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2nd hand car bought found to be unroadworthy


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Guest roaringmouse

From an impartial perspective and I think a legal one also, 'quite some time' has no actual definition. 2 days is quite some time to be waiting for a cancelled aircraft. 8 hours is quite some time to be in labour with a child. And if I am completely honest, 7 months IS quite some time to have had a vehicle. A week or a month would have been less convincing, but I would drop any argument you have with the seller not having the car long.


Also, I haven't read the entire thread, but a few points:


Your parents went and bought the car so the contract would be between them and the person they bought it from.


Secondly, where did they meet this individual? Was it at their home? Is that address compensurate with being a ''neighbour'' of the person in the V5c.


WHY did your mum have the whole V5c? She should have been given they green section only - which leads me onto my next point. DO they have the whole V5c or is the yellow portion missing?


Lastly, from a mechanical perspective. For the power steering to lose all its fluid in under 200 miles would be either an instant catastrophic failure (ie seal blows) or could be caused by damage (driving over say a brick). OR could be that it had a leak already. Now, from the MoT you know that to be the case.


I have no doubt at all you have been conned. Your attention needs to be on finding out who the person selling the car ACTUALLY is. Search for their phone number, address etc. If you can show that they are a dealer, you will win instantly. But I think the case is very much in your favour anyway as someone selling for the owner makes them an agent in law and thus falls into the realm of not a private sale as such.


And yes, now I have read the whole thread, as you have been rightly told the car MUST be roadworthy. Leaking power steering is not only unroadworthy it is downright dangerous as you could end up with power steering oil under the tyres.


As others have said, DO NOT contact the seller or communicate with them unless they offer to settle to your satisfaction. Otherwise wait for the court process. Do not be scared of the process, it is there for YOU not rogues.

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Hi roaring mouse and all,


Thanks for your input.


Although my mum and dad went to meet the sellers - it was near severn services, not near their home - it was my money that paid for the car, and would be put in my name. As it's my money I'm claiming back I did it in my name.


My mum took the form as I wasn't there and needed to sign it. I couldn't go with them as I was in a car accident in July (hence having to buy a new car) and had to go back to Devon for physio that day.


I have asked for the sellers contact details but they won't give them over, unsurprisingly. I've tried to search for him but haven't had any luck so the claim is having to lie with the owner and her husband - he was present at the time of sale.


Ah, never thought of the oil effecting the tyres. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but the mechanic found that the leak in the steering rack had been covered with some rubber. When we first called the seller and asked for the money back the next morning and explained the problem, he replied with "just top the oil up again". Unfortunately we don't have that recorded though.


I won't be contacting them again, will wait and see what they say. It's a shame really because it would have been a lovely car!


Not to worried about court, I'm getting all my documents together this week ready for whenever it may be. I can only try, otherwise I'm stuck with a useless car I'll have to pay to get fixed and sell on - which after having to find money for another car and not being able to work after the accident will be very hard!

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They have replied to the claim saying they're going to defend all the costs - meaning they don't want to pay. And they had 2 weeks more to reply to me with a reason, but haven't heard anything yet - they have until mid next week. After that I'll have to take it further and hopefully get the mediation.


We'll see what they say, if anything.

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dont forget, you dont have to accept any offer they make during mediation and likewise they dont have to accept anything you may offer either. It then goes back to court for a hearing to be arranged. Mediation is normally a person on the end of the phone asking you things and then getting back to you with what they say. You dont meet the defendant face to face.

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Yeah I've read up a bit abut mediation. I'll ony really accept the full amount back as it's been a nightmare.


I've just checked the dates of the claim and realised that although they have put in an acknowledgement of service that they will defend all of the claim, they've not put in any defence as to why, and the time limit is up.


I am going to ring the court people tomorrow, as I'm now not sure what the next steps are? As far as I know I think this may mean that the court may be able to make them pay as they have not put in a reason for defence. Does anyone know if this is right?


I sure hope so as it would put an end to all of this. But I'm also thinking it can't be that easy...?!


Thanks again to all for your help, I really do appreciate it!


Sorry I didn;t mention this but it says on the letter of their acknowledgement of service:


"If you file an acknowledgement of service but do not file a defence within 28 days of the date of service of the claim form, or particulars of claim if served separately, judgement may be entered against you.

If you do not file an application to dispute the jurisdiction of the court within 14 days of the date of filing this acknowledgement of service, it will be assumed that you accept the courts jurisdiction and judgement may be entered against you."

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Hi all. I've just called MCOL and they've told me that a defence has been filed, and told me how to access it.


I'm so upset at this moment in time. They have completely denied anything, and looks as if it is going to court.


The owner has said that she had no problems with the car, she is a police officer and needed a bigger car for her grandchildren, and she believes this is happening because I don't like the car..... I actually would have loved to have that car!!!


Her husband has again stated our rights with it being a private sale and said this:


This car was described as is and no warranty was implied or given.

Although the car still had an MOT for a couple of months I had the

car retested to ensure it was fit for sale. All faults found on 16

May were fixed by the issuing MOT Station at a cost of £240.

That's fair enough, but if they are now claiming that the car had been fixed (which is hasn't, there is a peice of rubber wrapped around the point of leak on the steering rack), then I don't understand why they didnt just say this in the first place?? And if they did have if "fixed" then why not give me a receipt. Would it be a case of getting in touch with the garage that should have fixed it?


Also said this:


If, as claimed, there was no fluid present in the power steering

the steering would have been incredibly heavy and would be obvious

to anyone driving the car. There were no issues raised.

We have said all along that it was fine at the time of buying, and the fluid leaked out on the drive back. It was then heavy! They're completely turning it around. I'm sure they knew there was a fault - it's impossible they didnt!!


I'm in utter disbelief at the moment. The owner has also said "I have put a report in to our Professional Standards Department

with Gwent police." I'm not worried about this - but should I be?!


I now have a questionnaire to fill out to take it to court. I've read the guidelines and it says both sides should be in touch with each other to try and settle it before sending in the form. I'm going to write them another letter, asking why they haven't given me this information about the problem being fixed before, and ask for receipts and so on.


Any advice as to what to say would be helpful.


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Firstly I would like to introduce myself as Zoe parent.


I telephoned the mot station a few days after the sale.


They could not find the mot certificate under the private number plate which the mot was done.


They called me back and I gave them the original number plate which they then found.


I was told that they were only a mot station and do not do repairs.


They did not know where the repair was done it is returned and they check which obviously they let the car get through the mot with the steering problem being botched up and other outstanding issues not being fixed.

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The owner has also said "I have put a report in to our Professional Standards Department

with Gwent police." I'm not worried about this - but should I be?!

You needn't be worried, but they obviously are. Quite apart from offenses under the RTA which themselves could have serious implications for a serving Police Officer, there is the matter of using their position as a serving police officer. If they use their position in anyway that is not relevant to their job, i.e. to give them more status or as an inherent threat that can be deemed as a misuse of their power and may be worth a complaint to the IPCC. In either case the DPS will then get involved. It seems to me they are seeking to be preemptive.


This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.



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I'm in utter disbelief at the moment. The owner has also said "I have put a report in to our Professional Standards Department

with Gwent police." I'm not worried about this - but should I be?!


Did they say this (as in 'verbally', ie on the phone), or put it in writing? PSD are an internal investigations department, investigating police officers and not members of the public. If it was a verbal comment then there is nothing you can do as you cannot prove they said it. (Though, why oh why would you be talking to them - have NO verbal contact with them until mediation - and do that through a third party - or court). If it in writing, then contact the IPCC as it is essentially a threat, albeit a harmless one.

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  • 3 months later...

An update of the thread by the parent. So I court date as been fixed for April and paper work to be sent by Tuesday to the court and the defendants. Managed to get the court hearing transferred to my county, Defendant email to me:-



Please be advised.

Recently submitted the below application to the court.


Further to this the cost to ourselves to defend this case in xxxxxxxxxxx will be upwards of £200.00 plus costs incurred by our witness. These costs will be claimed back.


Firstly the Sale of Goods act was replaced by the Consumer Rights act in 2015 which clearly states that when buying a Car from a private seller the Buyer is to Beware. There is also no need for the Car to be of Reasonable Quality or be Fit for Purpose.


This vehicle was sold after a thorough inspection by the Father of the Claimant and was accepted by him to be in good order.

There were no indications of any fluid leaks whatsoever. Preparations for the sale of the Car were to MOT it even though it still had a valid Mot.

The Car was sent For MOT which it failed due to a Leaking Steering Rack. We were advised that to fit a new Seal would cost £240.00 including the cost of the MOT itself. We agreed to this and the repair was carried out.


The Claimant has on several occasions accused us of wrongdoing. However, if there was some wrongdoing then how can we be held responsible? The Car was taken to a fully licensed MOT Station, it was tested and repaired by them.


The fact that they are now denying doing the work suggested they completed a poor repair... but, how were we to know this? They are a Licensed MOT Station and as such we took them at their word.

Intelligence and report about this has been sent to Trading Standards about their conduct in this matter.


Curiously at the point of sale of the vehicle the Claimants Mother refused point blank to return the V5 Document with the New Keepers Details in order for us to notify DVLA of the Transfer of ownership? She stated “I always do it this way”?

The Claimants parents then told us they were heading to Salisbury but we now know they went to Bournemouth.

Was this because the Car was bought by a Trader for re-sale?


The pressure within a Power Steering System is very high, such that, had there been a leak from the vehicle there would have been evidence of Fluid after the car was driven by Mr Craig Hunt 35 miles down the M4 to a pre-arranged meeting with the buyers, who were the Claimants parents, not the Claimant.


I am also extremely doubtful that the fluid would have lasted even an hour, let alone the 126 miles claimed. I suffered a leaking hose on my Isuzu Trooper recently in Cardiff and the Steering went heavy due to lack of fluid in less than ten miles.


The Car was sold after my Wife (and Co-Defendant) replaced it with a bigger car after the arrival of our Grandaughter meaning we now had three Grand Children and associated equipment to contend with.


I hasten to add I had no idea of the information of sales of goods act stated in the first paragraph, it was pointed out by a Solicitor friend.

Also my wife had absolutely nothing to do with any of this, either in word or deed, with the sale of the vehicle.

I suspect that the reason for my wife's inclusion in all of this is a spiteful act by a woman, whose vitriol, we have experienced by no end, after she discovered my wife is a serving police officer?


The garage is saying that they never carried out the work, the owner says they did but obviously not personally she must have given the money to the seller. Which makes me wonder why did she give this car to a neighbour to Mot in May and then in August to sell when she had a husband who is now claiming it was his car but she was the registered keeper,


Are they correct regarding the sale of goods act and the MOT do they have a case. the car was not as described in the advert because apart from the steering there was a torn seat which we was'nt mentioned in the avert or told when asked about the condition, we would never have made that long journey.

Your feed back would be much appreciated.


Feeling quite upset being quoted as doing a spiteful act because I found out she was an acting police officer.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All.


I just wanted to give you an update on the situation.


The case went to court yesterday and I won!


The Judge's decision was that the defendants (the owner and her husband who was present at the sale), would pay the £1000 for the car, court costs and the cost of the MOT we carried out as proof of the fault.


This was on the grounds that the car WAS misrepresented on the Gumtree ad and also in the text messages I had in my evidence to the seller asking about the condition of the car.


This judgement was made from the result of our MOT stating around 10 failures and 15 advisories

- one of these faults is a serious steering failure which was on a MOT prior to sale that has not been fixed, or fixed badly.


For this reason the car was seen to be unroadworthy at the point of sale. They had no receipt and no idea who fixed it as they gave the car to the seller to MOT.


The judge was suspicious that the seller was a trader, but as the defendants did not bring him as a witness (even more suspicious!), he could not prove this.


The defendants came up with ALL SORTS, which were ridiculous statements.


One of his defence points was that the steering is fine if there is still oil left in the reserve, even though its leaking..

..it took the judge 3 attempts to get the point across that it is unroadworthy and dangerous if it is leaking at all.


The defendants also tried to say I had less rights it being a private sale

- he was put right by the judge telling him that it is not his place to decide the law and to let him do it.


It was such a relief to have such a great Judge.


I think he could see from the beginning that they were fighting a loosing battle.


This just goes to show that if you have FACTS that a car is unsafe, you will have no problem defending yourself in court.


They told the judge they would pay yesterday and pick up the car this weekend.

They are now saying to me that they want to inspect the car before paying, and have the cheek to ask to come into my house and use my wifi.

I have told them that I want the money before they collect on Sunday, but am yet to hear back.


Am I right in sticking to my guns and making sure I get the money before collection?

They do have 14 days to pay but I am worried they will take the car and think of some excuse not to pay.


Almost funny they want to inspect the car incase its faulty when they sold it to me in a dangerous condition in the first place.


If anyone has one last bit of advice that would great.


Thanks for reading.

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Congrats on winning.


Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, return the car to them until they have paid you. The car is legally yours until payment has been received. They have, afaik, no legal right to inspect the car - this appears to be a flimsy excuse to find faults in an attempt to say "hey, its damaged". Take multiple photos AND a walk-around video of the car exterior and interior, as close as possible, so if there is any attempt later to say "it was scratched/damaged" you can prove the condition of the vehicle when it left you.


If they turn up on Sunday without CASH, then do NOT release the vehicle to them. If they choose to turn up, sans payment, that is their fault, not yours. Do NOT release the car. If they choose to make a long journey, tough, that was their decision. Let them threaten and bluster all they want. I'd also advice that if they do arrive, record a video, especially if they do not have cash.


Cash, cash, cash. A cheque can be cancelled, a Bankers Draft needs to be drawn against cleared funds. PayPal Transaction is subject to charges and can be reversed. PayPal Gift is also not advisable. Unless they send a cheque and it clears before they arrive, it's cash all the way. And dont hand them the keys until you have counted it.


As an aside, be prepared to have to return to Court in 14 days for a warrant of execution to obtain the sum in judgement.

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Hi woad,


Thanks for your reply. I definately won't be handing over the car before I get the money. I've made it clear they have to pay before, we'll see.


Thanks again for all your help throughout. Much appreciated! Same goes to all others that gave advice!!! :)


Just had this from the defendants:


"Ok. We have 14 days to clear this debt. CAB have advised us that we are within our rights to inspect the car for damage and if any is found we are to inform the court immediately.

I propose that we collect the car on Sunday as agreed and I will pay you in cash.

You must agree beforehand in writing that you will provide a receipt once the money has been counted.


If you fail to agree to any of this then payment will be made on 18 of April and a collection date arranged with yourself.


Pick Up And Go."


I wonder if they actually have spoken to CAB. Still speaking to me in a threatening tone. They really want to bring me down!

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The fact that they have spoken to CAB should not worry you. They are a charity and do not provide legal advice. If legal advice is required, they will normally refer you to a lawyer or solicitor. I suspect that the advice they provided related to goods returned to a shop or online entity who have the right to inpect the returned goods for damage. I also suspect that the original sellers did not elaborate on the nature of the "goods" being collected. Do not worry. Just follow the instructions in post #73

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Thanks for your reply Nimrod205.


I told the sellers that they were making the situation stressful once again, and that they could look at the car if they wanted, as I am sure there would be nothing to tell the Judge.


They came a few hours ago, gave me the cash first and took the car. No issues raised, and the owner was being very nice. She said she thought we were 'having her on' all along (despite the factual evidence!), and will be taking it up with the MOT garage - although I am convinced it is actually her neighbour, the seller who really knows what happened to the car. Oh well....not my problem anymore.


Thanks again for everyones help. It's been a long 8 months but just goes to show you really should fight for your rights! Especially when it comes to being sold a dangerous car! :high5:


I will be donating too as a thanks. As you have all been really helpful.

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