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My daughter bought a 2010 Alfa gillietta for 3700 from a dealer nearby to us last month with advert stating service and cambelt needed doing so budgeted for this to be done.


Service carried out by Alfa specialist who stated that the clutch was going and needed to be replaced for 300-500 as budget price.

They said dealer should cover this as within 30 days


I drove the car myself and its very hard to get in reverse gear(not like this when test driven)

I spoke to dealer who said he would offer 100 toward it,

I pointed out as in first 30 days he had to repair it or we could reject the car,

he does not want to know


Sent letter recorded yesterday just seeing what's next step ,

also he trying to say he's not a dealer but has a garage for repairing cars on industrial unit with the ad saying trade on eBay plus he currently has 3 cars on for sale on eBay

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Get all the evidence of his dealing et cetera. It may be useful but it's not essential.


You are quite right to have asserted your right to reject within 30 days.


I think that the next thing you need to do is to get rid of the car. That means taking it round to him and leaving it on his property – not on the street – and making sure that you have a witness with you as to the condition of the car. Take photographs all around it and inside it as you leave it. If you manage to do this then make sure that all the paperwork is sorted out including contacting DVLA making sure that you are no longer seen as the owner.


You need to be meticulous about this. You don't want to find that the dealer has later on taken the car out onto the road and parked it somewhere and that you are then identified as the current owner.


However, the best thing to do is to be cautious and not cancel the insurance on it for the moment until you know that the whole thing is sorted out. That might be some time.


You have contacted the dealer and he says that he is not interested in helping you or respecting your statutory rights.


The only thing to do now is to issue a letter before action – giving him 14 days – and then sue. If you're not prepared to do this then don't send the letter but I don't really know what else you can do with a shady dealer who clearly doesn't want to return your money.


If you do sue then you will be able to recover your other reasonable expenses including the cost of the service.


It might be useful to contact the office specialist and get a written opinion as to the condition of the car and is to the existing defect.

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In that case get to or even three independent quotes for the repair work. Write to the dealer and tell him that in view of his uncooperative attitude you are going to have the work done elsewhere stop you are enclosing 2/3 independent quotes and you will be putting the car in for repairs by the cheapest one. Give him seven day opportunity to inspect the car. I strongly recommend that you do not have it inspected by him on his premises. Have it inspected at your premises or at some other independent garage.


He may well say okay he is prepared to do the work – but I strongly recommend against that because you will end up with a job of questionable quality and it will simply draw the matter out. You need to get the car away from him and repaired by an independent person that you trust.


Although you should be looking around for reasonable quotes, this does not mean that you need cowboy garages. I suggest that you get the three quotes from fully authorised competent dealers with good reputations. Check mark on the Internet first of all and make sure that the work you are getting will be properly detailed and guaranteed.


If the supplier of the car will not cooperate then have the work done. Arrange the all parts which are removed must be returned to you and sue the dealer for the money plus any ancillary expenses plus interest

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Hold on a second, if the clutch was dodgy then all gears would be difficult to select. I think you need a second opinion first as to whether the clutch is faulty or not. And by second opinion I mean an approved Alfa outlet, not some specialist or other garage then if they confirm it you might have something to go on. The fact that you state it's only reverse suggests it could just be an adjustment that's needed to the gear change mechanism.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update on the car, we sent a recorded letter to his business address , this was not delivered and came back to local post office so take it he refused to sign.

Car was repaired yesterday by garage we use for 800 as mass flywheel had failed also (part of clutch setup) which is a common issue on modern cars

So will issue money claim online and see how this goes

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This does not suggest a clutch problem but a gear linkage adjustment issue. Most selector mechanism from the selector arm or rod are done by cable which often drift out of adjustment. By changing the clutch and Dual mass flywheel (which incidentally is the totally incorrect repair) they would have had to re-adjust the linkage. And you think the dealer has ripped you off???

I'd be going after your repairer for incompetence frankly.



Very few cars have problem with the DMF, there were some early issues but these have all been resolved.



Total and utter balderdash and I hope the dealer defends robustly!!

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