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Bargain Cars Bristol - Rejecting used car after EML appears on 5th day - **RESOLVED**


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Hopefully I haven't made too many errors up until this point, but I just wanted to check rights/compliance here before continuing.

We bought a used car less than a week ago - it was sold to us with no faults, and with an MOT carried out by the dealer with no advisories. They made a particular point of stating that they didn't sell any car with advisories on the MOT, and also drew attention several times to their AA Approved status implying that this meant they *had* to ensure the cars were of good quality/they were more legally compliant etc (I thought that AA Approved was just something dealers paid for to have a 'badge' and to have cars advertised on their website). The dealer also mentioned repeatedly during the viewing how 'immaculate' the car was.

Whilst test-driving, I noted the air-con wasn't working (it was 25 degrees that day). The dealer tried to insist it was cold when it really wasn't (this did ring some alarm bells at the time), I said that it would need to be fully working. Dealer agreed to fully test and regas the system before purchase, which they did.

Three days after the sale (and less than 150 miles driven), the engine management light came on, accompanied with a strong emissions/exhaust smell. We've also realised that the 'stop-start' function doesn't work (this could have been deactivate due to the fault code though), and that a replacement windscreen had been fitted rendering the rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and heated screen non-functioning. We didn't notice these faults prior to driving it, although I did mention the stop-start during the test drive (having never owned a car with this function) and the dealer made no mention of it not working.

I have an OBD scanner/reader, which tells me that the fault is a P0420, so is related to the catalytic converter.

I emailed the dealer outlinging these problems, and suggesting that the best course of action would be a refund as I need a fully operational car for work, and this fault could take them time (and money!) to fix. I should add that the dealer is a 2-hour round trip away (in good traffic), so I really do not have the time to take it back and fore.

 

They replied very quickly apologising for the fault, and saying that they will fix the engine management issue ASAP and 'hopefully before the weekend'. Regarding the windscreen, they say that is out of their remit as it was on the vehicle when they purchased it, causes no mechanical defect, and the rain sensors, auto headlights and heated screen were not specifically mentioned in the advertisement.

 

They have offered to have their mechanics look at these issues and if a straightforward fix, they will do this free of charge as a goodwill gesture, or find out the cost of repair and offer to do this (at our cost) if more complex. (To clarify, I did not mention repair being an option in my initial email, and only referred to a refund being the best option).

The car was sold with a 'full service history', although this consists only of stamps in the service booklet. We have no receipts of any work done apart from the dealer's MOT. This particular car is known to have issues with the timing chain (it's a Mini Cooper) after 100k miles, and the fault code could well be in relation to this problem. I mentioned this known model's fault during the test drive and was told that it would be very obvious/noisy if the car had this fault (which didn't really have anything to do with my question which was specifically 'has the timing chain and tensioner been replaced, as I know this is a known issue with these cars').

I've had bad experiences with used cars and dealers in the past, so my faith is easily shaken, hence me asking for objective opinion and advice here. Despite the 'extras' not being advertised with the car, surely the fact there are specific buttons/switches relating to the lights/heated screen etc, along with their not working not being pointed out at purchase mean that the car is not as described?

 

Where's the line here - there are windscreen wiper stalks/headlight switches etc, but these weren't specifically mentioned either in the advert, so are they also not covered? The EML so soon after purchase (and the code being potentially a serious one) is alarming, and having consulted mechanics specialising in Mini, they (without having seen the car) suggest that this could be an expensive problem to fix.

My partner paid for the car, and unfortunately did so part cash, and part BACS. This of course means we've lost full control of the money. Our bad experience previously was with a dealer who sold us a car with a 'new MOT' which then suffered a tyre blow-out, revealing a tyre which was literally threadbare on its inner edge. We got a refund from that dealer by sitting in their office and refusing to leave until the money had been refunded into our account. When we returned the following week with the logbook, the whole lot was empty - no cars, logos, nothing. Lucky escape there, so my partner assumed he'll be able to get the money back just as easily this time.

I haven't yet replied to their email, so would like to know the best way to proceed. Thanks in advance for any and all assistance!

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you have reported problems within the short term right to reject period of the consumer rights act.

you are legally entitled to demand a full refund with no quibble. they are not able to choose repair should you not want it and you most certainly should not have to pay ANYTHING should you go that route..

 

pers i'd dump the car .

 

others will give more help tomorrow.

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks for you response. I'm usually an endless researcher when it comes to buying used cars, but my OH is paying for this (I've been out of work since the pandemic started), and he insisted on just getting it done. I'm also kicking myself for not paying even £1 by credit card to invoke associated rights.

The dealership has been very friendly so far, but no doubt will likely keep insisting that they are entitled to fix the issue rather than issue a refund.

I should have added in the OP that the car is a 14 year-old Mini (so, a relatively 'premium' brand), with above average mileage (110k). I appreciate that wear and tear would be expected, but the car is physically externally and internally immaculate (this is where I'd expect and accept wear to be), but surely mechanically (engine and 'extra' electrics like stop/start, heated screen etc) should not be expected? I find it amusing that the dealer is passing off the non-OEM windscreen as out of their control as it was on there when they purchased the car. Er, that's your fault, mate! You're a car dealer so should've checked that!

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What is the name of the dealer? How far are they away from you?

It looks like you're another person who has fallen for an old car and paid by cash or paid by bank transfer and the surprising thing is that you seem to have been bitten by this before.

 

You also say that the MOT has been carried out by the dealer. This is never something that I feel comfortable with and frankly I would think about putting in for a new MOT elsewhere – somebody completely independent who might give the car a look over at the same time.

You say that the car was advertised "free from faults". Do you have a copy of this advertisement?

Your rights are that if a defect manifests itself within the first 30 days, then you have a right to reject the vehicle out of hand. If you want you can allow them to carry out a repair and if that repair fails then reject the vehicle under the six month rule. The six-month rule is that if a defect manifests itself within the first six months then you have to allow the dealer to attempt one repair. If that repair fails or they refuse to repair then you are entitled to reject the vehicle.

Although these are your rights, don't necessarily expect the dealer to comply and it is something that you might have to enforce through the courts

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3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

What is the name of the dealer? How far are they away from you?

Bargain Cars Bristol (also trades as Southwest Vans and Commercials). They're around 55 miles away; Bristol is the nearest place to us which has a decent amount of car dealerships.

 

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

It looks like you another person who has fallen for an old car and paid by cash or paid by bank transfer and the surprising thing is that you seem to have been bitten by this before.

My partner has (and had previously), yes. He's the very opposite of me - doesn't research endlessly, doesn't always err on the side of caution. I'm not in a financial position to buy a car, but need one for a new job, so the deal was that he paid for it but I wasn't to interfere with my 'over-cautiousness'. Yes, he's regretting that now! (I have so far managed to refrain from saying 'I told you so'). If it was up to me, I'd spend 3 months researching the history of car, dealership, MOT testing garage etc before buying, which is why he usually ends up taking over.

 

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

You also say that the MOT has been carried out by the dealer.

Apologies, the dealer themselves didn't carry out the MOT, but they booked it in at a garage of their choice (which appears to be a couple of miles away from their business). Personally, I don't trust any MOT carried out by the dealer's garage of choice as there were no advisories on the car that had a blow-out either (I did report that garage after the blow-out, so hopefully it was assessed and action was taken).

 

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

You say that the car was advertised "free from faults". Do you have a copy of this advertisement?

The ad doesn't explicitly state that, but the dealer stated it verbally (which obviously I can't prove now). Their own website's ad is still visible here, but the one on eBay (which is the one we saw) has been deleted, and I foolishly don't seem to have stored a copy of it.

 

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Your rights are that if a defect manifests itself within the first 30 days, then you have a right to reject the vehicle out of hand. If you want you can allow them to carry out a repair and if that repair fails then reject the vehicle under the six month rule. The six-month rule is that if a defect manifests itself within the first six months then you have to allow the dealer to attempt one repair. If that repair fails or they refuse to repair then you are entitled to reject the vehicle.

So, within the first 30 days I have the right to reject without having to accept a repair option, from day 31 up to 6 months I have to allow one repair attempt before having the right to reject? Is that correct?

My OH wants to 'compromise' with the dealer and say that if they process a refund immediately, we'll return the vehicle today at our own cost, but if they are unable to refund today then they will have to collect the vehicle from us instead (in line with our statutory rights).

However, this section of the CRA confuses me - doesn't this mean that we have to return it as stated on our receipt?
 

Quote

(7)From the time when the right is exercised—

(a)the trader has a duty to give the consumer a refund, subject to subsection (18), and

(b)the consumer has a duty to make the goods available for collection by the trader or (if there is an agreement for the consumer to return rejected goods) to return them as agreed.

 

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Bargain Cars Bristol - Rejecting used car after EML appears on 5th day

The return under the consumer rights act of the item bought would have to be at the expense of the retailer.

If the dealer themselves has arranged for an MOT at their own preferred garage – then frankly I would be prepared to cough up another 50 quid and go get another MOT at a garage of your choice. I think this would be a good move before you try anything. It's still very early days and say you are well within your 30 days.

Find yourself an MOT station with a good reputation and tell them that you want them to be particularly exigent because there are questions over the condition of the vehicle.

If you get MOT which failed or pointed out some serious defects, then this is grist to your mill.

This may seem to be a nuisance – but given that so far you have cut corners to save time and money, I think that you will have to treat this as payback time. Just because nobody took the trouble to be careful when buying the car, doesn't mean that some care and preparation shouldn't be taken when preparing to challenge the dealer and maybe to return it.

If you don't want to tell your partner that you told him so, then bring him here so that he can see that we think that he's acted quite irresponsibly in the way that he has chucked his money around.
Now there is a price to pay in terms of time, money, stress, uncertainty.

Your partner now wants to try and cut more corners by compromising but you don't really know what you are compromising over. Get the MOT and the check-over which I've suggested so that you understand exactly what you've bought and then you could understand what sort of compromises you might be prepared to make.

If the vehicle fails its MOT for some reason or other then I would be looking to recover not only the cost the vehicle, but the cost of the MOT failure, the cost of travelling to Bristol to purchase it and the cost of driving back with it.
In other words, if the vehicle is worth rejecting then there is no reason why you should be out of pocket at all.



 

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The dealer has agreed to a full refund today on return of the car (my OH insisted we offer to take it back to them). I'll post back later if this all goes through as planned.

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Well given the amount of trouble it could have taken you otherwise, it's not a bad result – but the dealer is actually breaching his statutory obligations.

If you want, after your refund is in the bank, could pursue him for your out-of-pocket expenses. Take photographs of the car inside and out. Hope that there is not a dispute about the condition of the car on its return.

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I'll be sure to make this point to the dealer when we collect later. OH is now very clear on what to do on future car purchases (after the arguments subsided), and I will be ensuring that the deposit  (and preferably the whole amount) of a future car purchase is paid via credit card.

I'm not expecting the refund to go smoothly today either, as the dealer has since called claiming they have forgotten the code to the safe, so can only refund the bank transfer amount today (£700 was paid cash, the remaining £1600 via BACS). I'm aware that refunds ought to be processed via the payment method, but also that I have previously had refunds via different methods (for example if a card had expired). Is the dealer able to refuse a full bank transfer refund due to money laundering regulations in these circumstances? Are there UK laws governing this in general, or is this his own company's policy? (he said he would have to speak to his accountant to confirm whether he's able to refund the whole amount via BACS). He says that if they are unable to 'remember' the safe code, that they will call an engineer to remove the lock and we could have the cash back tomorrow. I suspect the code hasn't been forgotten at all, so why the delaying tactic?

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I don't see that the dealer has any basis for refusing the refund. I'm not sure what you are on about when referring to money laundering.

Forgetting the code to the safe sounds like the most unlikely excuse I can possibly imagine. It rings alarm bells.

So I am hearing that you have to return the car and then you have to return later on for a refund – is this correct? This means that for a period of time he has your car and he has your money.

I think at the very least I would start recording conversations while you are there. Have a phone recording everything and have it in your pocket. Not that it will do you much good if you are about to be cheated.

When you return the car make sure that you bring along with you all documentation, extra keys et cetera so there is no sudden excuse as to why the return shouldn't be properly accepted. It could be an idea to ask for a cheque which you would return once cash refund has been paid to you. Of course that doesn't stop the cheque bouncing but it would be much easier to sue on a bounced cheque and for a dodgy vehicle.

 

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Supposedly, refunding by bank transfer when cash was paid would raise concerns about money laundering? I realise that most business have anti-money laundering policies in place, but that they were relating to due diligence, record-keeping etc. If they don't have to refund via payment method then we will take a full balance transfer. The majority was paid via this method anyway.

If the refund isn't made in full today, then they won't be receiving the car. I've also emailed a precis of the telephone conversation so that there is a 'paper trail' of it. Where can I find the legislation regarding refunds?

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Think I've found it:

 

Quote

(7) The trader must make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as the consumer used for the initial transaction, unless the consumer has expressly agreed otherwise.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

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Posted (edited)

You buy something.

there is “offer, acceptance, ‘consideration’ and intent (provided there is also capacity to have the intent!) to ‘create legal relations’ “.

Those are the components of a contract.

 

It is a contract. Why do you think it isn’t a contract.

Edited by BazzaS
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Ah, I thought the Consumer Contracts legislation would be regarding online purchases, or contracts involving payments over a period of months, and the CRA was on purchases made in one go. If I'm wrong, great, as that clause quoted above is exactly what I need!

 

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I have no idea what you are banging on about – but quite frankly it's not very relevant.

You have a certain right of refund and despite what regulations govern that refund, if the dealer isn't minded to respect your statutory rights, then you will still have to enforce that refund by going to court.

The fact that you find one seller regulations which you think applies as opposed to a different set of regulations, doesn't make a whole lot of difference. It all depends on the attitude and the willingness of the dealer to step up to the mark.

 

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As stated earlier, the original method of payment was part-cash, part-BACS and the seller now says he's 'lost the code to the safe' so can only give us the BACS refund today and we would have to return tomorrow for the cash part of the refund. The seller suggested that he was obliged to refund via the original method of payment (despite being happy in principle to refund in full via BACS), but the legislation I quoted above suggests that the buyer can agree to a different method.

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The legislation is not important. He can make the refund to you using any means which works for both of you – as long as you end up with the money.

 

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RESOLVED

We returned the car yesterday evening, and had a full refund via BACS. The dealer wasn't thrilled, naturally, and tried hard to get us to keep the car, saying that it was 'just a sensor' to fix the engine (he didn't inspect it, and seasoned Mini mechanics have said it's definitely not just a sensor) and also that he'd ordered a replacement windscreen that would fix the heated windscreen, automatic lights and rain-sensing wipers (possible). We refused this of course.

Despite my having quoted the relevant consumer legistlation, the dealer insisted that he had no obligation whatsoever to refund, and that the legislation I quoted only covered distance-selling/delivered cars (again, very odd for him to try this). So, he was 'providing a full refund as a goodwill gesture'. We bit our tongues.

I've suspended my insurance for the moment (with an aim to transfer it to the replacement vehicle if one is found before the end of the fee-free 14-day cancellation period), and cancelled the tax. So, I guess the only financial 'hit' I've taken is one month of VED (c.£11). The return trip to Bristol also included shopping/eating out so it wasn't a total waste of time 😄

I'm viewing a replacement car tomorrow and will be paying the deposit using a credit card! I realise that we could have fought for them to deliver/compensation for tax etc, but as I'm also going through an employment tribunal at the moment, I'm trying to keep stress to a minimum.

Thank you all for your assistance, it was invaluable.

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Make sure that your ownership of the vehicle is cancelled. At the moment it could still be driven or parked somewhere and incur a penalty – or else the registration number could be checked and it can be discovered that it was no longer insured and if you would then have led to problems while you are trying to persuade the authorities that it wasn't you.

You need to type these loose ends

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Bargain Cars Bristol - Rejecting used car after EML appears on 5th day - **RESOLVED**

 

This Dealer has signed up to our Dealer Promise,
so you can trust them to:

😄🤣

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