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bought car which turns out to be unroadworthy


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I hope I am going to make sense here.


I bought a vehicle yesterday from a CAR SALES place in somerset.


It is a Citroen Xsara Picasso Desire .


I had paid a deposit on the 12.12.2013 of £100.


I had a friend test drive the vehicle just prior to deposit.

He thought that it would be a good buy and that it needed the tracking doing immediately and then the advisories later.


I went yesterday to take my peugoet to my friend who was buying my car off me.

He then drove me to the Carsales.

I paid the rest of the money plus the Tax which car sales person had purchased prior that morning.


Mr car sales wanted my signature on the invoice,

however he was reluctant to sign my copy.

I insisted that he sign the invoice.


He did not, at any point, tell me that the vehicle was actually dangerous!

Infact in the ad on ebay he quotes that it drives well!


I understood from him that it was mainly cheap because it had battle scars

and would need the advisories done before the next MOT.


The drive home had so freaked me out that I took it to the local garage after having had the tracking done beforehand.


Please see below report from local garage and main block of sales info on the Citroen below that the car sales person had in his ad.


My husband rang him (car sales person) today and asked him on his thoughts on this as the vehicle was not roadworthy.

He (car sales man) said that I had had an expert round to check it over

and that this man had been satisfied with it and that it was out of his hands.


He took no responibility for it.

This was a lie.

It was a friend who took it for a test drive and he only drove it and did not inspect it.


The garage man I took it too has said that the vehicle is unroadworth and should not be moved.

He also said that in 40 years he has never driven a car that had scared him as much as this one.

He said a lot more but I won't put it in here.


Garage report


We were asked to look at the Citroen Picasso for xx as she felt that there was something seriously wrong with the steering.

xx also presented the existing MOT document with the advisories as follows:


001 Front (both) Anti roll bar linkage has slight play in a ball joint

002 Off side front lower suspension arm has light play in a ball joint.

003 Nearside track rod end ball joint has slight play.

004 Front brake disc worn pitted or scored but not seriously weakened


She asked us to look at these items whilst we investigated the steering fault before repairing it as requested.


After a short test drive, during which it was obvious there was something wrong with the steering we put the car on a lift to investigate.


During a visual check we found the following faults


Front brake discs excessively corroded and excessively worn

Front brake pads worn


OSF Anti Roll Bar link, top mount unattached (nut missing) and dust covers split.

OSF Bottom Arm Rear Bush has excessive movement.

OSF Hub worn where the bottom ball joint locates resulting in excessive movement (we removed the pinch bolt

and dropped the ball joint out of the arm to investigate this as the movement appeared to be in the

pinch joint not in the ball joint itself.)

OSF TRE Dust cover split

OSF Hub shows signs of mis-treatment


NFS Bottom Arm Ball Joint has excessive movement

NSF driveshaft oil seal leaking

NSF Anti roll bar link dust cover split


Engine Fault, uneven running particularly when cold like a misfire


Front bumper loose

OSF Seat cushion worn

Auxiliary Belt beginning to perish

Various body damage

Spare wheel & carrier loose

Rear tyres worn to approx 3mm

Front tyres worn to approx 4mm


These points have all been found as a result of a basic visual check with exception of dropping the OSF

bottom arm to investigate the play here. There may be other faults evident on further inspection.




This is the information that car sales put up for selling the car on ebay.

I have saved the webpage and printed it out.

Clearly states Drives well.

It was being sold as a road worthy vehicle.

It does not say anywhere that it was for spares or repairs,

or that it was dangerous to drive.


This is the main piece:





Mot May 2014

only 89k

Some Service History

Some Battle Scars see pictures

Drives Well


INSPECTION WELCOME Contact me on 0794 """" NO EMAILS """"


Address :





I have left him a verbal message on his mobile which I have also put into an email and letter which I haven't as yet sent. Any extra advice on it would be appreciated. It goes:


Dear Mr car sales person,


I regret to inform you that the vehicle that you sold me yesterday, that you quoted had

Some Service History

Some Battle Scars see pictures

Drives Well!

Is unroadworthy. It does not drive well at all


It is very clear that this vehicle does not come up to the description that you gave.


Not only this, but the vehicle is actually dangerous.

This has been verified by the garage I took it too in Glastonbury.

They have advised me that it should not be driven

and that I would be committing an offence if I drove it on the road.


I have received advice from Trading Standards, who have informed me that I have three options with regards to this sale of goods.


Of these options I am requesting full refund of money and expenses incurred by me by the incorrect information of a driveable vehicle.

It is not in a satisfactory condition and is not good for the purpose for which it was bought.


I have drawn up an invoice for payment from you which includes expenses such as the £20 fuel, £30 tracking, £55 inspection fee from the garage I took it to.

Then there is the £877 that I paid for the actual vehicle (£77 of that is veh tax). This brings the total to £982.

The vehicle is being held currently at XXXXX garage, in glastonbury, for you to pick up upon the payment of the above sum of money.

However I must advise you that you will need a trailer as this vehicle is not roadworthy.


If you do not comply and refund the money as requested, further action will be taken. In short, I do not accept this vehicle in the dangerous condition in which it is.


This email will also be sent as a letter by registered mail.


Yours faithfully


later edit after first few posts.....-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi everyone,

Thank you for your help.

Citizens advice have helped me.

Unfortunately this forum wasn't of much help.

For those of us on a small budget.

Cheap secondhand cars are the only option.

All I ask is that they are honest and not send me out on the roads in a highly dangerous vehicle.

I am not a mechanic, and I took it straight to a local garage for checking.

Also something that I did not say was how the man was actually quite nasty after I had paid the cash.

I did not feel confident to go back to the car sales as I was afraid.


Also, the car was not altered. It was only inspected.

If I had had the brakes done or some such to change the vehicle, then that would have been a different matter.

This was also clarified by the Citizens Advice.


Best wishes for all those who do try to help.

Edited by ims21
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I notice you miss out the age of the car. We also need to know if it was an auction sale (ebay).


Trading standards are wrong (if you spoke to them), you are not entitled to compensation and you may need to return the vehicle.


Also the MINUTE your mechanic removed that ball joint your warranty (if any) flew straight out the window.


Come on it was an £800 banger with less than 4 months MOT. What did you think you were buying.

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The vehicle was unfit for purpose.


I have spoken to the consumer part of trading standards (and I have the Ref no :) ).


All that they said I tried to remember.


Incidently my last vehicle was a banger and it did me 3 years,


I bought it from a used car sales place that were very helpful.


Everytime I had a problem with it i would take it round and they would help me with it.


I paid for each repair they made.

It was not dangerous.


The vehicle is 2005. I

was advised by the garage not to move the vehicle as it is very dangerous.

It should not have been on the road at all.


At time of deposit it was nearly 6 months MOT.

I went to the car sales place.

It was a classified ad on ebay.

not an auction.

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Well they should of also said that you cannot do anything to the vehicle if you want to reject it. The minute your garage removed that bottom pin they invalidated any warranty.


Also the majority of what you quote are just wear and tear & are there in black and white as advisories on the MOT 6 months earlier.

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Attention Ed gasket. I am not a mechanic. So how am I to inpect it properly pray? Very helpful indeed. Thank you. Garage did that.

attention Popyethesailortam

You said: Trading standards are wrong (if you spoke to them)(Very helpful Popye, did you doubt that, perhaps didn't take into account a woman who had just been scared out of her wits, nor having any compassion for that), you are not entitled to compensation. It was a refund I asked for, not compensation. You should read the article before you comment. Very helpful once again.

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Attention Ed gasket.

I am not a mechanic.

So how am I to inpect it properly pray?

Very helpful indeed. Thank you.

Garage did that.

attention Popyethesailortam


You said: Trading standards are wrong (if you spoke to them)(Very helpful Popye, did you doubt that, perhaps didn't take into account a woman who had just been scared out of her wits, nor having any compassion for that),


you are not entitled to compensation. It was a refund I asked for, not compensation. You should read the article before you comment. Very helpful once again.


Actually yes you did ask for compensation,

along with the list of faults,

the garage report in your initial post.


The wording of the original advert.


You have now edited that post to try and not look foolish.


Ed gasket, Todays consumers seem to think that they shouldn't be responsible for themselves. It is always somebody elses fault when they have made a mistake.

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Actually no Popeye, I asked for reimbursement of costs that I had given out, which would not have been if i could have used the vehicle. Seems I must have touched a sore point. Are you a used car sales man then? I have taken it off because of the very helpful comments that you and Ed made. You are directly the sort of people who don't help. Don't actually no why you are on the forum unless it is to harass those who are vunerable. Get your enjoyment of having a pop at them. Well I answer back.

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Hi indigovivien


I note in your 1st post that you state "Unfortunately this forum wasn't of much help", could you please clarify as to why as you have only posted in this thread so far?

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Yes, the opening post has been edited a couple of times, I noticed that.



There was a list of MOT advisories from several months ago?



Was the car £800 from memory or was it £1200?



The problem for the OP is that the car is probably 10% of the cost when new.



In other words bound to be in a majorly worn condition.



The thing is if you buy a cheap old car, then, without fail, that's what you'll end up with. You can't have the penny AND the bun as they say, and mostly you'll get what you pay for



There is no excuse for someone selling an unroadworthy vehicle, but as far as I can remember from the opening post it was merely a lost of MOT advisories.



Advisories are NOT failures though, only things that, in then testers opinion, will require attention at some point, but are deemed acceptably safe on the day of the test.

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Hi Stu007.

I am new and put a long amount of information after having gone through a very scary drive in an unsafe vehicle.


I did know it was as bad as it was until I had the phone call from the garage that I put it in the next day.


All this I put in the first thread.


I have never tried anything like this.


I had hoped for some help.


Instead I just got comments about what did I expect for £800!


You can read the comments above.


I was in shock and very upset.


Perhaps I just got "Trolls" I think is the word.


As I said. Total newcomer.

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Viv. I know it's not the help you ask for, but Ed gasket is right on the button.


I have lost count of the number of times i have advised those who are not "car savy" to employ the services of a good local mechanic

to inspect car BEFORE cash changes hands.


This is probably cheaper than an AA inspection and any decent mechanic won't want to be involved with a car that is in poor condition

especially if he has the repairs to do on it.

His reputation would be at stake.


I appreciate that when money is tight an inspection is an added cost you could well do without,

but some of these horror stories vindicate making the effort to have any prospective purchase fully checked.

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No it wasn't about advisories.


It was about the car sales person letting me out on the road with a highly dangerous vehicle.


The ad he put up on ebay classified state Drives Well.

This it didn't do.


It kept swerving into oncoming traffic suddenly out of the blue.


I drove at 25 miles an hour in the end as I was so scared.


It made loads of strange grinding knocking noises.


The man had been really unfriendly when I asked if I could count the money again as I had a headache. (It was actually a migraine)

The garage owner said that he test drove it and it was the scariest vehicle he had ever driven in 40 years.

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You say it was a 2005 vehicle.



I can't remember what car it actually was as you've edited your post, but most 2005 cars would retail at £1500 or more.



Any action you take always takes into account the price paid for the vehicle - to be quite honest if you've bought a car that would normally retail t £1500 or more for £800 then your brains should tell you it won't be much good.



i'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but that's just how life is.

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And I repeat, in your defence there is no excuse for selling an unroadworthy vehicle, he should just send it to an as seen auction if it was not fit to be on the road.



But against that you really, really can't buy a good 8 year old car for £800. Ever. It can't be done.

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It had dents in it and there is the same vehicle round the corner at £1200.


This was actually 2004 but not registered until 2005.


I had a friend test drive it for me 3 weeks previously.


They told me that it would need the tracking done and at worst case scenario the 2nd 2 advisories for the steering.


He estimated £220 for the repairs.


When I got back I took it straight to the garage for them to get the advisories done.


They said they would test drive it first and let me know how to proceed.


They then told me the next day.


My friend was horrified when I told him.


He said that it hadn't made those noises when he drove it.


Something else I noticed was that the mileage was different.


Not hugely different but definately more.

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Hang on a minute, you saw one a year older for 33% more than you paid at another traders round the corner.


Your seller had it in his reduced clearance (death row) line up at a reduced rate.

At no point did it occur to you there was a reason it was so much cheaper.


Also what was the point of this friend looking at it for you if they had no mechanical knowledge.


If anything they had a vested interest in you getting a new car so they could buy your old one.

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Yes, the fact remains, you cannot buy a decent 8 -9 year old car for £800. It cannot be done, not by me, you or anyone else.



What car and mileage was it?


It was a 80k? citroen picasso 2005 from memory.


To put this into perspective, I gave £900 for a 2004 one in the trade just before christmas to fill a hole in my line up.

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It was a 80k? citroen picasso 2005 from memory.


To put this into perspective, I gave £900 for a 2004 one in the trade just before christmas to fill a hole in my line up.



Right. Which you would presumably spend £150 refurb on and try to retail for £1495?



So one marked up for £800 won't be much good then will it...

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