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Hi. I recently sold a car privately for £400. The following day apparently the buyer had all sorts of problems with the vehicle.

 

Here is what happened:

 

I described the vehicle as very reliable, based on how I had found the car until that point. I had no problems with water leaking, and there was certainly no signs of a leak at the time of sale.

 

1. They bought the car on a Sunday after having two test drives and examining the vehicle twice.

2. Sunday night the car had 'water pouring from it'

3. Monday morning the car broke down and needed towing.

4. The garage that looked at the car (AA towed to garage) replaced Radiator, hose, and starter motor.

 

Woman now says I must pay her £200 within 10 days or she will take be to a small claims court for full value of the car plus repairs.

 

Where do I stand?

 

As I said - I have had no issues with the car at all. It was an oldish car, P Reg, 180000 miles but it was in use daily with no problems. No signs of a failing starter motor and certainly no signs of a water leak. We repaired the car as needed and had only just replaced two exhaust sections (£150). Receipt was given with sold as seen written on it.

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Hi, you will appreciate my first question;

 

When you say you sold it 'privately', do you mean that you sold it as a private individual and not in connection in any way with being a dealer/trader ect. In other words, i'm asking if you sell cars on a regular basis 'privately' or otherwise.

 

In any event, did she contact you and give you the opportunity to discuss/rectify the problems before having it repaired?

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

 

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Hi, I sold it as a private individual. First car I have ever sold!

 

On the Monday morning when she reported the problems to me, I said to her that I have a friend who is a mechanic and I could get him to take a look. At this point she said, 'that's no good' it is at the garage now. I was a bit suspicious because we have had no problems with the running of the car, and it was being used daily.

 

Later that day I had a text from her suggesting I give her £100 back because of the cost of repairs. I explained that I sympathised with her situation but was unable to refund any of the money.

 

The next day I had some abusive texts from her saying I had ripped her off and she didn't know how I slept at night. She also said the repairs were now £520 and she will be speaking to trading standards.

 

I heard nothing for three weeks and then received a letter from her yesterday demanding £200 within 10 days.

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If it was a private sale then it's a case of caveat emptor (buyer beware).

 

If the car had not given you any problems beforehand then and you were honest about its description then she has no argument.

 

A car costing £400 would never be mint condition, and it is reasonable to expect that it would have a number of faults.

 

The buyer was given the opportunity to inspect the car and could have arranged someone knowledgeable to carry on out (AA, RAC, Mechanic friend).

 

The buyer is trying it on, and is very unlikely to take you to Court, let alone win if she did.

 

Trading standards will not be interested if you are a private seller.

 

Mossy

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What everyone else has said.... as a private seller, IF you had no prior knowledge of the faults she has subsequently complained about, unless you gave her any implied warranty with the vehicle to force to yo compensate her, the cost is hers and hers alone.

 

She may actually arrange for the matter to be heard in the Small Claims Court, but even then there is nothing to worry about. When the Jusge dismisses her claim, remember to ask for your (capped) expenses in defending the action - day off work, travel costs etc.

 

Similarly, points 2 and 3 - are they related? Driving a vehicle without replacing the water would lead to the radiator requiring replacement, so it could easily be a contributory factor in her tail of woe.

 

Finally, you DID get her to sign the V5C and post it off the the DVLA? YOu don;t want any issues with still being the RK or catching any issues by not completing the paperwork correctly.

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In addition to what the others have said, the fact that she chose to have the work done without giving you an opportunity to at least take a look at it leaves her without a leg to stand on legally anyway. Let her go to trading standards so they can tell her. In fact, even if you were a trader, this would apply also. For all you know, she may of hit something to cause damage to the radiator ect. It would be interesting to find out which garage it went to so you could ask them if there was any such damage. :cool:

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

 

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Hi,

 

Yes she filled in the Registration document and I have had a confirmation letter from DVLA of the change.

 

She is making an issue of the fact I advertised the car as 'Very Reliable'. This was a statement of opinion and the car had always been very reliable all the time we were using it (and still were up until the sale, with no problems).

 

When she first told me about the water pouring out of the car, I told her that the only problems with the cooling system that we have ever had was back in 2007 when there was a small leak. This was rectified with a bottle of Rad Weld and has been fine ever since. She seems to think that Rad Weld was only ever a temporary repair and I should have replaced the radiator. I have contacted the makers of Rad Weld and they consider their product to be a permanent solution.

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Don't see a problem here. Clearly as it hadn't let YOU down, the statement was accurate (and not a prediction of future longevity). Similarly, Radweld is permanent unless the internal degradation renders the hole impossible to fix....

 

Whilst I feel sorry for her plight, for all you knew she drove like a maniac once she got the keys. and whilst sympathetic to her plight, you have no responsibility for it.

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Also anyone buying a car with 180,000 miles on the clock, must expect problems sooner or later.

You say she inspected it twice before paying. She hasn't a proverbial leg to stand on.

When she next communicates with you say you will not discuss this any further, and if she thinks she has a case to go ahead with a small claims court.

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Agree with the others, up to a point. As a private seller, the only recourse she would have was if the car was not "as described". It could be argued that "very reliable" is really a term you should NEVER use in the case of an older car with high mileage. Much safer to say something "never had any problems with it, apart from

    ", so there can be no confusion.

     

    On the other hand, the fact she didn't give you a chance to remedy and went ahead without you being able to inspect the car or have it inspected (or repaired) means that she in turn jumped the gun and would have difficulties explaining that to a judge. She would also have to substantiate the exact amount she spent on getting the car fixed, not just throw amounts in the air and hope one of them sticks.

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Call her bluff.

 

You may have been a sensible driver, she may be a boy racer or let someone who is drive it. Theres no way of knowing what happened to that car after it left you.

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The leg for a buyer to stand on with any contract of sale is the Sale of Goods Act.

 

Where when and how was the vehicle described as reliable?

 

8-)

 

If you read the OP's original post, it may give you a clue.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

 

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The leg for a buyer to stand on with any contract of sale is the Sale of Goods Act.

 

Where when and how was the vehicle described as reliable?

 

8-)

 

The car was advertised on the notice board at work. Along with the details of the car (age, mileage etc) there was a line that said "Very Reliable". I put very reliable as that is how I found the car. It was a statement of opinion based on my experience with it.

 

At no time did I say 'this car WILL be very reliable'.

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I would just write back, sending it recorded delivery, stating that as she test drove the vehicle twice, examined the vehicle twice (and state dates), and turned down your offer for you to get your own mechanic to examine it (state date and time of off), and went ahead with work without even consulting you, then you are unable to offer any refund.

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The Sale of Goods Act "applies to contracts of sale of goods made on or after (but not to those made before) 1 January 1894."

 

The peculiar notion that it only applies to "retail" or a "business" is ignorant baloney.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Where there is a contract for the sale of goods by description there is thus an implied term that the goods will correspond with the description (SOGA s.13).

 

It is unusual for a case to get as far an actual hearing, albeit that a buyer threatens to litigate, but if it does go so far the issue is treated as a matter of fact. It is beside the point whether or not a seller intended to deceive, nor are cases thrown out because a seller claims to be "private".

 

I have heard of hundreds of instances where that was tried but never yet a case where the seller got off because of nothing but that. If commentators with nothing of their own to risk would rather have you believe that this is possible, ask them when and where it happened.

 

Instead of digging the heels in I would be trying to see it from the buyer's point of view.

 

:eek:

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Instead of digging the heels in I would be trying to see it from the buyer's point of view.

 

:eek:

 

I'm looking at it from the buyers point of view and note that she inspected the car twice, test drove it twice and then agreed to pay £400 for a P reg car with 180000 miles on the clock. The car was sold as seen.

 

The car develops faults after the sale has been completed, and was supplied with no warranty or guarantee.

 

The buyer has no comeback against the seller.

 

I found the following on WhatConsumer (who seem to confirm that SOGA does NOT apply to private sellers)..........

 

Firstly, remember that the statutory entitlement of quality and fitness for purpose only applies when buying from someone who is ‘acting in the course of a business’ i.e a second-hand car dealer. You do not have any legal recourse as regards quality where you are buying through an individual who is selling an item as a one-off private sale (although they must have legal title and it must be as described in the advert).

 

Secondly, when buying second hand, there is a general recognition in law that the reduced price you pay reflects the risk in taking ownership of something with a greater likelihood of developing faults or breaking down completely. You pay less because it is recognised you will have to pay the repair costs yourself rather than relying on the manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Mossy

Edited by Mossycat
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Perplexity is on fine form - obfuscating the real issues as a preference for taking a contrary position. Whilst you may feel it useful to throw up a sandstorm of regulations that somehow prove your (selective) points, the issue of 'private' and ;retail' is addressed in s14.

 

The private seller has not warranted the goods, and caveat emptor applies. As Mossycat notes, there has been ample inspection and the problems arose after the sale was completed. Following your warped logic, everyone would be liable for misuse - no doubt accidental damage too - and should compensate the buyer accordingly.

 

I haven't stopped laughing.

 

Funny you think few cases to make it to a hearing. I've witnessed three - SOGA was dismissed by the judge as irrelevant in those cases (each private sellers). Only 1 case succeeded, and this was a genuine vehicle retailer, the purchaser won - BUT, the dealer was only made to rectify the malfunction and warrant it for a period of 30 days. Not what the pursuer was wanting - a full refund.

 

Tels talk about realities... not hypothetical misinterpretations.

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Section 13 of the Sale of Goods Act applies.

 

If you knew of a statutory definition, an exemption or a precedent to another effect you'd be citing the details of that instead of the ad hominem and the hearsay, but you don't so you don't.

 

This is likley to be counter productive if you try it on a judge:

 

Receipt was given with sold as seen written on it.

 

When a receipt is given the contract of a sale is already concluded, and you can't reinvent your terms of sale after the event.

 

Sections 34 & 35 of the Act could also apply, because the fault came to light immediately. Rules about giving the seller the chance to repair or replace are beside the point if a buyer is deemed to have refused to accepted the goods to start with. There is then a case to be made over that because work was done, which is arguably an "act in relation to them which is inconsistent with the ownership of the seller."

 

However, a seller who is fooled into believing that the SOGA does not apply at all could be in for a very rude awakening.

 

Section 210 of the Enterprise Act defines the course of a business, according to which a business includes—

 

© any undertaking in the course of which goods or services are supplied otherwise than free of charge.
(2) of the relevant EU Directive 99/44/EC also specifically provides

whereas free movement of goods concerns not only transactions by persons acting in the course of a business but also transactions by private individuals;

:cool:
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You don't have the middle name of 'Canute' do you?

 

Following your latest comment - you are pushing hard to make ANY transaction be one where it is a business transaction. Fat chance!

 

The rude awakening won;t happen, but do update the thread if you have any evidence to prove your assertion. Until then - please continue to fill the thread with inappropriate irrelevancies, as I'm interested to see which will run out of steam first. Your implausible positions, or the Icelandic volcano.

 

My money is on the latter.

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Oh dear lord, here we go again, one upmanship based on lack of knowledge and misinterpretation. *sigh*

 

1 - SOGA DOES apply to private transactions and second-hand goods. BUT protection is much more limited, as in the goods only have to be "as described". Satisfactory quality and fitness for purpose are not covered.

 

2 - "caveat emptor" is irrelevant in the case of "not as described", where the description relates to something that may not be detectable.

 

3 - Saying that OP is completely safe from a comeback is patently absurd and spurious. He can convince himself that "very reliable" was merely his opinion based on his prior knowledge and somehow "doesn't count", but since he used it in the description, it became part of the statement that would lead the purchaser to buy it, and can not be discarded so easily.

 

4 - Should the buyer decide to take the matter further, I would strongly recommend that OP concentrate his defence on the fact buyer didn't give him a chance to redress, refused to let him inspect the vehicle and instead went straight ahead with repairs, thereby not giving him a chance to see what had caused the fault, for example, buyer mishandling the vehicle etc... IMO, that is the element that would tip an undecisive judge in his favour. ;-)

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Nobody asserted that any transaction is a business transaction.

 

The statutory law that I cite is Crown copyright, not a position of mine. I was not the author of the law, nor do I pretend to represent the European Commission.

 

:roll:

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Perplexity have a read of this

 

Sale of Goods Act | Consumer Information

 

Follow all of the links and NOT ONE of them confirms your understanding that a private sale (ie where the seller is not a business) is covered by the SOGA. It also confirms that in situations like the one the OP has described it is a matter of 'buyer beware'

 

The OP has done nothing wrong and has no obligation to refund the seller anything at all

 

Mossy

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