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Vulcan Motor Company, Norwich - Problems with a 2nd hand car sale

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I found a car on auto trader that I liked the look of. It was being sold by a car dealer in Norwich, some 60 odd miles from where I live.


I rang him and asked if I could go and see it and test drive it, and would I be able to take it away the same day as I lived so far and would be going up by train.

He told me it had failed it's previous mot which was done in 2020 and hadn't been re MOT'd yet but if I was committed to buying it he wanted £250 deposit to put it through the mot and get any work done on it and not let anyone else buy it in the mean time. I'd been looking for a car for ages and quite liked the look of this particular car which have been hard to find so I agreed.


It failed it's mot and there were quite a few bits that needed doing. New tyre, new wipers, repositioning of headlamp, new roll bar joints. A week went by and I booked my train ticket for the weekend. I emailed him to tell him I would be up at the weekend  and he told me I shouldn't have booked it. There were parts still waiting to come in.


The following week I rang for an update and was told one of his mechanics had had to isolate. He said he would let me know when to book. The week after that he called me and said it had got all the parts, the guys were back and he would have a day for me to collect in the week. He rang me on the Tuesday last week and said everything had been done. It would have its mot done either that afternoon or the next morning and would be ready for collection  so I booked my ticket for the next day. 


I emailed him to confirm and he rang me saying I didn't tell you to book your tickets! I told him I had taken the day off work now on his say so that the car would be ready (3 weeks after paying a deposit) and I would be up the next day. He reluctantly agreed but said I may have to wait around as his garage may have other cars to do. I arrived In Norwich about 1, plotted up in a pub then he came to collect me from the town around half 4. He showed me the new mot which had no advisories, we signed all the paperwork, I paid him the balance of the £3500 and off I went.


Driving home I heard what sounded to me like a knocking noise but wasn't sure if it was the rumble of the road so when I got him I text him (as he asked me to) to let him know I'd got home and that the car had driven lovely but I had heard this noise. I never told my son about the noise but asked him to have a drive of it and he came back and said there's a knocking noise, did you hear it? I never had a text, email or call from the garage. So all this was Wednesday last week.


Tuesday this week, the car was making a loud noise I described as scraping. It was really loud and didn't sound at all right. i text the garage and told him. He responded and said not to drive it but to get it recovered to a garage for diagnostics and to let him know what they say. I had my son drive it again and he came back and said it was a grinding noise, it was something to do with the brakes maybe.


I took it to my local garage on Wednesday and asked them to have a look for me. Thursday I called them and was told the rear caliper had ceased solid. They had replaced it for me at a cost of £190 + vat. I called the dealer and told him and he has said that as a gesture of goodwill he will offer me half the money.


I explained that having only had the car 1 week I shouldn't be expected to pay anything for a repair and he told me I should have taken back to him as if I bought something from sainsbury that was off I wouldn't have taken it back to tesco! I explained the car was unsafe to drive home let alone another 60 odd miles to him and having it recovered to him would have cost a fortune. He has told me to send him the bill and he will decide on what to do and let me know today.


Am I within my rights to insist he pays this bill or takes the car back?


Sorry for the long post but wanted to give you the whole story 

Edited by dx100uk
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name names please.


yes you are 100% correct not your problem to pay for any repairs short term right to return.


how did yoy pay, please not by bank transfer?

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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Apologies, Vulcan Motor Company, Norwich


Yes by bank transfer, that was all he would accept - I have proof on my bank statement that this was paid


He has just emailed me back to say 



The technician - mot tester who worked on your Honda isn't back to work until Monday. I have asked for him to call me with his opinion, and the costs of a brake caliper and pads and labour. (the cost that I would pay in the trade to undertake the repair)
I will get back to you next week.


Edited by Fringer
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  • dx100uk changed the title to Vulcan Motor Company, Norwich - Problems with a 2nd hand car sale

On the basis of what you say, it seems clear that he has sold you a car which was unroadworthy and therefore he has committed an offence under section 75 of the highways act 1988.

Have you had the car checked out for any other defects? It would be a good idea to do this so that you know exactly what you have got.
It came to you with a brand-new MOT. Who did the MOT? Presumably it is either Vulcan or somebody very close to them.

Have you got the old caliper?

Presumably you have already read what we have to say about the risks you take when you pay by cash or pay by bank transfer.

What is the position now? Do you want to keep the car or do you want to return it?

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The garage who fitted the new caliper said they could see quite a few new parts had been fitted


The garage still have the old caliper, yes. They have to pay a surcharge on them (about £50) so have said they will take a photo and send to me but unless I, or the dealer, want to pay the surcharge, they wont let me have it.


I hadn't read the risks about bank transfers no 😬


I would prefer to return the car now. The way this guy has dealt with this makes me not want to do business with him at all 


Does it complicate the matter that I have had the work done by a different garage as he implied?

Would that cause any problems with me wanting to return the car as he has the right to repair?

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It would have helped if you had laid down a paper trail and kept the dealer informed as to what you are doing and the likely cost to him.

This is always a prudent thing to do.

In the event, it seems to me that you had a vehicle in a dangerous condition – and in fact unroadworthy contrary to the Highways Act and so I think you were entitled to go ahead and do the minimum amount of work required to bring it back into roadworthy condition.

However it seems to me that the contract is void – at your option and so if you want to return the car then I think you have a strong case.

Of course the dealer won't see it that way.

You haven't addressed my questions about the MOT.

It would be helpful if you would deal with questions when they are asked because it saves needlessly extending this thread simply with me chasing you for answers

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Absolutely, sorry I missed that question


The MOT was carried out by his usual garage that he uses for MOTs 


I didn't actually ask the garage to fix the problem, just to check what the problem was but he misheard me and said that as it was so bad he had thought I wanted the work carried out straight away.


He said there is no way it should have passed the MOT


I did say this to the dealer and was told that was unfair thing to say and I cannot talk about things that have happened in the past? 


Could I, at this point reply to his email stating these facts and request a full refund?

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Is there any chance of getting a general inspection of the car to see what else is wrong with it? That would be helpful to you?



And by the way what was the total price of the car? And by how much are you out of pocket?

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I can have the garage look over it again next week to see if there is anything wrong


The total amount of the car was £3,500


The bill from the garage was £190+ VAT=£228 which hasn't been paid yet so technically I am not out of pocket 

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Well you may not have paid it but presumably you owe it to them – no? In which case technically you are out of pocket

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I have emailed the dealer this morning with the following email




I have taken legal advice on this matter as I have experienced this problem within a week of buying the car of which I did tell you about a noise on the way home the very day I purchased the car.
Having only been offered half of the cost of repair which is totally unacceptable, I have been advised that I am entitled to return the car to you and receive a full refund, as well as the costs of the repair to be covered by you direct to Wivenhoe Autos who carried out the repair.
I have a photo of the caliper that was removed from the car which clearly shows this car was sold in an unroadworthy condition and therefore you have committed an offence under section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
I am working all week and therefore am only available to return the car to you on Saturday 4th December. Please confirm this is a suitable day for you.



and have had this response

I will hand this situation over to my solicitor, and they will deal with it accordingly, and in line with legal guidance, from here on out you will recieve a response directly from them, and they will be advising and answering all of your questions and e mails on behalf of Vulcan Motor Company Ltd. They have 14 days from the date of this e mail to respond.


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Shame that you refer to having taken legal advice. This leads you unnecessarily into conflict.

Anyway, I think now is the time to send a letter of claim.

Post a draft here and will have a look.

Do understand that a claim is not a bluff. At the expiry of your 14 day deadline it means that you click off the claim which should already be prepared using the County Court money claim website


Incidentally, ignore the stuff about only communicating with his solicitor. Keep all your correspondence directly to him. Don't be intimidated by any sense that there is a solicitor on the other side.
You have us on your side. 

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No there is no draft. Produce your own post it here and we will have a look.

I should keep on using the car for the moment until you hear something.


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Letter of Claim


I am writing to you with regard to the above vehicle purchased from you on 17th November 2021.


The amount paid for this vehicle was £250.00 deposit paid on 28th October 2021 and the balance of £3,250.00 paid on the day of collection of the vehicle on 17th November 2021 giving a total of £3,500.00. A statement showing these amounts leaving my account is enclosed.


This vehicle was purchased after an MOT was carried out on the vehicle on the day of collection of 17th November 2021.


On the journey home a strange noise could be heard which was communicated to Matthew by text message. Originally I thought it was maybe the sound of the rumble on the road but having got the vehicle home, I asked my son to take it for a drive. He confirmed there was a noise. I did not receive a response from Matthew in regard to this message.


On Tuesday 23rd November 2021, driving home from work I noticed this noise had got extremely loud and again sent a text message to Matthew stating an awful ‘scraping noise’. Matthew responded asking me to take it to a workshop for diagnosis. He stated it would be better to get it recovered in case of causing any further damage and asked me to call him in the office when I had more information.


It was taken to my local garage and I was contacted by them on Thursday 24th November 2021 to advise that the rear caliper had ceased solid and had been repaired as was not safe to drive. I was advised of the cost for the part and labour which totalled £190.00 + VAT.


I contacted Matthew by phone and advised him of the outcome from the garage and was offered ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ half of the amount towards the repair. I stated I was not happy to pay anything towards a repair on a vehicle I had only had for 7 days. I asked if the car had a warranty and was told yes but i had not returned the car to Vulcan, I had had the work carried out elsewhere and had I have taken it back to him, he would have only paid trade prices to his usual garage for the repair. I did explain that the car was unsafe to drive and had I had it recovered to Norwich from Essex, it would have cost a lot of money.


Matthew then requested that the invoice from the garage be made out to his company and to send it over by email which was done later that evening. I received a response email stating Matthew would speak to the technician who worked on the car for his advice and trade prices for labour and materials and he would contact me the following week.


Today, I have emailed Vulcan Motor Company to advise that I would like to return the car for a full refund and I have been advised that it will passed to the solicitor for Vulcan Motor Company and I would only deal with them going forward.


Funds can be made direct to my account

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Your letter of claim is far too lengthy.



Dear XXX

Letter of Claim

As you know I purchased a vehicle registration number XXX from you for £3500 on 17 November 2021.
The vehicle was newly MOT' d but despite this, on the journey home the vehicle demonstrated strange noises particularly on braking.
By 23 November, there was a distinct scraping noise and I decided no longer to drive the vehicle.


I contacted your employee Matthew about this and received no response

I had the vehicle collected and taken to my local garage for inspection.

My local garage reported that a brake caliper had seized up completely solid and that the car was unroadworthy and dangerous. The garage went ahead and replaced the caliper – but the old one has been retained for inspection by you if you wish.

The cost of this work was £190 plus VAT.


Clearly the car was in unroadworthy condition when you sold it to me and furthermore the evidence is that the MOT was either not carried out correctly or was carried out fraudulently.

I'm writing to inform you that I am asserting my rights under the consumer rights act. The car is clearly not of satisfactory quality and therefore I require a complete refund of the purchase price and also the cost of the work which was carried out on it.
I require refund within 14 days and also I require you to make your arrangements to collect the car.

Furthermore I am sure you must realise that selling a car in this condition is a criminal offence under section 75 Road Traffic Accident 1988 and for this reason also I am rejecting the car.

If I do not receive full reimbursement plus notification of satisfactory arrangements collect the car within 14 days then I shall sue you in the County Court and without any further notice.
You can be certain that I shall raise the issue of selling in unroadworthy car and also the questionable MOT with the judge who I'm certain will be unhappy to hear this and will reflect the courts displeasure in the judgement.


You can inspect the old caliper by appointment at my garage although you will not be permitted to take it away as I may require for inspection by the court.

Yours sincerely


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I should also add, be careful about letting the car go before you have the money in the bank.
Let us know what happens

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If it brings you comfort to tell your life story then put it in – otherwise, don't.

We are here to help you and of course we are completely on your side but I'm going to say now – and for the benefit of anybody else who visits this thread, that to purchase a vehicle in this way was really asking for trouble.

None of what you say has happened surprises me in the slightest.

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Ok understood


I have copied your letter word for word and am on my way to the post office to send recorded delivery


If bank transfer is not the way to go, what is when buying a new car? I thought I was doing it the right way, and he had a good reputation, I did check the garage out previous to purchase. 

I seem to have the worst luck with used cars. 
I bought one in June which also had a serious problem but luckily the dealer just said bring it back, I'll give you a refund, I didn't even have to ask that time! 

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See what we have to say about buying a used car.

The only safe way to buy a used car is using a credit card or a loan/finance deal specially for that purpose which is a consumer credit deal and where the monies paid straight to the dealer. Then you are protected under section 75 Consumer Credit Act.

If you found a dealer that respected your consumer rights then you ought to make sure everybody knows about it.

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I've had a response to my letter, by email



We acknowledge receipt of your signed for letter on 1/12/21

Along with your previous email dated 29/11/21 your letter has been forwarded to our law firm for legal advise, as in matters such as these the law is designed to protect both parties, when writing, receiving, and responding to letters, and the guidance for a response is usually 14 working days from receipt of any correspondence, as per my previous email all correspondence will be replied to by our law firm as they will be acting on our behalf at all times.


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I emailed the garage to ask them not to throw the caliper etc away in case it was needed and they have asked me to pay the bill and recover the costs myself even though the invoice was made out to Vulcan

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