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Rust returns after 5 months


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Hi everyone,

Can someone advise me please?

In November 2016, I had the rust on my car sorted by a local recommended garage. It was a cash job as it saved me £100 on the quoted £600. Now, only five months later, the rust is back and it looks as bad as it did before the "repair".



I have just rang the garage, only to be hurryingly told that they don't give any guarantees over their rust repairs. I didn't even get to the point where I was going to tell him that I don't have a receipt - it was obvious that he wasn't interested.



So then, I know that I have potentially lost out here by going cash-in-hand, but any rights on this matter that I could put forward that might change his mind on this?




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You have rights under the Consumer Rights Act because it is an implied term that any work which is carried out with you will be carried out with reasonable care and skill.


On this basis, you can think about suing the garage in the County Court is a small claim with a fairly high chance of success.


The only thing that bothers me here is that if you have paid cash in order for instance to escape VAT, if this came to the knowledge of the judge then I can imagine that he/she would decline to hear the case and also require that a reference is made to HMRC.


Of course, the garage would itself be in trouble for doing work on this basis. Maybe your best leverage here is to tell the garage that if they won't deal with it then you will take action and that the cash transaction will be much more serious for them than for you – which is probably correct.


If you are lucky they might simply put their hands up.


Anyway, the situation is that you don't need a guarantee from them. You are probably protected by statutory rights – but you need to be aware of the complications that you have made for yourself by doing it "off the books".

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Thanks for your reply.



As I'm also self-employed and VAT registered, your comments concerning the HMRC is something that I was also thinking about. I plan on going to see the garage next week...hopefully he'll see sense.



Can he deny all knowledge of actually doing the work as there's no paperwork?

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Possibly yes he can. Did you sign any job authorisation when you took the car in?



However, be warned that it's a generally accepted thing within the industry that rust repairs cannot be guaranteed unless the panel is changed for a new one. Grinding back to new metal won't work in reality.



Think you're just going to have to accept this one as down to experience. Would be interested to know though what panels, what car and how old it is along with where the rust occurs as this might be a common issue known in the trade so might give you some leverage. VW Passat wing springs to mind!

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It was a very informal for such a well-respected garage.



The car is a Mazda MX5 Mk2...and they DO rust. The place where these get it is around the rear wheelarch/sill. After the work was done, he showed me photos of how much metal he had removed from the area and welded in new metal. I'm sure he did a good job in that respect, but the rust is back in exactly the same place. My main concern is that the Sill is a import structural part of the car and my good lady is potentially driving around in an unsafe car.



Rust never gets better without intervention, so it looks like I'll be car-hunting soon or spending another £500 (at a different garage). It's a shame because she loves the car.



Thanks for the advice - as usual, it's very much appreciated.

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