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Want refund from cut and shut car seller!


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Hi there everone,


I'm really hopeful that someone can help me...i'll try to keep it short!


Basically 4 weeks ago my other half bought a car for £4800 via Autotrader from a TRADE seller, she spoke to the trader on the phone about the purchase and the trader agreed to deliver the car from Essex to Nottingham, she paid for the car via bank transfer. Seems silly I know but she never viewed the car before purchase so there was never any contact in person, meaning we have no address, just a mobile number which now goes directly to voicemail everytime you call it. There were several pictures of the car on the Autotrader website and it looked really good, it does look fine however, on closer inspection this car has been VERY dangerously cut and shut. It's unusable, "unless you wanted to kill yourself and potentially anyone else around"!

So we contacted Autotrader for their address so we could get a refund and they won't give it out because of data protection. Anyway we wrote them a letter for Autotrader to pass on to them, which they say they have, guess what...no reply!!! Don't know what to do from here! Consumer direct say small claims court, but how can you take someone to court when you don't even have an address for them?! AND why should we have to pay to enforce our basic consumer rights? It seems ridiculous to me that there is nothing Autotrader should be doing about this!


I would be grateful for any help on this.


Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for the advice. I agree with both of you regarding the police but if we do that then we can kiss goodbye to the car and refund of money. The police aren't going to be interested in any dispute about money. They will just want the car out of circulation.

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A Magistrate may award a compensation to a victim but I would not expect so much by way of sympathy with regard to the recklessness of paying by bank transfer before examining the object, nor for the willingness to accept the delivery of a dangerous vehicle. As a matter of common sense, the proper inference of "dangerous" is that the thing is unfit to drive, unfit to own.


Were you to sue the trader, a judge would probably reserve his judgement pending the result of a criminal investigation in any case.



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Report the trader to the police by contacting the Roads Policing Team of your local force. Have copies/printouts of everything available for the police, including the advert, correspondence with AutoTrader, the seller's bank details and the V5.


Make clear to the police that if a conviction results you want the CPS to include a request to the court for the seller to repay the selling price. I did this when some creature broke into my car; on conviction he was ordered to pay me for everything he stole and compensation on top. He paid up, too.

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Do you have it in black and white from a professional that it

has been VERY dangerously cut and shut. It's unusable, "unless you wanted to kill yourself and potentially anyone else around"!

or is that your own conclusion?


Have you put his mobile number into Google to see if anything comes up?

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