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Used car problems - what are my rights?

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Hi all,


Am sure this question has been asked a hundred times but any advice would be greatly appreciated on my individual problem.


I bought a second hand 02 reg Peugeot 206 5 weeks ago from a dealer who knocked £300 off the asking price and then mentioned the 3 mth warranty only now covered engine and gearbox. It had a new MOT done the day I bought it. Since then I've discovered there is a fault with the indicators where the headlights come on as I'm indicating (a common Peugeot fault - new comm2000 unit needed at £155), the brake light is out (bulb is fine but lot of rust on connections) and 2 days ago the clutch release bearings broke (£250 to fit new clutch).


I spoke to the dealer today to enquire as to how the car passed it's MOT with these failings (particularly brake light and indicator problem) and he said the car was fine when purchased and it was just "bad luck". The clutch he said was general wear and tear and another case of "bad luck" and not covered by the warranty.


I just wondered if there was any angle I could approach to the dealer of my rights under the sale of goods act when buying second hand cars? I've had the car for only 5 weeks and this seems a lot of "bad luck" to me!


Thanks in advance for any help given.

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Yep, any problems with a car during the first six months after purchase are deemed to have been present at time of sale.

Any faults during the first six month it is up to the dealer to 'prove' they weren't there at time of same and not you to prove they were.


Sale and supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations 2002 - Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)


The warranty has no meaning at all and does not take away or reduce your consumer rights.

Edited by Conniff
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Thanks Conniff. That's promising. But from his point of view, does the fact that he rushed it through MOT on the day I bought it provide him with the proof that the car was fine on purchase? I think I know why he was very keen to make sure he got the MOT done that day! (with obvious good contacts he has at the garage) To me there is no way the indicator problem and brake light happened since purchase - the brake light particularly is not a case of a faulty bulb, it's the rust inside the unit on the connectors where there must be a leak that is the issue, and an obvious ongoing one.


Just worried that the MOT cert covers his back entirely.


Thanks a lot for your advice, it's much appreciated.

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I have certs going back to 2005. There are 2 advisory certs attached to 07 and 08 years. The car was originally £2,800 but he took off £300 (he is a friend of my brother in law) and because of the reduced price he said warranty now only covered engine and gearbox for 3 mths.

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Ok, go here - http://motinfo.direct.gov.uk/internet/jsp/ECHID-Internet-History-Request.jsp - and check the MoT just done and last years as well.


The warranty is just an extra and nothing else. It in no way takes away any consumer protection you have. No, the fact that the MoT was on the day of sale does not take away that protection either.


Have you contacted him at all with any problems?


There is no such thing as a 'friend' in the car sales business.


Oops nearly forgot - who is the warranty with, a company or is it his own and have you anything in writing?

Edited by Conniff
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OK, just checked the MoT just done and last years.

Last years was done Sept 17th 2009 and passed with advisory note of offside front tyre worn to legal limit

This years first attempt was done 7th July 2010 and failed due to "offside rear stop lamp not working" and "due to car overheating emissions not tested"

Retest was done 9th July 2010 and passed with no advisory notes but he hasnt included the failed cert from this year in the docs he gave me so surely brake lamp was still a prob?! And is it legal requirement for him to have included failed cert with sale of the car? I would have seen then that one of the reasons for failure was brake lamp.


I contacted him yesterday morning to discuss all the issues I've had. He stated that the car had passed it's MoT and there were no problems on day of purchase so simply a case of bad luck for the indicators to have their problem as well as the brake light not to be working. The clutch release bearings which went on Sat morning is another case of bad luck and nothing to do with an ongoing problem with the car. I have purchased a new comm2000 unit to replace the dud one in the car to fix the indicator/headlight problem at £155 and a new clutch is £250 which is being fixed today. Should I not have purchased these items prior to trying to resolve with the dealer first?


I believe the warranty to be his own but have nothing in writing - a major error on my part I guess.


Thanks again for your swift responses Conniff. All friends in the car sales business seem to be on this forum!

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No you shouldn't have paid for repairs, it is his responsibility and if he thinks he has found a way around the consumer regulations by Mot on the day of sale, he is deluding himself.

The fact that it had failed in the past shows that there is an ongoing problem with the tail light.


As he has denied any liability, and refused you any repairs, then you must send him a copy of the bill. Ask the repairing garage to itemise the bill showing all parts and labour and not just 'repairs £500'. You will send this copy by recorded delivery. We will come to that when the repairs are complete.


He hasn't given anything in writing about the warranty, so that means he cannot now limit it.


What worries more than anything in your last post is the overheating. It was repaired in a day, so

Have you checked the water, is it nice and clean with anti-freeze?

Are there any signs of repair ie new radiator or hoses?

Is the radiator cap sitting tightly on it's seating?

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I'll get the itemised bill from the garage today for repairs on the clutch. The comm2000 unit was purchased from a supplier over the internet so should come with a billing note.


Yes I obviously had no knowledge of the overheating issue without the failed MoT cert until you sent me the link to check. The car is currently at the garage where repairs have started on the clutch which should be completed by this afternoon. I'll have to check for answers to your questions when I pick it up.


I'll report back when I collect the car. Thanks again.

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I am worried that there could be a head gasket problem or radiator leak and they have used a 'radweld' sealing agent which can last a good few months.

Send off the copy bill as suggested, but make this overheating a number one priority.

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Hi Conniff,


I have had the overheating issue checked out and am advised there is no problem and no use of radweld. The radiator, thermostat and head gasket are all in good order and no quick fix has been detected to enable the car to pass it's MoT 2 days after it initially failed. The clutch has now been repaired and the car is running fine. I have an itemised bill for the clutch and the new comm2000 unit I had to buy. So the first step is to send a copy of both bills to the dealer by recorded delivery and see how he responds?

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Hi everyone!


May have a problem here me thinks. Have you got any proof that the seller has refused to investigate/carry out any repairs? The seller is entitled to have the opportunity to do so. The seller can of course agree to allow the repairs to be carried out elsewhere but in anyevent, if the OP has had the repairs done without going through the above (as conniff will confirm), you give the seller the opportunity to dispute costs ect.


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 reputation button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.


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