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My husband bought a van on Friday from a trade place. Within 5 miles the van broke down, he got the engine started and drove another couple of miles then broke down again. At this point he called the company he bought it from but was told it was 6 o'clock and they were closing for the day he would need to call again in the morning.


4 hours later he got home towed by the RAC. They diagnosed the head gasket had gone. Saturday we drove to the garage in our car thinking a face to face conversation would be better than over the phone. When the manager got there we was told that they weren't going to do anything and that all vehicles are sold as seen, there is a piece of paper on each vehicle that states they are sold as seen and that they do not test the vehicles are road safe.


My husband advised them that there was nothing in the van that mentioned this and at no point did the salesman tell him this. However, after he bought the van the salesman asked him to sign for the purchase, sign to say he was part exchanging his van and then sign another piece of paper. He just signed them all without even looking at them but one of the items he signed stated that the vehicle was sold as seen and that it had not been tested by the garage to check if it was roadworthy.


Does this now mean that he has no rights at all and we need to repair the van ourselves? The garage have said that the sale of goods act does not apply to their company.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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It will depend on him either buying the van as a consumer or as a business.


If you bought it as a consumer, send a letter by recorded rejecting the van and give the address where it can be picked up.

If it was bought in a business name, then you can still reject as breach of contract.


How did you pay for the van ?


As far as a consumer is concerned, there is no such thing as 'sold as seen' and it a civil offence to try and reduce your statutory rights.

Edited by Conniff
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Thanks for the information.


It was bought under my husband's gardening business as the company say they only sell to trade. He paid cash for the van.


Are the rights different for buying as a business?

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Sounds like this 'company' needs educating! SOGA applies to every sale made by a business. Not sure it matters too much if your husband bought it for business use but as Conniff says, any term (such as sold as seen) which reduces a consumer's statutory rights is unlawful. It matters not what you signed either.


You should formally write to the company to report the fault and ask them when they would like to inspect the vehicle and rectify the problem. Should they refuse or choose to ignore your letter after giving 7 days to reply, I would formally reject the van under the SOGA as not been fit for the purpose.


Send letters by recorded delivery and let us know what develops.

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 face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.


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

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Ok, you need to start at the beginning. Where did you see it advertised and how was it advertised?


What was written on any paper you signed?


A business to business sale can contract you out of the Sale of Goods Act and it's rare to be able to reject goods for a full refund, you can, however, claim damages so get an accurate quote for replacing the cylinder head gasket and makes sure it includes all ancillary work like skimming etc.

Edited by Conniff
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Ok, from the beginning. The van was advertised on the businesses website. My husband had used the company in the past so thought they were reliable. He called to confirm the van was still available and went over to look at it.


He did all the usual checks with the salesman on the van etc and they offered him money for his old van to part exchange and bring the price of the van he wanted down. He agreed and was taken into the sales office where they filled what they call a Vehicle order form. This states the vehicle he was buying's details. It has Business to Business written on it and says no warranty implied or given. It has husband's company name as the buyer the price of the vehicle minus the Part ex and the balance due. The bottom of the document states, "This document contains the terms of a contract. Sign only if you wish to be legally bound by them. Nothing herein contained is intended to, nor will it affect, a consumer's statutory rights under the sale of goods act 1979 or the unfair contract terms 1977 or any amendment thereof." He signed this document.


He then paid for the van, got the tax and was given the keys. He was ready to leave and then the salesman said he needed to sign something else before leaving. So he just signed it.


The first part just have the vehicle spec then states.

This vehicle is being offered bu our vehicle disposal centre called **** called and trading as ***. This is a bargain-to-clear, usually, but not always, an unwanted part exchange that we simply wish to clear because it does not fir the age and mileage conditions of our prestige van site. It is only for sale to a business user and it sold as seen with no warranty implied or given. We ask that you make your own business decision as to it's suitability for your purpose. We have not inspected the vehicle in our workshop and would recommend that you make your own arrangements to ensure it's roadworthy before you buy or drive it on a public highway. We sell all Trade Centre vehicles for you to rectify as necessary. It has age related wear in the engine, gearbox, drive-train and ancillaries. These used vans are only covered by warranty if an option pack is purchased - see below. We cannot arrange finance or deliver the van and the vehicle muse be removed from site within 48 hours or purchase to make way for new stock. If the mileage is listed as 0 then the mileage is either known to have a discrepancy or we have failed to be able to verify it.

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Ok, the word to keep in your mind is 'Reasonable'.


It matters not about what the contract says and how they are trying to dump crap onto customers and cover themselves so there is no comeback, is the contract 'Reasonable' ?


I would say definitely not and would not hold up in court.


Get a quote as I mentioned earlier and send him a copy and ask if he is going to reimburse you for the cost of the repairs. His response will dictate what action you take next.


Don't forget that word, 'reasonable', you will need it after you receive a reply.

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