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. Stuart Masson

    As I said, I’m not sure how it has been working in practice. Have a read of this Lawgistics article, as it covers it pretty well from a dealer’s point of view:

  2. Hi,

    I purchased a car on the 26th January 2016, on the 29th Feb (34 days) the car started the flash faults abs, stability etc. After going back and forth they come and collected the car. I realised that a service was not done as advised at point of sale, ( car was last serviced in June 2015). They advised they changed the battery but according to them it was a low voltage fault, amongst that wrong information was given to me over the time the fault has been reported the car is still in their possession and they advised, they have offered the do the service and changed the warranty. It was 34 days when the fault was reported with all the issues can I hand the car back? I hope you will be able to help.


  3. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dana. Since you are outside the 30-day limit, you don’t have the automatic right to reject for a significant problem. However, you still have rights to expect the car to work properly.

    The seller is entitled to one attempt to repair the problem within the first 60 days. If it is not fixed, then you are entitled to reject the car. For more information, visit the excellent consumer legal site

  4. OK, so if what I’m reading is correct from that website you sent me to, if a used car leaves the dealership 10+ years old & develops a fault within 30 days that was not there when sold it is up to the consumer to prove the fault was there upon delivery?

    Please don’t sat you are unsure as I’m reading comments where you are telling consumers they are entitled to a full refund, but under what circumstances? It seems as if us dealers are looked upon as cowboys & expected to foresee all future problems

    A 2001 for focus leaves here, brand new MOT slip with it, 2 weeks down the line the water pump fails… Who’s liable? Because it certainly didn’t leave the dealership like that, nor would of it passed an MOT. Here is an extract of the site you recommended;

    This is new and is designed to allow consumers to return goods for a full refund if a fault appears in the first 30 days of ownership. The customer does not have to give you an opportunity to repair in this first 30 days.

    However, if the customer wants to exercise this Right they must:

    1. Prove there is a fault

    2. Prove that the fault was present at the point of sale

    If you have undertaken comprehensive pre delivery checks and have kept good records of those checks, you will have made it very difficult for the consumer to prove the fault (hyperlink) was there at the point of sale.

    It is obviously up to you how much time you want to put into your pre-delivery procedures but we would recommend you:

    • Put a new MOT on each vehicle you sell

    • Complete a Pre-Delivery Checklist

    • Get the customer to sign to say there were no apparent faults during the test drive

    • Have the vehicle checked and/or serviced by an independent garage

    • Take photos or even a video of the vehicle

    So if I followe the procedures above (which I do) and a customer comes back within 30 days with a new problem it is up to them to prove it was faulty when sold & if they can’t they are liable?


  5. Stuart Masson

    Yes, you are correct. The customer is required to prove that the problem was pre-existing, as our article clearly states. I have to assume that someone asking a question has read the article (even if I am fairly confident they haven’t…).

    As I have previously stated, I don’t know whether there have been any disputes that have got as far as a courtroom as yet. If you follow the processes you have listed above, it will be hard for a customer to claim you are 100% liable. Of course, as you would know, even with the best will in the world and a thorough inspection, a fault may exist but not be evident in pre-delivery and only show up once the customer is down the road, so a court would presumably look at the balance of probabilities to decide whether a fault was likely to have been present at point of sale or developed afterwards. Your diligence in pre-delivery inspection and servicing would be a key aspect of your defence.

    Bear in mind that this all applies only if the customer is wanting to reject the car for a full refund. And on something like a 2001 Focus (your example), the value of the car is likely to be a lot less than the cost of the customer taking you to court, so they will need to have a strong case to pursue it that far given that they have a real risk of losing.

  6. Nice one Stuart, thanks for the replies, it’s all just a bit confusing with law changes and every case being different so pardon my questions, I appreciate your time taking to do this, one more thing (haha) you stated all this is only regarding a customer asking for a full refund. What about if they bring it in for repair, let’s say again for an example the 2001 Ford Focus, that has a blow head gasket which essentially writes off the car, does the same law apply? They have to prove it was there? Even for minor mechanical issues?

    Sorry again to keep bugging you,


  7. Hello stuart
    I bought a car (toyota verso mmt )from one dealer or i can call trader watever but the time i drove back within 10 in m25 in heavy traffic after slowdown in third lane gear slipped from drive to neutral and stickk in neutral so u cant put back on drive or reverse ,so i called this dealer and told me just switch off car and off i did so i drove like couple of miles it happen again so untill got home its just 27milles happen 4 times ,i called thus dealer again and tild me that just call me 2morrow,i called next day and i told him i dint need thus car because is very dangerous to drive so i need my money back he was shouting and hang the phone so what can i do???its two days now since i went to cillect the car

  8. Stuart Masson

    Hi Eddy. This should definitely be a case where you can reject the car. You can call the dealer to advise him if you like, but you will need to formally reject the car in writing (email is acceptable).

    This doesn’t mean he will comply happily, but it is your legal right.

  9. Hi Stuart, thank you so much for your response; just want to clarify so the them saying the car was newly serviced at the point of sale but not is not a reason to reject? As they claim the battery was changed I am confused about the low voltage, so it makes me feel could this issue have been detected if the service was carried out as advised.
    They have had the car now (3 weeks on Monday), I have had to pay for rentals and I am yet to receive a response, or proof of the diagnosis report on the car. I hardly get any updates.


  10. Thanks stuart im already email him and postal sign and tracking my rejection and i tried to fax but wasnt went through,its hard to call him because yesterday he hang the phone,so if he will not respond what next step action to take

  11. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dana. The Consumer Rights Act specifically states that the car “must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect”. What you would be arguing is that the car was falsely advertised because it had not been serviced, which would be covered by the Sale of Goods Act. Normally, the customer would be entitled to have the car serviced by the dealer for free if it had been advertised as being recently serviced.

    Have a read of our latest article on resolving a dispute with a car dealer, but if they won’t respond then you will ultimately need to consider engaging in legal support to deal with them.

  12. Stuart Masson

    Unfortunately, Eddy, you may need to engage a solicitor to take legal action against the dealer if they will not respond to your calls and letters. The law is on your side, but it doesn’t guarantee that the dealer will cooperate nicely.

  13. Hi stuart i bought a hyundai ix35 for 8100 before40 days i import it to cyprus before 2 weeks and is fuuuuulll of rust !!! It needs 3000-4000 repairs… what can i do?

  14. Hi Stuart,
    On the 30th November 2015 I bought a Ford Ka from a dealersh. The car is 15 year old but I was told it was in good running condition. Stupidly I didn’t enquire exactly when the mot expired when the dealer ship stated it had a valid mot. After reading all the paperwork after purchasing the car for £590 I realised the mot expired this month. Today I took the car for the mot at a well known MOT testing garage to be taken to the testin area after 20 mins to be told they wil be abananding the mot due to safety. So concerened they didn’t even charge me for it. After 4 months after purchase i was advised by the gentlemen carrying out the mot that the corrosion underneath wasnt down to general wear and tear neither were the other problems on the extensive list.
    Where do I stand in refund terms and a I able to obtain a full refund?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks in advance

  15. Hi stuart, please help i purchased a new car on the saturday drove out of showroom got ten minutes to my home and smoke was pouring from rear end so contacted the dealership but being a saturday they told me they were shutting up. So i left car in garage all weekend took monday off work to take car back in and it stops on the highway they then tow it that arvo and i dont hear back from them for 2 days i call they say there repairing ….i dont want to deal with them and i dont want a new car that is under 24 hrs old and needing repair …..also when i picked it up it had scratches in interior grease on floor and 50ks on clock. How do i say to them i want nothing to do with the what i think is a demo car.

  16. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mar. This is something you should have been able to check for before purchasing the vehicle, as it is unlikely to have appeared overnight. If you have now taken the vehicle out of the UK, it will be difficult for you to get any recompense from Cyprus.

  17. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jayd. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to have a lot of luck in obtaining any money back on a car you paid £590 for about four months ago. The age of the vehicle and the purchase price suggest that it wasn’t going to be a spectacular example of the Ford Ka, but you would have great difficulty and considerable expense trying to prove that none of the problems were caused or created since you have owned the vehicle.

    Unless the dealer promised a full 12 months of MOT in the purchase price, I don’t see how you can ask them for a refund now.

  18. Stuart Masson

    Hi Shannon. Regardless of whether it’s a new or used car, your legal rights are the same. Assuming the car has a significant problem, you are entitled to a refund rather than a repair if you would like. You simply need to make that clear and in writing (email is fine).

    You said the car had 50k on the clock. Do you mean miles, or are you not in the UK? This article pertains to UK laws; other countries will have their own laws.

  19. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a 12 plate BMW 320D from Arnold Clark on Friday 18/03/2016 and on the Saturday I noticed a number of issues:
    – chip in windscreen
    – wiper blades need replacing
    – passenger seat feels like it could fall out at anytime
    – dead battery in key fob
    – error with parking lights (this has now gone)

    I’ve lost faith in the car and want to return it.

    I bought the car and the finance deal was arranged through Arnold Clark with Barclays Partner Finance. It is a Personal Loan Agreement (otherwise known as a fixed-sum agreement I believe?)

    The car was £11,988 (if sold using cash) and I part-ex’d my Ford Focus in for a trade-in price of £7900. The focus had a settlement figure of around £10,240 I think which obviously put me in negative equity. They added this to my new finance deal (personal loan).

    I’ve been told by the Citizens Advice that I am eligible for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, I’m just curious how much I can claim back? Would it be the trade in value of the focus (£7900) minus the negative equity? Or could I potentially return this new car and receive a full cash refund of £11,988 and just keep paying the finance company as I’ve been told the loan is against me and not the car?

    Any help would be much appreciated!!!


  20. Hello Stuart, i purchased a 1990 Nissan pulsar gtir today from a dealer called car sales, Arnison avenue in High wycombe. At first it drive fine, gears responding normally as they should, but now after 3 or 4 hrs the gearbox has gone. Only 5th gear seems to just work, lots of noise from it now..I understand i bought a 26 year old car, but surely its not right that they can get away with selling me a car that gearbox breaks’ 4 hrs after driving it. Please can you give me the best legal advice for my situation. He hasn’t returned my calls yet, but it has only been 2 hrs since the gearbox messed up.

  21. Stuart Masson

    Hi Alex. If you are able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you would receive a cash refund for the original purchase price (i.e. – £11,988). You won’t get your original car back.

    You will need to work with your finance company, as the car will quite possibly belong to them rather than you.

  22. Stuart Masson

    Hi Antonios. Under the Consumer Rights Act, you should be able to reject the car and get a full refund.

  23. Hi Stuart

    Very informative site, both myself and a work colleague purchased Vauxhall Mokka 1.6cdti cars which we picked up on the 30th Nov 2015 on the 18th of this month his car broke down with a blown turbo with only 3000 miles on the clock, yesterday the 23rd my own car broke down on my way home from work same fault with only 1850 miles on the clock both cars are now in the Arnold Clark dealership where we purchased them on pcp schemes through GMAC financial. where do we stand with regards to these new laws as we are both very unsure of the cars now and would like to reject them

  24. Stuart Masson

    Hi Robert. You are outside the 30-day window for having the automatic right to reject the vehicles, as well as the 60-day window for the right to give the dealer one chance to repair and then reject if the repair does not work. So you either rely on the New Car Warranty to fix the problems and carry on with the cars, or you attempt to pursue the dealer under the Sale of Goods Act as not being fit for purpose.

    Trying to reject the cars at this time is likely to be a slow and painful process, as the onus is on you to prove the cars are not fit for purpose rather than you having blown them up through inappropriate behaviour. Given that you have had the vehicles for more than three months, you are likely to get short shrift from the dealership (and Arnold Clark does not have the best reputation for customer service, as numerous commenters on this site have pointed out) and be referred to the warranty process.

  25. Hi Stewart,

    In September 2015 I bought Ford Mondeo, 3 years old, top version 2.0 petrol ecoboost 30k miles on the clock. In Febuary the car broke down and has been diagnosed by an independent ford garage – piston rings damaged, no pressure in the 4th cylinder, oily residue in the 4th cylider. This is a serious engine problem and the car may even require a new engine. I have only done 3.5k miles since I bought it in September. I have contacted the dealer and asked for a free repair under the Sale of Goods Act (sent them the full diagnostics) but have been told that they can only make a small contribution as low as 10% under condition that I will deliver the car to them. I am not 100% sure however, I think that under the Sale of Goods Act I am entitled to a free repair if car isn’t feet for purpose and even more under the Guidance for Second Car Dealer Compliance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is dealer’s obligation to collect the car and I only have to make it available for collection (dealer’s headquater is about 180 miles away).

    Am I right?

    Thanks for your response

  26. Hi Stuart, I am a start up dealer and have recently (within the last 4 days) sold a Mazda RX8 to a customer, during by the sales process I explained the start up and shut down process, as they are prone to flooding, I have today received a call from the customer stating that the car will not start. This is likely due to the fact she has told me she has been driving it round the block to keep the battery from depleting, early signs suggest it could be she has flooded the engine as a result, would she have a claim under the new regulations?

  27. Hi Stuart I ordered a 2016 Corsa from one dealer in Jan but changed my mind when I ordered it it came with 500 of free fuel . I went to another dealer who said they could match the price the car I was promised by the first dealer came with on star . The second dealer had found the car I wanted it was the one from the first dealer … When I collected it last week i asked where the onstar was the dealer said we had never mentioned it ! I said yes it was to have it that’s what the first dealer said . I took the car home I have since been informed by a third dealer I have been sold a 2015 car at a 2016 price at no point was I ever informed of this I feel really upset and don’t know what to do ? I have only had the car one week I have been told to take the car back I have an old model on a new plate can you help at all

  28. Stuart Masson

    Hi Chester. Just because you believe that the law is on your side, it doesn’t mean that the dealer will go along with what you feel is right. They could dispute that the damage was present when the car was sold, and that you have inflicted the engine damage over five months of driving.

    If you want to challenge the dealer under the Sale of Goods Act (or other legislation), you will need to seek professional legal advice.

  29. Stuart Masson

    Hi Rob. The customer has to show that there is a fault with the vehicle that was present when purchased. I’m not sure why the customer would need to be driving a car around the block within four days of purchase to “keep the battery from depleting” unless there is some fault with the vehicle or she has been running the ignition for extended periods of time without starting the car. It sounds like there is more to this story than you have described.

  30. Stuart Masson

    Hi Sharon. You appear to have been a victim of your own greed. If you had signed a legally-binding order from one dealer, why were you out buying another car from another dealer? You should be doing your shopping around before signing a contract, not afterwards.

    Unless you can prove that you have been misled and mis-sold (which is unlikely), you won’t have a leg to stand on.

  31. Hi Stuart, to further clarify, my customer purchased the car for her husband who is currently away from the UK, I think she felt she should drive the car every couple of days to keep the battery from becoming low (not on my advice), she has freely admitted she had done a couple of short runs around the block in her 4 days of ownership, however it is very well published these engines do not cope well with not being warmed up properly and can flood as a result, as said this is most likely what has happened, further confirmed by the fact she has told me she has watched videos online about this very issue, but she does not want to “make things worse” – she is therefore claiming there is a fault and wants her money back under the new regulations, does she have a claim if it is proven she has flooded the engine as a result of these short runs?

  32. Stuart Masson

    She would have to prove that there was a specific fault with the car to be able to claim a refund under the new rules, rather than her not following instructions on a known issue with the model.

  33. Hi, I wonder if you could answer a question for me? I bought a car 3 days ago from a second hand car dealer. It was a Ford Focus for £980 for my son. It had a clean MOT and Service History and drove well. However on Sunday the engine management light came on. I thought “perhaps this is bad luck” and it sounded like coils needed replacing (I don’t know much about cars but had this problem on another car and it sounded the same). The seller had advised that the car hadn’t had a cambelt change and so I told him I was going to get this done. As this was already booked I asked the garage to look at fault from the engine light and they confirmed it needed a new coil pack. I was prepared to pay for this and so didn’t contact the seller. I got another call from the garage ( a trusted mechanic I use regularly) to say that he had tested the compression in the cylinders and one had almost no pressure in at all. He said this repair would “be expensive” and advised that I should return it to the seller. At this point I called the seller. To be fair he was quite reasonable, but said that as another garage had looked at the car, for all he knew “they could have damaged it”. Where do i stand legally on this in terms of asking the seller to repair the car or for me to return it?

  34. Stuart Masson

    Hi Louise. If you can get your garage to provide a written report which details the engine problem(s) and states that the problems would have been present when you purchased the vehicle, the seller will find it very difficult to argue that you should not be entitled to a full refund. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will co-operate…

  35. Thank you for the swift reply. My mechanic did say that I could have been unlucky as the car drove for around 70 miles after we collected it, before the light came on, so I suppose on that basis, it would be very difficult to say that the fault was definitely there when I bought the car. For future reference and just to clarify, you’re saying that it does not matter if you take the car to an independent garage before contacting the original seller? I appreciate that might be best practice, but it may not always practicable, so I just wanted to clarify whether this then gives the seller the right to wriggle out of his responsibilities?.

  36. Hello Stuart, I bought a Land Rover Disvovery 2 from a dealer in Totnes in Devon called Riviera Sports Cars.
    I came all the way from Kent on the basis that it was a great car and in particular they said that the chassis just had surface corrosion.
    I checked it on the periphery and there was some rust, but I was assured by the dealer that it was surfsce only and could be treated snd undersealed, also the MOT which was carried out that morning said slight corrosion in the advisories.
    There was also squeal from the engine that he said was probably the fan belt, however I clearly mentioned it a number of times but thought it would be an easy fix to change the fan belt.
    I called the dealer next day and told him that my local garage said the squeal was a manifold issue which would cost approx £270-300 to put right.
    Then I took it to a professional to book in for a chassis corrosion treatment and when he looked at it underneath he said that there was severe corrosion and it was uneconomical to treat. We also saw that the exhaust was heavily corroded and one mount was rusted away and it was hanging down. Also the front headlamp was misted up, both of which should have been MOT fail. I sent them emails with photos and a report from the under seal professional
    I called the dealer and asked for a refund but he refused. I havd sent them emails with photos and a report from the under seal professional showing them the extent if the corrosion and about the squealing noise, the 2 missing bump stops, the headlight and faulty parking sensore.
    I have called on a few occasions since and they are not recognising that the issues that I have raised snd are still refusing to take back and refund. The dealer us saying that he sold it privately, but I have a receipt with Riviera Sports Cars on it.
    They havd offered for me to take it back to Totnes where the MOT station can give it a secondary inspection with me there, but I don’t think it will be objective and it is a long way and I am only willing to drive it there if I can leave it and get a refund.
    they are also being cery aggressive, defensive and rude to me.
    Where do I stand and what can I do next to get them to take back and refund me?
    I look forward to your reply.
    Thanks, Adam

  37. Stuart Masson

    Hi Adam. From your description, it does sound like you would qualify to reject the vehicle under the new Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, that doesn’t mean that the dealer will comply willingly, as you have discovered. You may need to either contact the Ombudsman or get legal assistance to get the car rejected and your money refunded.

    Certainly, if the dealer is now trying to claim that he sold the car privately rather than as a trader, he is asking for trouble to rain down upon him from the authorities.

  38. Thanks for your very swift reply Stuart, I am very impressed and I appreciate it very much.
    Can you tell me which Ombudsman I should contact and/or where should I get assistance to reject the vehicle? The local Trading Standards or which organisation?
    I have a report from the under seal professional and I am going to ask my local garage to put it through an MOT check and ask them if it will pass and what advisories they would put on it.
    Will this help to build a case for rejection?
    Please advise and I’ll let you know how I get on.
    Kind regards, Adam Clemson

  39. Stuart Masson

    Hi Adam. Have a read of our recent article about resolving a dispute with a dealer, which should provide some helpful information.

  40. Hi
    I’ll apologise in advance for the length of my issues I’m going to list, I purchased a used Audi A4 traded in my Audi A3 as part ex and to pay off the remainder of my finance on it, and then got new finance for the new car, as my car (A3) was worth a little more than the settlement amount due to finish my finance I was given a signed receipt staying this, they now refuse to give me the refund, I was also advised they would transfer my private Reg plate over to the new car I said they could take that out of the money owing, I’ve since has advise from the DVLA saying they haven’t changed it over and I’ve now lost all rights to the plate, and apparently my money. Going back to the day I drove home my new car the engine management light came on, as the garage was already closed by that time I called them the following day, took it back they plugged it in and turned the light off, advised me to come back if I came on again which it did the day later, I called had been promised a callback waiting 2 days with nothing so I went and they arranged for me to go back the following day, after waiting 3 hours I drove home after they said it was fixed, obviously wasn’t it came back on the next day, all while this has been going on I’ve been telling the finance company, and along with that engine light on now the brake pad fault light came on. I refuse to ever go back to that garage they are intimidating and dishonest. The finance company sent me to a independent garage who inspected it and said the brake pads are completely worn down I’ve had to the car less than 2 weeks, after informing the finance company I looked over my paperwork ie MOT certificate and details of the car on the signed finance agreement it shows that they have also lied about the cars mileage by more than 2000 miles, it’s all going to be investigated by the car finance company, but they can’t help me with getting my private plate back of my refund, the car still has to be fixed and more investigating to be done on the engine, I feel I’ve been taken for a ride, they’ve seen a young girl on her own with a baby and just conned me, I’m sick of all the problems, i think the way the garage have behaved it illegal and I need some help, hopefully the finance company will do something, I’m just sick of it all now! Please can you advise me how I would go about getting my private plate back, I’ve called far too many times and been fobbed off and ignored I’ve been to the garage that many times I refuse to go again, sorry it’s so long

  41. Hi Stuart, I hope you can offer us some advice.

    Last week we picked up a brand new Mini Cooper 5 door. Before purchasing the car I contacted Mini Cooper customer services to say I was interested in buying that model but first I needed to check that it was capable of towing. I was informed on two occasions via email that it was and given the towing capacity which was perfectly adequate for our needs. So we purchased one, I have since been informed by five different tow bar companies that it would be illegal to fit a towbar on that model because the VIN plate does not have a figure for mass train weight which means the car is not homoglated for towing. Even if I could find someone who would fit one it wouldn’t be insured. So I have just spent nearly £20000 on a car that is not fit for my purpose after being assured by Mini customer services directly that it was. The dealer said they cannot take the car back as they weren’t the ones who mis-informed us. Where do we stand? Is there anything we can do?

  42. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kelly. Firstly, have a read of our article about how to handle a dispute with a car dealer. You will need to work with the finance company, since the car belongs to them. They should have the ability to resolve most of the vehicle issues for you.

    As for the private plate, try contacting the DVLA (although it probably won’t help, since they are generally useless). You may ultimately need to take legal action against the dealer regarding the value of the plate and any monies owed to you from your part-exchange, as it sounds like they are not going to be responsive to your polite requests.

    For future reference, never part-exchange a vehicle with a private plate still on it – organise the plate to be put on retention and have the original plate put back on the car before you sell it. Because the DVLA’s systems are completely retarded, you need to arrange this about 8 weeks before you get rid of the car rather than it being doable at the time of sale (which it should be; this is 2016, after all, and other countries manage it perfectly well). Once you have signed the vehicle over with its plate still on it, you will lose the rights to that plate.

  43. Stuart Masson

    Hi Rebecca. Good question. I can understand the dealer being reluctant to take the car back if they have not misadvised you about the towing issue, and therefore it’s not their responsibility.

    You will probably need to take the matter up with MINI Head Office, starting with the same customer service department who misadvised you. Ultimately it will be up to MINI (which is part of BMW UK) to buy the car back from you at the full purchase price – and settle any finance as necessary. If you have the two emails that back up your claim, they should eventually agree to refunding you, but it may take a bit of work to see it through to that point.

  44. Hi Stuart. My son recently brought a Citroën Grand C4 Picasso. Within 2 hours of buying the car a warning light came on advising not to drive the car above 5mph
    . On checking the fault it turns out the fault is a due to the rear air bag suspension, what rights as my son got ?

  45. Stuart Masson

    Hi Steve. Assuming that it is a significant fault (and not just a loose sensor or something), he should be able to reject the car and get a full refund, unless he would prefer to have the car repaired. I assume that he purchased the car from a dealer rather than privately?

    If he wants to return the car and get his money back, he needs to put it in writing and be very clear in stating that he is exercising his right under the Consumer Rights Act (2015).

  46. Hi Stuart,
    I hope you can help with this. we bought a ford S Max for £5000 with 75000 miles on the clock, and 42 days later, and 400 miles worth of driving, the engine gave in and we have been informed we will need to replace it, the turbo injector and the clutch at a cost of £3000, do we have any rights as it was beyond the 30day cut off. thanks for helping on this, its causing no end of stress to my family.

  47. Stuart Masson

    Hi Matt. You no longer have the right to automatically reject the car, but you do have the right to expect the dealer to repair it if it is within six months. If the repair does not work, you can reject the car.

  48. Thanks so much for getting back to me, do you know of anywhere online i can find a legal document saying this

  49. Stuart Masson

    Have a read of this site for some very detailed info:

  50. Hi Stu…. we bought a mazda cx5 3 weeks ago…part ex….2012 plates …. the oil level is rising… the fuel is leaking into the sump… this is a known fault… unfortunately we didnt know about this before hand…. and after doing some research. .. found out it seems to be a problem with mazdas…. assuming we go for a refund…. how would this work as we part ex the toyota rav for 3300….

  51. Hi Stuart,

    I would be most grateful for your advice. I purchased a car as a retail sale at the end of March. I was told the car does not include warranty but assumed the legal mininum of 28 days would apply. I signed the sales order and paid a deposit but when paying the full balance the dealer wrote spares and repairs only on the sales order.

    We agreed that faults with the ABS and other items were to be resolved and a fresh 12 month MOT would be applied. The car passed the MOT but the faults were still present or re-occurred. I have returned the car three times for unsuccessful repairs. The retailer admits the faults were present at the time of sale and resolving these was part of the agreement.

    The car was £1,800 and was clearly not spares and repairs. I have a photo of the car before purchasing with the advert stating it comes with 12 months MOT but no indication that it was spares and repairs.

    It has been a week and the gearbox is making a noise and the car is leaking some sort of fluid. I would like to reject the car for many reasons including that it is unsafe and they have failed to repair the ABS three times. Another garage could verify the gearbox problem was present at the time of sale. I have not even used the car (other than to drive it straight back to the garage).

    I am unsure if I can reject the car because of what the dealer wrote on the sales order. Even though I was assured the car was in good order or would be prior to completing the sale.

    Any advice you can offer would be highly appreciated!


    David W.

    P.S. I paid by credit card. Perhaps I can reject under the sale of goods act?

  52. Stuart Masson

    Hi Cass. In the event of a successful rejection, the dealer would give you a cash refund for the full value of the Mazda – which would include whatever value was placed on your part-exchange (in your case, £3,300).

  53. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. I don’t think that the dealer writing “spare and repairs only” on the order at time of paying the balance (as opposed to before it was signed) would hold any merit, so you should be entitled to reject the car for a full refund.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the dealer will comply willingly…

  54. Thank you Stuart. If the dealer is not willing (which seems likely), what are the implications? Would this mean small claims court? The “spare and repair only” is written in different pen and different hand writing but it may be difficult for me to proove it was added afterwards. If this does go to small claims, do I keep possession of the car for now without using it? Just concerned about damage / responsibility of the the car whilst ownership is contested.

    Thanks again for your advice.


    P.S. I should have mentioned I am in Scotland, does the regulation also apply here or is it only applicable in England? Actually to complicate matters further I am Gretna on the border and the garage is in England…

  55. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. I’m not sure of the legal differences, if any, between Scotland and England in this instance. A good site for legal questions is, which is an excellent and independent consumer legal site.

    If the dealer will not co-operate, you will need to consider legal action. Yes, you would keep possession but it is definitely best if you do not drive the vehicle unless absolutely necessary.

    Do you have a copy of the original sales contract you signed? That one shouldn’t have any amendments.

  56. Hi Stuart, I purchased a used car from a dealer found on Autotrader 2.5 weeks ago. The dealer worked from home (no premises) but the paperwork appeared to be professionally managed, a 1 page contract was supplied, 6 month warranty and VOSA slip. The dealer said it was a family business, they had two garages but the cars traded in sometimes did not meet the profile of the garage forecourts and instead were sold by him. I have had some issues with the car which were not evident on the day of purchase: ESP Failure/Hill Holder Failure – dashboard warning light is on and also switches the ASR OFF, Rear window demister/defroster failure, Sunroof intermittent failure to fully retract, Thermostat control fails to adjust temperature. I called the warranty company and they advised me to take it to Halfords Autocentre for a full diagnostic check, the cost (£48) was not covered under the warranty and I agreed to pay for this. Although Halfords had 2 scanners onsite they were unable to communicate with ECU and therefore could not diagnose the root cause of any of the errors or remediation. They recommended I take this to a Fiat Dealership which charges double for the same check £114. I have booked it in but don’t really want to deal with all these issues or take the risk of further costs that may not be covered under warranty, which has a maximum of 2k spend. My preference would be to return the car under the 30-day ‘short term right to reject’ legislation which I understand entitles me to a full refund by the same method that I paid for the car. (which was regrettably cash). Can I exercise this right even though I was given a warranty? Do I have to fix all these problems? It’s not just the cost, its time off work, taxi’s, stress and potential risk for further reoccurring issues that concerns me, I have lost confidence in the car and transaction and just want to return it.

  57. Stuart Masson

    Hi Linda. The key issue would be the ESP failure, as it’s a key safety system of the car (which also controls the hill hold and ASR/traction control). You should be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act for that issue alone.

    The rear window and sunroof issues are probably not serious enough to warrant rejection of the car, but in this case it shouldn’t matter.

  58. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a new Ford on 19th March. Upon inspection I noticed a few scratches and the dealer told me to take the car and they would book it in with the body shop to be rectified.

    When we got the car home we noticed the whole car was covered in scratches and swirl marks. We notified the dealer immediately, they told us is wasn’t a problem and the car would be sorted.

    On 31st March, the car went back to the dealer and two days later I went to collect the repaired car. On inspection the car was still covered in scratched and swirls. We left the car with them and a few hours later we had another call to say the car had been detailed and all was now ok with the car.

    I inspected the car again, although some of the marks had gone the car still had scratches and swirls. The dealer told me they could do no more for the car and to contact Ford UK.

    I have contacted Ford, who have asked the car go to one of their body shops for inspection. Ford have spoken with the dealer involved who say the paint is too soft.

    My question is, where do I stand? Can I reject the car as they have had two chance to correct the paint work to no avail and by their own admittance the paint is too soft.

    At the moment the dealership is being very slow in responding to anything Ford asks them and I feel stuck in the middle, just wanting the issue resolved. It might be worth noting I have emails form the dealer acknowledging the problems and apologising for the condition of the car.

    Kind regards

  59. Stuart Masson

    Hi John. Unfortunately it is often the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, so you may have to keep chasing and chasing the dealer to get the matter properly dealt with. If you go quiet and simply wait for it to be resolved, there is a very good chance it will simply be forgotten/ignored.

    Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a dealership.

  60. Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for responding. I understand that this would get forgotten/ignored if not chased up, so I have no intention of letting the issue go.

    When you purchase a brand new car, you expect (and are entitled to receive) a perfect specimen!

    With regards to my question about where I stand though, do you have any comment?

    Can I reject the car as they have had two chances to correct the paint work to no avail and by their own admittance the paint is too soft?



  61. Stuart Masson

    I’m not sure whether a court would rule in your favour on whether paint imperfections are a reason to reject the car. The Act does specify that the car must be “free from any defect”, but it would be up to a court to decide whether a poor paint job carries the same weight as a mechanical defect. But you certainly have the right to expect Ford to fix it.

    Ultimately it is likely to fall to Ford UK to either agree to swap the car for a replacement or offer some other form of compensation.

  62. Hi Stuart

    I have bought a classic car from a reputable dealer a week ago. The standard terms for such a vehicle is “sold as seen” etc. We have since found some fairly significant rust in a structural area which would be an MOT fail. It’s repairable, but fairly costly.

    In your opinion would this type of a dealer and situation be covered?

  63. Stuart Masson

    Hi Andy. The Consumer Rights Act does not recognise any difference between new or used cars, regardless of how old they may be. I would assume that this would be considered a suitable case for rejection of the vehicle under the Act.

  64. Hi i recieved my brand new car that im getting through finance on the 6th april and i could smell diesel from the moment i got in but i thought nothing of it. As it turns out its leaking diesel in the engine and ive been inhaling diesel fumes the whole time. Am i able to reject the vehicle or claim anything for any health issues/ inconvenience caused?

  65. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dominic. It certainly sounds like you have grounds to reject the vehicle for a full refund. However, if you want to pursue the manufacturer and/or dealer for any kind of compensation, you would need to be taking formal action against them, which will probably mean getting a lawyer.

  66. Hi Stuart,

    You give some good advice here and I must say it’s impressive how you respond to everyone. I would like some advice on my situation.

    I bought a 2008 Vectra on the 21st of March from a second hand dealer with a one month warranty. There were some issues with the car when I visited it the previous Friday (18th) which the dealer said he would fix. He said that the car would be Mot’d and fixed up by the Monday when I collected it. When I got the car he was closing up so it was a bit of a rush. The main issue was there was a juddering from one of the belts which he said was just while the car was cold. However after drving it that week I noticed that the issue was not going away. I was away travelling the following week but booked the car in for a check over at my local garage to make sure there were no issues before my warranty expired.The report came back with the following issues:

    – 3 x tires should not have passed MOT and are exhibiting cracks and badly worn
    – number plate bulb gone
    – front bulb gone
    -tracking is out
    – Dual Mass Flywheel and clutch are about to fail and need to be replaced immediately (juddering I noticed)

    What are my options? I have rang him outlining the issues and his tone changed completely. He says he wont be replacing the DMF and clutch as its wear and tear and is ignoring the other points. He is now suddenly busy all next week and cant see the car, and I’m worried that my warranty will run out and also my 30 days under the consumers rights act. He has diverted calls from my mobile direct to voicemail..I know this as I rang him off the landline when my calls were going to voicemail.

    I am considering rejecting the car and reporting the MOT centre through DVSA.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

  67. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a used car from a dealership day before yesterday (Thursday) , Yesterday, I took the car out for the 1st time since driving it home from the car shop, went for a coffee, returned and not battery!

    Called them this morning (Saturday) They jump started it, and
    I took the car to the dealership. Driving the car to the dealership, i noticed that the roof was leaking (which was a question I specifically asked when buying the vehicle and no leaks were confirmed), I told the dealership that I wanted a refund and I wanted to reject the vehicle, as it had been less than 30 hours, let alone days! They refused (very aggressively) and took the car in for repair said it would be done in a few hours. Now They say I must wait until Monday when they fit the battery as they said they took it out for it? I have had to rent a car!

    So I am wondering what I can do next? They refused me rejecting the car, yet they have it now… I have lost confidence in the car and the people I bought it for.. Am I stuck with this, what seems to be a menace of a car?

  68. Hi Stuart. Love the article and how you are responding to everyone. I am wondering if you can help me out. I recently moved to the UK (Scotland) and purchased a car, and am now having some problems and would be greatly appreciative if the members on here could give me some advice on what they would do if in my situation.
    I purchased a 2008 Vectra diesel 1.9 Sri on 21/03/2016. When I viewed it the previous Friday it seemed ok apart from a rattle on at low revs. The dealer said it was as the car hadn’t been driven in over a week and when it heats up it will be ok. He said he would MOT the car and fix up the bits and pieces and have it ready the Monday. I asked him to do the timing belt and water pump as well and after a bit of negotiating he agreed if I would pay the asking price (separate MOT centre would be carrying out the work). I arrived just before closing on Monday due to work and picked it up. However when I got home and checked through the documents there was no record of timing belt and water pump being done. I drove it to England the following morning for work and it was fine on the motorway, however driving in towns, at traffic lights etc there was a juddering at low revs and when engaging the clutch. I phoned the dealer to let him know about the missing documents and also informed him about the juddering which he said would be the clutch release bearing. Eventually the timing belt documents were posted out to me but I was still concerned about the noise.
    I took the car to my local garage last week (6th April) to get the once over and put my mind at ease. Here is the list of items:
    -three tyres cracked and worn below legal limit
    -tracking out
    -front bulb gone and number plate bulb gone
    -Anti rollbar bushing gone in back
    – DMF and clutch need to be replaced.
    My worst fears were confirmed about the DMF and the clutch! I phoned the dealer immediately and his tone changed considerably. He said he would do his best to fit me in and have a look, however they would not be changing the DMF if it was noisy and not failed, and they don’t care what the other garages report says. He said they were busy in the next two weeks but he would give me a call back to see if he could fit me in. Needless to say no call, so I rang him again the next day and it went straight to voicemail I used my work phone to ring straight after and surprise surprise I got through. He began to make excuses as to why they couldn’t see the car next week as it was “Easter week and they were really busy”. My one month warranty will expire the week after along with my 30 day sale of goods act rejection period.
    My thoughts are that I will write him a letter stating that he has to make good all the faults the other garage found or I will have to begin the process of reporting him to trading standards and rejecting the car under the sale of goods act, and I am considering reporting that MOT centre too. I have recorded all telephone conversations so far using an app for my phone so I have a record of exactly what was said and when,
    Sorry for the length of post and any advice is greatly appreciated as I don’t really know much about cars (enough to get by) and anything above is what I’ve learnt from researching forums the last few days.

  69. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve found your article really helpful, thank you. I thought it would be worth asking you about my specific case.

    I bought an Audi A3 from a local car dealer for £2.5k. The airbag light was on when I test drove it and they agreed it would have to be fixed for the MOT – they promised 12 months as part of the purchase, it was advertised as having one 3 months previously.

    I put a deposited down of £250. I decided to do extra due diligence and took out an AA check and found the MOT certificates online, it has not had an MOT for 18 months. I contacted the dealer, as I was concerned by this and it did not reflect the advert posted on auto trader. He said it was nothing to worry about and said he would throw in a warranty. I continued with the purchase – silly me!

    When I drove the car home following picking it up (3 miles), the engine warning light came on, as did the airbag light. I called the dealer, he said it was mostly likely a faulty sensor and would pick it up to look at it. In the meantime it went into limp mode on the motorway, I contacted him again. He collected it the following week and replaced a part and said it was fixed. I drove it 10 miles and both warning lights came back on. I made a verbal request to return the car, they persuaded be to keep it and for them to fix it.

    After the 3rd time I took it to another garage and asked them to do a full diagnostic as I knew the 30 days was fast approaching, it came back with several codes and the airbag being a serious problem (£1500 to fix). I sent an official letter asking to reject the car. They asked to collect the car to fix again and has had it twice more.

    I sent the ‘letter before action’ and am about to file a small claim. He is now saying that I have continued to drive the car and put mileage on it. Could this really be a defence given I had repeatedly asked for a refund and accommodated them having the car back for a total of 6 days? I did not have the funds to purchase a new car. I have been loaned one now by my dad and my A3 is off the road to prevent more mileage.

    Thanks in advance,

  70. Hi Stuart,I need your help,I bought a car on the 1-4-16 and I went to do some services and mekanic told me this car have so many problems,can I return a car to the dealer please help me

  71. Hi Stuart , I bought a used Honda Civic from a Honda dealer in Norwich , it was delivered to me on Saturday by their driver . I then drive it for the first time on Sunday but noticed that there amid some issue with a wheel bearing or something as its making strange noises and grinding when I turn the wheel.. They tell me to take it to local Honda dealer to check issue and they may pay for work required .Am I entitled to a full refund instead? Thanks Richard

  72. Stuart Masson

    Hi Colm. Yes, you should be able to reject the car for these issues. As long as you write to formally reject the vehicle within the first 30 days, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to actually be processed.

  73. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dunrod. Firstly, the car is almost certainly not a ‘menace’. A flat battery and leaky soft top are both issues which need to be fixed, but you need to keep your tone calm if you are trying to successfully reject the vehicle.

    Whether you can reject the vehicle on the grounds of a flat battery may depend on what was causing it to go flat. If there is an electrical faulty which causes it to repeatedly flatten the battery, you may have grounds to reject the vehicle. If you simply left your lights on or something similar and it works perfectly thereafter, it’s not a cause for rejection.

    A leaking roof is probably cause for rejection, or at least demanding the roof be repaired or replaced.

    The dealer is not allowed to refuse you rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, so assuming you can demonstrate that the problems existed when you bought the car, you are entitled to a full refund. You need to set out your case in writing (email is fine), which also sets out the date for your rejection claim. If they refuse, you will need to talk to the Ombudsman or take legal action against the dealer. It may take some time, so it is important you have written to the dealer (and had a reply or some confirmation of receipt) so that the date is clear.

  74. Stuart Masson

    Hi Heachaoireann. Assuming you write to reject the vehicle within 30 days, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for them to process the rejection. If the dealer refuses to accept your rejection, you will have to take action against them to make it happen.

  75. Stuart Masson

    Hi Samantha. As long as you are still within your 30 days, it doesn’t matter that you have continued to drive the vehicle. You can demand your money back under the Consumer Rights Act.

  76. Stuart Masson

    Hi Eduard. It depends on the problems, and whether they are significant. The article above explains it all fairly clearly, so I’mnot sure what sort of help you are looking for.

  77. Stuart Masson

    Hi Richard. It depends on the nature of the problem. It may be a quick fix, in which case it may be easier to take that than get a refund and have to start looking for a car all over again.

  78. Hi there

    I bought a brand new car on PCP and collected it 2 weeks ago. When we collected it there were some things that we were promised that weren’t delivered. We also ran into an issue regarding our part exchange.

    when we first met i explained that i would want to use my part ex as a deposit and that it had been valued at £XXX by various other dealers. The salesman said that he would need to apraise this at a later date which was fine. When filling out the contract he stated that because he needs to appraise the vehicle later on he would put the value down as ” customer owning ” instead of ” part exchange value “. Not once did he explain the part exchange procedure to myself.

    2 months passed and it was collection day and they never appraised my car and now all of a sudden my car is worth nothing and i have to pay the £xxx before my new car would be released to me. They also did not provide extras which were verbally agreed but not put on the contract.

    I’ve made a complaint and all they say is ” i signed the contact , i signed the contract ” and now because of my behavior i’m not getting any further help or the extras that were promised to me.

    I’ve admitted i signed a contract but it was incorrectly filled in ( not to my knowledge at the time ) and without extras promised, which according to the salesman didn’t need to be added. I feel ive been mislead into the contract but being a very very large german company they’ve suggested i get a lawyer if i challenge them anymore.

    help me please

  79. Thank you for your response. I will comment again once I know the outcome.

  80. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mike. Unfortunately, if you have signed a contract then it’s very difficult to prove that you have not got what you agreed to.

    Them telling to you get a lawyer is probably nothing to do with them “being a very very large German company” and more to do with the fact that you are trying to challenge a legally-binding contract which you freely signed of your own volition.

    Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a car dealer, but you may be better off complaining to the very very large German company’s UK head office if you feel aggrieved by the dealer’s conduct.

  81. If the 30 days has passed but you still find a fault with the car that was present when I bought the car can we still fight to have the car returned because we no longer want it ?

  82. Stuart Masson

    Hi Ray. No you can’t; that’s why there is a 30-day limit.

  83. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a used car from Arnold Clark and took delivery of it on 5th April.

    On the drive home, I noticed a chip on the windscreen. I called the dealer as soon as I got home and they arranged to look at the car, with a view to repair it.

    They confirmed the windscreen can’t be repaired and has to be replaced. The person dealing with me said they would need to get this authorised by the Service Manager, order the part and call me to take the car back in.

    I’ve just been told the Sales Manager won’t authorise the replacement screen as its over £600.

    Where do I stand?

    Thanks in advance


  84. Stuart Masson

    Hi George. Unfortunately, Arnold Clark does not have the best reputation for after-sales service, so good luck getting anything out of them.

    In terms of rejecting the car, it would depend on the severity of the chip and whether it is in a position which requires it to be repaired or replaced. If it would fail an MOT due to the chip, you would be within your rights to reject the vehicle or insist on it being repaired. If it’s not a legal issue, the dealer is probably entitled to say that they never promised to fix the chip and it was never agreed over the course of the sale.

  85. Hi, hope you can advise me.. I bought a Mini Cooper 2007 for my wife exactly month ago, however the car has formed a fault as it giving out blue smoke whilst driving and burning oil. I have been advised it maybe the piston rings and a costly job, would the be covered under warranty or am I eligible to ask for a refund?

  86. Hi Stuart thanks for a great thread and website. Lots of information.

    I purchased a used car on finance just under 2 weeks ago April 2nd. I traded in my car for £5000 and paid another £2500 on top and have an 11k finance with Barclays partner finance. I noticed a couple of issues with the car that the dealer has offered to fix but the car broke down recently. I’ve had enough and just want to cancel the finance and reject the car well within 30 days. They have offered to repair it but at this point I don’t really care and want my money and my car back which they still have.

    I had the car towed to their dealership and left it outside their gates and was ready to go there and get a courtesy car while they fix it but I just don’t want it anymore. I’m not quite sure what the fault is nor can I prove if this fault was there when I took it as I’ve been driving it for almost 2 weeks.

    I have called the finance company and they have said that I need to give the dealer a chance to repair it but I don’t want it at all.

    All I want is for them to take their car and give me my car and my money back but I don’t think it will be that easy. Any advice would be appreciated.


  87. Hi, I purchased a 2008 Mercedes from DaceXchange in Stockport in January 16. Test driving the car, all was fine except there were a few bits of paintwork that needed doing. They agreed to do the paintwork and would telephone for me to collect. They duly telephoned and we went all the way back to the garage to collect the car. However – the paintwork had not been done. So, a wasted journey and an angry me told them that I wanted it done and delivered.
    They delivered and done the paintwork (in a fashion).
    However – the next morning, when the car was cold, the gearbox started playing silly buggers. We live in a very hilly North Wales, and to exit our road it is a steep hill downwards, onto the next road which is a 20 mile an hour steep hill upwards to a then flat road with speed humps, then back down another steep hill to the flat!
    The gearbox was changing up too soon, the engine laboured so the gearbox changed back down, when slowing for the speed humps the car would judder and the revs go up and down in a jerky fashion. This happened until the engine started to show a temperature reading on the gauge.

    I contacted the garage, told them of the problem, they said the only thing they could do was book it into the garage they use to get it looked at. I was asked to bring the car back. Considering it is our only car, I told them this and they said they would not have a replacement for me to use until first week of March! I had no choice to wait, as I could not afford a hire car. Anyway, I took it back to them, they gave me a car to use (with no fuel in it). I had this car over a week, and they called me to come and collect my car. When I collected it they assured me that all the problems had been fixed, the gearbox needed oil, that was all!

    Sooooo, the next morning………You guessed it! No change.

    I contacted the garage again, he read the data sheet provided by the garage that supposedly fixed it, and told me they found a leak, but not on the gear box. They did not, however, find where the leak was, what it was, or fix it! Bring it back, they said, but this time no replacement car to use. This was unacceptable to me so he suggested that I find a garage near me! Err, I don’t think so, they will need to pay for the repairs and I’m not falling for the ‘you pay, we will reimburse’.

    They contacted Service4Service, but told them that there was a light on that needed investigation. Not sure where they got that from because there are no warning lights on the dashboard at all! Anyway, the Service4Service guys found an approved Mercedes garage, who contacted me to arrange to come and collect. When I told him what was going on he said it sounds like a gear box problem, not an engine problem, they don’t do gearboxes! So, they put Service4Service onto Chester Gearbox centre. However, because the problem is only occurring when the engine is cold, they need the car overnight.

    Problem. We don’t have another car, therefore I cannot get to/from work whilst the car is in the garage. I telephoned DaceXchange. Basically – hard luck, if you want the car fixed we will pay for that, but not a replacement car whilst it is being fixed.

    Before I tell them to come and get the car and give me a full refund (which I don’t want to do because its on finance and I will get stung for all sorts of charges, plus the more important fact, I really like the car and don’t particularity want to get rid of it!) am I within my rights to have a replacement car whilst the fault is diagnosed and fixed?

  88. We purchased a used car on the 17.02.2016 (£5,000) after driving it for no more than 30 minutes it broke down. Called the garage straight away they towed the car away and got the car running again. Employee put diesel in the tank instead of petrol. I took that as human error however car was still a little rough so ran the current fuel right down then put fresh petrol. On the 9th April car broke down again on a busy motorway. Garage called again, car is currently with them stripped – Rocker arm has snapped and wedged in the engine and sheared the teeth off the timing belt and other damage to the engine. Top gold package warranty was taken, however I am that sick of the car I want my money back. How do I stand?


  89. Stuart Masson

    Hi Onkar. You have 30 days to claim a refund, so you are probably outside that now. You still have the right to demand a repair within six months of purchase, and if that is not satisfactory then you can claim a refund.

    Alternatively, if you are otherwise happy with the car, you should be able to have the work covered under warranty if the warranty provided allows for it (used car warranties are hugely variable in their coverage).

  90. Stuart Masson

    Hi Alex. You will need to work with the finance company as technically it’s their car until you have finished paying for it (unless it’s an unsecured personal loan).

    Without knowing what the fault is, it’s impossible to say whether it justifies a refund under the Consumer Rights Act, but it is up to you to prove that the fault was present when the car was purchased.

  91. Stuart Masson

    Hi Michele. Long story short, you are not entitled to a replacement car while yours is fixed. Many businesses offer courtesy cars, but they are just that – a courtesy, not a legal requirement. And if a courtesy car is offered, they almost never offer fuel so it’s not surprising that the one you had previously didn’t come with any.

  92. Stuart Masson

    Hi Chris. You are now outside the 30-day window for automatically rejecting the car, but there is a second possibility that may cover your situation.

    You would have to show that the current problem is the same as the original one, and that their repair has been ineffective – you have six months to exercise this right and demand a refund. Given that you bought the car on 17 February and the car has been back with the dealer for a number of days (which do not count as part of your six months), you are still within this window.

  93. Hi Stuart

    Questions if I may, I have issued a new car rejection under the new law, do I allow the vehicle to be collected and await refund within 14 days?

    Asking because once the car has left my possession, they have the car, and could refuse refund once they have this, then I have nothing, I paid cash £30,000.

    Or, something happens to the vehicle while in their possession awaiting refund.

    They can agree to refund before collecting, but once they have the vehicle surely we are still relying on them honouring the act.



  94. Hi Stuart, I have been so stupid, I bought a used car on Friday 08.04.2016 from a dealer and picked it up on Wednesday, I asked the dealer how much tax was left on it he said 2 months but I didn’t know the new law about having to buy new tax when buying a car, anyway that’s not my biggest problem, the problem is I never got the V5C green tear off portion from him so I can’t tax the car, I’ve been phoning him the past few days but he keeps giving me the run around telling lies, I know now that I shouldn’t have bought it without the V5C doc, I really don’t know what to do or who can help me, I’m now without a car as it has no tax, can I take the car back to the dealer for a refund? Please help

    Kind Regards

  95. Stuart Masson

    Hi Martin. You are correct that you are rather stuck waiting for them to pay you. If you have anything in writing to confirm they have agreed to the refund, that would be good. If they have taken the car off your hands without any correspondence as to why they have done so, you are at a greater risk.

    If you don’t get payment or any response from the dealer, you will need to take legal action against them. However, it probably won’t come to to that. Presumably, if they want to dispute the rejection, they will give you the car back.

  96. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. I would have thought that this would qualify for you to reject the vehicle, as it is not fit for sale if it can’t be registered. However, if he is not answering your calls to get the car taxed then he is unlikely to be cooperative in giving you your money back…

  97. Hi Stuart. This is a fantastic site you’ve setup, and offering genuine help to beleaguered buyers. Good on you!
    I’ve just paid a deposit to a dealer on a car that is advertised as 87k miles. On getting home and doing checks online it is actually 187k! Can you say hoe I stand on my deposit if I withdraw?
    many thanks again

  98. Stuart Masson

    Hi Brian. Even without the new Consumer Rights Act, you should be able to get your money back as the car has been falsely advertised (regardless of whether it was accidental or deliberate). If you’re not having any luck, read of our article about resolving a problem with a dealer.

  99. Great. Many thanks again.

  100. Hi Stuart
    I sign a sale contract with car dealer and paid a deposit on 16/4/16 to complete sale by 23/4/16
    I inform dealer that I will pick the car on 18/4/16 and insured the car on 16/4/16 but I received a phone call on 17/4/16 to inform me that there has been a mistake and they sold the car to someone else. They offer to pay my deposit back
    What rights do I have? What can I do?
    Akin uysal

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