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Help - Sorry Another Used Car Problem!!


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Stumbled on this web site by pure accident and so far been on here for 50 mins!! Just had to register!!

 

I was initially looking to see what rights, if any, my son has so if someone here can help would really appreciate it before he loses his hair completely!! He bought a 2nd hand Renault Clio, from a garage, under finance, 3 months ago for £4000. It is roughly 4 years old (not too sure completely but new style registration). The car suddenly stopped last night and he called out the breakdown service who informed him that the cam belt had snapped and that he was looking at around £1500 to £2000 for repair! He is only 18 and not earning a great deal of money, with the car payments and insurance it takes most of his wages so obviously can't afford to get this work done! He is now anticipated paying the rest of a 3 year finance deal with no car to show for it! Doesn't want to default on his loan as trying to build up a good credit rating.

 

My main question is "does he have any rights by law either with the trader or the finance company and if so, what can we do? or would this just be classed as "wear and tear of the vehicle". No mention of cam belt checking or repair was made and, as an 18 year old, has just got the hang of checking oil, water and tyre pressures!!

 

Any advice very much appreciated.

:confused:

Chris

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I wouldn't really expect a cam belt to have gone after only 4 years, unless the car had done some insane mileage for the age.

 

So to me, it looks as if your son will have rights towards getting a repair carried out.

 

How he has paid for the car will determine who those rights are against. Can you check his agreement and see if it is Hire Purchase or a standard Credit Agreement? It should say at the top of the forms.

 

Once I know this I can advise exactly which legislation to use and which party to pursue.

 

Thanks :)

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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whats the mileage please?

post office WON 12/11/06

 

abbey.LBA sent 30/10/06.MCOL claim submitted 8/11/06.allocation questionnaire sent 16/12/06.schedule of charges sent 16/12/06.WON

 

2nd abbey claim SAR sent 3/1/07.WON.complaint letter sent 18/1/08

 

alliance and Leicester.WON

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The mileage on the car is 86,000 and my son has done 4000 since he bought it in September. He thinks it had a full service history with it (he is not at home at the moment) and a new MOT was put on the car on the date of purchase.

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Hmm ok, fairly high mileage then.

 

Do you know when the cam belt was due to be changed and if that service had been carried out in the past?

 

Sorry, I'm not a mechanic so I don't know much about cam belts themselves!

 

However, it's a serious fault in a car that isn't really all that old and if it was sold to you with a full service history including the service which should have included the cam belt change, I personally don't feel it's unreasonable to make a claim here.

 

I still can't advise you how to do this though, until I know whether it was a Hire Purchase or credit agreement, as your rights will be different in each case.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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OK sorry just read your other thread!

 

As it's a standard credit agreement and not HP, then your rights will be primarily against the garage where he bought the car, with additional rights against the finance company.

 

First of all, we'll take your rights against the garage.

 

These come under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) and this Act states that any goods that you purchase must be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for all normal purposes. This also applies to second hand goods, although it does not cover normal wear and tear.

 

Check with Renault when the cam belt was due to be changed. As I said, if it was due to be changed at, say, 70k miles and the car had had its 70k service, I'd argue that it was reasonable to assume that this had been done or at least checked by the garage before sale, and therefore you should not have had a problem with it at this stage.

 

You'd need to get further advice on this, from someone who knows more about cars than I do, as you need to establish that it's not a normal wear and tear issue to get an idea of how strong your case is.

 

I would advise in the first instance to write to the garage stating that you have experienced a serious problem with the car, detail the fault as much as you can, state that you do not believe that this should have happened under normal wear and tear as the cam belt should have been replaced and checked before sale, and it is not reasonable to expect you to pay such a large bill for repairs just three months after purchasing the car. I would ask for a free repair as there's no harm in aiming high with it and trying to get the repair fully paid for.

 

If the trader is refusing to budge, your choices are to either negotiate with him if he is willing, until you reach an agreement that both parties are satisfied with - or alternatively to take him to court.

 

Hypothetically if it were to go to court, you would need to be able to argue that the fault is not due to normal wear and tear, as this is undoubtedly what the trader's main defence would be.

 

Now, secondly, you also have rights against the finance company. This is under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This section of the Act states that if you buy goods or services costing over £100 and you use either a credit card or finance arranged by the trader for full or part payment, then the finance company is equally liable for any breaches of contract by the trader (including faulty goods). Therefore you can also pursue the finance company for damages. I would advise you to copy the letter you send to the garage to the finance company, with a covering note saying that you are currently in dispute with the garage and if you cannot get a result you will also be pursuing them under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, as they are equally liable for the faults.

 

 

I hope this explains the legislation that would cover you - as I said, though, I can only advise on what the law says and I'm not a mechanic, so some second opinions from people who know more about the workings of cars would be best!

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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If you let me have the exact model, year, engine size, and if it's a 16 or 8 valve i can give you the manufacturers recommendation on time and mileage for cam belt replacement. More than likely it will be 72000 miles or 5 years which ever is soonest but will confirm if you give info.

 

If you are any where near Sheffield could also do you a much better deal on the repair possibly half or less if it helps.

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Car is a Renault Clio Dynamique, 1.5 DCI, think it's a 16 valve, 2001 manufacture, 3 door. Does this help? We have scoured all the books and service history and no mention of cam belt anywhere!!

 

Thanks very much for all your help, we are really appreciating it.

 

Chris

xx

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1.5 DCI is 8 valve. Renault recommended replacement at 72000 miles or five years which ever is soonest so should have been replaced around 14000 miles ago.

 

Just had a quick look at the labour time and would expect a small independent garage to charge around £400 for labour. Can't comment on parts prices as it depends on what damage has been done to valves and guides etc but would think from experience including any specialist services (machine shop work) and parts around another £400 so should get change from a grand which is a lot less than £1500-£2000 but unfortunately still a hard hit

 

Hope this helps. Just ask if you need any more info

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Thanks for that - although still a hard hit a lot better than original quote. Unfortunately a long way from sheffield!! It is in a friend's garage at the moment and we are expecting a quote later today - as it is a small garage and a friend who looks after all our cars (the whole family I mean - not that we have a fleet of cars!!) we are hoping for a reasonable price.

 

As the car had passed the 72000 mark I believe it would be reasonable to expect that the cam belt had been changed when he bought it and therefore will attempt to recoup some, if not all, of the costs incurred! May need more help with the legalities of this though!!

 

I hate being ripped off!!!!

 

Thanks again for all your advice.

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Have you told the garage where he bought it from about the problem yet?

 

The reason I mention this is that the law does state that you need to give the original trader a reasonable opportunity to put any faults right.

 

You might weaken your case if you don't go to him first and instead get it repaired elsewhere and then chase him for costs.

 

Although you don't have a full service history (I assume the car wasn't sold as having one?) I still think that you can argue for at least damages towards the cost of repair as the car should have had the cam belt changed at the last service and you can use the argument that the garage should have checked this.

 

It might not be the strongest case in the world, but it's worth a go.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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Have been trying to get hold of garage all weekend and this morning. No-one there and no answering of phone. As he needs his car for work we could argue that we needed to get started on the repair - the earliest we are looking at it being ready is early next week even without waiting for garage reply! The garage that sold it is only a one man business so very difficult to get hold of someone!

 

Have spoken to the finance company who basically say "tough"!! Spoke to Trading Standards this morning too who say it is highly unlikely that we have leg to stand on as it could be classed as wear and tear and not the garage's responsibility if the cam belt wasn't changed at the correct mileage.

 

Looks like we have hit that brick wall again in all directions!!

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hi i work in the industry, and as the above post sugests the cam belt should have been replaced at 72000 miles, so the dealer should have replaed this prior to the vehicle being sold to your son, I would approach them and ask them to assist towards the cost of the repair, if you are not successful you should speak to the finance company who will intervene on your behalf. Hope this helps.

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  • 3 years later...
hi i work in the industry, and as the above post sugests the cam belt should have been replaced at 72000 miles, so the dealer should have replaed this prior to the vehicle being sold to your son, I would approach them and ask them to assist towards the cost of the repair, if you are not successful you should speak to the finance company who will intervene on your behalf. Hope this helps.

 

hi a bit of advice for all car drivers, aa does a breakdown repair cover which means that they pay the first £500 of repairs when you do break down, you can claim up to 5 times a year and this costs about £8 a month depending on your car, i know its a bit late for this but would recomend it to everyone who cant afford a big repair bill.

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