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Hi Guys, hope you might be able to give me some advice.

 

My OH's son purchased his first car from a private buyer after responding to an advert. We all went to look at the car but none of us have the first idea about them really. I took the car around the block as my OH's son was understandably nervous about driving after just passing his test, and it seemed to drive ok.

 

One week after purchasing it we noticed a disturbing smell and took it into the garage thinking the clutch may have gone. How wrong could we have been! The car needed a completely new radiator and head gasket. We were absolutely livid as we felt we had been conned but decided to have the work done as we thought we would have little consumer rights considering that we purchased from a private buyer.

 

It cost us £450+ and I thought that would be the end of it. A week later we received a letter from the DVLA requesting information regarding the registeration documents. My OH phoned them and it was explained that a letter had been sent in to them as this car had been bought and returned to the owner a day before we bought it! Apparently a son had gone out and bought the car on his own, his first car. When it was taken back to his house and his father looked at it he immediately returned it to the seller and demanded his money back due to the poor state of the vehicle. I am now wondering if I should take him to the small claims court. The advert describes the car as 'v. good condition' and no mention was made of any problems, which he obviously new about. Will we have any grounds for taking him to court or are we better off accepting our losses??

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Not really an expert on this one, however, usually a second hand car is bought "as seen" and there is not usually any come back. I think your only option is to phone trading standards or citizens advice and see what they say. I personally dont think there is anything you can do, but you can make a couple of calls and see. Good luck.

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Wow, I'm chipping in here as something similar happened to me over Christmas and I empathise greatly with you.

 

Unfortunately we do not have the same protection buying from a private seller as we would if we bought from trade. We'd be covered more by the sale of goods act if we'd bought from a dealer/garage, or if we could prove that the individual was in fact a trader, continuously selling cars even though in the guise of a private seller. This latter one is harder to prove unless you can find several ads with his phone number on!

Saying that there's still a chance you could claim something back.

Are you familiar with the small claims system ?

Did you ask him what the faults were?

Did he point any out?

Did he give you the opportunity of getting it checked out?

Did he write sold as seen on the receipt?

 

I'm only asking these questions as these are the things I've been asked latley.

 

If you have a read of the sale of goods act and the misinterpretation law, in theory we could claim.

 

I've chosen not to for personal reasons and that a claim could bring me more repercussions, so I've decided to cut my losses and try to sell on the car, being totally honest with a buyer!

 

our colleagues and friends on here will no doubt come in and offer more guidance and support, but I just wanted you to know that I'm in the same boat ( only my repair could cost £1600)

good luck ,Freebird


1/6/06 request charges

16/6/06 received charges

18/6/06 first request for refund

3/7/06 "No" letter from bank

13/7/06 LBA

7/08/06 handed claim to court

10/8/06 court stamped as date of issue

24/8/06 deemed to be served

25/8/06 Sechiari filed acknowledgement of service

6/9/06 defence served

9/9/06 copy of defence and AQ received by me

25/9/06 deadline for AQ submission

25/9/06 call Sechiari confirm safe receipt of my AQ

26/9/06 received copy AQ from Sechiari

29/9/06 letter to SCM to say "you want 1 month to settle, so settle"

18/10/06 after "strained communications"and how !

verbal offer of full settlement with conditions

communications rejecting conditions from me

5/11/06 received letter offering settlement with conditions

7/11/06 sent fax rejecting conditions etc

14/11/06 unconditional settlement in bank and how !;)

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Well, although you're not covered by the "satisfactory quality" term of the Sale of Goods Act, you are covered by the term which states that the item should be sold as described. So you could try this tack. Tell the seller that the car is clearly not in very good condition as described in the advertisement, and therefore it doesn't comply with the terms of the Sale of Goods Act and you are therefore entitled to reject the car and claim a refund or alternatively claim the cost of the repair.

 

You don't say what the age and mileage of the car are, as this could have an effect, although it should still be in "very good condition" for that age and mileage as it was described in this way in the advertisement.

 

It's certainly worth a try though - throw the legislation at the seller and see what sort of reaction you get.

 

Ultimately you'd have to take it to court and I couldn't guarantee what sort of result you would get.


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

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Saying that there's still a chance you could claim something back.

Are you familiar with the small claims system ?

Did you ask him what the faults were?

Did he point any out?

Did he give you the opportunity of getting it checked out?

Did he write sold as seen on the receipt?

 

our colleagues and friends on here will no doubt come in and offer more guidance and support, but I just wanted you to know that I'm in the same boat ( only my repair could cost £1600)

good luck ,Freebird

 

Thnks v much for replying guys, freebird am sorry to hear about your worse luck also - maybe a mechanics course is the answer for both of us!!

 

In reply to your questions -no am not familiar with the courts, there was no mention of any problems at all (Although I am sure he will dispute this) and he wrote nothing on any of the paperwork.

 

Suppose whatever happens will learn from this in the future

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The only trouble you might have is having the repairs done. The seller could claim that he thought the car was in a decent condition and the previous buyer returned it as it wasn't suitable for his son.

 

With the repair the seller could claim that if he had know about this he would have written the car off (depends on what the car is worth) and as such I doubt you'll be able to claim the cost of the repair back or if you claim the cost of the car back he will have to be returned the car with a free repair.

 

You should ideally have contacted the seller prior to making any repairs.

 

quick edit seeing your reply - it doesn't matter if he doesn't list the faults only if he states there are none

 

ie he could state fully running car and that would seem to be true

 

but couldn't get away with fully working, no problems head gasket checked.

 

or more seriously if he states never stolen/written off and later you find out it has been.

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Will we have any grounds for taking him to court or are we better off accepting our losses??

 

First, assess what will happen if you win in court. Will you actually get any money out of the seller? If the answer is "No", "Unlikely", or "Don''t know", there is little point in winning a court case.

 

If you think it's likely you will get paid if you win, work out how much the court is likely to award you. You have to persuade the court that the head gasket problem was present at the time of sale, and not something that happened afterwards. Perhaps there was no anti-freeze, the water in the cooling system froze overnight, and when it was driven off it overheated and the head gasket blew. If that's the case, the court would have to aportion liability between the buyer and the seller. So you might get half of what you claim, and have to pay your court fee of £50 - so you would get back £175 out of the £450 you spent on repairs.

 

Tim

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I'd have thought you'd have to prove dishonesty on his part, as all he has to say is "I couldn't see anything wrong with it, but I'm not a mechanic". On a private sale, you have very little redress.

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Guest Benthic

Take a deep breath and put it down to experience.

 

from Where to buy your banger

 

"...if you are buying from a private seller, the only bit of the Sale of Goods Act which applies is that the car has to be 'as described'. So if it is described as 'genuine 40,000 miles' and you subsequently meet up with a previous owner and find that it had done 98,000 when he sold it two years previously, you have a case against the seller. Likewise if it is sold as 'recently rebuilt engine' and you find that the only reason it runs so quietly is that the sump is full of 90 weight gear oil to disguise the massive wear in every moving part. However, this only works where the vendor has clearly lied to you, and you can prove it. Some deeply sad individuals have attempted to take vendors to court on the basis of the car being described as 'vgc' (very good condition) in the advert, and subsequently breaking down. A friend of mine actually ended up in court after selling an old Citroen for £250. He had described it as 'good condition for year', which to any normal human being it was, especially considering the price. Unfortunately for him, the buyer was a very abnormal human being, and produced in court a long list of alleged faults including 'sidelight bulb failed after short time' and 'parcel shelf damaged'. The magistrate had the good sense to throw the case out."

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Actually, I would argue that saying "very good condition" is a representation and a description, therefore can be taken to court in the right circumstances.

 

Obviously in the case you mention, with a car costing £250, you're not expecting much. But would the same be the case if you bought a car for £5000 described as being in very good condition which breaks down the next day?

 

Each case is different and it's a bit much to say people who pursue cases like this are "deeply sad"!


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

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but very good condition is easily proven to be the aesthetics of the car - especially if the guy has no technical/mecanical experience.

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True, I can't argue that it would be an easy case to take to court, but I wouldn't dismiss a decent case out of hand if the car was of a certain value and the fault was immediate.

 

Personally speaking, I wouldn't bother but nothing's a foregone conclusion in court and if someone was determined enough and had a reasonable case they might just get a result.


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

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Cheers guys for all your input. Think I may have a go at this one in the small claims court. I realise that most of the feedback on here has been advising against this course of action and I have taken on board all your comments, however i just can't help feeling that the fact that it was taken back on the day before is good evidence that he knew the situation. Anyways, thanks again to all and I will keep you posted as to how we get on.

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Beware that you could end up paying his costs (travel + day off work) ontop of the court fees if you lose - there's a saying about throwing good money after bad, but if you do go down that track good luck and keep us all informed.

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Interesting:

 

There is an old saying in the motor trade goes like this, "new BMW driver looking for a cheap motor for the wife and kids to kill themselves in"

 

1) How much did you pay for the car?

2)Did you contact the sller and ask that he or she helps towards the costs

 

A radiator is a service item as such could develop a fault at any time, same for brakes, exhausts etc.

 

Im not sure here but, perhaps you could have got a price for the work then inform the seller your returning the car under the law which covers " Fit for purpose".

 

Next time pay a small deposit to hold the car , get the AA or RAC to check it, if it is a wreck then walk away ask for your deposit back on the grounds of the report or walk away from the deal and blow £25 or so, it will be much less expensive for you.

 

People buy cars on ebay however, auction rules apply, you can walk away only if the seller miss describes the vehicle or doesnt mention a magor fault.

 

Interested to know how this pans out.:)


Donate to keep this site open

 

Any help or advice is offered as just that, help and advice without any liability. If in doubt consult a legal expert or CAB.

 

Make Cash Flow Forecast

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Im not sure here but, perhaps you could have got a price for the work then inform the seller your returning the car under the law which covers " Fit for purpose".

 

There is no such thing as 'fit for purpose' for private second hand trades. The only part of the legislation that applies is that goods must be as described. If the guy has his head screwed on and you go to court on the fit for purpose premise then it will get turfed out before it starts.

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If the guy has his head screwed on

 

I doubt that anyone has thier head screwed on driving a £250 banger lol..

 

While laws concerning sale of goods date back 100 years, the only phrase you need to memorise is 'The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)'.

 

The act covers second-hand items and sales. But if you buy privately, your only entitlement to your money back is if the goods aren't 'as described'. This is your problem pal how do you describe a banger?

 

Chances are the car is a death trap anyway.

Only trying to help a bit not take a degree in law :rolleyes:


Donate to keep this site open

 

Any help or advice is offered as just that, help and advice without any liability. If in doubt consult a legal expert or CAB.

 

Make Cash Flow Forecast

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The act covers second-hand items and sales. But if you buy privately, your only entitlement to your money back is if the goods aren't 'as described'. This is your problem pal how do you describe a banger?

 

 

Not as "in very good condition" for a start!


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

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How much did the car cost >?


Whatever I post is my opinion and should be taken as such, an opinion. While it is what I believe and is offered in good faith, it should not be taken as a statement of truth

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I doubt that anyone has thier head screwed on driving a £250 banger lol..

 

well maybe thats why he was selling it ;)

 

While laws concerning sale of goods date back 100 years, the only phrase you need to memorise is 'The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)'.

 

The act covers second-hand items and sales. But if you buy privately, your only entitlement to your money back is if the goods aren't 'as described'. This is your problem pal how do you describe a banger?

 

Chances are the car is a death trap anyway.

Only trying to help a bit not take a degree in law :rolleyes:

 

Who says the car was a 'banger' it could have appeared on the surface to have been in good nick (otherwise sure op wouldn't have bought it) and if it looked good then the description is fairly accurate.

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Right I have looked again and no where does the OP say it cost 250.

 

We would really need to know what the car cost. Like bs79 says, the description would sound as accurate as if it was not, they would not have bought it.

 

If they did sue, they would have o explain why they did not contact the seller to allow him/her to resolve any issues


Whatever I post is my opinion and should be taken as such, an opinion. While it is what I believe and is offered in good faith, it should not be taken as a statement of truth

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