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Reed Autos - Cambridge. Dealer. Who is legally responsible?


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Hi  I bought a used car from a dealer that wasn't as described.  Long story short I've issued a claim against them with is going to mediation soon.

The car was funded half part exchange and half finance.  

I know with hire purchase, it is the finance provider, rather than the dealer, who is legally responsible if there are problems with the car and they are trying to get the case thrown out based on this...but there was a part ex involved.  Does that make them responsible?

 

Thnk you for any help

 

t

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Interesting question and we will have to have a look.

It might have been a better idea to have sued them jointly

In the meantime, please could you identify the dealer, the finance company and also please could you post up your claim form and also the defence – in PDF format.

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your response.

 

Reeds Auto

Santandar

 

Docs uploaded

 

T

 

Edited by T C B
address details on docs
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Firstly, it may be correct that you have sued the wrong entity. However, my own feeling is that you can rely on the contracts (rights of third parties) act 1999 to say that as a beneficial third party you enjoy all of the contractual rights – including the right to take a court action as the principal contracting party.
I'm afraid that I've had a look around the Internet and I can't find anything offhand that says whether you share ownership of the vehicle because of your part exchange.
However, I think that the 1999 Act probably takes care of that. You been here since last year and this claim was only issued a month or so ago. It's a shame that you didn't come here first.

I initially had gathered that you are trying to get a refund of the whole vehicle – but now I think that you are only trying to claim the value of the vehicle as it came to you rather than as it was described the advertisement. Is this correct?

Their position that you should have checked it before you bought it I think is incorrect. I'm trying to understand the basis on which they are saying that and I understand that you initially reserve the car on the basis of the advertisement only and never saw the vehicle until you travelled 200 miles to buy it. Is this correct? Did you pay any money when you reserved it?

 

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And by the way, just to let you know that you are simply another person in a long line of people that we get onto this forum who made decisions to buy vehicles a long distance away and then have to suffer the consequences.

I said this before – and this is for your benefit but also for the benefit of others who visit thread.
We are repeatedly getting people who spot a car somewhere else in the country – 100 miles away – 200 miles away – even 400 miles away and for some reason rather they think it's the only car for them and they must have it.

What they never bothered to factor in until it's too late is what happens if the car goes wrong, develops defects which need to be sorted out by the seller, has to be taken back to the seller – either driven back – or even worse transported back because it breaks down completely.

When you buy a car, then the reasonable life expectancy of that car could be six or seven or eight years. On the basis of the price you have paid I would expect four years at any rate – which means that any of the normal problems that might develop could reasonably expected to become the responsibility of the dealer – and are you really proposing to drive back to hundred miles every time to get the car fixed and maybe leave it there while it gets fixed overnight and then I have to go back and retrieve the vehicle?

Big Fail!

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Thank you for your helpful reply.

 

Yes I'm claiming the difference between the specification of the advertised car and the specification of the actual car.

I paid a reservation fee to take it off sale

They actually admit to most of the points raised in respect to the missing features.

 

I'm quite happy purchasing vehicles long distance. I procure several vans a year for my business along with Cars and Scooters for personal use.  My personal car is always new, but thanks for your concern

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Okay well if you paid a reservation fee then I suppose that you have got a good argument to say that the contract was made before you ever saw the vehicle.

What were the conditions of the reservation fee? Was it refundable?

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Yes it was refunded. Although I struggled to get it off them.

 

They didn't get me to sign a crucial document in respect of the finance agreement. They insisted I sign it retrospectively before they re-funded, I refused until they'd refunded.  They eventfully refunded me and i still haven't signed it.

 

Thanks again..your advice in respect of "rights of third parties" is really relevant and helpful

 

T

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Yes but was the reservation fee intended to be part of the purchase price?

If they eventually refunded you and they are able to argue that it wasn't part the purchase price then they might have a basis for saying the contract was only formed after you saw the vehicle.

 

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Reed Autos - Cambridge. Dealer. Who is legally responsible?

It was always refundable.

 

I think the third party rights and the fact it was partly funded by a part exchange is enough 

 

If its struck out I'll go to Santander

 

t

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When it won't be struck out at mediation. They don't do that.

It would only be struck out later on if it got to court because the mediation had failed.

You have to emphasise to the mediator that you are relying on the 1999 Act. You should probably indicate to the mediator that if they won't play ball then you will join the finance company in as a co-defendant and that the dealer should then consider if this will damage their relationship with the credit card provider which might have other consequences.

 

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Yes thats a really good angle. I have a car dealer friend who also advised the same course of action.

 

Thank you you've been very helpful

 

t

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

Mediation did not resolve the issue. 

Should i join Santandar as a co-defendant before it goes to a hearing or would it be a new claim?

 

Thanks

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You certainly could join Santander as a co-defendant although of course that would complicate things and cause additional delays and maybe expenses that they might asked the court to recompense in the circumstances.

I'm also a bit concerned that the "reservation fee" was refundable – and in fact was refunded because this would tend to suggest that this was not part of the contract price and therefore the contract was only made when he eventually saw the car and paid the money for it.

Had the reservation fee been taken to have been part of the price you are paying for the car, then I think that point would have been slamdunk and there will be no problem saying that the contract was made on payment of that fee.

I think this is a point which may cause you trouble.
They will do their best to say that the contract was made after you had had an opportunity to see the car.

I think that although you should stick by your guns that the contract was made at a distance, you had better prepare all your arguments on the basis that the contract was made when you collected the car.

Can you confirm that you bought this vehicle as a personal vehicle and not for any business purposes
 

 

Also, what is your professional background? Do you have any expertise or particular knowledge of vehicles, their systems and their mechanics?

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Even if the contract was made at the point of collection the advert had been withdrawn so no reference was available. don't know if that's relevant.

 

I will also rely on the 1999 act.

 

The car purchase is nothing to do with business and I'm a building contractor

 

thanks. 

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I think they could easily argue that you had seen the advertisement and so you were appraised as to the characteristics of the vehicle and you proceeded to make a contract on that basis.

If the purchase was for your own personal use then you would not be expected to understand the ins and outs of the vehicle and you could take it at face value based on the advertisement that you had read.
I think it's important for you to say that you are relying on the advertisement that you had first seen and that motivated you to travel to the dealer and purchase the vehicle. Because of the advertisement, you felt that you didn't need to actually examine the car to see what its characteristics were because you had already been informed by the dealer to their advertisement.

There is no legal obligation on you to inspect the vehicle and in fact if you did inspect it then they would be a legal obligation on you to carry out the inspection to a reasonable standard and if you had failed to do that and missed noticing certain features, then you might have been held to have been liable for those omissions because you had availed yourself of the opportunity to inspect the vehicle.
When you buy an item – whether it's a car, or anything, you are entitled to rely upon the claims made for the item by the retailer. There is no obligation on you to go round and double check the veracity of a retailer's claims.

Had you been a trader with a certain expertise then the law would probably visit upon you a higher standard of care in terms of ascertaining that the vehicle had the features that you wanted or which were advertised.
As it is, you were a layperson. You saw an advertisement – the features and the advertisement appealed to you and you assumed that the dealer knew their business, exercised professional expertise and that they would be truthful. You were entitled to rely upon their advertisement and you did rely upon the advertisement.

It is only later on when you had more time to check the vehicle and to understand it – because it is a complex machine – that you started to realise that it had been mis-advertised.

In their advertisement they carry disclaimer that you should not rely on the accuracy of the advertisement.
I think your answer to this is first of all, this would be an unfair statement and unfair term of the contract and therefore unenforceable because it amounts to a disclaimer of liability. In other words they are attempting to contract out of their obligations under the consumer rights act.
Secondly, even if their warning had some effect, the advertised description of the vehicle with so different from the actual vehicle in so many particulars, then it could almost be said to have been describing a different vehicle.
There must be a distinction between simply accidentally getting something wrong and wholly miss describing a vehicle to the point that the description might have been some other item.
So your position would be that first of all their disclaimer amounts to an unfair term – and therefore unenforceable.
Secondly, the disclaimer is an attempt to contract out of their obligations under the consumer rights act.
Thirdly that they mis-description is so complete that it could not by any stretch of the imagination be described simply as an "inaccuracy".

The proof of this third position is the substantial difference in value between the vehicle which was described and the vehicle which they actually sold. (I don't think you ever actually told us what the purchase price of the vehicle was – maybe could do that please).

Presumably you can identify the make and model et cetera of the vehicle you thought you were buying – against the make and model et cetera of the vehicle which was actually sold.

Can you confirm that they are two different models with different book prices

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Purchase price £19.5k

Mercedes GLA Night Edition

The closest i can find in terms of spec is a Premium Plus although the advertised touch screen would have been a very expansive optional extra

 

Year older P Plus model without touch screen £23k

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So you bought the car for 19.5 K and you are saying that it is only worth 15.5 K because it was a lower spec model to the tune of £4000. Is that correct?

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