New laws give car buyers extra protection

Car buying advice
Car buyers will benefit from the new Consumer Rights Act 2015


Due to the huge number of questions generated by this topic, we have taken the time to replace this article with a brand new and more comprehensive explanation of your rights when rejecting a new or used car. Please follow this link to our new article from now on:

Rejecting a car – your consumer rights.

This old article will no longer be updated, and any questions will be directed to the new article. Many thanks, stuart.

(PS – if you’ve come here from the MoneySavingExpert forum, then they have been asked to update their links to the new article above. Also never take advice from the anonymous keyboard warriors on the MoneySavingExpert forum, as they are very often wrong and misguided!
stuart 11/08/2017)

Car buyers will get more rights when rejecting a faulty car from October 2015

From 1 October 2015, the old Sale of Goods Act 1979 will be effectively replaced for business to consumer (B2C) sales by the new Consumer Rights Act 2015, which is good news for car buyers. The new Act gives greater consumer protection in line with EU requirements.

The big benefit of the new law is that car buyers will have 30 days to reject a new or used car from a dealership if it has a fault which was present when you took delivery. The old legislation was vague and was not easily enforceable in the event of problems with a vehicle.

If a customer wants to accept a repair then they can, but they are not obliged to and can demand a full refund.

The new rules, which only affect private car buyers (consumers) rather than businesses, and only from cars bought from registered traders (i.e. – not private sales).  The Act covers both new and used cars.

This is a very powerful law in support of consumers, but it is important that you follow a clear and careful process to make sure you have the backing of the new law.

It is the customer’s obligation to prove that there was a fault when they took delivery of the car. Faults that only appear after you have driven off will not count unless you can show that they had to have been present when you collected the car.

The rules should be particularly useful when purchasing from auction, or other situations where there is little or no opportunity to inspect a car before purchase.

Tips for car buyers when rejecting a car

  1. A fault does not have to be a problem that renders the car undriveable. According to the Act, the “goods” (i.e. – the car) must in of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect.
  2. Inspect the car for faults before purchase, and get written confirmation that they will be addressed prior to delivery. Take photos or video to highlight the problem so you can compare to the ‘fixed’ result.
  3. Inspect the car for faults at time of delivery. Do not allow the dealer to rush you and do not sign any documentation on delivery until you have inspected the car thoroughly.
  4. Once you have driven home, inspect the car again. If you spot any problems, take photos or video evidence.
  5. If you notice any problems, cease driving the car as soon as is practical. Notify the dealership immediately, preferably via phone and definitely in writing (email is fine).  Explain the problem clearly and in detail, and supply photos or any other evidence.
  6. If you are interested in pursuing your option to reject the car, do not keep driving it unless absolutely necessary and there is no alternative. If you do need to drive the car, make sure you inform the dealer to avoid any dispute later on.
  7. Get everything in writing, with clear dates. If the dealer is happy for you to keep driving the car until they are available to look at it, get an email confirming that.  A car dealer’s verbal promise is worth nothing.
  8. This is not an excuse to change your mind because you don’t want the car anymore, or you realise that you’ve bought the wrong car for your needs. There has to be a clear fault with the vehicle.
  9. Rejecting a car will be easier for a new car than a used car, simply because there are fewer grey areas and everything should be working properly on a brand new car. If you are buying a used car, especially an older car, you will need to clear (get it in writing) about anything that is not working that you want fixed before delivery. If a dealer is offering a car with a known fault, and it is advertised as such and sold ‘as is’, you can’t reject the car because of that fault.
  10. The Act only governs faults that were present when you bought the car, not ones that developed afterwards. That’s what warranties are for.
  11. Your 30 days is paused while a fault is investigated and repaired. This is to stop a dealer taking 31 days to investigate a fault and then decline to refund or repair because it’s outside the legal window.

Unless there is a clause in the sales contract which says you are obliged to return the car, then it is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle. You only have to make sure the car is available to collect.

If you are rejecting the car under the new 30-day ‘short term right to reject’ legislation, you are entitled to a full refund by the same method in which you paid for the car. The dealer cannot charge for usage, damage, wear and tear, collection of the vehicle or anything else.


Once again, please note that this article has now been replaced by a brand new and more comprehensive explanation of your rights when rejecting a new or used car. Please follow this link to our new article:

Rejecting a car – your consumer rights.

This comments section below will no longer be updated, and any questions from readers will be directed to the new article. Many thanks, stuart.

Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editor of The Car Expert, which he founded in 2011, and our new sister site The Van Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the car industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.


  1. Good advice for car buyers . thanks for sharing with us .

  2. I have bought car from dealer and it’s faulty ie no sensors as advised, charger not working, seat belts dirty and wipers were faulty noted in rain when going back home after buying car(changed by kwikfit the next day). Now i demanded refund and they say they would reduced 500 punds as deduction after 4 days of sale. What do you suggest?

  3. Stuart Masson

    Yes, under the new legislation explained above, you can demand a full refund – they have no right to deduct any money if you are returning the car in the same condition as when you bought it.

    Refer them to this article, or more importantly, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

  4. Hi Stuart,
    I was wondering if you could give me some advice?
    Basically I bought and paid cash for a brand new £25,000 car back in April 2013. My problem is that I have experienced no end of trouble with it. It has been back to the dealership for repairs more times than I care to remember and they have been major jobs!
    Even the guys at the dealership have admitted that it’s something that they just don’t see with my make of car and that they only see them when it’s time for service.
    I’m really tired of having to used their courtesy car time and time again and my main worry is that in March 2016, the warranty will be up. I have put this to the garage and they said because of all the problems I’ve had with it, the manufacturer may extend the warranty for another year however I feel that it’s not much of a consolation due to it continually causing me problems.
    I’m exasperated to be honest!
    Many thanks for listening

  5. Stuart Masson

    Hi Barbara. Make sure you are keeping a documented file of everything that has been wrong with the vehicle, including all correspondence with the dealer.

    I would try for advice on challenging the dealer and manufacturer about the vehicle being not fit for purpose and demanding a replacement, as it’s not an area we have expertise in dealing with here. Ignore an comments from the dealer about “we never have problems with these cars”, as they will always say that…

  6. Hi Stuart, I have bought a second hand car 3 days ago and when I drove it back home I noticed the driver seat was loose and move quite noticeably when accelerating/slowing or turning and on further inspection, I noticed the engine was leaking oil a bit from everywhere as well as an electric mirror not working. The two first faults are not even reported as warning or anything in the 4 days old MOT which worries me. Am I entitled to a full refund for these faults as I cannot trust the car anymore if these 3 issues are present and I do not want it repaired: I do not want to drive it with anyone in it, who knows what else is hidden somewhere else and I think the MOT is dodgy at best if not worse.

  7. Stuart Masson

    Hi Richar. Yes, as explained above, you can take the car back and demand a full refund. The dealer almost certainly won’t like it, but it’s your right under the new laws. Make sure you stand your ground, and have a copy of the law (it’s linked at the top of the article above) so they know that you know your rights.

  8. hi stuart I just bought a used car 3 days ago and I’ve been having problem ever since. They told me the car was in good running condition and I believed it but the car was sold as is can this new law help me?

  9. Stuart Masson

    Hi Devin. Yes, the new legislation applies to both new and used cars.

  10. hi Stuart
    i am dealer, i started the business about three months ago, i sold a car about 45 days ago. after 15 days of sold the car the buyer complain me and complain suddenly his car clutch is broken.. as new trader i took the car from his home and repair it and i did not charge him anything for it. but today he text me his car breakdown again and he is going to complain it to the complain authority to refund his full money.. the car is sold about 45 days ago.
    what would be the next is he eligible for that claim?
    as i know about the new rules after 30 days he can’t ask for the refund..
    please help me with solution.

  11. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kamrul. Given that the problem was reported within 15 days, he can probably argue that it falls within the 30-day window. The repair has clearly not worked, but it is impossible for me to know if this is a problem with the car or his driving. I would suggesting visiting Lawgistics, which deals with a lot of legal issues in the motor trade. They have been covering the new laws in detail, so you will probably find some good advice there.

  12. Hi Stuart,

    I just bought a Chevrolet Cargo Express van from a dealership yesterday, and found out 2 hours later that the slider doors won’t lock at all, so I told my sales men that I’m returning the van and left it at the dealership.I feel ripoff and demanded a full refund the same same day but the sales men manger said that they don’t allow refund for commercial vehicle only for regular cars. Also the manger told me that my loan was one day with Los Angeles West and then today I’m with capital one. Can I i get my 2,500 credit down payment back on a commercial van and return the van? What will happen if I just leave the van their at the dealership (currently where it’s at)? Will this mess up my credit? Thanks

  13. Hi my son brought a car through fininace on the 25th Nov (£8000) on the 29th Nov he had to call AA as he couldn’t start the car AA took the car back to dealer ship and on the Monday mornin my son called them to say the car was on their forecourt due to it not starting. My son has losed all faith in the car now and wants to cancel his agreement, it’s now the 9 th dec and he still has no car and dealer ship seemed to be playing games with him not returning his calls,, he explained to fininace company who said because they is a fault he is able to cancel ,,,, but still left not k owing anything,,,,,, please help worried mom thank you

  14. Stuart Masson

    Hi Darren. Unfortunately, we are a UK website and I don’t know what the law states in California.

  15. Stuart Masson

    Hi Marie. Yes, your son should be protected under the new legislation. If he is not getting a satisfactory response from the dealer, he should contact the Ombudsman or seek legal advice. Make sure you inform the finance company of your intention to reject the vehicle. The finance agreement has a 14-day cooling-off period, but that will expire very soon if he took delivery of the car on 28 November.

  16. Hi Stuart,

    I was hoping you could give me a little advise about my situation? I bought a second had car from a dealer on the 27th August. I didn’t get a chance to drive the car until early November due to the dealer wanting to get the car an MOT after I bought the car and then I needed to wait for the log book to arrive so I could insure myself on it. The dealer told me on the day that I bought the car that the MOT had run out, and so would like to get a new one it before I took it away. But when I tried to drive it for the first time after being able to collect the car, it wouldn’t move. after a few hours late at night to get it moving, it finally drove. There are various other faults on the car that I noticed after I got it home. I contacted the dealer the next day about the fault of the car and he point blank refused to give me a refund, swore at me and put the phone down. I ask advise from Citizens Advise and so I wrote him a letter. He claims he never received the letter, even though I sent it recorded delivery and wont return my calls. Iv had the car looked at by a mechanic and the Ministry of transport and both have said that the car should not have passed the MOT that he put it through on the 5th September. It has only driven 80 miles since I bought the car (the day I finally got it working and haven’t driven it since) and There is excessive rust under the car with holes, the engine is a mess too possible engine management system issue, and there are welding issues, It is un road worthy and un drivable. Ministry of transport are actually investigating the garage who did the MOT. Iv only just found out that the MOT on the car hadn’t run out like he said to me when I bought it, It had failed its MOT only 6 days before I bough the car, on many major faults, but as I have never bought a car before and a complete novice I believed him and was glad to have a years MOT on it. My problem is that because I couldn’t drive the car for ages due to him wanting to get an MOT done, which took a few weeks for him to get done, and then waiting for the log book to insure it, I am out of the 30 day period. where do I stand with this?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, Its events that have unfolded over the last 2 months

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  17. Stuart Masson

    Hi Sophia. It’s unfortunate that cowboys like this still exist in the industry. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution and you are going to have to work had to get your money back – and even then, it may never happen.

    You are going to need to take legal action against the garage to get any kind of result, as clearly they will not respond to polite requests. I would suggest visiting, as they have loads of good legal advice as to how you can pursue the matter, but you will probably need to engage lawyers to act for you if you ever want to get it resolved.

  18. Hi there Stuart, Im a garage who repairs cars and when business is slow i buy a car or 2 to repair and sell to keep my business running. i brought a 2006 ford focus diesel with 146k, checked the vehicle over, driven the vehicle for a couple of days and all was good, just faulty reverse camera 3′ screen. changed a couple of tyres as hey was at min tread depth, gave the vehicle a check over and given it a fresh oil & filter change with a engine flush as i do with all my cars and customers that come in for a service. 7 weeks later the customer comes to see me and states a fault. This vehicle was sold for £1000 less than retail price for its age & mileage & they knocked me a further £95 to go towards the vehicles road tax. i was happy to offer them that deal as the vehicle was good. they refused to take out any warranty for the vehicle. ref to the fault 7 weeks later they stated it had a loss of power and could hear a hissing sound that turned out after having a look to be a turbo inter-cooler pipe ( advised then i would require further time to remove it and check to make sure it defo was the pipe and nothing else ) i was busy that day but gave them a date to pop back but they didnt come back. they know someone who knows me and asked them to call me stating am i going to fix it free of charge under the new law act & starting to state if this is not fixed they want a full refund. all my cheap cars brought and sold have always been happy with my service i have provided & have been honest & never push for a quick sale/profit.

    This surly is not the case where all customers read the full refund and push for this pushing honest business out & a way of taking business for a joke. i understand where some business are bad and see money and love there low act on the customer and not helping where possible.

    Am i right to refuse the free repair as the vehicle was in top road worthy condition when sold & the customer is to pay for the repairs as necessary.

    Many thanks

  19. Stuart Masson

    Hi Roger. If it was seven weeks after the sale, then they do not have any rights under the new legislation. They would have to refer to the Sale of Goods Act and claim that the car was not fit for purpose and should not have been sold. Given that it was a nine-year old Ford with 146,000 miles on the clock when they took delivery, they would have great difficulty proving this.

    I would suggest visiting, who specialise in legal information and advice for motor traders.

  20. Hi we purchased a car a few weeks ago, all the financing sorted, registration document arrived, but the dealer won’t give it to us because they say it has a fault. No timescale has been given for rectifying the fault, and they won’t or can’t say what the fault is. Can we reject the car before we have taken delivery? Or perhaps this new 30 day rule is why they are insisting on keeping the car until they say it is “fixed”? We no longer have confidence in the car but are unsure of our rights here.

  21. Stuart Masson

    If you have already paid for the car, it’s more difficult to cancel the contract and walk away. You absolutely have the right to know what the problem is and what they are doing about it. If the car has not been delivered, the finance should not have been activated, but it sounds like it probably has been. I would contact the finance company and inform them that the car has not been delivered. You can advise them that you no longer want the car and want to cancel the contract (you have a 14-day cooling off period for the finance agreement), but they may try to then bill you for the car if they have already paid the dealer for it.

  22. Hi,
    I bought a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer ( Network q) 1 year old from a dealer some miles away.
    The car is still under manufacturers warranty and plagued with a reoccuring fault that my local Vauxhall Dealership (not the VM dealer I bought it from) can resolve or identify and repair so far.
    The car was bought in July 2015.
    It is going in this week again for the same issues which render the vehicle virtually undrivable.
    Can I reject the vehicle or demand Vauxhall resolve this under the consumer acts or is my greivance with the original dealer where the car was purchased?
    I am allowing this next repair (under warranty) to hopefully resolve the situation,however I am planning my next step if it fails.
    I feel Vauxhall are accountable as they hold the warranty for my car,I guess the law may see it differently?

  23. Stuart Masson

    Hi Ian. The manufacturer warranty is provided by Vauxhall, so any dealership can address warranty issues. It may be that another dealer might sort the problem straightaway (not all dealers are equally competent).

    If you are not having any luck, you can contact Vauxhall head office and lodge a complaint with them. You are certainly within your rights to insist that the problem is fixed, although rejecting the car is more difficult.

  24. Hi Stuart,

    Firstly thanks for a great article that makes things a lot clearer.

    I am currently dealing with a dealer who I bought a 09 Nissan qashqai from for £6300 on 23/12/2015. This car had a full MOT on.

    On 5th Jan an engine malfunction light came on, the company who will only communicate via email, advised me to take it to a local garage and they would pay for a repair.

    The garage who are very reputable advised me of two fault codes, that the car was blowing blue smoke and loosing power this needed a new turbo. Plus, the car key was shown as not being synced with the car. With this in mind he advised me to ask for a refund as their maybe further problems with this car. I requested a refund from the dealership in line with my consumer rights.

    At which point the dealership stated they rejected this claim and would like to do diagnostics themselves. They have said that the car needs its variable vanes cleaning which will solve the problem and a new battery for the key, a ‘simple repair’ by their admissions. Note this is not a fully independent garage it’s next door to the dealers and they carry out MOTs on all the cars they sell.

    I’m inclined still not to trust them so I have again requested a refund in line with consumer rights using official emails with advice from citizens advice.

    The dealership have advised me they are not part of an ADR scheme. They will not speak to me on phone or in the dealership and I’m not allowed to ring the garage where my car is, emails only which are replied at best slowly, if at all.

    They have again rejected my refund request. Am I looking at small claims? What are my next steps?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,

  25. thanks for the reply stuart, a great piece of information, anyway i have contacted the dealer and they have refused to comment, they also said they would call me and they didn’t , i then called them and seems everyone is off work or in meetings , so can i simply take the car to them and leave it there with all the books and log book, the finance company say it will take min 8 weeks to give me a decision ?

  26. hi stuart
    i contacted the dealers and they simply wont reply back to me , every time i call they seem to be in meetings or off for the day, spoke to the pcp company and they say it will take min 8 weeks to resolve,they did say it is complicated because i used a part exchange car within the deal , is this right to say it will take 8 weeks, could i simply take the car to the dealer and hand them the keys back , or will it breach my finance, i will obviously make any future payments until it is resolved ?

  27. Stuart Masson

    Hi Donna. The dealership does not have the right to refuse your refund request if there was a fault present when you purchased the car.

    If they continue to refuse, your only course of action will be to get legal assistance and take them to court. You will need to show that the car was faulty when you purchased it, rather than a fault occurring after purchase. This is not that simple, and you will need expert advice from at least one other garage (preferably a Nissan main dealer) to say that the fault must have been present when you purchased the vehicle.

    It is likely that the threat of legal action would force the company’s hand, but it’s not guaranteed.

  28. Stuart Masson

    Hi Wayne. I suggest you do the following:

    1) write to the general manager/dealer principal of the dealership, stating your intention to reject the car. CC the finance company, as it’s their car, not yours. Make a point of complaining about the dealership’s behaviour and request his/her immediate confirmation of receipt of your letter. This should at least trigger a response from the dealership
    2) contact customer services at Nissan UK head office to complain about both the car and the dealership – you can also forward them a copy of your letter to the dealer. This usually results in the manufacturer jumping on the phone to the dealership, and has the effect of lighting a fire under the dealer to get off their butts and sort it out.

    I wouldn’t drop the car back at the dealership, as you are still required to insure it and look after it on behalf of the finance company, and you can’t just throw the keys back to the dealer and walk away.

  29. Hi stuart – Lengthy post warning – could you help – i have a peugeot 308 estate , bought on 6th april – large diesel leak was found on 11th april – after noticing patches on my driveway- reported on 11th april , got the car back as I really liked it – i have had issues constantly practically every month – but i am getting to the point I no longer want this car- have I left it to late to do anything about this? all issues have been report ed but they keep washing their hands of it and telling me to go to a peugeot warranty dealer – bought the car from arnold clark.

    Please could you give me a little advice – i think i have left it too long – but I really liked the car – at the moment the ABS light is currently on and requires a wheel speed sensor.

    Thank you

  30. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lauren. Arnold Clark doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service, based on the feedback we get here. To properly take them on, you will need to get some legal advice – visit, which is a brilliant forum for consumer rights, or engage a solicitor.

  31. Hi Stuart, I purchased a car from a car supermarket on Sunday and discovered the cruise control system was not working correctly on the Monday evening when a fault appeared on the dashboard. I immediately called the dealer and was so annoyed by their response that I decided I would return the car. I wrote to the dealership this morning informing them of my intention to return the car for a full refund. Firstly they apologized and offered to arrange a repair, which I rejected as I am fed up with them. The representative then told me that it would be difficult for me to get a refund through the consumer rights act because it wasn’t a major fault and I didn’t pick it up when it was checked etc etc. She then offered me the option to return the car under their 7 day money back guarantee policy, but this incurs a £299 admin fee.

    I am not sure if she was just trying to swindle £299 out of me by bending the truth or I would find it genuinely difficult to get my money back under the consumer rights act. I am also wary of losing the opportunity to return the car within 7 days, especially if a full refund is a non starter. I would appreciate your thoughts? Thanks

  32. Stuart Masson

    Hi Michael. Under the new laws (and the person at the other end of the phone may not have been properly briefed), you can return the car for a full refund within 30 days. The law does not specify that it has to be a major fault, merely that the fault had to be present when you bought the car.

    They cannot charge you £299, or even £2.99, as it is your consumer right. I would suggest speaking to the general manager/dealer principal if they are not playing along. Keep your tone polite but firm, and make it clear that you know your rights.

  33. I have purchased a brand Vauxhall Mokka costing £21,400 from Evans Halshaw in Cardiff after 38 day of ownership the car has developed an electrical fault which after 3 weeks Vauxhall has failed to fix , they keep fibbing me off by stating they have escalated the problem to the highest possible status within Vauxhall technical but still have failed to find the problem, the car has covered only 600 miles in that 38 days and they are refusing to give me a replacement car by stating that they want to go down every avenue including stripping out cable etc so I feel even and when I receive back the car it may have been stripped to the bone which makes me feel cheated, unfortunately I paid cash for car as I was left some money, have I got a case to demand a new car. Or do I let the weeks stack up before so one decides to do somththing positive

  34. Stuart Masson

    Hi Steve. I suggest taking the matter up with Vauxhall head office if you are not satisfied with the response from the dealership. Make sure you are clear in stating that you are happy to have a replacement new car of the same specification, but that you not consider the original car to be fit for sale.

  35. Stuart, thanks for your advice. I am still disputing my case with the dealer. They have insisted that because it was not a major fault, i.e. the car still works fine, and they offered a full repair, I can not return the car under the consumer rights act.

    Cruise control was an absolute must when I purchased the car because of the amount of motorway miles I do. They have acknowledged their is a fault but claim I can not prove it was there when I purchased the car – bearing in mind I reported it within 24 hours and 20 miles! The whole thing has made me mad but they have grinded me down now to the point I am almost ready to walk away.

    Do you know of specific text in the act that I can quote in my formal correspondence? Also, if I get no joy, where can I go from here to escalate my case? Thanks.

  36. Stuart Masson

    Hi Michael. The Act is linked in the opening paragraph of the article (or click here). Section 22 covers the short-term right to reject.

    The second link (or click here) explains it in fairly simple terms. At no point does the text specify the fault has to be ‘major’, but a court would decide whether the car is fit for purpose – and therefore it is unclear whether it would rule in your favour. For example, if an interior light bulb was blown on a used car, would that entitle a customer to a full refund? To the best of my knowledge, the new laws have not been tested in court as yet.

    I’m sure that any court would consider reporting a fault with 24 hours and 20 miles as an indication that it was likely to be present at time of delivery. However, if there is otherwise nothing wrong with the car you may as well get them to simply fix the cruise control and save yourself a bunch of hassle.

  37. Hi
    I collected a brand new BMW on the 8th January 2016. After 250 miles and 11 days of ownership I noticed a whistling noise coming from the automatic gearbox when reversing. Having owned BMW’s before with the same gearbox I knew this noise was not right. I called the dealer and they listened to the noise and said it didn’t seem right but would not commit. The car is now with them whilst they investigate the fault. I believe it requires a new automatic gearbox (I’m a mechanical engineer by trade). I have written to the dealer rejecting the vehicle (have also told them verbally) and have also spoke to BMW finance requesting the same. Under the new law are they obliged to replace the vehicle with a new one? I don’t want to be fobbed off that it’s a characteristic or if they do admit to a fault having a new gearbox in a car that is less than two weeks old that has done less than 300 miles.

  38. Stuart Masson

    Hi Adam. You should be entitled to a refund for the vehicle, and you will need to co-ordinate with the finance company because technically it’s their car. If you want to allow them to replace it for another vehicle, then that’s entirely up to you and they would probably prefer that.

  39. Hi Stuart,

    I agreed a PCP deal with Audi for an A6 on 21/12/15 , and paid a partial deposit. They explained the vehicle couldn’t be released until 26/01/16 as it had to be retained by the branch for 90day’s as a demonstrater.

    I have since contacted the Audi dealership over the month of January on numerous occasions both via telephone and e-mail in order to pay the remainder of the deposit due, and make arrangements for delivery of the vehicle. I am receiving absolutely no communication from Audi at all. Every time I phone my details are taken but no one returns the call.

    The service has completely put me off and made me wary of the dealership. What are my options on terms of being refunded the partial deposit paid in light of the circumstances, as well as any other protection provides by the Consumer Rights Act 2015?

    Many thanks again.

  40. Stuart Masson

    Hi Andy. The 90-day rule is standard across the industry, so your position is not unusual.

    As for the conduct of the dealership, you still have a valid contract with them, so you will need their agreement to cancel it and get your money back. Contact the dealer principal to complain about the conduct of the sales staff. Kick up enough fuss and make it clear (politely, of course) that you no longer want to do business with them, and they should give you your money back. If the dealer principal won’t take your phone call, call back with a German accent and tell them you’re André Konsbruck (head of Audi UK) – it’s worked before, and although the dealer principal won’t think you’re funny, at least you’ll finally get to speak to him.

    If you’re not having any luck with the dealer, call Audi UK in Milton Keynes and make a complaint there – that usually creates a few fireworks at the dealership and they will suddenly remember you exist.

  41. Thankyou Stuart, I am more than happy to have a replacement vehicle so will pursue that parh first. Excellent website by the way.

  42. hi stuart
    thanks for the info, i have escalated it to the finance company who says it will still take around 8 weeks to come to a decision, still also waiting for them to phone me back.
    the dealers simply still not calling me back, and contacted nissan direct and they asked what resolution would i be happy with, i told them to return the car for a refund or another car but not a nissan, they refused and said i would not get my money back, so i quoted the new terms conditions back in oct 2015 and she simply said , so your going down that route then ?. so at present its an on going battle.

  43. Hi,

    Just after a little advice. Brought a car in Nov 2015 09 plate with 60,000 miles on through a dealer on finance. However on the 4th Jan the engine warning light appeared and it is thought to have 2 major faults costing around £2000. The garage have agreed to look at it but aren’t saying they will fix it as its out of warranty (only got 1 months warranty although website states between 3 and 6 month warranties) not sure where to go after this as we can not afford to repair it and didnt expect this after 2 months of ownership!!!

  44. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kerry. I would suggest you start by looking closely at their website and your contract to understand why you only received a one-month warranty if they advertise three or six months.

    To get advice on how to challenge a dealership, I recommend visiting, which has some excellent forums for legal and consumer advice. In many cases, successfully disputing matters with a dealership relies on you knowing your rights and being able to confidently express them – many traders rely on consumers not really understanding their rights or standing up for them in order to avoid paying for repairs or refunds.

  45. Hi Stuart

    I could do with some help. I purchased a 63 plate BMW X6 from a dealer in September but it wasn’t delivered until October. Last week it developed a fault and I took it to BMW to be fixed. They turned it around within 2 days and said it was fixed. On the drive home the car developed the same fault and was eventually recovered by BMW emergency service. I have been provided a loan car but BMW have now had the car a week and are still trying to work out what’s wrong with it. They suspect a wiring loom !
    Where do I stand regarding compensation or returning the car ?

  46. Stuart Masson

    Hi Steve. Although it’s annoying, it’s certainly not unusual for a fault to be misdiagnosed at a first attempt, especially if it’s a problem that has not ben seen before. It’s also not unusual for a car to work perfectly when the service centre road tests it, and then promptly fails shortly after the owner gets it back. Very annoying for you but unfortunately it can happen. Unless the technician takes the car for a proper hour-long thrashing to see if it will break, these things can recur.

    As for returning the car or compensation, it would depend on the cause of the problem. You have had three months of presumably faultless use and it was a used car to begin with (albeit still covered under new car warranty), so there would need to be proof of a design or manufacturing fault which has caused you a direct loss to claim compensation. Even if they agreed to take the car back (which they won’t), you would only get a proportion of what you paid since you have used it for three months.

    Given that it was a used car when you bought it and you’ve had it for three months, any warranty or compensation claim would need proof that the fault is due to poor design or manufacture, rather than a problem which was you (or the previous owner) caused by your driving (eg – a stone or piece of debris gets flicked up by a tyre and cuts some wiring).

  47. Hi Stuart,

    Recently purchased a Nissan Qashquai from a trader. Engine management light has appeared after three weeks of driving which In my car history is always expensive. When you have previously mentioned “present when purchased” how can this be demonstrated if the warning light did not illuminate until weeks after purchase?. Can a refund be requested. Also, can the trader advise that this is wear and tear? Your assistance would be much appreciated.

  48. Stuart Masson

    Hi Anthony. I’m not sure how much luck consumers have had rejecting cars under the new laws so far, and am yet to see any data. However, a warning light coming on after three weeks of driving will be a difficult battle for you to win, as it is likely to be tricky to prove a problem was present when you took delivery, especially if you have covered a few hundred miles since then when the damage could have occurred.

    You can certainly take the matter up with the dealer, and your initial chances of success may well depend on how well you can convince them that you are fully prepared to take them to court to have the matter resolved in your favour. Demanding a refund is likely to be met with a flat rejection, so you are probably best served seeking a full repair for the problem instead.

    If you do want to reject the car and claim a full refund under the new laws, I would suggest that you would need to have a franchised Nissan dealer inspect the car and advise what the problem is, and therefore whether it was likely to have been present at time of purchase. However, this is going to cost you a fair amount of money which you are probably unlikely to be able to recover unless it’s glaringly obvious and beyond doubt. And even then, challenging the dealer may require taking legal action to force the issue. You would need to be very confident before taking such a step, because if you lose then you will have increased your costs considerably (especially since you’d probably have to pay the dealer’s legal expenses, too).

  49. Hi Stewart I took delivery of a new Renault Twingo just before Xmas on 18/12/15. At first we were happy with the vehicle but my wife, who was to be the main driver of the vehicle, started to experience a problem with the stability of the vehicle in winds from the first time she experienced the weather condition. She said that she really had to grip the steering wheel to prevent the car veering across the road. She has now had to alter her route to work when the wind is blowing as she feels unsafe in the car.

    The Twingo is supposed to come fitted with electronic safety control, which assists the road holding in windy conditions. Initially I was sceptical and thought it was just a case of my wife getting used to a new vehicle and with it being a rear wheel, rear engine drive. The next opportunity I took the vehicle for a drive in windy conditions, and I would have to say I’ve never experienced such a scary drive in a vehicle and I’ve driven many cars, big and small over the years. I really felt the car would be blown across the road into oncoming traffic.

    I’m happy to book the car in to the nearest Renault dealership – this car was effectively purchased over the Internet from a remote dealership with negotiations/finance (PCP) sorted out via e mail – for them to look at. Should they come back and say there is no fault with the ESC, as I suspect they may, have you any suggestions on how best to proceed? Effectively, I think this car will prove not fit for our purpose, but we are now (just) outside the 30 day period. Does the fact that we bought this via the Internet give any additional protection, and how does the fact that the car is on PCP finance fit into the situation? I’d be most grateful to hear your thoughts.

  50. Stuart Masson

    Hi Martin. The first step is clearly to have the vehicle checked over by the dealership to make sure there are no problems which may be causing your problem. There is no point in me getting involved in saying that you are right or wrong, as it would take a lot more detail and knowledge of your situation, and that’s not what we do.

    Proving that a vehicle is “not fit for purpose” is always difficult, as “fit for purpose” is not necessarily the same as “fit for your purpose”, so the argument would revolve around the suitability of that particular vehicle for your needs. You would need to get very good legal support, as it would be a very difficult case to argue. The opposing view would be to suggest that you bought the wrong car for your needs, and that’s not the manufacturer’s fault. The forum at might have some good information on this.

  51. hi stuart
    thanks for your help, the dealership is taking the car back under the new legislation as it was brand new and within 30days, however we paid for over 1000.00 worth of extras fitted to car like trims and bars and things, ehat happens to them , do we loose them or will they have to come to a resolution ?

  52. Stuart Masson

    Hi Wayne. If the dealer is giving you a refund for the vehicle, then it should cover everything that came on the car when it was delivered (including all accessories). If you bought these elsewhere after delivery, then they won’t be covered.

    If you have agreed for the dealer to replace the vehicle with another one, then they should be fitting the same accessories to the new car (or swapping them across from the first car).

  53. hi stuart, thanks
    we wouldn’t accept another of the same car due to all the problems with it, we went for a different make brand new from same dealer, they are taking this car back, we paid them for the extras which were fitted 1 week after we took delivery of the car, so not sure if we still have something to go with

  54. Stuart Masson

    Hi Wayne. The decent thing would be to refund the cost of the accessories, but it would not be a legal obligation under the new legislation.

  55. Hi Stuart

    I bought a car for £4000 from a dealer 13 days ago which had 2 punctured tyres that were not mentioned.

    The car also has a steering issue due to worn out suspension bushes which need to be changed immediately according to two service centres. The car also developed a problem with the throttle. I can’t drive the vehicle and I sent a letter to the dealers 7 days ago which they’ve received and ignored. I’ve got evidence in writing from the service centres of the faults present.

    Shall I simply go to the dealership and make a big commotion, refusing to leave unless they refund me the money. Can’t believe these people are able to sleep knowing that they present lies and knowingly sell faulty cars.


  56. Stuart Masson

    Hi Karim. Unfortunately, just because the law entitles you to a refund doesn’t mean that used car dealers will play nicely.

    Storming down to the garage and making “a big commotion” may not improve your chances at all. If they refuse to comply and you eventually leave, it could be interpreted as acceptance. You are better off seeking some legal backup in the form of a letter from a solicitor threatening to drag them into court, as they are more likely to respond to that. It shows that you are serious and that you are prepared to fight for your legal rights.

  57. Hiya I bought a Peugeot 208 a 2012 plate December 2015.
    They provide a 3 month guarantee with the vehicle. Also there is a 12 month RAC warranty. The touch screen is non responsive and showe up all the time gps fault. I rang them they told me I need to go to Peugeot to get a diagnostic which will cost me £60 and then the garage will contact RAC to see if its covered under RAC warranty. But will not find out till I pay for this. Don’t understand why I have to pay for a fault when I’ve only just bought this car. I bought this car from Eddie Wright’s.
    Wondered if you could advise me thank you.

  58. Stuart Masson

    Hi Yazmin. If the garage that sold you the car is not a Peugeot dealer, they won’t be able to fix the screen and it will have to go to a Peugeot dealer. The Peugeot dealer will demand payment for any work done, and the garage won’t pay for the work until they are sure it’s a warranty problem and not something you’ve done to break it. It’s annoying, but it’s fairly normal when you buy a car from an independent garage. If it is a warranty issue, the garage should refund you the £60.

    You should still be covered under your three-month warranty from the dealer, let alone the 12-month RAC warranty, but it means negotiations between the garage, the RAC Warranty people and the Peugeot dealer. An aftermarket warranty is never as good as a manufacturer warranty, where the Peugeot dealer can simply bill all their costs back to the manufacturer with minimal inconvenience to you.

  59. Hi Stuart,

    Nice website with prompt reply’s on this thread, thought i’d give it a go, sorry for the long message.

    I purchased a car (BMW 318CI 04 plate – paid almost £4k cash) from a dealer on the 23rd Dec. It came with 12 months warranty (Momentum Warranties Ltd) Drove away that night and was pulled by the police for having no MOT, despite being assured the car had 1yrs MOT when sold (documents would be posted). When I contacted the dealer about this, they said that they were having problems with VOSA at the time (very close to xmas) and came to collect the car. Got a call about an hour later saying the car was ready to collect, with a full MOT (no advisories). Given the time to get the car back to dealers I highly doubt it even went up on the ramps and am very wary of this MOT being correct and not just rushed through for the dealers convenience and legal rights given I had then spotted a couple of minor problems that would fail an MOT or at the very least should be on the advisory list. Still awaiting PF letter regarding being pulled with no MOT, and have been told by dealer they’d cover the cost of a fine if given as it’s their fault.

    Moving on, the car had been having some rough idle issues since I bought it (within same week) so I had been reading up on forums trying to get to know possible problems that could be causing this. It had lost power a few times when first pulling away, but quickly corrected after restarting engine. Given the age of the car I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect, but it should be of satisfactory condition (i.e. no major faults within 3/6months). But just the other day the engine light came on when starting and the engine/exhaust is sounding really rough, the light wont go off. I am waiting on a OBD reader being delivered to find out what fault codes are returned. I have not driven the car since the light came on.

    I have been doing a bit of online reading (how I found your site) and am now rather worried. From what I’ve read many places, the Momentum Warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, they will try every loophole to get out of paying, and given that the BMW is over 10yr old, I suspect that they will claim wear n tear (not covered) whatever the problem may be. Even if not, the claim limit is £750 and the problem may (still don’t know) cost more than this to fix.

    I was under the impression from SOGA that any major fault within the first 6 months was assumed to be present at point of sale and would be up to the Dealer to prove otherwise or they would be liable to fix the problem (i.e goods not satisfactory, should last more than 7 weeks without a major fault). Now I’ve been reading up on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which replaces SOGA??? and apparently it’s now up to the consumer to diagnose any Major Fault not clearly visible at time of sale, before driving off, despite the consumer not being an auto mechanic. How does this protect the consumer?

    I guess I’m just asking for advice on what my next move is… Rough Idle problems were always present, within the first 30 days, but the engine light and problems have only just occurred. I have owned the car for 55 days now. From what I’ve read, even taking the car to a garage to be diagnosed can cost a bit and Momentum Warranties may wriggle out of even covering diagnosis, as well as fixing the fault. If I take the car back to the dealer, they’ll probably just hit me with ‘use your warranty’ line. I went to a dealer rather than private sale for peace of mind. What should I do first / next?

  60. Stuart Masson

    Firstly, it is possible that the MOT was performed and the DVLA system hadn’t been updated in a timely manner (there is an amusing post on the forum about this exact issue). Or it could be that the car was never tested in the first place.

    With regards to the new consumer laws, you have to raise the issue with the selling dealer, rather than the warranty provider, within 30 days (ie – before 22 January in your case). If you have done so, then you should still be able to push to reject the car even though it has gone beyond the 30-day window. You still have the right to insist that the dealer rectifies the vehicle – for more info, have a read of this article by Which?

    Any aftermarket warranty is no different to an insurance product, and the warranty provider will often make you jump through all sorts of hoops before they will pay up. You often also need to pay for any work up-front yourself and claim back from the warranty provider afterwards, unlike a manufacturer warranty.

  61. Thanks Stuart,

    MOT problem could be as you said, but some things should have still been on the advisory at the very least. Fingers crossed the PF see it this way and I don’t get a fine given I’ve explained the situation / shown paperwork re the purchase or the car. Read that wee post on the forum, amusing but a bit daft to wind the police up un-necessarily . I’ve always found being nice helps them be nice in return. Officer who pulled me was friendly enough, we ended up talking web tech in his car for 10/15mins while waiting, guy was just doing his job after all. Had I wound him up he would have probably noticed the near bald rear tyres that should have failed the MOT it supposedly passed with!

    I actually had that Which article sitting open while also reading this thread, good info…

    I have spoken to the dealer today and they said bring the car back in and they’ll get it sorted, so hopefully all will go well with no need to deal with the warranty company as of yet. Any problems and I’m now armed up with some legal info should I need to use it, Thanks for the advice ;)

  62. Hello! I purchased a brand new Honda CRV 2015 about 21 days ago. I took my car on a longer drive a few days ago and noticed that severe back pain developed as the journey went on (30-40 mins). I had a sore back after I got out of the car. I then got into my car again today and after about 30 mins I noticed that severe pain started again in my lower back. I was using my other car during the week and this does not happen with that car so i know it is directly related to the honda crv. What are my rights?

  63. Stuart Masson

    Unless there is a recognised fault with the vehicle, you won’t be able to claim it’s a fault, so you have no “rights”. It is most likely that there is nothing wrong with the vehicle, but that the design of the seat is simply not compatible with the specific shape of your back. This is not an unusual problem with car seat design, particularly if you have ever had back problems in the past.

    There are plenty of aftermarket companies who sell various back support devices, cushions, etc. That may solve your problem

  64. Hi Stuart,

    Thank you for all the great article and great advice.

    I brought a ten year old VW Golf for £2000 from a second hand car dealership in Jan 2016. It was described as in excellent condition. 5 weeks after the sale I noticed the the alarm system wasn’t working. The mechanic at my local garage said there is some electrical issue with the car which needs to be repaired, but the car dealership where I bough the car said they wont pay for any further repairs as they only gave me one month warranty on clutch and engine.

    Would the Consumer rights Act 2015 not give me a 6 month warranty on the car being fully functional and as described? If I understood correctly, the act states that if the consumer shows the vehicle is faulty and requests a repair within the first six months of purchase, it is automatically assumes that the fault was there at the time of purchase.

    Thank you for your help

  65. Stuart Masson

    Hi Ben. The Consumer Rights Act does specify that, but it would probably be a slow and expensive process to use that to chase the seller, with no guarantee that you will end up winning the case. Just because the Act ‘automatically assumes that the fault was there at the time of purchase’ doesn’t mean that the trader won’t be able to show that there is a likelihood that the alarm was working at delivery and was then broken by you afterwards – legal issues are never black-and-white.

    The cost of repairing the alarm system may well be a lot less than using legal means to chase the dealer. Even if you were to win, there is no guarantee that you would get all your costs back.

  66. Can you give advice on a private car sale in Scotland please. I paid a 100 deposit on the 9th of Feb and bank transferred the balance on the 10th Feb 2 I went out in the car for the first time 2 days later when I noticed diesel smell coming in the car. I took it straight to the garage and left it there for 4 days getting fixed. Broken injector that will not torque properly. The garage have me various advisories including it has a returb engine that has loose and ill fitting parts. Gearbox prob in 4th 5th, broken back bush, lose handbrake. I do not know what the miles are on the car as it has a different engine and I have no paperwork for this. It was described in very good condition by the seller. I paid 406 for the injector fixing and am waiting on quotes for the rest of the repairs. It’s a 2006 Citroen c8 with questionable 95000 where do I stand?

  67. Stuart Masson

    Hi Karen. Unfortunately, with a private sale there is no real protection for you. You can try and take the seller to court, but there would obviously be considerable costs involved and no guarantee you would win – and even if you did, there’s no guarantee you would recover all of the costs involved.

  68. Would this still be the case if the engine number doesn’t match the reg document or the mot?

  69. Stuart Masson

    It might improve your chances in a civil action, but other than that it won’t change anything. The seller could argue that they told you that the engine number did not match, and there’s very little way to prove otherwise. They could tell you that the car ran on magic beans, basically, and unless you have some kind of written proof that you were lied to, there’s not a lot you can do.

    If you want to allege that the engine change was not correctly disclosed to the DVLA (which is probably true), then the end result is that the car is likely to have its V5C withdrawn and be taken off the road altogether until the correct paperwork is filed (and such paperwork may not even exist if the seller was dodgy anyway). You would still need to take the seller to court to try and get your money back, and there’s still no guarantee that you will be suitably compensated for all your expenses and associated hassle.

  70. Hi,
    I bought a car from a dealer on the 1st December 2015 and 2 weeks later it was returned to be fixed as there was an oil leak from the gearbox. They replaced the whole gearbox and loads of other bits. I received the car back on the 20th February and it was supposed to be fixed however it was again returned 3 days later on the 23rd February again with yet another oil leak from the engine this time! Now it was supposed to be fixed and they were to test it over the weekend and I have just been informed on the 29th February that it is still leaking and they have to take out the gearbox again!
    The vehicle is only 3 years old with 20,000 miles on it and I arranged finance myself for the vehicle through a car finance company. I have only had the car for 3 weeks in total but I have have owned it for 3 months now. I have been paying finance for the vehicle since 1st December. Please advise the possibility of the dealership exchanging the vehicle and how this would affect my finance agreement? Can a change of asset be done to avoid setting up a whole new finance agreement, as it took me a lot of time and patience to get my car finance.

  71. Stuart Masson

    Hi Stuart. If you were to reject the vehicle and have the dealership supply another vehicle, it would mean a new finance agreement. The current agreement is secured against that vehicle, and the vehicle belongs to the finance company (not you). For the finance company to agree to reject the vehicle, it would mean the termination of the agreement and there is no guarantee they would offer the same terms on another vehicle.

  72. We bought a second hand car from a local car sales which all seemed fine to start with. When my husband drove the car home it made a little judder like your foot slipping of the pedal. He reported to the garage the following morning. They said it probably due to be empty of fuel before we purchased it and it was probably air in the pipe. Drive for a few days and if doesn’t clear come back. No surprise it didn’t. We took it back and they booked it in for diagnostics. Faulty turbo showed up. This took the best part of 3 weeks to find and be agreed to repair between us, the finance company and the garage. Problem still there after this. They cannot find the fault and we are 6 weeks on and we have had the car for 1 week. The car company are now saying there is nothing wrong with it and don’t want to take it back. Where do we stand??

  73. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mrs Wood. You will need to work with the finance company if it is a PCP or HP agreement, as the car belongs to them. The dealership won’t want to keep working on the car because it costs them money, but that’s not your problem. If they have been unable to repair the vehicle then you have the right to reject it (again, consult with the finance company). I suggest you visit, which has a lot of excellent consumer legal advice and information which will help.

  74. Hi Stuart,
    We have brought a used car from an auction. Which claims to take only fleet cars and no private listings. Trusting this we brought a VW Golf estate. Paying £5,000 for the car plus an additional £528 in indemnity fees which weren’t made clear until the bid for car was made. We were not given the opportunity to test drive the car at all. They drove the car from the carpark to the gate of the auction and closed the gates after handing over the keys. There was barely any fuel in the car so we arranged for a pick up truck to come and collect the car. Even when loading the car onto the truck it was clear to see that there was a problem with the gearbox. The car came with a three month warranty, it was not made clear what the warranty covered and what the limit on the warranty would be. We were just told not to worry about it, it would be sent through via post. It was advertised as premium cover, so we thought it would cover anything that would be wrong with the vehicle to a certain extent.
    Fast forward to this Wednesday, the warranty papers came through. Bearing in mind that the car the car had been parked up in the driveway. It was taken to the garage after the warranty papers had arrived. The vehicle was rendered as undrivable and the warranty only covers £250 if a claim is to be made. However, on further inspection we were told that the car needed to be taken apart in order to diagnose the problem and even that would cost more than £250. Other problems such as the gearbox, juddering clutch, chip in the windscreen and one of the tires being under the legal limit are only a few of the problems that were found one of the problems when the car is shown to a mechanic.
    I Attempted to contact the auction, I received nothing but bad customer service is. Instead of offering to help I was being yelled that down the phone. The man on the phone claimed that I had no right to return the car and it was now mine. I also visited a certified registered Volkswagen garage before making the phone call. Where they told me that it would cost £72 to conduct a health check to diagnose the problem. It was also mentioned that they could possibly cost thousands to fix the gearbox if that is the actual problem and it needs replacing. I also mention this to the man on the phone, he told me to go to another garage as all Volkswagen were trying to do was make money off of me. I then did some research and found this article I need some advice do you think this comes under the consumer rights act of 2015. If so what do you think I should do from here on out. I have also done some other research for consumers in general and it states that if the goods aee defective or not fit for its purpose of the right to demand a full refund. As well as the goods must be in satisfactory quality of the satisfactory quality does this also apply to court. The faults that have come up in the car were not made clear, nobody explained that there was a problem with the car and it was sold as a car free of defects. Contacting them on the phone has not seem to have had an impact what action should I take now.

    Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  75. Hi, I found this really useful. Ive recently purchased a used car, and we were looking at the MOT certificates, apparently in December, it was relieved that the car had the worn break disks on both the front and rear of the car, break pads wearing thin on the front and shock absorbers has light misting of oil offside rear. We have been told that an MOT was carried out in February by the dealer but we haven’t been given that certificate (supposedly going to be emailed and posted out) Natrally me and my partner are concerned as its going to cost a lot of money to be fixed and we were not told about any of this before we purchased the car. Do you have any advice in relation to the law etc

    Thanks for reading

  76. Stuart Masson

    Hi Tooba. Much of what you describe is simply the way cars are sold at auction – no opportunity to test drive, there are auctions fees involved on top of the cost of the car, cars are sold as-seen – usually to trade customers rather than private individuals, who have a workshop to prepare the car for sale to a private buyer. At an auction, there is an opportunity to inspect vehicles before the sale to notice things like tyre treads, windscreen chips and other problems, but there is no opportunity for a mechanical inspection.

    An auction house is not bound by the same rules as a dealership, as far as I am aware, so I don’t know if you have the same recourse under the Consumer Rights Act. I would suggest visiting to see if they can offer some assistance, as they specialise in consumer legal advice.

  77. Stuart Masson

    Hi Peter. You can check any vehicle’s MOT status here: This will tell you when the next MOT test will be due (and therefore, when it was last carried out, since it lasts for 12 months). The car would have had to pass its MOT test before the dealer sold it, but that does’t mean it would be clear of advisories about brake discs/pads, etc. A car can be sold with advisories – this means the car is currently legal, but will require maintenance in the near future, which the dealer is not obligated to fix. If the car had failed its MOT inspection in December because of those issues, then they would have to be addressed before the vehicle could be sold.

    Unfortunately, it’s one of the things you should check before buying the car, not afterwards. It may have a pageful of advisories that you will have to attend to at some stage (depending on your annual mileage), but that’s not the dealer’s responsibility.

  78. Hi Stuart, Thank you for your reply. It turns out that the advisories were fixed prior to the car been sold to the dealer. In addition the dealer fixed any faults that where on the car prior to purchase (I rang them this morning about it). Thank you for the advice and something that i will defiantly take to hart next time i buy a used car

  79. Stuart Masson

    Brilliant, glad to hear it’s all been sorted.

  80. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a second hand motorbike/scooter about 2 weeks ago from a dealership, I’ve already had a problem with one of the mirrors loosening and queried if they can fix it because I didn’t know how to and was advise I could do it so I try but broke it. After that in the second week of me having the bike the key ignition barrel broke, I got the bike towed down to the shop next day to get it sorted under the 6months shop warrantee, it got fixed and whilst there I expressed my lack of faith in the bike and suggested I would give the bike back to them and get a different one from the shop. I was told my only option was since I bought the bike it’s now got an extra owner, I broke mirror the and I’d have to part exchange with loss of value to my current bike. I was told by the dealer owner there are no law or buyer right backings for me for this situation in the circumstances of second hand vehicle or purchasing of vehicles. So I took my bike back home to way up and read up my options. Currently I have the bike 2weeks and 2days into ownership.
    What do you reckon about this?

  81. Stuart Masson

    Hi Tim. Neither of those problems sound like a valid reason to reject the bike under the Consumer Rights Act. If the ignition barrel is now fixed, the only issue is the broken mirror. And as you pointed out, you broke that yourself. Assuming that there are no other problems with the bike, I don’t see why you would want to change it for another bike.

  82. Hi there,

    I bought a Suzuki swift from a dealer back in January the 1st. When asking about noises in the car he said this was normal for the type of model. He told me that everything was fine and that it had just been serviced a week period to me getting it.

    I took it home and 1 week later my rev counter started dropping to 490-200 and then cutting out and complained that the car was making a weird sound when starting in first (only described as a hoover) and that when you take your foot of the accelerator it makes a crunching noise. He took it into the garage and said that it was just the clutch but they didn’t need to fix it there and then, but he fixed the revs.

    My car battery died a month and a half after that, so my local garage who I’ve been to for ages told me that my gearbox bearings we faulty and needed fixed soon. So I phoned the seller and said this and he said he was surprised this had came all of a sudden and he needed to get his mechanic to look into it.

    He looked at it today and found that the gearbox bearings or clutch bearing is faulty and not working properly. The “hoover” noise should not be there at all, and the noises when letting the car roll shouldn’t be there either. I stated this problem has been there since I bought the car and nothing was done to sort it.

    Apparently my seller told me that I only took out a 30 day warranty (when he didn’t tell me the warranty day) and that these noises were normal…..when in fact I believe that he was passing me off until my warranty day ended. I expect he wants me to pay £500 to fix it.

    What do I do? Sorry for the long message!

  83. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kirsten. I think you should be able to pursue this under the Consumer Rights Act. You won’t have the right to automatically reject the car for a full refund because you are outside the 30-day window. However, the dealer has one chance to repair the vehicle – if this doesn’t work, then you are entitled to a refund. There is some good information here.

  84. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve been to the garage 3 times since I got the car on the first of December. I stated about the noises and steering and he started that it was wear on the clutch and I wouldn’t need to worry about it, although it was apparently a bearing the whole time and the steering shouldn’t be like that….its been there since the beginning and I grudge paying these repairs when I’ve only had it for 2 months with problems that have been there since the beginning.

    Thank you very much.

  85. Stuart Masson

    I understand, but if the seller isn’t playing ball then you will have to get some legal assistance to secure your rights. This will also cost you money, but may assist in recovering your costs. Unfortunately, the longer the matter drags on, the harder it is to get your money back.

  86. Hi I got a car on finance from Newcastle car finance with a 3 month waranty it’s been problem after problem as in clutch gone inlet valve abs now engine light has come on brakes failed twice on me and I’m getting nowhere with them they said unfortunately I signed a deal and I can’t pull out any help would be appreciated

  87. Stuart Masson

    Hi Paul. You should be able to get the dealer to resolve this, even if you are out of your 30-day window to reject the vehicle. I suggest visiting for some consumer advice, but you may well need to get your own legal assistance to resolve the matter.

  88. Hi Stuart,

    We bought a car from a reputable second hand dealer 3 weeks ago. Drove on our first big journey (4 hours) and the next day the engine warning light came on, and the AA came out. They said that the engine was misfiring and had to replace a coil valve, which we had to pay for. Two days later the car wouldn’t start, AA called again and we were told that the battery must have a fault and needs replacing.

    I contacted the trader who seem reluctant to refund, although I would have thought we were covered under the new Act?

    Many thanks

  89. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jennifer. Yes, you are most certainly covered. However, that doesn’t mean the dealer will play nicely. Have a read of our latest article about resolving a dispute with a dealer.

  90. Hi Stuard
    We just got a van from dealer. Half we paid cash other half is finance. On our way back from dealer it turned out that there’s no a/c but was advertised that there is one. Also van won’t drive more than 70 mph but no one never mention anything. Also part of a roof cover is missing. Again no word about it. Is there anything we can do?

  91. Stuart Masson

    Hi Joanna. You should be able to reject this vehicle. Speak to the finance company (since the vehicle belongs to them), and make sure you have the advertisement which claims the vehicle has air-conditioning. If you can’t provide the evidence that it was advertised as such, you won’t be able to reject it on those grounds.

    As for the speed issue, it may be that the van is limited to 70mph (many fleets limit their vehicles). If so, this can probably be easily rectified. As for the roof cover, you should be able to get the dealer to replace it if it was missing at point of sale.

  92. Hi I brought a car from a dealer in June 2015 it was brought in finance. I have now found out that the engine management light was disconnected and has faults that mean it’s dangerous to drive. Can you tell me what my rights are and how I get all my money back I have paid out so far?
    Many thanks if you can help :(

  93. Hi, In December my son bought a 2nd hand car advertised as being low mileage well maintained Service History excellent condition and included a 6 MONTHS warranty . The warranty was the the selling point that convinced my son to buy the vehicle concerned for peace of mind , we have proof off this on copy of the advert . On arrival to collect the vehicle we were told, the car was not ready as it had been taken to a local garage to have a dangerous oil leak fixed and to be serviced prior to us completing the purchase. Eventually this was completed but I noticed the service book hadn’t been stamped and he apologised stating that the garage was now shut but gave us the Auto guard premium warranty booklet and the signed associated documents.
    Yesterday the car broke after 12 weeks when the cam belt snapped and was taken to the authorised warranty dealer in the booklet , where we found that the said car had never been issued a 6 month warranty and none had been registered with the car dealership since Oct 2015 , hence the paperwork we were given was worthless . The dealer is now saying that the cam belt wouldn’t have been covered anyway but the booklet states that the car must be serviced and the cam belt checked and renewed necessary before the warranty is valid issued . The repair is likely to cost as much as £1200,so I am claiming that the car was sold under false pretences . Where does my son stand legally? This has been made worse as my son cannot get to work until he either gets the car fixed or buys another car which he cannot afford.
    Many thanks in advance for your advice

  94. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jenny. You will have to take legal action against the dealership, and it may not be easy to prove that they knowingly sold the car with the engine management light disconnected. They could easily argue that you disconnected it yourself (or had someone else do it), especially since you bought the car nine months ago and are only raising this now.

  95. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dave. Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a dealership, but it is likely you will have to get legal assistance to resolve this with the dealer. If everything you say is correct, then the dealer should be liable for the repairs. However, that doesn’t mean it will automatically work out that way and you are unlikely to get anywhere by arguing with them.

  96. Hi Stuart, I’m a car dealer who works on a fore court, I’ve been reading through your article and also the new consumers act. I have a couple questions for you, if you don’t mind.

    Say I sell a car from the forecourt under £1000 with a brand new 12 mnth MOT ticket. No mechanical issues with the car, had a visual inspection by the buyer & also a test drive & all partys are happy with the condition of the car inside & out.

    Then 2 weeks down the line I receive a phone call saying the water pump is broke & needs replacing or the head gasket is blown? Who is liable for that? As the car was sold as fit for purpose, as described & of satisfactory quality?

    When the car left our fore court is was running fine who’s to say the buying purposely didn’t put water in it to bugger it up so they cab get a refund and do the same again to another dealer & essentially to driving a free new car every 2 weeks for the rest of their live?

    I’m slightly confused? Surely us sellers have some protection also? How can we foresee future problems that had no indication of happening when being sold they have sole responsibility when any problem occurs?


  97. Hello there Stuart, very informative article thanks !

    If I might pick your brain slightly… :^) – I bought a use Jag X type from a trader last week and booked it into a main Jag dealer for diagnostics and a service as I always do – this time I am very glad I did !

    It seemed fine in my test drive but on Saturday it started making an awful grinding noise around the front at low speed, so I took it in on Saturday rather than wait until my appointment on today.

    They said it’s unsafe to drive, offside front brake pads, disk and caliper totally shot, the piston could break through at any time and I’d lose all brake pressure and probably lock the wheel.

    I am waiting for the full report to see what else might be wrong, and will contact the trader when I know the full extent of the problems and likely cost to fix – and if we can’t reach an agreement then I will require my money back.

    My question is… :^) – since the car is now in Hove (trader is in East London), who pays to have the car recovered back to him ?

    Also… I traded in my old Jag, presumably if he has already sold it on then I can claim back the full invoice amount (1300), rather than what I paid plus the trade in (950) ? – I’d prefer my old car and 950 quid back but realise that may not be possible.

    Best regards and thanks in advance for any advice.


  98. Stuart Masson

    Hi John. I’m not sure if there have been many cases that have been tested in court yet; usually things get resolved between buyer and seller. The new Act points out that the fault must have been present at time of purchase and it is up to the customer to show that.

    I recommend visiting (and subscribing to) Lawgistics if you don’t already, which provides excellent and regular news about legal issues for motor traders. There has been considerable discussion in recent months about the new Consumer Rights Act, and Lawgistics covers the traders’ point of view very well.

    In essence, you will need to show due process in your pre-delivery inspections and keep an immaculate paper trail for every vehicle, to be able to show that you are doing all that can reasonably be done if you are challenged. Obviously this won’t stop unreasonable customers from being unreasonable, but if they try and take you to court you will need to be able to show that you follow best practice in every way.

  99. Stuart Masson

    Hi Chris. Assuming that you are able to reject the car successfully, the trader would have to offer you a refund for the invoice price of the car. This would be a cash refund for the entire value, rather than your old car back again and the balance in cash.

    If you would prefer your old car back and he still has it, you can certainly ask for that, but it’s his car now and (as far as I know) he is not obliged to do so.

  100. Ok, so any new fault that has occurred with the car we are not liable to repair & can refuse a refund? I’m confused as I’m reading mixed replies. So if a vehicle left here running perfectly then 2 weeks down the line I have a phone call saying the head gasket is blown it is up to the buyer to prove is was faulty at the time of purchase?

    Would you recommend drawing up a contract that are along those lines?


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