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Was my 2nd hand car Roadworthy?

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I was wondering if I had any recourse to reclaim some costs from a 2nd hand car dealer.


I bought a Mercedes C180 with a 57 reg last week 13th January. When I bought the car I noticed that it was flashing a message that it was 266 days overdue for a service. When I pointed this out to the dealer he said that the reason for this was that it had been sitting since it’s last service and this was just an automatic countdown from the cars computer, whereby in reality it did not really need a service.


Stupidly I believed him. Had I checked the service history I would have seen that the last service was in fact 10,000 miles previously at 52,230 miles and the car was now at 61.700 miles. Anyway I bought the car as it had everything I wanted on it and although a bit more than I wanted to pay, I was desperate to get a car as my old car had literally given up the ghost.


I booked it in for a service with a reliable Garage that specialise in Mercs that I have been using for nearly 20 years. The car was due a B service which costs about £225 anyway and I would have been happy to pay for this. On inspection the Garage owner told me that there were a few things that were needed to make it road worthy.


1. It needed two new rear tyres as that on had a few miles left in them

2. It needed one rear brake pad

3. It desperately needed two new Rear Brake Discs as the old ones were badly corroded.

Total Cost for these including VAT was £306 over and above the normal Service charge.


There were a few other things that needed replacing over and above what is normally included in a B service such as Oil and Air Filters, but I am prepared to swallow that and in all fairness the Garage said that they could probably last until the next MOT due in November, but I said that I would prefer to get it all sorted in one go. So in all the service cost me £766.


I would have thought that the 3 items above were essential and have been checked prior to selling the car to make the car roadworthy


In the SoGA it reads


5.17 You should ensure that you have procedures in place to check that vehicles you supply, offer to supply or expose for sale are safe and roadworthy. It is not sufficient to rely on MOT or service histories. This will usually mean arranging for a suitably qualified or competent person to carry out pre-sale mechanical inspections of vehicles and any problems that make them unroadworthy must be rectified.


On another note, the dealer also sold me an extended Car Parts Warranty which I have since found out is next to useless. I asked the dealer to cancel that and to refund the money two days after taking it out. He told me that it was not refundable, which I know is an outright lie as I asked to cancel within the 14 day cooling off period and have since requested this to both him and the insurance company in writing. He has emailed back stating that it is not refundable, I am waiting to hear from the Insurance company (WMS) but am confident I will get that money back, but it was his outright lie that got my back up, and him thinking I did not know my statuary rights. If he lied about that what else did he lie about.


Because my back was up about that I thought I might investigate the possibility of getting some money out of him for the tyres and brakes.


Any thoughts whether I have a leg to stand on or not?

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Tyres need to have at least 1.6mm of thread left on them to be legal.

Knowing mercs garages you probably have more than that but they advised to get new tyres.

If you have less than 1.6mm thread then the dealer needs to sort it out.

With regards to brake discs, when a car sits in the open for a while they go rusty.

This is usually surface rust and a few long gentle braking action gets rid of it.

Again, if they're corroded and would fail an mot, the dealer is at fault.

With regards to the warranty you need to look at their t&c.

Usually you have a cooling off period, so it shouldn't be a problem to cancel it.

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Thanks for that.

Well the fact that the Garage said they only had a few miles left in them, I suppose means they were still roadworthy and were over the 1.6mm or on the cusp and I can’t see that it is worth the trouble of chasing the £75 that the brake discs cost, so will leave it.


With regards to the Extended Parts Warranty. I am a member of Which? I also sign up for their legal advice line (great value for money if anyone is interested) and they advised me that these type of warranties come under Insurance and you have a statutory right to cancel within a 14 day cooling off period. It is even possible to get a full refund after that also, but it is usually a proportion of the full sum. They actually helped me write the letter to the company and the dealer.


In the booklet under the T’s & C’s it states that “This agreement is not able to be cancelled and no refunds can be issued”. The solicitor at Which said that this is BS and it is in breach of your Statutory Rights.


If they start arguing I will post another thread for the benefit of the community and keep you all updated.


Many thanks

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A couple of things. The brake disks, as said above, they rust by just standing for a few days, and will polish up ok if it is surface rust.

The tyres. Again as above, but even if they were below legal, that would have come under a fault you would be expected to have noticed at examination.



It will never require one new brake pad, they should always be replace in pairs and on both sides, that's why there is always a full set in a box.



All car warranties are a rip off, a huge profit generator. Yes go get your refund and if it is refused again, then send them a letter before action.



If you need replacement parts, you should have aske the selling dealer to have supplied them at trade prices. They will do this as it cost them nothing and is good customer service. So ask him to replace your tyres and if he says no they were legal, but you still feel you want them changed, then ask if he will get it done at trade price for you.

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