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Retailer lied about service history - do I have a leg to stand on?


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I bought a vehicle a few weeks ago from L A Automotive in Tyseley, Birmingham.

WWW.LAAUTOSLTD.CO.UK

LA AUTOMOTIVE LTD is a used car dealer in Birmingham stocking a wide range of second hand cars at great prices. Visit us today for affordable...

Before collecting the vehicle I called and asked what the service history was and was told it had a full service history (it said Part service history on their website and still does). 

 

On the day of collection I arrive and realise there is no service history booklet or invoices but there is a piece of paper printed list which looks to be from some sort of BMW system titled "Service Visits Enquiry". It shows the dates and mileages that it had visited over it's lifetime. There are 9 times on this piece of paper when it has apparently visited for a service however there is a gap at one point of 5 years. Becuase of this I negotiated the price down from £7450 to £7200 as this is a part service history rather than full like I was told over the phone.

 

I take the vechicle away and have subsequently called BMW to validate this. Having contacted BMW they informed me that although it did visit dealerships on those dates, they were all for repairs/warranty work/tyres rather than any servicing. Not one date on that list is for a service, effectively meaning that the vehicle has absolutely no service history.

 

Now... I've learnt my lesson the hard way and being in this situation again I would absolutely double check the information I'm given and ensure it was a proper service book with stamps etc.

 

I've since tried to contact the previous owner via post (have their name/address from the previous log book) to get the service history but have heard nothing and it's been 2 weeks.

 

On the way back from buying the car there was an issue with the battery. The car got recovered to them and whilst it was with them and being repaired I sent this text:

"Hi mate, I've had absolutely no luck with the service history at all. Heard nothing back from the previous owner and I've tried to contact previous garages from the MOT history and I've gotten nowhere. I bought the car with that list you gave me after you said they were services and it's turned out to be incorrect. For that reason I don't want to keep the car and just want my money back. Not trying to be difficult or anything I'm just not comfortable owning it with having no history at all. Will save you having to bring the car back to me. Can send the 2nd key/v5 and paperwork you gave me by first class post. Like you said you had a lot of enquiries etc so I'm sure you'll sell it quickly again. My account number is ***** and sort code is **** and name on the account is *****. Will give you a bell in the morning."

 

Called the next day and in a lot less words he essentially said he wouldn't be accepting the car back and I can't return it at all, my options were to either have the car delivered back to me or leave it on the road outside his dealership. I've now taken the car back.

 

My question is this - if I was to go down a small claims court route would I have a leg to stand on at all or would I simply be wasting my time and money? I'm not comfortable owning this car with no service history and feel I've been lied to.

 

Any advice would be incredibly appreciated.  

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How did you pay for the car? Did you pay by cash? Did you pay by bank transfer?

You don't tell us when you bought it?

I understand that you don't have any evidence that you were told it had a full service history – but you do have evidence that a partial service history was claimed for it but that you secured a reduction in the price because it wasn't a full service history – is this correct?

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

How did you pay for the car? Did you pay by cash? Did you pay by bank transfer?

You don't tell us when you bought it?

I understand that you don't have any evidence that you were told it had a full service history – but you do have evidence that a partial service history was claimed for it but that you secured a reduction in the price because it wasn't a full service history – is this correct?

Hi there,

 

Thanks for the quick reply. 

 

Sorry - missed a couple of details!

 

I paid for the car via bank transfer. I have seperately taken out a personal loan to cover some of the vehicle cost.

 

I bought the car on the 6th November.

 

Yes correct. I have evidence that it was advertised with a part service history (a screenshot of the advert on their website) and I also have the part service history evidence of the printed list of services they provided to me which after checking turns our is incorrect and does not relate to any servicing. 

 

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Sorry I don't have evidence that the reason for the reduction of the price is specifically for the fact I was told it had a full service history and upon arrival I found, what I thought, was that it was a part service history.

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You should probably be a bit more careful about getting evidence of what you are paying for when you are spending this kind of money – especially when you are buying things from used car dealers.
Didn't you know?

 

Also you had probably better follow the link – paid by bank transfer – to understand how paying this way or if you pay by cash, you sacrifice a lot of excellent rights and leave yourself vulnerable.

Also – to pile it on a bit, it's a shame that you allowed them to repair the battery because that defect within the first 30 days would have entitled you to reject the car out of hand.
Because you allowed them to repair the battery problem, you have validated the purchase at least the extent of that defect.
 

From what you tell us, it seems to me that the car does not match its description and therefore it has been sold to you in breach of the consumer rights act.

You don't have evidence that you were told it had a full service history – but you do have evidence that it had a partial service history and it appears that it had no service history at all.
Do you have evidence that it had no service history?

Is the car generally in good condition? Are there any other defects?

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Ok thank you. 

 

Yes certainly a lot of learnings made on this one and mistakes that won't be made again.

 

I have the printed list they supplied to me and I can ask BMW to send to me the detail of the visits showing that they aren't services.

 

The car is generally in good condition however it does have an issue when starting from cold. I think it's a generally simple fix with a part that costs circa £100 and a couple of hours labour. If I took it to a garage and they diagnosed this as a fault could I still reject the vehicle within the 30 day period?

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I think you should gather all the evidence you can.

Get whatever you need from BMW. Don't hang around because the time will pass quickly.

Get the car checked out. You want a thorough diagnosis – any defects identified – and a written report.

You say that the dealer who sold it to you fix the battery problem – and yet in your last post you seem to say that the fault is still existing.

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