New laws give car buyers extra protection

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

UPDATE – 28 SEPTEMBER 2016

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.


UPDATE – 28 SEPTEMBER 2016

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.

582 Comments

  1. Hi Stuart,

    We brought a car from a dealership and on the way home noticed two small chips in the windscreen, we checked the MOT history and this had been noted, proving that the chips were there before we bought it. The dealership offered a 3 month warranty. However when we called them today, they said that fixing the windscreen is nothing to do with them and we should contact our insurers. Are they correct in doing this?
    Thanks

  2. Hi Stuart,

    I went to see a car, for my wife, at Skoda Morecambe’s dealer. At the time, I asked the salesman if the deposit was fully refundable, because the car wasn’t for me. He reassured me (verbally) that it wasn’t a problem and the deposit would be fully refundable if we weren’t happy with the car. The deposit was 500£. The car was a used Skoda Citigo. I signed a contract and payed the 500£, deposit and agreed with the salesman that me and my wife would collect the car next week. On the next day we found out that the car’s engine uses a timing belt (which has to be change every 3 years) instead of a chain belt (which theoretically lasts for life). This was not described on the car’s advert after that we were not interested on the car anymore. I have contacted the dealer again and now he refuses to give me the full refund of my deposit. Do you think I’ve go a chance of having the deposit back? By the way my name on the contract was spelled wrong by the car’s dealer (just noticed now) although it’s signed by me.

    Many thanks

    Ed

  3. Stuart Masson

    Hi Neveen. If the chips are only listed as advisories in the MOT report, the dealership is not obliged to fix them.

  4. Stuart Masson

    Hi Ed. I would say you have no chance of getting your deposit back based on the car using a timing belt rather than a chain – unless the advert specifically said that the car used a timing chain and you bought the car on that premise.

  5. Hi Stuart

    I wonder whether you could give me your opinion please? I bought a brand new Jeep Renegade from a dealer via a PCP in 09/08/2016, using my old car as a px deposit. Ten days later, it started making a chugging noise from the back. I rang the dealer, and the soonest appointment was Tuesday. However, the noise got much worse, so much so that people were turning round to look, and when I reversed there was a clunking noise, and it felt as if something had fallen off (it hadn’t, I checked). I rang the dealer back, and they said someone would ring me, but they did not! So I then rang the breakdown (comes with the warranty), and they sent someone to pick t up.

    The man who collected it, said he suspected was the electronic parking break not working properly, and the car was undriveable. I spent the whole evening chasing round trying to find out when the courtesy car was coming. I eventually got a text message at 11.15pm! ( the car was collected, and a courtesy car requested at 6.45pm).

    Anyway, I am less than pleased with the car, and the customer service. As it is Sunday today, I won’t hear from the dealer until tomorrow. I have lost confidence in the car, and the company, do you think I have a strong case for rejecting my car? (It has 285 miles on the clock)

    Many thanks

    Julie

  6. Sorry, I think I have not been clear:

    Jeep collected at 6.45 and courtesy car requested. Was told within an hour.
    After many calls to CS by me, I got a text message at 11.15 from hire car co.
    Courtesy car delivered 8.30am next day

  7. Stuart Masson

    Hi Julie. The Consumer Rights Act is only concerned with any fault of the car, and the level of customer service or your confidence in the car or company is not taken into account from a legal perspective.

    Your chances of rejecting the car will depend on what the fault is and whether it is a significant fault. If the car is undriveable, you should have a good argument to reject the car.

  8. Hi Stewart I purchased a 2016 chevlote impala 1lt at the end of March it had 1100 miles on it well I took it on my 1st long road trip and when you take your foot off brake it feels like the whole bottom in going to fall out and the air goes off as well as the radio. I called the car dealer sells man when I got to my hotel and told him he told me to bring it in when I got back I talked to one service man that day and he said could be the auto start. I talked to another service man and he said that the auto stop should not effect the air and radio My question is do I have a legal right to get a refund or request another car I spent a lot of money on this car and for it to start now having problems I don’t want to keep that car I either want a refund or another car that has no miles on it what do you think?

  9. Hi Stuart,

    Thank you for replying. Yes, the car is undriveable, those were the words used by the recovery pickup technician. I will ring the dealer today to see what their exact diagnosis is.

    Thanks again

    Julie

  10. Stuart Masson

    Hi Cynthia. This is a UK site and I am not familiar with the relevant consumer legislation in the USA.

  11. Hi Stuart

    I bought a brand new car 3 days a go and i can have it any more because im going to uk next week. is nothing worng with the car. just that I won’t used .

    what are my rights? can I ask to my dealer to give the car back with a full refund? or I have to pay any fee? is the value will be the same?

    many thanks

  12. Stuart Masson

    Hi Sergio. No, you don’t have any right to give the vehicle back. You bought it, it’s yours. There is no cooling-off period for car sales in the UK. You will need to sell the vehicle if you want to get rid of it.

  13. Hi Stuart. I bought a car 7 weeks ago I bought a 5 year old car. The advert said it had 80k miles on the clock. When I pick it up it had 86k. I assumed I had made a mistake. 30 days after buying the car it broke down while I was on holiday in Ireland. 2 injectors had gone and there was an oil leak. An Irish garage replaced the injectors but said the engine and gearbox had been replaced. This was news to me. Do I have any options under the new act. Thanks John

  14. Hi Stuart, great advice. I bought a Kia Ceed 3 years ago brand new, since then it has had a number of faults covered under warranty. 6 months ago the passenger side headlight had to be replaced because of a circuitry issue that caused the LED strip to flicker and go out regularly, the dealer suggested that I wasn’t the only one being effected. This has now happened again to the drivers side and I have been waiting over a month for the part to be replaced, to the point that I was pulled over by the local police to discuss the headlight. Locally I have seen two other Kia’s from the same Ceed range with this issue driving with only one headlight. A: How long am I reasonably expected to wait for a repair under warranty (7 years with KIA) as I’m told it might be illegal to drive, and B: Am I right in thinking that if a product has the same fault three times then the consumer is entitled to an exchange or refund? I’m concerned the manufacturers fault has not been entirely corrected and even when its replaced it may ovcur again. Many thanks

  15. Stuart Masson

    Hi John. If you are wanting to reject the car, your only option under the Consumer Rights Act is if the dealer makes any repair to a vehicle fault and it fails to fix the fault. You have this right within the first six months of your ownership.

    The mileage issue is something you should have raised at the time of purchase, not seven weeks afterwards. The engine and gearbox may have been replaced, but this is not a reason to reject the car. If you specifically asked the dealer if the car had had an engine and gearbox change and they said that it hadn’t, you would be able to pursue them for mis-selling the vehicle.

  16. Stuart Masson

    Hi Warren. The Consumer Rights Act has no ‘three strikes’ clause, so I’m not sure where you got that from.

    The dealer will simply follow their usual procedure for replacing a broken headlight, and blame the manufacturer if there are no replacement parts in stock. If you are not happy with the performance of the dealer in sorting the problem, you can try complaining to Kia UK to get them to hurry the dealer along. Kia UK may also have to authorise the provision of a courtesy car to keep you mobile while your car is off the road (or illegal), as the dealer is unlikely to offer this.

  17. Hi Stuart.

    In need of help. My husband and I purchased a 2nd hand mercedes and paid in cash. The car was told to be in excellent condition and we were told a service had been done when we came to collect the car. A few weeks later, we noticed oil leaking from the car. We called the dealership and they told us to take it to an RAC Aprroved garage. We took the car to an RAC approved garage and got the work done. The garage we purchased from asked that they received an estimation first before completing the work, to my knowledge this was done (nothing in writing between the garages to confirm this). When the bill arrived of £1,700 plus VAT the garage we purchased from said they were shocked and had not been informed that the work had been completed. They then got a quote from their mechanic that said they could of done the work for £7,00. As you can imagine we went back and forth regarding payment and settled to pay the bill 50/50. At this point I’m still unsure as to whether I should of paid half or the garage we purchased from should of paid the full price? Please can you advise, apreciate any help!

  18. Hi Stuart,
    Great Article, in addition to allowing information flow for user people to read.

    My issue is that I bought a brand new Volkswagen Golf R from a main dealer in March 9th 2016. I have had the car since then and had noticed that it has a very clunky gearbox when selecting 2nd gear and sometime it takes more than one attempt. I have left the vehicle until it is ‘run-in’ (1600 miles) before reporting the issue to the main dealer on 01/08/2016 (4 months, 24 days later).
    The main dealer had had the car for two days and has not found the fault. They now want to have the car again to do a side-by-side comparison to any Golf R of the same mileage.

    I have also sent them a recorded delivery letter stating that Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 the goods supplied must be of satisfactory quality.

    My worry is this:
    – if they do come back with another “no fault found”, where does this leave me in terms of the consumer of rights act 2015?

    – If they find a fault with the gearbox and they offer to replace it, do I have to go down this route; or is this a significant (major) fault to allow me to demand a refund or a replacement. also do you have any guidance on how much would be deducted if a refund was offered – the car has done 2000 miles now?

    Thanks in advance – I hope you can help

    David

  19. Hi Stuart thanks for the reply. If the engine and gearbox has been replaced how can the mileage be true and therefore is the vehicle being sold misrepresented?
    Your thoughts are appreciated.
    John

  20. I Baugh a nissan rogue 9 days ago and brought it to them today was as fast as I could get it to them . Now they call back and say the strut and strut bearings are shot, what can I do to make them give me a brand new car just as I Haight 9 days ago, this is a major problem. .

  21. Stuart Masson

    Hi Charon. You are probably going to end up arguing this one forever if you want the dealer to pay for it. There has been no written communication to clarify who will be paying for what, so the selling dealer will simply say that they never authorised any repair work and you won’t be able to prove anything otherwise.

    You can argue with the servicing garage that they shouldn’t have started work without approval, but that’s going to be your argument with them and it will not involve the selling dealer.

    As you have now paid the bill, there is no way that either garage is going to revisit the matter to see whether you should be refunded for what you have spent.

  22. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. As you are outside the first 30 days but within six months, you can’t reject the car outright under the Consumer Rights Act. You have to allow the dealer one chance to fix the problem. If they are not able to fix the fault, you can then reject the vehicle.

    If you are able to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, you should be given a full refund. The only valid deductions are for damage beyond normal wear and tear (which over 2,000 miles should be negligible).

  23. Stuart Masson

    The mileage on an odometer represents the overall vehicle rather than any components. The body, chassis, braking system, suspension system, exhaust system, safety systems, etc. will all be original and have covered more mileage than the engine and gearbox.

  24. Hello Stewart, I contacted you on 30th March regarding a LR D2 that I have rejected for a refund. The dealer continues to refuse to refund and I have had to resort to court action. He defended the claim and mediation didn’t work so it is going to a hearing. Is there anyone I discuss this with before the hearing? I don’t really want to put all the details here, can I send a summary to you via a different route? Thanks, Adam

  25. Thanks for confirming Stuart, and for clarifying the associated deductions in the event of a rejection and the refund.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond so quickly

  26. Stuart Masson

    Hi Crystal. We are a UK site and can’t assist with US enquiries. Sorry.

  27. Stuart Masson

    Hi Adam. If you are going to court then you will need professional legal advice, so you will need to speak to a solicitor to assist you. Best of luck.

  28. Hi Stuart its John again. I agree the odometer is a measure of the whole car but if the engine and gearbox has been replaced by clearly older engine and gearbox then there is and has been a misrepresentation in selling a vehicle.

  29. Hi,
    wonder if you could give me some advice about my rights and next steps, I bought a car recently from a private seller, they said it a great runner, I was in desperate need of a car so I bought it straight away. I drove it into the city and back and noticed millage was very high, thought I should call the seller and ask a bit more about the car but before I had the chance the car exploded while it was parked.
    I have also recently found out from a colleague that the car had broken down a few times recently before I bought it.
    I have tried reading through the consumer rights act but I’m not sure what if anything would apply to me because I went to see the car before I bought it but feel the seller was not truthful as he never informed me of the cars recent problems, I thought I was getting a good car and the seller knew it clearly wasn’t.

  30. Stuart Masson

    Hi Elizabeth. The Consumer Rights Act does not apply to private sales. Unless you are prepared to take the buyer to court, which has a very low likelihood of working out favourably overall, there’s not a lot you can do.

  31. Hi I purchased a car less than 24hours ago which is an automatic and test drove it no more than 50mph. On the journey home on the motorway at 70mph it would continue to accelerate and breaking wasn’t slowing the speed down fast enough. Once home, called the dealership and they said they would repair the problem the next day. Called the dealership before leaving for the 1 hour 30 minute journey saying that the vehicle is not safe and I’d like a refund to which their response was well you have to wait for the log book to come back before I would even consider a partial refund. Then I mentioned I would be in contact with trading standards for advice and he said bring the car here and I’m not repairing it etc, and got extremely sour, rude and aggressive! Where do I stand here? What are my rights and what can I do next? Thank you

  32. Stuart Masson

    Hi Rosie. It is true that the dealer cannot begin to process a refund until you have the V5 logbook to give back to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t formally reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act; it just means they can’t action a refund until the DVLA sends you the logbook. So you can get started by providing your written rejection of the vehicle.

    However, without knowing what the problem actually is, there’s no way of knowing if the fault would qualify for rejection under the Consumer Rights Act. You will have to either return the car to the dealer for them to look at it, or get another garage to provide a written report. You will need to pay for this, and reclaim any costs from the dealer if the rejection is successful.

  33. Hi Stuart,

    Update on progress with the dealer..

    The VW dealer has had the car for a week to test, but hasn’t found any faults (according to them).
    Can you let me know where does this leaves me? Do I have to prove to the dealer that the faults exists; how do I do this if it’s intermittent? I am worried that the garage will play the ‘no fault found’ card and I will have to live with the car and its faults – which I do not want to do at all.

    How long under the law is reasonable for them to prove to me that the fault doesn’t exist (especially mechanical (non-computer recorded issues etc)?

    Thanks in advance

    David

  34. Stuart Masson

    If the dealer does not accept your assertion that the car has a significant fault, you will have to fight them over it. You can take the car to another Volkswagen dealer or an independent specialist and get them to inspect the vehicle, but the onus is on you to prove that the car has a significant fault that qualifies it for rejection under the Consumer Rights Act.

    From a time point of view, the clock stops while they have your car, so your rights are unaffected.

  35. Hi I purchased a second hand car on the 20th July with the agreement that they would fix a dent diamond wax the car to remove any scratches and valet the car and remove a small bit of rust but when they delivered the car on the 1st August I noticed that the dent and scratches were still there the guy who delivered my car contacted the salesman to say that I am not happy but I agreed for the garage to arrange somebody that’s local to me to fix this so the guy then took my car from the transporter and put it on my drive I the end waited for the salesman to get back to me but after several days no call and when I phoned he informed that there guy doesn’t go my way but as u had issues with dvla and it took me nearly 3 weeks to get my car on the road it was making a horrible squeaky /banging noise I contacted the garage who advised me the bosses were a t a conference but I could mail him which I did but as before he didn’t reply after a week so I phoned again yesterday who this time told me it must only be the brakes and I could put into a local garage but I had to contact them and they would decide if they are going to pay for the repair and to book the guy to fix the dent and that he would look at the scratches as well but I was told that the rusty bits was nothing to do with them and contact vw I left the car for nearly 2 weeks for them to do the work it needed and I said time n time again I wasn’t paying for a rusty car I’m so angry that they are expecting me to arrange for the work to be done and mayb won’t pay to fix the car I also said it could be the front anti roll brushes but the garage said it couldn’t be as it wouldn’t have passed the mot what are my rights as I’ve just passed the 30’days

  36. Thank you so much for your help!

  37. Hi i collected my ‘ approved used’ vehicle on 12th Aug. My first 4×4, i felt it drove a little strange but being my first 4×4 I thought maybe that me just not having one before was the issue. However a week later problems got worse, clutch judder, heavy steering and pulling so i got a family member to drive it and they too said the same. I phoned the dealership and they asked me to come over to have a technican look it over. He drove it, felt a few issues and then wanted it booked in for 3days. The earliest date the could give with A courtesy car was 5th September. A few issues found with the vehicle they said they rectified them and replaced parts that needed changing under their warranty. I got my vehicle bad yesterday morning, went out on a short drive with a technican who explained what they had done and that the clutch judder is common in a Q5, he has changed clutches in some before and the problem still stays the same ( which i found slightly odd). The car seemed to drive ok, pulling still but more to the other side to what it was previously, i said this to the technican and he said could just be the camber in the road etc. However today the clutch judder is back but now not just in first gear it has started doing it reverse! I have been back and forth 8 times to this dealership in a month from problems on my previous vehicle and then changing to this new one. Im a little fed up of going back and forth. My 30days ends today which i have only just realised i thought it was tomorrow, but with them having it for the week does that ‘ pause’ my 30days? I do not feel safe in the vehicle and constantly on edge when im driving it, it feels totally different and it is no where near to the way the courtesy car was when i drove that and it was the exact same car just a year newer. Where do i stand with in terms to giving the vehicle back? I love the car but i dont feel safe in it with the way it pulls and judders, ive given them a chance to do repairs that they say is nothing wrong with the clutch.

  38. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a qashqai a week ago now. Three days after I bought it the engine splash shield buckled under the car on the motorway. It was only held on by one screw instead of four. They were all missing. Rac came out and took off what remained of the cover. The following day an engine light came on. Another rac call out and then a trip to the garage the following day to get an oxygen sensor fixed. This is a 65 plate with 10,000 on the clock. All this while on holiday. I have used most of the 1000 miles I think I am allowed before I can return the car. I now am not sure if I have enough miles to get back home or I will go over my allowed 1000 miles. What are my rights please? Thanks. Steve.

  39. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lucy. Firstly yes, your 30-day counter stops while the dealership has the car.
    Secondly, as long as you have had the car for less than six months, you can still reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. The dealership has had a chance to repair the fault and has failed to do so. Therefore, you should be able to reject the vehicle.
    If the dealer does not accept your rejection, you will have to contact Audi UK or call in a solicitor to help you.

  40. Stuart Masson

    Hi Steve. Mileage isn’t an issue under the Consumer Rights Act, although it may be for a dealer policy on rejecting a vehicle.

    If the car has a significant fault for its age and mileage, you can reject the vehicle within the first 30 days and get a full refund. The only thing the dealer can charge you for is damage beyond normal wear and tear.

    The only issue you may have is that neither of those problems sounds like significant faults, unless they have caused other damage to the vehicle. If the car has been fixed and is now working properly, you have no grounds to reject the vehicle.

  41. Hi, I recently bought a BMW at a cost of near £16,000, not cheap, I was told on the phone that all jobs would be done, they did some jobs but main one they did not and told me it was fit for purpose, the man who passed it fit works for them. I was then told there is nothing I can do and they would not accept return. I complained to them and they said theres nothing I can do.
    The job was the brakes squeal quite loudly and its so embarrassing when driving, the neighbours also thought it funny I pull up in a smart car and they are like, you been had.

  42. Hi, I bought a car 2 days ago on a PCP. Have no discovered the drivers seat is not screwed down to the bottom of the car, after having to emergency stop and being flung forwards in the vehicle. The company may offer to fix the issue but I don’t feel safe driving a car with such a dangerous fault that was not previously found by the dealer. Am I entitled to return the car or does my finance make it more difficult?

  43. Stuart Masson

    Hi Alan. It may be difficult to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act if the brakes are stopping the car safely.

    If you try to reject the car and the dealer refuses, you will need to engage legal assistance.

  44. Stuart Masson

    Hi Rhiannon. You will need to contact your finance company and inform them that you want to reject the vehicle, as the car actually belongs to them and not you. However, it should be fine.

  45. I have made contact with Audi UK they have advised if i wish to reject the vehicle i have to do so with the dealership as they can only push for a repair, which they have been doing for me. The vehicle is due to go back again tomorrow to resolve the issues. The used sales manager advised me that they need to been seen to rectify the problem before i can reject the vehicle and because they couldnt find a fault in the previous week when they had it that this wasnt a chance to do just that. I feel im being bullied into this as im unsure whether or not that is true and where i stand with rejecting the car if they say they cant find a fault ( which they have said last week) Audi UK have been a great help so far, and have pushed for the help with the dealership.

  46. Stuart Masson

    Audi UK is correct in that a vehicle rejection must be done through the dealership, but at least it seems that they are giving the dealer a prod, which they are good at doing.

    If you are still within your 30-day window, you can reject the vehicle without the dealer having the chance to fix it – it is your legal right, regardless of what their sales manager says. If you are outside the 30 days but still less than six months, the dealer is entitled to one chance to fix the fault. If the fault has not been fixed, you can reject the vehicle. From what you have described previously, they have had that chance anyway and could not find a fault. Their explanation sounds like bull***t to me, but then I’m only hearing your side of the story…

    If the dealer refuses to accept your rejection then you will need to take legal action, and I would strongly suggest you seek professional legal advice if you plan on taking the dealer to court (or at least threatening to). The dealer will do whatever they can to avoid accepting a rejection, as they will lose a lot of money. It may be that they offer you something (eg – free servicing or some kind of compensation for your troubles) to keep you in the car, so consider all your options.

  47. hi,

    i bought a second hand car in january this year and it went wrong the day i drove it away, reported it to garage who did a repair, it went wrong again, and the garage then sent it to jaguar and they said it was fixed, and it went wrong again, so it was sent to a different garage and had the gearbox rebuilt which took six weeks for me to get it back. I got it back in march and in april was back at the garage with a central locking fault which they repaired. no problems with the car until september when it went wrong again. took it back to garage and they had a look and said that the turbo intercooler casing has a split in it probably due to the turbo overboosting at high revs. they said it needs to go back to jaguar to do a diagnostics test which will cost around 336 pounds without any work to repair the car. where would i stand in getting the car taken back by the garage and them clearing the finance, so I dont have the car anymore as I don’t feel confident to drive the car anymore?

  48. Stuart Masson

    Hi Nick. Do some maths and work out if you have had the car for less than six months, once you take out all the time that the garage has had the car. You would need to work with your finance company, as the car belongs to them, not you.

    The Consumer Rights Act allows you to reject the car if it has a significant fault for age and mileage. The dealership has one chance to fix the fault, but if it is not fixed then you can reject the vehicle. You have reported several different faults – the gearbox and intercooler would probably be considered “significant” but the central locking probably isn’t. The fault has to be significant, and the attempt at repair has to have failed for you to be able to reject the car.

    If you are beyond six months, the Consumer Rights Act does not cover you. You would have to claim that the car was not fit for sale under the Sale of Goods Act, which is a much more expensive and time-consuming process.

  49. So I bought the car on the 16th and was able to pick it up on the 18th of January, and up until today its has been with them for 56 days in total. From 16th january till 19th september is 8 months and 3 days, so if I deduct the 56 days from that time, it goes back to the 24th July which is 8 days over the 6 months time frame so I am therefore not covered. is that correct?

  50. Hi
    We bought a car and the very next day the engine light came on. Seller( business trader) said he was going away for three weeks. We have a months warranty. Took car to independent garage who said car had minor faults, safe to drive. Told seller this and sent him the repair bill, he said carry on driving and he’ll fix car when he returns. Two weeks later car catches fire. We have no car to return as it was so badly damaged and he won’t give us our money back? The warranty does not say as-is, or bought as seen. Is there anything we can do?

  51. Stuart Masson

    Hi Julie. Unfortunately you will have to ascertain the cause of the fire if you want to pursue the dealer (for all he knows, it could have been arson). It could be quite a hassle to get it resolved if you want to go down that path instead of claiming on your car insurance.

    I would suggest visiting the consumer legal advice site legalbeagles.info, where you may be able to get a legal opinion from a qualified professional about how best to proceed given that you can’t really take the car back to the seller.

  52. Hi Stuart Many thanks for your reply. Engineer said is was an electrical fault. Warranty only covers engine and gearbox. Can’t claim on insurance as it’s my son’s and his excess is £750 plus he’ll lose 3 years no claims. Paid £1400 for car, we all scraped that together. So upset. We just found out it’s an ex CAT 3 write off! We would never have bought it had we known that. I’ve contacted Fair Trading, but not really getting anywhere.

    Thanks for your advice, I’ll look in to it.

  53. Hi Stuart, I purchased a diesel 2013 VW Polo just over two weeks ago from the Car Shop. I explained to the sales man that I do not do a lot of mileage and that my previous car had only done roughly 4,500 miles annually and I will only use for city driving. The DPF filter light has come on already but went off after a 20 minute 50mph drive. I have now been advised that diesels are not good for low mileage and city driving Do I have the right to insist on a refund or exchange due to not being fit for purpose?

  54. Stuart Masson

    Hi Tanya. You would have to argue this with the dealership, and unless you have some kind of written evidence that you were mis-sold, there is little chance of you getting your money back. If the car is working normally, the DPF light may come on from time to time and you will need to drive it as before to burn off the accumulated particles. For more information, have a read of our article about diesel cars and urban driving.

  55. Hi Stuart, I bought a car in May, which has recently broken down and is still under warranty. The diesel pump has completely disintegrated and the garage have quoted £7,000 to fix the pump and everything in the fuel system. The warranty company has told me they are trying to get the quote down because they don’t think everything in the fuel system needs replacing. I am concerned that they will only authorise some of the work, which won’t leave me feeling very confident driving the car again. As the vehicle cost me £10,000 would you advise using the Consumer Rights Act to try and get a full refund from the garage? It’s a BMW 1 Series, which I bought from a used car dealer.

  56. Stuart Masson

    Hi Sophie. As you have had the car for less than six months, you can give the selling dealer one opportunity to fix the fault. If it is not repaired, you can reject the car.

    The law relates to correctly repairing the fault, as does your warranty. Your confidence in driving the car is not something that either will address.

  57. Many thanks for your advice.

  58. I bought a new car via Nissan finance and the car experience some weird-form of hesistation or quick loss of accelarating power where you are driving at around 30mph. The saleman he said that the car drives very smooth with the new automatic gearbox. Definetly not as described with nissan sale man.

    The car was booked for a ECM software update but this did not help at all.
    This loss of power/hesistation is weird when you are changing lanes.

    So I wish to reject the car and I wrote a letter under the 30-day short term right to reject legislation as follows:

    ————————————————–
    I am writing to notify you that I am exercising my right based on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to reject the car (within 30 days) with registration ****** due to the fault (sudden loss of power) that the car experiencing during slight cruising/accelerating around or just under 30 miles/hour. The fault was confirmed with one of your engineering before the 30 days windows and was booked for repair on 16 Sep. However, the problem is not resolved. In many situations, this was dangerous when changing lanes. Please, arrange a day to collect the vehicle.
    —————————————————-

    and his reply back was :

    —————————————————-
    With regards to your letter dated 21 09 16 and your request to reject your vehicle.

    Unfortunately at this stage this is not an option that we agree with. When you visited us to report an issue we checked the car and it was showing no fault codes within the cars management system, at this point we also checked with Nissan to see if there were any updates for your particular model and there was an ECM (Engine control module) software update available which we downloaded to the car at the time.

    If you believe you are still experiencing an issue we will more than happily make an appointment for an extended test drive with a technician to see if you can replicate the issue you believe you are experiencing, if during this road test we can identify the issue then we will look to fix it.

    Please contact with the service manager and he will make the appointment for you at a convenient time.
    ———————————————–

    Do I have to accept his repair offer ?

  59. Stuart Masson

    Hi James. You do not have to accept a repair offer if you are still within your first 30 days. If you are outside 30 days but still within six months, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to repair. If that attempt does not fix the fault, you have the right to reject the vehicle.

    It is perfectly reasonable for the dealer to want evidence of the problem before accepting a rejection, so you will need to demonstrate the fault beyond doubt. By the sound of it, they did a typical job of plugging the car into the diagnostic computer, which showed no faults so they gave it back without really trying to replicate or understand the issue.

    If the fault persists and the dealer still does not accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action.

  60. Can you confirm if I am in the 30 day of window.
    I bought it on 18 Aug.
    The engineer confirm the problem with test drive 26.
    They delayed the booking to the workshop until 16 Sep.
    I sent the rejection letter on 21 Sep.
    Am I within the first 30 days assuming the delay to update the ECM ?

  61. Stuart Masson

    The 30 days does not include any days you do not have the vehicle because it is with the dealer. So you need to add up how many days the car was with the dealer and work out if you were still within your original 30 days.

    In any case, you said that the car had been to the dealer and they had failed to fix the fault. In that case, you are entitled to proceed with rejecting the vehicle.

  62. Hi Stewart,
    just wondering if I’m in my rights here!

    I bought an insignia about 4 weeks ago and had it for 4 days. when I got home I noticed that the back right wheel was treading very thin on the inside and the alignment was out on the left.
    I also notice that the back right window wasn’t working.
    I also noticed that the gear box need changed and the front left wheel bearing need changed., the boot shelve was broken and the back fan wasn’t in properly so it vibrated.
    they fixed most of the problems and had the car for 3 weeks. but when I got the car back they said that everything was sorted. I’ve just had to pay for the alignment and have giving the finance company a copy of the invoice. but they scratched the interior trim on the dash and are taking no responsibility for it.
    I’m going to take the car for an mot today and see how that fairs.
    am I within my rights to reject the vehicle.? thank you
    scott

  63. Hi, Just looking for some advice. I bought a used car 2 weeks ago, checked it over and gave it a short test drive. All seemed ok to me and I even asked if there was any known faults. I was told no there was not. After complications with my bank I had to pay through paypal wich the seller then implied I must pay an extra 84 for pay pal charges his end. I then went on to sign the paperwork which he then told me it’s sold as seen. As seen in what appeared to be good condition I signed. I’ve barely done a few hundred miles in it and the gearbox went bang, it has fallen to bits inside and caused a crack in the outer cassing causing leakage of transmission fuel. The car is undrivable as it doesn’t go into select gears and makes an awful and loud noise. I had a garage take a look who quoted me 1800. I paid 2395 not including the PayPal charge. I also had another qualified individual mechanic take a look who said the problem would of been there for quiet some time for it to be in such bad condition and pointed out the crack and leak. He had to get under the car. Clean and wipe the box to be able to see it clearly. Strangely it’s had an apparent new dmf and clutch installed in july. There’s an invoice of this in the paperwork from the car. Although it doesn’t say much just where it was done, what parts were put in and how much it was. I checked out the garage that carried out the work and on there sign at the top it says gear box specialists. Shouldn’t they have picked up on this? I’ve been looking into my rights and it seems they should be repairing the car free of charge as the fault was there when sold. And it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s had a new dmf and clutch as the original garage that checked the car told me ill probably need a new one. The 2nd mechanic to look rang the dealer who said nothing but it’s my responsibility because I signed for sold as seen with no warranty. There advertising as a business selling used cars. Doesn’t that make them a trader? Meaning they should not be selling cars in this way? I also believe that they have hidden the faults with the car to sell it. Including patching up the gearbox casing. Chip in the windscreen was certainly not visible when I looked at it. And a few other minor things that werent visable at the time but are now. The car passed an mot in April. I’ve just suffered a nervous breakdown due to stress and this certainly isn’t helping. I’d like to know where I stand from someone with knowledge on this kind of thing? Sorry for the long message and I hope it makes sense. Thanks

  64. Stuart Masson

    Hi Scott. A lot of those issues would not be considered ‘significant’ on a used car. A gearbox replacement, however, would be significant and probably enough to reject the vehicle. However, you said that the dealer has repaired everything. If you have agreed for them to repair it and the problem has been fixed, you no longer have the right to reject the car.

  65. Hi Stuart
    I was just wondering if you could help me with my problem, I financed a car from Vauxhall on the 9/9/16. The morning I was picking it up one of their valeters hit the car while driving it out of the cleaning station. So before I drove it away we got in writing that they would repair the damage on the side wing, it has been in repair since Friday and we got given a courtesy car. Today I got my car back from Vauxhall and the worksmanship gone into it does not look great. All the paintwork is bubbled and they did not repair the front light lenses that was scuffed when the valeters hit the car too. I am still waiting to hear back from the dealer of an outcome to this but what are my options do you think? Thanks

  66. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kayleigh. If it was a new car, you should be kicking off as much as possible to say that the finish of the repair is not as-new. If it is a used car, it’s up to whatever you can negotiate with the dealer.

  67. Hi Stuart, thanks for your response. If they fix the fault (which they are willing to do, but they are not willing to follow BMW recommendations and replace everything in the fuel system) and the car breaks down again in a few months (which the garage seems to think is inevitable), where do I stand then? I will have given them one opportunity to fix the fault, but if it breaks down again the car will be out of warranty. Can I reject the car then – outside of the six months?

  68. Hi Stuart
    It is a 2015 plate with only 15,000 miles on the clock.
    What do you think my next approach should be?

  69. Hi Stuart.

    I purchased a Mercedes Viano 8 seater MPV on 15/09/16, when I got home I went to lock the vechile and the key fobs did not work, being a mercedes I would have to lock the rear of the car from the inside then lock the front doors from the control panel and manually lock the passenger door with the emergency key. the same to unlock also, I have now noticed that the sliding door behind the passenger door does not lock at all. I contacted the dealer the day after and he told me that he would look into it. He then contacted me back saying he would repair it but was going on hoilday and if I could wait a week for him to get back to which i agreed. After the week I had to chase him up as he did not contact me he said he needed to book it in with mercedes and would get back to me. today I chased him and he said he cant get in contact with them and would get back to me then I said this was not acceptable he said that if I bring it in then he would get his engineers to try and solve it but cant promise they would be able to fix the problem. I then read up about the consumer act I contacted the dealer again and said I wanted a refund, he said that the car was fit for purpose and drives fine with no problems and that I have not given them chance to fix the problem. I am fed up with this as it seems to keep getting put off and worried that it will go beyond the 30 days then I have no leg to stand on. Can I refuse the repair and just demand a refund?

    Thanks in advance

  70. hi stuart I bought a car on finance used however the day it got dropped of it had to be taken back I drove 300 yds started smoking under bonnet the garage took it back then I broke down twice with battery problems then the clutch went after 10 weeks also had to buy new pads ,then the windows wouldn’t come back up in the space of 1 year I have broke down 4 times the car is now broke again its in limp mode its a Vauxhall insignia everything is recorded rac etc can I get out of this situation

  71. Stuart Masson

    That’s the law, unfortunately. You can’t expect to be covered indefinitely by legislation or warranty.

    The law only says that the dealer has to fix the fault, not that they have to follow BMW recommendations. If it lasts beyond six months, the dealer has fulfilled their requirements according to the law.

  72. Stuart Masson

    It’s a used car, so it depends entirely how hard you are prepared to fight for what you want. There is nothing anywhere to say that the dealer’s repair job has to be to a new car standard. You can argue that the car was not delivered in the condition in which you bought it, and try to reject it. The best chance of successfully rejecting the car would have been to refuse to accept it once you saw the repairs. If you have accepted the car from the dealer and driven off, you are basically accepting their repair job.

  73. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jamie. You can reject the car for having a faulty locking system, and it would seem a reasonable argument. If you are still within your original 30 days, you are within your rights to refuse a repair and insist on a refund. However, if the dealer refuses to accept the rejection you will have to take legal action to try and reject the vehicle.

    Was the vehicle advertised with remote central locking? If so, you can argue that the car is not as advertised.

  74. Stuart Masson

    Hi Ken. If you have had the car for a year, you are well outside the limit of the Consumer Rights Act. It sounded like you had issues within the first six months that would have justified a rejection, but it’s too late for that now.

  75. Stuart Masson

    Hi Danny. Apologies for the delay in responding, your comment ended up being caught by the spam filter.

    You should be able to reject the car for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act. Warranty doesn’t come into it. That doesn’t mean that the dealer is going to play nicely and give you your money back without a fight, however.

    I have put together a more comprehensive article about rejecting a car, which has now replaced this one and was published after your question was submitted.

  76. Hi Stuart
    I purchased a car on 16/09/2016. I test drove the car, checked the MOT certificate and all was fine. This was purchased from a small garage that mainly fitted tyres etc but always have a few cars for sale as well. His reviews were fine so I was not worried. The log book came through the post and now after checking I have discovered that the car is classed as Cat C since Oct 2014. I am really annoyed that he did not inform me. It looks like the car was repaired & VIC then back on the road by Dec 2014. I will be calling him as there are a few things (not major) that need sorting out but I would appreciate knowing where I stand legally. Thanks

  77. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mark. This article has now been replaced by a more comprehensive article on the Consumer Rights and rejecting a car.

  78. Stuart Masson

    Please note that comments on this article are now closed. Please head over to our new and improved article about your consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

  79. Hello Stuart

    thank you very much for your article. I wonder if you could help me with my problem. I bought Nissan Qashqai Acenta Cvt Petrol1598cc registered on Dec 2012 from private dealership. after about 6 months the gear box of the car break down. It looks like a common problem and in USA the NIssan was forced to extend their warranty to 10 years on gear box or 120 thousand miles.

    Does Nissan obliged to do the same thing in UK, what are my options if any.

    Thank you for you reply in advance.

  80. Stuart Masson

    Hi Shayan. Comments on this article are now closed. Please head over to our new and improved article about your consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

  81. Hi Stuart
    I bought a Jaguar xf two months ago and it has broken down, according to the AA the problem is the alternator. I bought the car from a garage 120 miles away , and when I agreed to buy the car and the extended warranty, it was because I was assured that if a fault developed I could take the car to a garage near to home, and not have to take it back to them. The garage are now denying this is the case and want the car brought to them. Considering the car is completely dead, it would cost me over £500 to have it towed there.
    What are my rights and what can I legally expect the garage to do.

  82. Stuart Masson

    Hi Margaret. Comments on this article are now closed. Please head over to our new and improved article about your consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Comments are now closed for this post.

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