Rejecting a car – your consumer rights

The Car Expert's guide to what to do if your car is faulty or not fit for purpose

Car buying advice Car ownership advice

Of all our articles, the one that’s generated the largest number of questions is our advice on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and rejecting a car

Based on the hundreds of questions we’ve received, we decided to put together a brand new article. This guide provides more direct answers to your questions, and now replaces our original article from a year ago.

This new article:

In October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaced the old Sale of Goods Act for consumer retail sales. The Act covers new and used cars bought from a trader for consumer (private) use. By trader, I mean either a franchised dealer or an independent garage.

The Act does cover new and used cars bought from a trader for consumer (private) use. By trader, I mean either a franchised dealer or an independent garage.

The Act does not cover vehicles bought by private sale, vehicles bought at an auction or vehicles bought for business use.

Car buyers will benefit from the new Consumer Rights Act 2015

Can you reject your car for any fault you find?

The Consumer Rights Act provides both buyers and sellers with clearer guidance about a customer’s rights. In particular, it covers how a customer can reject a car that is faulty or not fit for purpose.

However, it’s important to remember that motor cars are complicated machines. They have hundreds of thousands of components working under a variety of hostile conditions. Not every fault in a vehicle is going to mean you can simply give the car back and expect a full refund. This particularly applies to used cars, which have already been used and abused by someone else before you.

In short, a car with a fault is not necessarily a faulty car.

Understandably, a dealer will want to inspect your car for themselves before agreeing to refund your money, rather than simply taking your word for it.

A vehicle rejection can be very expensive for a car dealer. They have to buy the car back from you at the original price and fix whatever the problem is, before selling it on again for probably less money.

As a result, the dealer is likely to dispute your rejection unless you can make a clear and confident case.

If the dealership refuses to accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action to reject the vehicle. This means engaging a solicitor and potentially taking the dealer to court. It will be expensive, and there is no guarantee you will win.

If you do have valid grounds to reject your vehicle (see the next page for more details), then your specific rights will depend on how long you have owned the car.

The Consumer Rights Act allows for two options:

  • Your short-term right to reject, which lasts for 30 days after taking delivery of your car
  • Your final right to reject, which covers you for six months from purchase

Short-term right to reject – the first 30 days

If your new or used car has a significant fault that was present when you bought it (as opposed to developing afterwards), you can reject the car within the first 30 days and get a full refund.

You do not have to accept a repair or replacement vehicle (although you can if you want to).

If you have part-exchanged your previous car on the new one, you will not get it back. Instead, you will be entitled to the full invoice price of the car (including road tax, VAT, etc).

You are entitled to a full refund by the same method in which you paid for the car.  The dealer cannot charge for usage, wear and tear, collection of the vehicle or anything else.

It is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle, unless your sales contract includes a clause obliging you to return the car. You only have to make sure the car is available to collect.

Be reasonable about this and work with the dealer if you want to get your money back with minimal fuss. Make their lives difficult and you can be sure they will return the favour…

Final right to reject – the first six months

If you have had the car for more than 30 days but less than six months, you have to give the selling dealer one attempt to fix the fault before moving to reject the vehicle. If the repair has not fixed the fault, you can reject the vehicle.

If you part-exchanged your old car on the new one, you will not get it back. Instead, you will get a cash value for the new car. However, unlike the short-term right to reject, it may not be the full value.

In this instance, the dealer is able to claim a reduction in the value of the vehicle. This is based on the mileage covered and time elapsed. There is no guidance on how much they can charge you, so be prepared to negotiate this with the dealer. If it goes to court, the judge will decide.

As above, it is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle under the Act. You cannot be charged for return costs or be forced to return the vehicle yourself.

Rejecting a car should not be your first move

If you discover a fault with a car you’ve just bought, don’t automatically move to reject it. The fault may be relatively easy to fix. You’ll save a lot of time and hassle compared to trying to reject the vehicle.

Despite the Act providing a clear right to reject a faulty car, it isn’t as simple as going back to the dealer and walking out with a nice fat cheque. The dealer will want to conduct their own assessment of the vehicle. They may well not agree with your contention that the vehicle should be rejected.

If they refuse to accept your rejection, you will need to take some form of action to pursue the matter. Some dealers are signed up to a voluntary Ombudsman’s code, which allows for independent mediation. But usually you will need to take legal action against the dealer. You will also need to get written reports from another garage to back up your claim.

When you reject your car, the dealer has to buy it back from you for the same price you paid for it. You have to sign the registration forms back over. If you have finance on the vehicle, that has to be cancelled as well.

A car purchase can be complicated to unwind, and you might not get your money back for several weeks.

The dealer may offer to repair the fault and potentially even offer you some form of compensation as well. This may be a better result than pursuing a rejection. It may save you a lot of hassle as well, since you won’t have to go through the process of buying another car.

Next page: What are the grounds for rejecting a car?

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

    Hi Lee. Firstly, yes you are still within your six months as any days that the dealer has the car do not count. As for whether or not your problems justify rejecting the car, it will come down to who can argue the case better. On the surface of it, it sounds like you have a valid case, but that doesn’t mean that the dealer will agree with you. You may need to get an independent assessment, and get some legal support to assist you in rejecting the car.

  2. Stuart Masson

    Hi Danielle. His repair has clearly not worked, so you should be within your rights to reject the car and get a full refund. Normally this would be £1,500, but if he still has your old car you could ask for that back plus £1,250 – however, he doesn’t have to agree to that.

    You have to formally write to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If he doesn’t accept your rejection, and he’s not obliged to agree with your version of events, then you will need to take action against him. Normally that means getting a solicitor to represent you. Unfortunately, you run the real risk of spending more money on legal fees than what you paid for the car in the first place.

  3. Stuart Masson

    Hi Danielle. His repair has clearly not worked, so you should be within your rights to reject the car and get a full refund. Normally this would be £1,500, but if he still has your old car you could ask for that back plus £1,250 – however, he doesn’t have to agree to that.

    You have to formally write to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If he doesn’t accept your rejection, and he’s not obliged to agree with your version of events, then you will need to take action against him. Normally that means getting a solicitor to represent you. Unfortunately, you run the real risk of spending more money on legal fees than what you paid for the car in the first place.

  4. Hi Stuart thank you for your reply I have spoken to him this morning and he is still not willing to give me my money back and has said he can give me a total different car thats appently alot better than mine he said I told him I don’t wanna go back down that route again so I’ve been back in touch with trading standards and I’m going to write a letter to him and gonna give him 5 days to reply back I’ve been on his site and since talking to him he’s dropped the price of my car that I traded in it was on for 1,990 and now it’s on for 1,500 I’ve txed him to say I’ve been in touch with trading standArds and I don’t want another car off you and I will be sending out a letter to reject the car I’ve had no reply off him

  5. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a 3 year old car from a dealer today but unfortunately in the evening the dashboard warned with “Engine Fault – Full Engine power no longer available. Possible to continue journey. Drive Moderately. Have the problem checked by the nearest BMW service”. I didn’t expect the car to have an engine fault on the same day that too less than 15 miles of driving. There was no warning when I took the car from the dealer. Do I have any rights to reject the car? Is this serious enough to reject the car even if they agree to repair it. My only concern is, if they repair it now and problem appears again then I may well not within the 30 days period.

    Please advice.

  6. It is drives very slow, difficult to drive on the road. And I paid half of the amount by credit card. I filled the full tank to the maximum on the way back and spent £60. Would I be able to get that as well, if I reject it?

  7. Hi Stuart,

    I have no one to help me with it.

    I bought a car 10 days ago and on the car computer was to top up petrol after top up there was to add coolant. After adding coolant I note that there is a leak and again I have to add coolant. Yesterday I call to my car dealer (it’s used car), and he told me he can fix it, I don’t want this car any more if something is broken from beginning so I ask for my refund, and he said he can pay me 50% of the car value.

    How can I get my full refund?
    I will leave car at my driveway and I have to take bus to work because I can’t keep adding coolant..

    If you can help me I will be very grateful.

  8. Hi Stuart,
    Just an update, I was asked to drop the car for repair and they offered me a courtesy car until mine is repaired. I was convinced and while taking the car to the service department the vehicle broke down in middle of the road on a high street. The RAC recovery team helped me to take the car to the dealer and also submitted a diagnostic report which discovered 12 faults with the vehicle. The RAC technician wondered how a dealer could sell the vehicle with these faults. He kindly accompanied me to the sales manager and service manager also sent the diagnostic report copy to them. But the dealer wants to do their own investigation and I can’t reject the vehicle just like that.

    The car is with the dealer now and they offered me a courtesy car until the investigation is completed. I sent an email formally to Reject the Car just for the record but haven’t got any response yet.

    Can they dispute the diagnostic fault report submitted by the RAC mechanic and decline my ‘Right to Reject’?

    Please advise.

  9. Hi , I bought my new car on a PCP from Audi in March 2016,
    Was very happy with it to begin with,
    From having it new there was a squeak when the electric windows were used. Myself I just thought it’s with it being new and needed sort of using to go away, I was wrong it was months of squeaking, I should have just gone straight back to the dealership as soon as I noticed it but like I said I that it would disappear, when I did then take it back to the dealer, it took the 2 attempt to try to fix the issue, to then eventually fix it on the third attempt.
    The car has built in Bluetooth phone connectivity.
    Again from new I used it straight away and I found it worked but not very clearly, it wasn’t until a friend of mine who works at a different dealership was in the car with me on a journey who witnessed me take a call, stating after that the sound was poor , I asked is that not normal , he replied “God no, Audis have superb Bluetooth phone connectivity ” I contacted the dealer to which have not been helpful at all, they have had the vehicle In now 5 TIMES, and have still not fixed the problem ,
    They state they have tested it in all conditions…yet they have not even driven the vehicle whilst using the phone, which is when the problem occurs.
    They have simply had it in a week at a time and made calls sat in their workshop. When they know that’s not when it occurs, it’s when in motion.
    They tell me they can’t do anything until the fault. Ab be diagnosed, even though they have had 5 chances to diagnose properly through such testing in all conditions which they say they have yet admitted to not road testing.
    Can you please advise me?
    Where do I stand?
    I feel so let down and disheartened by the brand. I queried about rejecting my car but they have told me I can’t as it’s over the six month period ,
    My retaliation is they have had it back 5 times.

  10. Hi stuart, to cut it short, i bought a used car from an independant dealer on hp 24 days ago. The car is 5 & half years old. Within 2 days i began experiencing problems with it. Within a week my partner noticed a oil/fuel leak. I contacted the dealer who told me to take it to them for their mechanic to look at. When there i pointed out that the air con didnt work which he tried to fob me off with by saying the air com was buyers responsibility but my partner pointed out that as it was advertised as having air con it should be working. He didn’t answer to that. He then tried to fob me off with the oil/fuel leak by saying it looked lime an over spill which my partner said its black therefore isnt an overspill. The mechanic agreed to take car in to garage a week later & have it looked at. On my way home i popped to a repair garage i used with my previous car & booked it in for air con refill. I also asked them to check the fluid that was lying ontop of the engine. When i picked the car up he told methere was a massive oil leak on the back of the engine & to take it back to where i bought it. I rang the dealer & told him what id been told & was assured it would be all sorted when i took it in the following week. I left a list of issues i had with the car as i didnt want to be running back & forth with it being 15 miles from where i lived & was told they’d all be sorted. When my partner phoned the repair garage the dealer uses the mechanic told him that he noticed the oil leak when he replaced the cam belt (that i payed extra to have changed before taking delivery of the car as when i asked if it had been changed i was told by salesman it wasn’t due for another 20,000 miles so of i wanted it changed id have to pay for it extra, even though vw recommends changing at 6 years or recommended mileage which evers soonest, i also pointed that out to salesman but agreed to pay for it to be changed before i picked the car up from dealer) 2 weeks before & told him he’d replaced a seal on back of engine & the issue i had with the car hunting. After i got fobbed off with them posting the mot cert & reciepts for cam belt etc for a 3rd time i decided to contact where it was last serviced who sent me an invoice of an investigation they were asked to carry out by previous keeper. It states the car had a coolant leak due to water pump/cam belt & advised change, there was a significant oil leak which the rocker cover was suspected & that there was internal defects with gearbox. This invoice re-enforced all the issues i was experiencing prior to obtaining the invoce from the last known garage it was serviced therefore i know the car hasn’t been rectified. I dont trust the dealers or the repair garage they use as the issues i raised haven’t been rectified & were present before the dealers sold the car, i dont want the car with those sort of big issues or the car repaired but instead for dealers to refund finance co so i can get another car from else where (same car & model as thats the car i wanted) Taking advice from finance brokers i have rejected the car. Sent dealers, brokers & finance co a copy of rejection email. Finance co agree with my reasons for rejection & have notified brokers. As the car is driveable i use my car to travel for work, Brokers said to keep using car because i need a car to carry out my job & they would recover all money i have spent from dealers. I have payed for cam belt/water pump, new oem fuel & air filter & the air con refilled. Can the dealer charge me for usage? And will i be entitled to money i have spent on the car? (Air con etc). I rejected the car 18 days after taking delivery. Appreaciate any advice.

  11. Added to previous comment….
    When i asked if they would re-emburse me for air con after they had the car to their repair garage i was told by the mechanic that fobbed me off by saying it was buyers responsibility, he said i wouldn’t get re-embursed for it & i should have told them… which i did do….

  12. Hi Stuart,

    After speaking to my credit card company about the situation, they have refused to cover the total cost of the car. This is because the invoice is from one company and the and the debit payment went through a different company’s account!

    Do you have any other recommendations on how to progress?

    Best Wishes,


  13. Stuart Masson

    It’s a pain when you have to fight every step of the way for what seems (to you, anyway) to be a fairly simple situation. Keep fighting, you’ll get there eventually!

  14. Stuart Masson

    Hi Raj. Until you know what the problem is, there’s no way to know if it’s a viable excuse for rejecting the vehicle. It may be something very small and easily fixed, like a faulty sensor, in which case it wouldn’t be enough to reject the vehicle.

    You have up to six months to reject the car if their repair does not fix the problem.

  15. Stuart Masson

    No, your fuel costs are not part of the Consumer Rights Act. However, you can ask the dealer to reimburse you if you like.

  16. Stuart Masson

    Hi Otto. If there is a simple fix to the coolant leak (like replacing a leaking hose or a damaged seal) then it would not be sufficient cause to reject the car. So until you know what is causing the loss of coolant, you won’t know whether you are likely to be able to pursue a rejection.

  17. Stuart Masson

    Yes, the dealer is perfectly entitled to inspect the car for themselves, and they are not obliged to accept your rejection (many a customer has tried to reject a car on very dubious grounds). If so, you’ll need to bring legal action against the dealer, or at least threaten to.

  18. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kareem. You are well outside the normal six-month period for rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act. Your best bet is to keep challenging the service department, or take it to another dealer, while it is still under warranty.

  19. Stuart Masson

    Normally, you won’t get any reimbursements for your costs over and above what you spent buying the car. However, if you have invoices and can show that there were unavoidable costs, you may be able to get them paid as well. But it doesn’t sound like this dealer is the generous type, so you will probably have to keep fighting to get your original purchase price back again.

  20. Stuart Masson

    I think you’re going to need a lawyer to work through the issues with you.

  21. There are 12 faults identified by the RAC technician(not of satisfactory quality) and car broke down(not fit for purpose). Do you NOT think these two were breached as per the consumer rights act?

  22. Stuart Masson

    A breakdown does not automatically mean a car is not fit for purpose. If you have an independent report which shows that the car is faulty, taking into account its age and mileage, then it greatly improves your chances of successfully rejecting the car. But the dealer does not have to accept your opinion – he can force you to take him to court if he wants to fight it.

  23. Hi Stuart,
    Congrats for your great efforts.
    I bought a New Nissan Pulsar 8 month ago under finance and I have took to the Nissan dealership regarding a engine noise that i have noticed. Dealership said that it was the timing belt and since it was under warranty they will replace it. After the repair when I have pickup the car and drive for it 1 min the engine fell at one side of the car, create a lot noise & smoke and snap the engine belts and became undrivable. I have opened the boot .Then I have open the engine boot and it was a mess.
    The dealership accept to repair but I am definitely not happy …

    What are my consumer rights after 6 months ?
    Can i reject ? I feel that I can not reject the car now but what if the car is drivable but does not drive as before. …

  24. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a MINI Cooper just over a month ago and so may problems are arisen with the car. First the engine management light came on and I had to take it to a garage to find out what was wrong with it.
    Found out it was the catalytic converter. I informed the dealer of this and he told me to go to his friends garage instead as my garage was lying. I went to his friends garage and them confirmed it was the catalytic converter. He called me and said I am taking your car else where to get it fixed as he is asking way too much for it. (His friend) Well it got fixed.
    I had it back for 2 weeks when my car started smoking from the engine. I took it back to my regular garage who found 4 oil leaks on the car. I went back to the dealer and he got it fixed. 1 week after the fixes had been done my car still started smoking from the engine but this time a lot worse and my engine management light came on again. I took it back to my regular garage who informed me that he has not done everything we asked him to in out letter headed print out they gave me to give him. It still had oil leaks and on top of that, they have installed the wrong catalytic converter which is causing a lot of problems. They checked over the entire car and quoted me of the costs to get it fixed properly.
    I called the dealer and he said well I am not paying that so I asked for a refund as they car has not performed as it should since I bought it. He said well I am on holiday at the moment and not back until the 14th June. We will talk then and sort it out.
    All I really want to know is, if he refuses the refund because and wont get it fixed properly, will I have to seek legal action and if so, do I have a good case.

    Many thanks,
    Kate Drever

  25. Thank you for response,
    When I try to drive to garage I couldn’t start engine so next day I hire towing, and towing guy told that I have 3 worn tires and I can’t drive on them. Car was one day in garage and they told me that coolant not leaking (I top up almost 5liters) and when car was on my driveway I also notes that ther is less coolant then before.

    Today they told me to hire lawyer or take 3200 which is 1200 less then i payded. I have to answer them tomorrow, and I have no idea what to do.

  26. Thanks for your advice. Brokers are the ones dealing with it but as of last wednesday the dealers were yet to contact them about it. Brokers said looks like they are going to have to push the dealers on it. I’ve since had an independant report from an approved vw repair garage who has re confirmed gearbox issues, also possible injector problems & there’s still a coolant leak from egr. All which are very expensive repairs

  27. Hello Stuart,
    I have an update on the DAB radio problem. Peugeot Technical are claiming the problem is due to poor radio reception.
    Over the 7 months I complained to Peugeot, I sat in 6 different 308 GTis with a salesman and replicated the problem. We also sat in several other types of Peugeot and no other model displayed this problem. Even non-308 models with the same tap unit did not fail. The garage kept my car for over 4 weeks and the courtesy car radio did not fail once.
    DAB radio is designed to transmit several radio stations using the same frequency. Only 1 radio channel out of the many on the same frequency fails. The signal strength displayed on the unit remains high when the channel cuts out. It cuts out more than it plays
    The reason for the failure is technically impossible. They are not telling the truth and are refusing to accept there is a problem. This means they are not attempting to fix the problem.

    It’s there anything I can do?

    W. Johnston

  28. Stuart Masson

    Hi Val. Your issue with the dealership is presumably damage caused by their poor workmanship when they worked on your car, rather than a fault from when it was sold. This is still covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, but in a different section altogether.

    My understanding of this section of the Act is that you have the right to insist that the dealer fixes the problems they have caused during the service, but you can’t reject the car because of it. If they have damaged the car so badly that it would be declared a write-off, you would be entitled to the value of the car. However, if you don’t want to accept a repair then you should consult a lawyer for proper legal advice.

  29. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kate. Yes, I’d say you have an excellent case for rejecting the vehicle. And yes, if he doesn’t want to co-operate then you will probably need to get some legal assistance to force the matter.

  30. Stuart Masson

    You can try to reject the car, but that doesn’t mean the dealer has to agree with you. If you want to fight them, you will need to speak to a lawyer.

  31. Hi I have purchased a brand new Mercedes AMG GTS on the 26th May and on the first day I had to get recovery out due to a breaking fault on the car, they came out and cleared the faults. 4 days later the car completely died with no power what so ever and also the breaking fault had come back, the car was recovered into a main dealer and the issue was sort of fixed. Today 6 June the cars entertainment system is playing up where there is no display, the car is also starting to judder from the last fault. I have asked for the car to be rejected and a new one built, is this possible??

  32. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mark. Depending on what is causing the fault, you should be able to reject the car. The Consumer Rights Act provides for you to get a full refund on the vehicle price. If you wish to negotiate an alternative settlement, this may compromise your rights under the Act. However, the dealer will probably prefer to order another car for you instead of giving you a cash refund, so you may get a better outcome with fewer difficulties.

  33. Good afternoon Stuart, I have purchased a Peugeot back in 2015 under HP. I had noticed a few problems with the car starting with an oil leak from the side of the engine. When I collected the vehicle it was guaranteed it was fixed but it wasn’t. It took about 2 months in total for the problem to be rectified. Now back to the same problem again and the vehicle has only done 7500 miles since Sep 2015. As well I have a report from a trusted garage that there is a possibility a poor quality head gasket has been used. I have contacted the finance company regarding this issue and was given a final decision. I was just wondering would I be in the right to refuse the vehicle? The company I had bought the vehicle from has stopped trading. Many thanks

  34. Stuart Masson

    Hi Claudia. It’s been two years and the matter has been investigated by the finance company, so your chances of being able to reject the vehicle now are slim. If the repair has only failed now (as opposed to within the first few months), it’s unlikely you would win a court case on the matter.

  35. Hi
    I bought a 63 plate VW Scirocco from a dealer in Bury on Saturday. on the test drive the car was fine when I collected the car I drove it to Liverpool when I was on the motorway the car went into limp mode then the heater plug light came on then the engine management light I had to restart the engine to get the power back are these faults grounds for a rejection and full refund?

  36. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kevin. It will depend on what the actual problem is that caused the car to go into limp mode. If it’s an easy fix then it won’t qualify for rejection. The symptoms themselves are not enough; you need to find the cause.

  37. Hi Stuart

    I bought a new Jaguar F-Type in March, it has been in the garage since May 15th (one month) getting the door/roof rubbers fixed. They cannot get both sides to fit, on one side or the other when you wind the window up it is compressing the rubber rather that sliding underneath it. they have had 4 attempts at this so far. The soft top roof has also been repaired as has the centre console air vent.

    They have told me “it is as good as it’s going to get”, I don’t think that is acceptable.when I originally booked the car in the fault was only the rain deflector on the passenger side that was not fitting, at that time both windows fitted into the rubbers with no problems.

    I have asked them for a replacement vehicle or a refund, how do I stand?


  38. Hi

    I purchased a 63 plate Vauxhall Antara in May 2015 through Hire Purchase finance from Arnold Clark. Yesterday I heard huge crunching noises and could smell what I thought was gas. I got our local mechanic to come out and they advised it was the transfer box which was damaged so the car is not road worthy at all and Vauxhall quoted him over 4k for a new part.

    He advised we get a recovery vehicle to take directly to a Vauxhall specialist which we have since arranged. I have informed the finance company of the situation and they asked for an update after Vauxhall have looked at the car (26th June). Unfortunately the car is 9 months OUT of warranty but it has only done 32k miles which and we have only covered 10k since we purchased the car.

    Do you think we will have a case to the reject the car via the finance company and can you confirm if we are going down the correct route so far?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  39. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mark. It would probably be tough to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, as it doesn’t sound like a problem that renders the overall vehicle faulty. If the misalignment is causing leaking, however, it might be a different story.

    Your best option is probably to hassle the dealer and Jaguar head office for a proper fix, as clearly it’s not right and you are correct that it is unacceptable on a rather expensive new car. You have a new car warranty so, if necessary, you should be the most annoying person in the world until the dealer or Jaguar fix the problem.

  40. Stuart Masson

    Hi Daniel. Given that you have had the car for more than two years, I’d say that your chances of successfully rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act are slim. It would be very difficult to prove that the car was faulty when sold, which is what the Act covers.

  41. Hi Stuart thanks for the reply, luckily I am the most annoying person in the world !

  42. Hi,

    I bought a Fiat 500 brand new in September 2015 PCP, the car first went into the garage with an engine light in December 2016 & had been in 4 times thereafter all resulting in no fix to the vehicle. (car was sluggish, would cut out after saying tyre pressure low when it wasn’t…) I last dropped it off at the garage on the 12th April (9 weeks ago) Fiat have called me and told me there is an issue with the car that cannot be fixed, they need to produce a system update, they have admitted the car was sold with this fault, I have been waiting 9 weeks for this software update and they are no closer to fixing my car, the car has not been in my possession since 12th April – I want to return this car as it is not fit for purpose and was sold to me with the fault. What should I do?

    Thanks so much in advance

  43. Hi Stuart
    12 days ago I purchase a brand new Fiat 500. Yesterday I noticed a dent under the passenger side sill. I had only been out in the car 3 times and that was locally and knew I hadn’t caused it. I took it back to the dealership in the afternoon. Having inspected the car they admitted it has been caused by their ramp before I picked up the car. They want to send it to a body shop to have it repaired and resprayed. I am not happy with this as I did not purchase a new car to have a body repair and respray. I did ask for the car to be replaced and they refused. Could you tell me how do I stand with the Consumer Act?
    Thank you

  44. Stuart Masson

    Hi Christine. Assuming that there’s no structural damage to the car, you won’t get very far under the Consumer Rights Act. A cosmetic dent does not constitute a faulty car, as it is clearly still able to fulfil its role.

    The dealer is not obliged to replace the car, although you are certainly within your rights to insist that the dent is repaired. Had it been spotted prior to delivery, it would have been repaired and you would be none the wiser. Minor dents happen all the time in the car industry, as millions of cars are being moved around constantly between factories and showrooms. A dealer is not obliged to tell you if a car has been repaired and resprayed (unless you specifically ask), and it often happens before the car even gets to the dealer if it is damaged en route so they may not even know about it themselves.

    It’s simply part of the industry and it happens all the time. Your car may even have had panels or wheels or tyres replaced if they were damaged somewhere between leaving the factory in Poland and the dealership where you bought it. It has been driven onto (and off of) at least two or three trucks and a ship, it has been inspected upon arrival in the UK, had a pre-delivery service and test drive at the dealership, probably been driven down to the nearest service station to get some fuel, and been moved around the dealership car park, valeting bay and showroom/delivery area. The potential for minor damage is enormous, and it happens all day every day.

  45. Stuart Masson

    Hi Emma. Rejecting a car outside the first six months is difficult but not impossible – especially if the dealer has admitted that the car was sold with a fault. You will need to get that from them in writing, which could be more difficult than a verbal admission. And then you will need to get some legal assistance to help you make your case.

  46. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a 64 plate Vauxhall Mokka from Arnold Clark this morning(16/06/17). I have driven 33 miles, and have found various engine oil leaks (found various drip marks on the mono blocked driveway). The car service book has been stamped as having just been serviced, at the mileage that I bought the car with.
    Do I have grounds to reject the car because of this?
    Or should I just ask them to repair and give me a courtesy car?
    On investigation by myself, it is obviously leaking at the sump, but also from another location. Not very happy with them, I haven’t even owned the car for 12 hours yet!
    I traded a car in as part of the deal, and there was no issues with that one….beginning to regret it.

    I plan to take it back to Arnold Clark first thing on Saturday morning.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  47. Stuart Masson

    Hi Garry. You can try, but you will probably need to know a bit more about the cause of the leaks to make a solid case for rejecting it. I’d suggest an independent inspection so you have something concrete to show the dealer. Arnold Clark doesn’t have the best reputation for aftersales customer service, so you may have a bit of a fight.

  48. Hi we bought a car two weeks ago and has various fault codes to do with the transmission transfer and differential from two days after picking it up. We asked a local garage to look at it and he thinks there are big problems with parts alone adding up to 5k and that the dealer would have known of the existing faults the fault codes had been wiped clear prior to us buying it assuming we have a case the trader has put on the invoice “sold on a commission basis only” does this affect our rights

  49. Hello Stuart, I purchased a brand new 75th limited edition Jeep Wrangler. I left the dealership with it and I noticed the carpet was soaking wet so I took the jeep back and they were going to fix it days later I go for the Jeep and now the Jeep has other issues, at this point I no longer want it. Can I get my money back? they wanna do a trade in but I want all my money back and buy another vehicle?

  50. Stuart Masson

    Hi Glenn. No, the trader can’t scribble some note on the contract and expect to magically remove your legal rights. For more information, have a read of our article on dodgy dealers and their tricks of the trade.

  51. Stuart Masson

    Hi Vivianaa. You appear to be in the USA and this is a UK site, so you would need to find out what the relevant laws are in your state.

  52. Hi,
    My mum had agreed a part exchange deal on a used car from a dealership. After collecting the car on Friday she went to put petrol in and discovered the central locking had failed and therefore the petrol tank flap couldn’t be opened. The garage sent a mechanic who managed to open the flap, but said they’d need to order a part to fix the issue. Mum continued her drive home and after less than 20 miles warning lights appeared on the dashboard and the engine cut off. The garage have collected the car and have said they will repair the issues. However, Mum has now lost confidence in the vehicle and wishes to terminate the sale, receive her old car back along with the additional funds paid, and for the garage to keep the car she had purchased.
    What are her legal rights for such a circumstance?
    Many thanks.

  53. Hi wondering if anyone can help. I purchased a brand new Audi A5 coupe from Audi Doncaster last year. The car is a year old but I have only had the car for a little over 9 months. It was the last 3.0 TDI in the country before the facelift new A5 came out. I’m beginning to think it built on a Friday afternoon and completed Monday morning!!.
    Since purchasing the car on a PCP the car has been into the dealership at least 5 times from blowing it’s header tank to serious electrical faults as this weekend the dashboard instruments decided to become a lite up like a Christmas when Audi assistance turned up every controlled module had failed in the car. I’m starting to think that this car may “not be fit for purpose” as it’s not doing the job it’s designed to do. Can anyone help or does anyone have any experience going down the route of rejecting the vehicle or if I even have a case to do this?

  54. Hi Stuart, My Mini Cooper D, which I picked up new years eve 2016, has a paint problem in that there are at least 40-50 marks which I’m told are from where they wrap the cars in plastic once they’re painted. Unfortunately, mine was still wet [ or something]. The local Mini Center took it away for 17 days, ‘Mopped’ it, without using any water, so it now has the original marks, and machine marks all over it. The sales manager is trying to get Mini to accept me rejecting it, and has ordered me a new one due for delivery next week. My question is, over the last 5 months I’ve made all the monthly payments, should these be repaid to me, otherwise I’m paying 5 month payments twice, as the new contract will still be for 48 months? Or should I just accept this as they are not asking for a payment for the miles I’ve driven [5,000]?

  55. Stuart Masson

    Hi Christina. It will depend on what the problem is – if it is a simple fix, she won’t be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

    If she is able to reject the vehicle, she will be entitled to a full refund of the invoice price. She is not entitled to her old car back, unless the dealer agrees to that (they may have already sold it on). She is also not legally entitled to any compensation for any expenses she has had in calling out other mechanics, etc, although this is certainly negotiable.

  56. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. As you are now well outside the six-month rejection period, it makes it more difficult to reject the car as not fit for purpose. If you have a detailed paper trail of the faults and attempted repairs, you may have some success, but I would recommend getting some legal assistance to properly build your case against the dealer and finance company.

  57. Stuart Masson

    Hi Nick. If you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you are not obliged to take another vehicle and can walk away altogether.

    You are entitled to a full refund minus an allowance for usage/wear and tear. However, there is no legal guidance as to what constitutes a reasonable amount for this, so the dealer will usually try to levy some extortionate amount. It’s all a matter of negotiation.

    In terms of your refund, you will be entitled to all of your monthly payments back, plus your deposit (including the value of any part-exchange vehicle), minus whatever is charged for wear and tear.

  58. Hi Stuart

    I am writing as a seller not buyer. I sold a car 3 days ago and in the advert I stated the heating wasn’t working and for the car it was I sold it really cheaply as it had no MOT either. The guy came over asked if it was over heating we said we don’t think so as we fixed the thermostat and run it for around 45minutes and it seemed fine but as stated in the advert the heating was not working and we weren’t sure wether the two things where connected. He spent quiet some time looking at the vehicle online we agreed on the price of £300 but once he looked at the car he said he will only pay £200 which I was fine with and accepted.. The guy has now got back to me saying the car over heats and the water pump is broken and the cambelt is gone and when he went for a service the car died and won’t even start anymore. The water pump was fine a month prior when we where changing the thermostat as that was the first thing we checked but the cambelt he did not ask about at all and we weren’t even sure if it was ok or not. I sold the car for only £200 pounds now this man is saying that I need to give him money for the repairs or reimburse him and take the car back. I was just wondering if with this consumer act he is correct even though the known faults that we knew about we have informed him off or not? Should I take the now completely non runing car back and give him his money back?
    Thank you

  59. Thank you for your response, I’ll let you know there response

  60. Stuart Masson

    Hi Natalia. For £200, I don’t think the buyer is going to have too much to complain about – especially if the car was advertised and sold with a heating problem and no MOT (I assume he took it away on a trailer?).

    It may be the easiest way out of the situation to give him his £200 back and take the car back. You are not obliged to reimburse him for any other expenses. If in doubt, get yourself some legal advice from an industry lawyer.

  61. Hi , I was wondering if you could help me please , I bought a Kia Sorento 2014 64 , 20 miles , full service history with one service free from the previous one owner who took out a three year service deal . I bought online as the dealer was up country from me from south wales . They sent me a video of the car and all looked ok , So we did a deal that included delivery , 18.000 pounds . Paid through my bank to theirs . Delivery day came and it was delivered last Wednesday July 2017 by the plates man who delivers and collects around the country , He took photos and mileage and got me to sign paperwork , I didn’t even have time to look over the vehicle or test drive it . It wasn’t until the Friday we took it out for a drive and on returning to our home which is in a terraced row on a steep hill that the problems began , When we tried to reverse in between our neighbours cars both sides of us we had a terrible burning smell in the cabin from the clutch . It was so bad it made my children feel sick , We got them out and my husband tried to reverse the vehicle and he to was met with this terrible smell , He is disabled ex HGV driver . I worried and e-mailed the dealer we bought from stating it wasn’t up to the job of reversing in a gap uphill and I have lost confidence in the vehicle and asked if I could have an exchange , I meant to say reject the car but I was upset and flustered and wasn’t thinking . The next day they e-mailed me back saying ‘ Yes I could part exchange for a different vehicle or I could take it to a Kia dealership ”? Which I agreed to do , Yesterday Monday 26th July 2017 , A fitter from Kia test drove the car and said there was a small of burning coming from the clutch and he put in a Issue note for an advisor to get back to him , And that he would contact me in one to two days with their findings , I thanked them and headed home . There is another issue that its a little clunky from first to second gear but the fitter said that’s how they are made ?? Because its a heavy suv he said ?? On returning home I e-mailed the dealer to say Kia had to call an advisor and I will not know anymore until today or tomorrow , They e-mailed me back to say that the vehicle was ok as far as they knew , And he had googled Kia Sorento reversing problems and he said that there are others with the same fault out there and it is Kia’s problem ?? What do I do now if Kia says there is a problem ? I am worried sick ?

  62. Hi Stuart

    I bought a car on May 24th 2017 from a dealer 170 miles away, I contacted the dealer 23rd June to tell them i had been pulled over by police on motorway for too much smoke coming from exhaust, they asked me to get it in to a garage to find out what the problem was, couldn’t get in until 26th June, told a DPF filter had been removed and car re-mapped ( illegal to drive without this) have contacted garage back who have agreed to fix but expect me to travel to them, they are refusing to use a garage local to me, does the 30 day guarantee still cover me as i contacted them within 30 days? Am i expected to travel with car to them and pay for this myself? Can I expect them to get the car fixed at a garage local to me? Can I still reject car?

    Any help would be appreciated


  63. Hi I bought a car on Saturday the 24july.
    7 hours later the car broke down and RAC couldn’t repair. I had the car towed to the garage on Monday and asked for a refund.
    Am I entitled to a full refund or do I have to wait to see what the problem is first.
    Dealer claims he has 30 days before he has to give a refund.

  64. Stuart Masson

    Hi Judith. Firstly, since you bought the car sight unseen online, you have 14 days from date of delivery to reject the car for any reason. As long as it is in the same condition as when you took delivery, you can get a full refund. For more information, have a read of this article about changing your mind after buying a car.
    Secondly, if the car has a significant fault, you can reject it within 30 days under the Consumer Rights Act for a full refund. The question of whether the clutch is faulty is probably a matter of debate, so if the dealer refuses to accept that there is a fault, you will need an independent opinion from another garage.

  65. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lee. You are now outside the original 30 days, so if you want to reject the car then the dealer is entitled to one attempt to repair it.

    As far as I am aware (and I’m currently not in the country and not able to check easily!), the Consumer Rights Act does not specify whose responsibility it is to have the car returned to the dealer. The article above will have a link to the Act itself or you can browse through some of the other comments.

  66. Thank you Stuart , I am still confused , So basically I can reject the car with in 14 days and they have got to give my full money back ? I paid a deposit of 500 pounds firstly over the phone , Then they wanted 18,000 paid by last Tuesday , I took delivery on Thursday 22nd/06/2017 . I I explained the clutch is burning in reverse , And I didn’t have a test drive . So can I say to them now I changed my Mind its not what I expected in a vehicle ? And that’s it ? Or will they say no ? Have they got to do this by law ? And what can I show them ? Can I copy and paste what you wrote to me to send to them ? Then they will know I know my rights ? Thanks Stuart I am very thankful , And to reject the car with in the 14 days I have until next Wednesday 5th July ? Will an e-mail be ok to tell them this for records ? And I need any excuse as to say it is not what I was expecting out of a vehicle ? Sorry to keep on Stuart but I do not want them threatening me saying I am wrong ?

  67. Stuart Masson

    By law, you have 14 days from date of delivery of the goods. For more information, have a read of this article: I bought a car and have now changed my mind.

  68. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a used car from a small dealer 9 days ago. The day after I got the car home I discovered the second key was not working and on opening the key up to change the battery it was found to be physically damaged.I then made contact with salesman who told me to email pictures which I did . I then received an email back saying they were prepared to contribute £100 to the cost of the replacement key. I then priced up a new key at £248.50 from the main Nissan dealer and emailed the dealer to say I am not willing to pay anything towards something that I have not broken myself. The dealer has since stopped replying to my emails. Can you please tell me if I have a right to the full cost of the key or if I can reject the car.

  69. Two years ago, my son bought a 63 plate Ford Focus Titanium estate car from a Ford garage on 3 years finance arranged through them. Apparently there was only 18 months warranty so the garage have said.
    Issue now is that the gearbox has gone. He took it back to the garage and they originally wanted £400 just to open the gearbox to confirm that it definitely is the gearbox but after a bit of chew have taken it apart, taken photos to send to Ford themselves and have confirmed to my son that the bearings have gone (I think that’s what he said). The garage has ordered the parts but it’s still not clear who has to bear the cost of this and putting it in the car.
    The car itself has only got 40000 on the clock so the gearbox should not have gone so soon surely. I have read that in Australia and US that Ford has increased the warranty on the gearboxes of certain Focus models from 3 to 7 years due to issues with them but I’m not sure if its the same in this country.
    Anyway, there is still 1 year of finance left to pay so what should he do? I have told him not to pay anything at all but he needs his car for work and has already been without it for nearly 2 weeks. Any advice please?

  70. Further to my post above, mt son has informed me that the garage are replacing the bearings and charging him £215 for labour- they are going 50 50. There is no warranty as just sorting the bearings. Is this acceptable? Thanks

  71. Hi Stuart,
    My son saw a car at a garage 12 days ago and took it for a test drive, after careful consideration decided to purchase it providing that certain repairs were carried out this was all arranged verbally.
    He paid a £250 deposit but was verbally told this was refundable if he changed his mind. They said the car would be ready in a week. The garage rang a few days later and said it wouldnt be ready and needed more time. My son decided to cancel the purchase as the garage seemed to be making a lot of
    excuses but they are refusing to return his deposit saying it is non refundable. Is this actually the case considering there is no signed contract? My son has an emailed receipt of his deposit.
    I would be most grateful for your comments.

  72. Hi Stuart. Please can you help?

    If the dealer carries out work to fix a problem on a used car within the 30 day warranty does that void my right to request a refund? Im really hoping you can help and get time to read this….so many sleepless nights. Feel a refund is not ridiculous request but maybe im naive. Any steer wld be so appreciated Stuart.

    On sunday 4th June went to see a Landrover Discovery 2 (51 plate) with just over 57k on the clock at a Dealers specialising in 4x4s down the road where they were asking £5k Last MOTd feb 2017. We had arranged a time and when we turned up the engine was already running and the dealer was polishing it up. I opened it up and looked inside…as i put my hand on the passenger seat it felt damp. I looked up to the sunroof then along the tops of doors inside. Could see tidemark on paasenger side top of door (above window) and around visor. Asked the dealer if the sunroof had been leaking and he said no. Then i found kitchen roll in rack of visor and pulled it out….he quickly snatcced it off me and said oh thats old thats old….it hasnt been leaking. We spotted a few other funnies that needed sorting and he said he would sort all that.

    We agreed to buy the jeep on assurance the roof didnt leak and he fixed the funnies. When we collected the jeep a week later (sat 10th)the engine was running and heaters on full blast….
    All funnies had been sorted. Paid. Drove home. The following day (11th) realised neither horn buttons on steering wheel worked. No horn! Rang them immediately. They suggested i take to my local garage and see what they say as “prob just a fuse”.

    Our garage was really booked up with mechanics on hols etc so it was 2weeks before they could see the jeep (26 June) I kept the dealer informed. By this time id noticed the front interior light did not work. Our garage told us the jeep needed a part, the steering wheel wld need to come out, airbag disengaged etc and not just a fuse. It was too late to ring the dealers that day but the next day when i got in to drive it there was water dripping into the inside from everywhere….water above both front doors soaking the material and dripping onto seats, water dripping through interior light and sunroof opener, soaking wet seatbelt and dripping through seatbelt case (where belt come out). And water drips from both visors. Had to stop and put a coat on to keep dry as everything very wet. When i got home i rang AA (as the dealer has an AA Dealer Promise arrangement with them) for advice as to what exactly the Dealer Promise really means and stands for and to check the dealer was actually registed with them. He is. And AA told me i can either request a refund or ask the dealer to fix it and that they cld mediate. On 28th Tried calling dealer. Chap we have been dealing with wasnt in. Left message with his colleague and we said we wanted to return the vehicle. The next day (29th) the dealer rang and after my husband explained about all the water coming in through the electrics etc and the horn and his concerns that it was not safe for his wife and children to be in the dealer aggressively told my husband we would never get our money back. He didnt care who we spoke to they werent a hire car company and literally said “i’ll tell you whats going to happen….you will bring it back and we will fix it”. He initially baulked at the suggestion of providing a courtesy car (their garage is a two hour drive from us) but later then rang back to say he wld sort a car to use. After such a horrible bullying experience i again rang the AA who advised i was in my rights under consumer rights act to request a refund as it is still not 30 days since we bought it. She suggested i speak to citizens advice and that she wld lodge it as a complaint and once we take legal advice they wld investigate the dealers code of practice.

    I spoke to our local garage for prices for the work to maybe save having to face the dealer again but they told me the dealer should be the one carrying out the work as we’ve only just bought it and its under warranty but that i was in my rights to request a refund and i shouldnt have been sold a car with no working horn for a start. The dealer rang back to say je cld book jeep in to have sunroof mended.

    The next day (30th)checking the jeep for more water inlets etc i foind the passenger footwell saturated and the door seal on the top of the boot was dripping water into boot. Rang dealer, told him of these issues….passed it off as sunroof leaking and seal on boot door needing a clean. Told me i had to expect these things with an old car..”somethings youre just going to have to live with unless youre prepared to spend more money”.

    Very next day (1July) jeep giving loud squeak turning to right from drivers side….wheel area? And when i got home and switched engine off heard a noise of water behind dashboard…sound of end cycle of flushing loo….i had just done a round trip of 8 miles…with a 10min break at 4 miles to dropy daughter off at a party!

    Rang and left a message this morning Sunday 2nd July about the squeaking and water noise.

    Our plan is to speak to our solicitor in the morning and take it from there.

    Your thoughts and advice wld be much appreciated.

    Kind regards

  73. Stuart Masson

    Hi Darren. I would say that your chances of rejecting the whole car based on one of the keys not working properly are slim. You can certainly negotiate with the dealer about the cost of replacing the second key, but you’re unlikely to be able to force the issue any further.

  74. Stuart Masson

    Hi Carolyn. The finance and the warranty are not really connected. If the car has a failure outside warranty, the onus is on the customer unless you can show that there is a fundamental fault in the vehicle. There are various reasons the gearbox bearings could have failed, and it could be caused by the driver as much as the manufacturer.

    It is entirely fair for the dealer to charge for time spent investigating a problem – if it was under warranty, the dealer would charge the manufacturer for this time. Usually this investigation cost would be taken out of any overall repair cost if you choose to proceed with fixing the fault.

  75. Stuart Masson

    Hi Elaine. If you give a car dealer without anything in writing that spells out what it’s for or whether it’s refundable, you are simply asking for an argument. If your son kicks up an argument with the sales exec, sales manager and dealer principal (as applicable) for long enough, he should eventually get his money back. But next time, never give a dealer money without written guarantees. Have a read of our Ten Golden Rules for more information.

  76. Stuart Masson

    Hi Poppy. Yes, you should be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act as the car would appear to be faulty (as opposed to simply having a fault). It can be difficult to successfully reject an older used car, as faults and problems are to be expected on a 16-year-old Land Rover Discovery (they were not very well built to begin with!). Definitely speak to your solicitor, as it will help to make sure you have the best chance of success.

    And although it’s not helpful now, your should have seen the warning signs with this car right from the very beginning – a damp interior and visible signs of leaks, car running before you arrived and heaters blasting, paper towel to wipe up puddles, etc. Never believe a dealer’s word ahead of your own eyes and gut feeling.

  77. Thank you Stuart , If you hadn’t said I would be non the wiser , Still waiting for a reply from the garage , We sent letters (recorded ) and e-mail , We asked for a reply ten times then they said we are seeking advice their end ? I still have the vehicle here ready to go back and haven’t used it , They didn’t give me copies of anything and the only thing we signed was when the delivery man asked for us to sign something for the garage , We didn’t have time to read it as he was off to his next drop , We were not given a copy of that either . They didn’t give us their returns policy or cancelation policy ? Its Monday the 3rd July 2017 now . We told them 7 days after delivery on the 28th June 2017 that we would like to cancel and get our full £18500 back . And we are still waiting ….

  78. Hello, We bought a Citroen C4 just over 3 months ago. In the first 3 months we have returned it for repairs under the 3 month warranty on 3 occasions, it has been with the garage for approx 15 days in total. These faults include error messages in the display such as faulty gearbox, parking break faulty, anti pollution system faulty and a faulty boot lock. They appear to have fixed most of these although we do still receive ‘faulty gearbox’ on occasions but it resets when you restart the car. They said most of the errors are from the ECU and erroneous messages but have replaced the battery and the fuel pump We are now outside of that 3 month warranty and started hearing a whining sound. I took it to a local garage and they advised that the turbo is about to fail and needs replacing for £900, the Car cost £4000. I have rung the garage to speak to them and they are going to call me back. I am not sure what is the best option now, whether I should look to reject the car or see if they repair it, also as I am out of the 3 month warranty is it likely that I will have to pay for the repair?

  79. In addition they have called me back and priced the repair work at £931. They have said as a good will as it is outside of the 3 month warranty (we bought it on the 11th March) and that there is a £300 limit on a warranty claim,then they will carry out the repair for £631.

  80. Hello Stuart I recently bought a 2010 SEAT Leon off a small dealership first time in my life thought I had a good car to my name but problems started to occur firstly the central locking broke, went back and got that fixed, then the clutch started making noises when idling etc so I brought it back again and told him all that was wrong and he heard the noises. He said ” all cars make that noise and said there’s nothing wrong with it” I knew there was something wrong so I went and got a second opinion and they said it was the flywheel I then brought it back to him the 3rd time and he agreed to fix it which I was a was great, however I have the car driving and it’s actually got worse and I don’t know what to do I bought the car in the 6 June 2017

  81. Stuart Masson

    Unfortunately, it’s fairly common practice to drag for a dealer to drag this out as long as possible. You can lodge a complaint with Trading Standards or see if the dealer is registered with an Ombudsman (it’s not compulsory), but usually the best way is to become the most annoying person in the world – call the salesman/sales manager/dealer principal twice a day, every day until they get so fed up with you that they process the refund to make you go away. If it’s a franchised dealership, complain to the manufacturer.

  82. Stuart Masson

    Hi Paul. The collection of electrical faults are probably significant enough to be grounds to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act (there is probably an ECU gremlin somewhere). However, given that you are outside your initial 30 days, the dealer is entitled to one chance to fix the problem. Because they have already worked on the problem under warranty, the dealer can argue that they have not used their “once chance” as provided under the Act. However, you should not be putting your hand in your pocket to fix the problem if you are rejecting the car under the Act.

    The turbo issue may well depend on the definition of “about to fail”, as that implies that it is currently working. You will need an unambiguous report from an independent specialist if you are using turbo failure as reason to reject the vehicle.

  83. Stuart Masson

    Hi James. You are still within your initial 30 days, so you can reject the car if you feel that the car is faulty (which is not the same thing as having a fault; the car has to be fundamentally unable to do its job properly). A major clutch/flywheel problem is probably significant enough (there’s no defined list of what is considered a suitably significant problem), but don’t assume that the dealer will automatically accept your rejection.

  84. Hi Stuart , Thanks for your reply and I can not thank you enough , I finally had a response of the small dealership garage today , Big sigh ……… Basically he has said I can have my money back ,,, BUT ! He wants me to cover his costs with delivery and assuming collection costs of £420+ vat (£504) Total . And a administration charge to deal with this of £250 , Basically he wants out of the £18500 we spent on the vehicle he said he will either give you £17998 if i take the vehicle back or £17746 if they have to collect the car from me . Plus he wants the registration document back ……He said I feel this is a fair conclusion as we have only delivered the car in the first place at my request and he has had to pay to get that done ………./ This I received today 03/07/2017 Monday …….. Now in the beginning when we was looking for a car and seen this vehicle up for £19000 reduced , I put an offer to him in for of £18000 with delivery , He said no he couldn’t sell for that price and he would sell for £18500 with delivery . Which I agreed the price of £18500 with delivery . (Can not find the info on that but it is the truth ) That the deal was £18500 with delivery . He wants the money back for delivery he is saying because I requested it ??? And wants to charge for picking it up ?? I didn’t have any cancellation policy and any copies what so ever . And I still haven’t . I didn’t agree to paying for anything . I do not want to go back to him now I am so close to getting my money back and upsetting him for any reason unless I am one hundred percent right . What do I do now Stuart . Again I can not thank you enough . Also if I manage to take the vehicle back , How do I then know he will pay me ? I had to pay him before he delivered , So does he have to pay me before I do (If I have to deliver it back that is ) ? Or is he lying to me and he has to pick the vehicle up and pay any costs himself for getting the vehicle ready ? Does he owe me a FULL refund of £18500 or like he is saying that his offer is ‘ Fair ” …. He also said he has never come across something like this before and is doing me a favour …?
    Letter in full below as best as I could print .
    Good Afternoon,

    Sorry for the delay in replying but I have been out the office and wanted to take advice on this as we have never been in a situation like this before.

    There are differing views as to the rights of cancellation. The Regulation for a distance sale is with a seller that offers a organised distance sale or service provision scheme. Whereas we only do this as a one off to assist customers.

    With that said I wouldn’t want you with a car that doesn’t suit you but there have been costs incurred on the car to deliver the car to you which was at your request and we contracted that with a delivery company which cost £210+VAT.

    The return would no doubt be the same with fuel. The car has also been registered to you which again will impact us as that will have devalued the car.

    I have read your correspondence and spoken with Citizens Advice as well and we are within our rights to negotiate the purchase back to take these costs into account.

    With the delivery and assuming collection costs of £420+VAT(£504 in total) and a administration charge to deal with this of £250.

    Based on your purchase price of £18,500 we will either give you £17,998 if you bring the vehicle back to us or £17,746 if we collect the car from you and the Registration document is with the car.

    I feel this a fair conclusion as we have only delivered the car to you at your request and I have had to pay to have this done.

    I will await your reply.


    Lance Coaten

    Thanks Stuart ….. Judith ..x

  85. Thanks for your reply! But is it not too late to reject the car in the invoice it says the 6 of June does that then mean I have to the 6th of July? Or will it be extended cause he was fixing it for 2 days?

  86. Stuart Masson

    He is not entitled to do what he thinks is “fair”. Assuming that you have complied with your legal requirements and are exercising your legal right to cancel the vehicle purchase, he is obliged to pay you a full refund (£18,500, according to you) and either collect the car or pay for it to be returned to him. That’s what the law says.

    You are obliged to hand the car back in the same condition as when you bought it, and you will need the V5C back from the DVLA. He is obliged to pay you back in a reasonable manner (anything beyond 28 days would probably be considered unreasonable). If you want assistance in terms of arguing the matter with him, you will need to get yourself a lawyer to help you secure what you are rightfully owed.

  87. Stuart Masson

    The initial 30 days starts on the day you take delivery of the car, but you can deduct any days when the dealer had the car in their possession for repairs – so if they were fixing it for two days, then you can add two days to your deadline.

  88. Hi Stuart , I have been on the phone to citizens advice today and they said exactly what you have said here and I can tell you that if it wasn’t for you in the first place we would have been up creek with out a paddle I can not thank you enough and will spread word of your site , It is very very informative ,And by sharing on the forum I hope others benefit from your expertise and advice . Here is a recent letter from the garage when I informed them of my right below , Just for your records ,,
    the law also! I would only conduct business in a way I would expect to be dealt with myself.

    We did delivery the car to you within the deal which you accepted from the delivery driver. If you had said you wanted to try the car first I would have understood your situation more.

    We delivered the car to you when you requested. And you were happy with the car as per the emails you sent Simon.

    We will indeed have to learn from this. I do know that Citizens advice would advise a arbitration service and im sure and there would be a deduction for time with the car that is for sure.

    I want to get this situation resolved so I will return the money to your bank if you give me you bank details.

    This will be done when the car is collected by immediate transaction.

    If you don’t have the Registration Certificate yet I will withhold £250 until you get that as without that I cant sell the car as it is registered to you.

    When you receive that you will be able to notify the sale to the DVLA and recover your road tax. When you have it if you scan and email me a copy I will send you the £250 on the basis you send that you send that to me recorded which I trust you that you will.

    Please advise me when the car is not being used and I will arrange for the collection company to collect it.


    Lance Coaten

    Thank you Stuart I will be in touch Judith .

  89. Thanks for replying, I have email the garage asking for them to repair it properly this tjem and in failing todo so I will then reject the car

  90. Stuart Masson

    Hi Judith. Glad it’s been resolved correctly. The dealer is entitled to withhold £250 pending the return of the registration document, as he can’t do anything with the car until he has that back.

  91. Hi Stuart – Could you please advise on this problem?

    I bought an old Toyota Yaris (120000 miles) a week ago from a local garage and after a week’s driving, there was a rattling noise coming from the exhaust area. When I took it to a different garage, they informed me that the exhaust pipe was hanging down as the hangers were badly corroded and that the fuel tank would have to be removed in order to fix this issue. On top of this, they told me that the front brakes were ‘binding on’ and that the car should not be driven unless these problems were fixed and the calipers reset/adjusted. The car had an MOT in May with no advisories and had only accumulated a further 20/30 miles by the time I bought it.

    The 2nd garage advised me it would cost in excess of £800 to fix (more than the car is worth) and that I should contact the garage who sold me it in order to fix these issues. When I did this, they were very defensive and suggested the exhaust was fine when I paid and that I must have driven over some speed bumps too quickly. They eventually agreed to look at the car again but I’m a little apprehensive about what (if any) work they will do to fix the problem. Could you advise me on the best course of action and my rights in terms of getting my money back.
    Thanks in advance

  92. Hi,
    I’m after a bit of help. I bought a second hand car from a small dealership, which had a fault on the way home, To cut a long story short, the seller didn’t respond to emails and texts, and then the premises was emptied a few weeks after. I have now pushed through a chargeback so i have my moneyback. I am now stuck on to what to do with the car?? I know that although it is in my name, legally it is not mine. How long to i have to hold it for for them to retrive it, If i get no reply tyo my letters etc…. Also on company house, the directors have changed etc although the registered address is still the same

  93. Stuart Masson

    Hi Sean. If you have a written report from the second garage, you should be on fairly solid grounds in rejecting the vehicle. You need to formally write to the dealer and reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The dealer will not necessarily accept your rejection, in which case you would have to seek legal advice or contact the Ombudsman if the dealer is signed up to the Ombudsman service (they’re probably not).

  94. Stuart Masson

    Hi Steven. I suggest getting in touch with your bank to see what they advise. Legally, I don’t know what you are obliged to do – I suggest you visit and see if anyone there can assist with some legal guidance.

  95. Thanks.
    My bank told me it wasn’t there area of expertise aand to try Citizens advice, who were useless.

  96. Hi Stuart,
    Please help me get this sorted, as its really getting me down.

    On Tuesday, Phil, an engineer from BMW came down to Marshalls to inspect my car.
    Marshalls car valets had done a wonderful job of polishing the car, and because its black and we were in very bright sunlight it was very difficult to see the problems with the paint, despite me and the MINI Marshalls manager, Allan, explaining they were there, and pointing to some, he said he couldn’t see them.
    1 big mark that was very obvious, he said they were caused by ‘Bird Lime’. His whole demeanour was very dismissive and didn’t really want to listen to what he was being told.

    I then went to the MINI showroom, where the MINI Manger explained that they would swap the car for a new one, at no cost to me, and I could pick it up this Friday, or Monday.
    Then I got a call on Wednesday morning from MINI customer satisfaction team, to check I was happy with this.

    But today I got a phone call from Allan, at Marshalls, to say that MINI didn’t accept there was any problem with my car, and they cancelled everything.

    So I now really need your help, as the car still has 30-40 marks which a paint shop I know has told me is water trapped between the paint and lacquer, and I really don’t have any faith in the car anymore.

  97. Hi Stuart, I am in much need of your help!

    So basically I bought my first car recently from a dealer on autotrader. It was advertised as 65 bhp and 60,000 miles. I found out later it was 55hp and 67,000 miles, but as I was in dire need of a car so I bought it anyway. Now I have found out that one of the rear doors don’t open from the inside and also the clutch seems very clunky. I am going to get it checked out by my mechanic friend, if there is a problem with the car would it be wise to pay for the fix or reject the car under the 30 day return policy? I would very much appreciate your feedback as I find myself to be in a bind.

    Kind regards, Rish.

  98. Hi Stuart , Just a thank you for all that you have done for us , Everything turned out as you explained with a happy result . Judith x

  99. Stuart Masson

    Hi Nick. It will largely depend on what you have got in writing to say that the dealer will swap the car. If it’s simply a verbal promise then it’s worthless. If you have a written promise to swap the car, you can hold them to it.

    Unfortunately, it’s only a cosmetic problem and claiming that you “really don’t have any faith in the car anymore” won’t get you anywhere. It will still work perfectly well. Your best bet for a positive outcome is to demand that the offending panels are repainted, and that’s if you can prove that the paint imperfections were there when you bought the car (assuming it’s a new car if it’s a used car then your chances are pretty much zero).

  100. Stuart Masson

    Hi Rish. The rear door issue is probably not enough to reject the car – it’s probably a relatively simple fix. If it’s not a simple fix, you are only likely to be able to reject the car if you can show that you use the rear seats all the time and it is impacting the car’s ability to do it’s job.

    As for the clutch, it will depend on whether it being “clunky” is a fault or not. The Consumer Rights Act is there to protect buyers from cars that are inherently faulty, not cars with minor faults – especially used cars.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

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