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*New car on PCP develops major faults. What are a consumer's rights?*


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A family member decided 10 months ago to replace his ageing car with a factory-ordered brand new one. He opted for a PCP deal having first undertaken extensive homework about total interest payable and likely future value etc. Of all the options open to him, the PCP deal together with further incentives he negotiated with the supplying dealership most suited his circumstances.


Until recently, he had no cause for complaint. But then the symptoms of one or two faults (or a single inter-related fault) affecting engine and auto transmission became evident. The car has been into the supplying dealership which immediately sought the manufacturer's involvement. Some preliminary work was then undertaken according to the manufacturer's guidance, pending further work which will be carried out two months' hence at its first service. The car, which has one 9,000 miles from new, is said to be perfectly usable until the time of that service and that in any event, anything and everything is covered under the manufacturer's warranty.


Fair enough. Except: delving into the Internet to research his car's emergent problems, he has discovered dozens (literally) of posts on motoring forums going back over several years, all of them complaining about the same problem(s) and about the hoops it was necessary to go through to get them fixed. In some cases, the manufacturer replaced the engine and transmission under warranty -- though only at the end of protracted arguments where some consumers were concerned. Also in some cases, the vehicle was off the road for up to a month while those repairs were completed.


What isn't clear from any of those Internet posts is whether or not the posters had financed the purchase of the car outright from their own funds; whether it was with a bank loan; whether it was hire purchase; or whether it was a PCP. That actually strikes me as being of crucial importance.


Currently, my relative's car is still showing symptoms of inherent faults, albeit those symptoms are now less noticeable than originally. He is resigned to living with them and to abide by the dealership's / manufacturer's guidance. However, he is worrying about what might happen if it turns out that the vehicle becomes unusable due to failure, or if he is ultimately told that it will be out of his possession for a lengthy period due to the possible scale of repairs required.


The word 'possession' prompted me to post this query on here, because it seems to me that he doesn't 'possess' the vehicle in a strictly legal sense (i.e., of ownership), rather that he and the manufacturer entered into a contract -- brokered by the supplying dealership -- via which he pays a monthly premium to the manufacturer's finance company and the manufacturer in turn supplies a car fit for purpose and usage.


Am I right in thinking that in the event of -- and I must stress: 'in the event of' -- the situation becoming worse and the vehicle failing to perform / being unavailable to him for short periods or an extended period, the essence of the issue here is as more about breach of contract than anything else?


Advice appreciated; though things seem to be under control at the moment, it's surely as well to be fore-armed by being forewarned of a consumer's position when it comes to the PCP of a new car and what happens if that car develops problems early in its life.



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It doesn't matter if its a PCP,HP or cash the Manufacturers warranty is the same, in actual fact with PCP or HP you have an extra level of comfort in that its the finance company that own the car and they will be on your side to get the car fixed (providing its a Manufacturer fault and not a customer fault)

There may be dozens of faults on forums but that will be a very small percentage of cars sold. forums are good and bad. !!!

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Thanks, blackknight. It's not an issue about the warranty though, but about the point you made: the 'extra level of comfort' for a PCP customer.


In this instance, I'm assuming that ownership of the car has passed from the factory gate to the finance company (which is more than likely independent of the manufacturer though trades under the manufacturer's name.) What my relative does NOT want to have to contend with is a faulty vehicle that, though covered by manufacturer warranty, is then off the road for varying periods to be repaired. He's paying a monthly amount for a vehicle to be in his keeping, not a garage's.


It's that point which I'm trying to clarify: if in the event that things do go pear-shaped, just what pressure can he exert to ensure he does not have loss of usage / enjoyment etc as a result? Already he's worrying about whether or not the vehicle will be all right. It's not a level of anxiety I'd be prepared to tolerate -- a £25,000 car that's 10 months old and, literally, you don't know if it's going to break down within the next few weeks??


I agree wholeheartedly with you about the Internet complaints though. They can be misread as to how representative they are. That said, there are also God knows how many who don't post on a forum and aren't members of one -- which includes my 75-year-old relative. . .

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PCP, a sellers delight and a customers rip-off. All works in the sellers favour which is why they are pushing it so hard and every other advert on tv is for PCP.


As above, what car is it ??


Keep in mind this car belongs to the finance company and they should be made aware of all and any problems, you should seek their advice but not take what they say as gospel.

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