respond to the service of the claim, a judgment was made against them and then I finally sent a county court enforcement officer to collect on my behalf.
In the meantime the company (a limited company) changed their trading as name therefore rendering my paperwork and claim invalid as the company “no longer existed”. I did not know when I made the initial claim that they were a LTD company trading under a different name. Initially the name was ATM Motor Trade which they changed to Quality Motor Trade Centre (the irony!).
I made a request to the court to change the company name on my paperwork and reserve the papers. I have since discovered they have now opened up a whole new business and are trading under this name instead!
I am now at a loss for what to do. They currently owe me £2500 which I borrowed in a loan from my bank. I can not afford another car as I’m repaying the initial loan and I’ve been forced to revert to public transport (which is horrendous in my area). It seems they will do anything in their power to avoid paying and are obviously skilled at avoiding the courts.
Any help would be much appreciated. I once again apologise for the length of this and thank you for reading.