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Bought a car off of FaceBook Marketplace

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Hi, good people of CAG, I wonder if you can help me, please.

 

Hi there, I bought a car for Four Thousand five hundred and fifty pounds from a chap on Facebook Marketplace about three weeks ago.

 

At first, it all started pleasantly enough, the seller and I traded details, texts and phone calls.

 

I arranged to meet him at his home address, he wasn't there when I arrived and had to wait about 10 minutes for him to arrive.

 

I drove the car on a test drive around the block in the dark, he had the radio on masking any sound, we took it into a garage which had "some" light. I looked at the car and it seemed perfect, too perfect. I have read that having background music on masks any noise, thus covering up any car issues.

 

We traded details again, phone numbers etc and said that yes, I was definitely interested.

 

We traded texts and I said that I was going to try and get the money together. He then tried to hurry my decision by saying that there were others interested even though I said that I was.

 

Anyhow, I went with my wife to pick the car up on Sunday (6th Jan) We had to wait for him again, about 10 minutes and the car wasn't at his home address. He arrived and my wife transferred the money into his account. We started filling out the log book for the change of owners and he started saying ok let's do this all online so we did. We changed the owner details online there and then which I was a little odd.

 

We then signed a bit of paper saying that the car had no warranty and sold as seen which again was a bit odd but the money had already been transferred at that point.

 

The Engine Management light was on when I drove the car home, I didn't think that much of it as I've had cars where the management light has come on and it was because of a faulty spark plug or something like that.

 

The next day (Monday 7th) I took it to my local garage around the corner from me where I have all of my servicing and MOT's done and I trust them.

 

I asked them to check what the Management Light Fault was.

 

I had a phone call later on in the day giving me some very disturbing news indeed.

 

They ran some diagnostic tests on it and the fault which came up was a problem with the Automatic DSG gearbox and was told would cost upwards of 2k to repair. If the Mechatronic unit is faulty then again you are looking at upwards of 2K, if they have both gone then goodnight.

 

There was also a problem with a wheel bearing at the back, the bulb in daytime lights had gone and the tyres were close to worn on the back.

 

Needless to say, I was fuming, I tried to ring the seller, I sent him messages.... nothing.

 

I then spoke to Citizens Advice who told me to write a letter saying that he was breaching conditions and that you were rejecting the car. wait for 14 days.

 

I sent two letters, one to the address he gave (home address) and one to the "business" address (see below)

 

I sent them Special Delivery so that I could track them (as advised by Citizens Advice) the one sent to his home address wasn't read but the one at his business address was signed for by him Mr Bhatti.

 

I constantly phoned him, left messages on his phone and through texts but he ignored all communication. I Finally tracked him through WhatsApp, he still denied all knowledge of the faults but he didn't answer all of the other questions I put to him, he said he broke his phone and it was being repaired, that's why he didn't respond. He said that it's all my fault and I should have checked the car thoroughly.

 

This was a Private sale but I have since found out that the seller is a director of a company which sells used cars and light vehicles. This I think is the reason he always turned up 10 minutes later as his “office” is around the corner.

 

I have a messenger chat where he told me that there were no problems with the car and the car drove well and the mileage was motorway miles.

 

The previous owner I was told was an old man who drove the car locally who kept it in the garage. The car is immaculate so who was I to doubt that. This was, in fact, a complete lie.

 

It emerges that the old man is, in fact, a minicab driver registered to drive for Basingstoke Council.

 

The owners before him were ERAC UK Ltd who are a Car rental firm in Aldershot. This means that the car would have been driven by anyone and in all different manners.

 

These are Two things that would have affected my decision to purchase the car which he should have told me about.

 

I also have photographic evidence that he does have other cars for sale on Facebook Messenger.

 

The yellow "trader" slip is missing from the V5 log book so this is another abnormally.

 

I also found out through the Internet that he and his brother were charged back in 2007 with handling stolen mobile phones from a shop he worked in so it proves he is a dishonest person.

 

I also joined Which Legal and we are now into the third week after sending my second letter about taking the matter to court, which I can't really afford to do and can't really get the time off of work.

 

I now find out that he has resigned as a director of the “said” company so that’s a bit odd too.

 

Do I have anything here or am I wasting my time or do I give it to one of those "ill buy it.com" places for a reduced amount and cut my losses?

 

Thanks in advance.

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You've got a good case. You bought the car from a trader – and apparently a limited liability company which specialises in used cars. You are complaining within 30 days and you should let them know in writing that you are asserting your short-term right to reject under the consumer rights act and you want a complete refund.

 

You can then sue them in the county court if you want.

 

Of course the problem will be how to enforce the judgement. Unless you can identify the premises and the stock that they have, then frankly I think you're going to have a lot of difficulty.

 

If you issue the claim, it would take about 18 days before the claim arrived at the defendant's address. They would then have anything up to 28 days to file a defence. If there was a hearing then that could take another few months. If they didn't follow defence then you could file for a judgement straightaway but that would take probably 2 to 3 weeks to arrive and then you would have to put in the HCEO but of course they could arrive at the premises and find that there was nothing there to enforce against. If a defence was entered then you could end up with a hearing a few months away and if you then obtained a judgement, you would still be left with the same problem of enforcing the judgement but by that time there would be even more of an opportunity for the defendant to do a runner.

 

You're not even able to claim against a finance company because you paid cash – by bank transfer – pretty well the most dangerous way to pay for any kind of item – especially a high-value second-hand car.

 

You will have to make your mind up.


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Most importantly, on your sale receipt, can you see the limited company named?

If not, it could be better news because you can sue the individual.

Ltd companies can be shut very easily so to avoid any payment of ccj.

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