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Second hand car faults, garage wants me to pay for a repair

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I bought a 2003 Automatic VW Beetle from an independent garage on 3 March 2019 which seemed to drive fine on the road test. It had a new MOT and been serviced.  It cost £2,145 which I felt was more than the book price but it has been difficult to get a car like this.


On driving it back home after about 15 miles I noticed there was something wrong with the automatic gear change, then a engine fault light came on and the exhaust seemed to be blown.  I had a diagnostic done on this and it brought up faults. I let the garage know and they disbelieved me but have picked it up and taken it to repair.  The gear box was loose and had to be tightened.


They are now saying that it needs a new catalytic converter as emissions are too high and they want me to pay for this. My question, please,  is it reasonable that I pay for this? Feel I should have got an up  together car for my money. Advice please. Thank you.

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Please name the garage.

Under the consumer rights act you are entitled to reject the vehicle if a defect occurs within the first 30 days. Whether or not you do this is up to you. But this is your backstop position and you should write a letter to the dealer immediately rejecting the car under the consumer rights act because of the defect which is manifested itself in the first 30 days of your ownership.

After that, if you love the car then you can negotiate with the garage to carry out the repairs on the basis that you won't reject the vehicle. However, you are entitled to have all the repairs done free of charge.

Not only that, but because the defects occur within the first 30 days, that effectively also resets the clock and you start with another 30 days once the car is repaired.

It's a question of what you want to do.

If the dealers aren't prepared to respect your consumer rights then you will have no choice but to send them a letter of claim and then sue them. We will help you. However, whatever you do send a letter of rejection immediately.

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What about the name of the garage?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I wonder if you can now give me further advice on this. The car went back to the garage as I said, I have just been on holiday last week and yesterday returned to England to a text message that it needed a whole new gearbox and they want me to contribute £200 towards this. I know I am out of the 30 days now. It would push the price of the car to £2,315 which I feel is now a lot for a 2003 car and you here advised me that I should expect repairs for free. Please, what are my rights now and whaqt would your advice be? Thank you.

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