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. Good Afternoon, could you provide me with some advice on how I would go about rejecting a new Ford Ranger I have purchased from Hendy Ford Fareham as ever since taking delivery of this vehicle I have experienced numerous problems with it and have now lost confidence in the car. I have raised these concerns with Ford as and when they first became apparent, their response has been to state that they cannot issue a partial refund or compensation as they lack the facility to do so but may be able to look at a good will gesture when all the issues are resolved. I am not happy with this response as I use this car for travelling to and from work it is becoming an extreme inconvenience as I would expect a new car to be free from manufacturing defects.

    Ill fitting Tonneau Cover and seals – Seals are creased and require re-fitting and in some places have been stuck back down poorly and are starting to lift again.

    Purchased the vehicle to drive around for my business and wanted the extra space a pick up truck provided so that we could go camping and use the load bay for our equipment and baggage. Despite discussing this with the dealer, we were at no point advised that the tonneau cover is not completely waterproof and the brochure describes it as ‘helps to protect you equipment from dust and rain’. I am now left with a vehicle that I cannot use for the sole purpose we bought it for, if we had known this I could have just bought a car to drive around for my work.

    The front parking sensors are faulty, despite the dealership attempting to repair this it still goes off intermittently for no apparent reason with gaps of approximately 6 ft or more to the car in front.

    There is a high point under the roof rail seal, which the dealership have looked at and stated that it is a manufacturing fault and that I need to take the vehicle to a body repair shop to get this rectified.

    The doors are significantly not flush with each other making the car appear as if it does not fit together properly.

    The engine or something is braking the vehicle when full or nearly full steering angle is applied when in 4WD mode., enough so that I can go into neutral on a slope and the vehicle will not roll when the steering is straightened.

    Adhesive residue remains on car in several places which became evident after the car was washed for the first time. I can only imagine this is from stickers or films fitted during transport.

    Rattling noise is evident from dashboard / instrument display area.

    The vehicle was purchased on 12/05/2017 and was first taken back to the dealership approximately two weeks after receiving it.

    Could you please advise me what the next steps are that I need to take, and whether I am entitled to a refund of payments already made or whether once I inform the credit company (Ford Credit) that I want to reject the vehicle I have to continue to make payments.

  2. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jamie. If you reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, the dealer has one opportunity to fix the problem before you are entitled to proceed with the rejection. This means that any work that has been done previously does not count, as you have not been going through the rejection process. You will need to formally advise the finance company that you are rejecting the vehicle, and you can’t cancel your direct debit until the matter is resolved.

    As to whether any of the issues are sufficient to warrant rejecting the vehicle, it’s difficult to say. You will probably need some professional legal advice so that you can work through each of your specific issues to determine whether any of them are significant enough to reject the vehicle. Most of the points you have raised are likely to be considered minor or cosmetic, which is not enough to reject the vehicle altogether. Many of these issues are simply poor build quality rather than a faulty vehicle.

  3. Hi Stuart, Thanks for your response to my problem, The dealer agrees with me that the problems where there when purchased, and that the problem returns once the paint gets hot, and the polish washes off. They have had the car now for nearly 9 weeks, and I’ve had 1 of their demonstrators. As to painting the panels, it would mean a total respray as its on all the panels, except the bumpers, and I don’t feel that is acceptable on a brand new car. I don’t have faith due to the fact that the marks get masked by being polished, and then re-appear.

  4. hi i purchased a Mercedes-AMG C63 2014 from a dealer advertised with main dealer service history when i viewed the car i asked if it had full service history was told YES when i picked the car up asked where the service book was he told me it’s all in the folder in the glove box i trusted him i had no reason not to very respectable high end car sales however several weeks went by i looked for something in the glove box and noticed there was no service book i called the dealer and they informed me that i had no reason to worry on Mercedes Benz it’s all digital i again asked i could only see one service sheet for 2016 he again told me that it had full service history it wasn’t till several months later I went to px it in for a new Range Rover Sport I was told by the Land Rover dealer that when they checked its history it showed it had missed its first service which considerably reduces the price on the car, in fact, they refused to take it now i have a car that i can’t sell without losing so much money and if i had been aware of the missing history i would not of purchased it the dealerships website states they guarantee all aspects of a vehicles history any advice thanks

  5. Hello Stuart, I purchased a used Peugeot 308 [ 2014 year, with 21k miles ] from a local Peugeot dealer, later I noted that the car has some creaking metallic like noise coming from the back of the car. I phoned the dealer and booked a Peugeot technician inspection, the Peugeot technician told me that this is a known manufacturing defect and no solution is available to fix this. I then asked and sent an email to the sales manager and had a meeting with him to discuss/ explain why the defective car was sold to us and nothing was told to us at the time of selling.! He simply ignored my email and told me he knows better than any other expert and he firmly believes that he has not done anything wrong! my question is what are the options available for me on this? the creaking noise was not highlighted to us when we did the test drive and on making a google search I noted that there are many like me! Can I have the right to reject the car? He mentioned that there have been no immediate solutions available and the company is aware of the issue, all we have to do is wait! My question is do we have the option to give the car back within 30 days notice period?? OR what else can I do??

    Please can you advise? the 30 days will be ending on 26 July! Thank you in advance, Jani

  6. Hi Christopher
    I know it’s been some time since your complaint/problem when buying your vehicle but I’m having the same problem where I was promised a fully working sat Nav.

    Have you had any success? Please let me know

  7. Hi Christopher/Stuart

    I’m having the same problem promised satnav in a tech pack SEAT Leon but not fully functional as additional items need to be bought only told this after payment.


    Please let me know how you got on legally.

  8. Hi Stuart, I bought a Porsche Macan from a dealer in central London and took the car back to my home in the Channel Islands, where I registered it. Within 3 days the car had a suspension fault warning, and after calling Porsche Assist on 5th day their recovery agent determined the car was undriveable had to be sent to nearest Porsche repair agent on sister island. They collected it for repair 5 days later. It’s now 27 days since purchase and I don’t have the car back (advised to expect it back in two days). The customer service and entire car buying experience as been very poor and left a bitter taste. Do I have grounds to reject the car for a full refund on the basis of the faults and bad service? Does exporting the vehicle present any complications with my rights (the export was facilitated by the selling dealer). Local dealers have been fine but communication by Porsche as a whole has been appalling and thoroughly unprofessional. Thanks

  9. Stuart Masson

    Hi Nick. I think you’ll need to get some professional legal advice, as you could be in for quite a fight to get the dealer to take the car back under the Consumer Rights Act.

  10. Stuart Masson

    Hi Adam. The car will definitely have a digital service history, so you should check with a Mercedes-Benz dealer yourself rather than relying on the Land Rover dealer’s assessment. Any dealer should be able to give you a full printout of the car’s history. If the first service is not shown, I would suggest contacting the selling dealer to see if they have any records of the car being serviced (it does happen that the database isn’t updated with the records now and again).

    In terms of going back to the original seller to reject the car, it will depend on what the original advertisement says, or anything that you have in writing from the dealership. Verbal promises are meaningless.

  11. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jani. A creaking noise is not necessarily enough cause to reject a vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act – it will depend on what is causing the noise and whether the entire car can be considered faulty.

  12. Stuart Masson

    Hi Alex. I’m not sure what your legal rights would be in this situation. I suggest you get in touch with a solicitor to assist you in working through the case.

  13. Hi Stuart, just bought a BMW 120i from a BMW dealer on the understanding the engine was 2 litre. When I was arranging insurance to travel abroad I was informed that the engine size was 1598cc. Clearly I was given the wrong information by the salesman which helped me to purchase. What comeback do I have in this instance. [The car drives well and looks good (it should) but it is not exactly what I thought I was buying.] Doo I have consumer rights which could put BMW under obligation to me? Bernie

  14. Hi Stuart, its a faulty rear beam. See link with. Similar issue reported


  15. Hi Stuart, I purchased a Vauxhall Meriva 11 plate from a dealer in Feb 2016 and the car has been fine until I received a letter about a product safety recall (outer pre-tensioner) and work was to be done free of charge.
    When the remedial work started they found some problems …..Both front seat air bag pre-tension wiring was cut and by-passed preventing pre-tensioners to be connected, on further investigation both front belt seat pre-tensioners had been deployed which would possibly indicate the car has had accident impact damage ………no mention was made to me about car being in an accident and surely the garage should not have sold me the car as the seat belts were not fit for purpose. I would have known nothing about this until I got a recall or worse still had an accident myself ….how do I stand?

  16. Stuart Masson

    Hi Bernie. It will depend on what you have in writing. If it was a new car, the sales literature should have spelled out that it was a 1.6-litre engine. The sales contract may also have contained the engine size.

    If you are relying on a verbal assurance from a salesman that it was a 2.0-litre engine, there’s not likely to be anything you can do (unless you can get the salesman’s agreement that he mis-sold you the car!).

  17. Stuart Masson

    Hi Colin. You are well outside the normal six-month provision of the Consumer Rights Act, but you are also making a very serious allegation about safety equipment being disabled. You should consult a solicitor to assist you with proceeding, as this is not something that you would be able to spot pre-purchase or during normal driving.

    It’s entirely possible that the dealership that sold you the car had no idea that the car had been tampered with, but professional legal experts will be able to help you work through the issue.

  18. Hi Stuart

    I purchased a vehicle a few days ago The vehicle was cash bought paid in full from a franchise recognised dealer. The vehicle was a technology pack version.

    I was promised and assured by staff that this vehicle had a fully working integrated sat Nav system including an updated sd card which is needed for some models enabling the Sat Nav to display full maps etc and would only be provided if the sale was to proceed.

    All car showrooms remove this card containing maps as it is a key part of the Sat Nav and therefore without this the system is of no use. All cards are looked away and kept out of sight as it is a highly desirable item. All cards are provided and fitted into cars once payment is received.

    Once all payment and documents were finalised and the car was being prepared to be driven away by myself I was assured all checks were adequate and the Sd card was provided.

    To my disappointment I noticed there was no sd card and therefore I could not use the Sat Nav on my drive home. I returned to the car showroom immediately and requested the sd card. After a frenzy it was revealed that the vehicle does not have an sd card. The sales representative that sold the vehicle was no where to be seen.

    I was told to purchase it myself.
    I was extremely disappointed and now feel I was mis-sold this vehicle.

    The next day I spoke directly to the sales representative whom sold the vehicle to me after numerous messages left.
    The sales representative somewhat agreed a mistake and admitted the most important feature to me the Consumer, was ‘a working satellite navigation with a sd card’.
    But stated if it had a sd card it would have been listed on the document which contained details about the vehicle where the MOT and services was stated. How strange is that?

    However she stated there was nothing they would do further other than advising me to purchase myself.

    I asked to speak to the manager, was put on hold for a while, passed to various members of staff and then notified that the manager will contact me within 10 minutes; he never did.

    Few days later spoke to the sales manager and he stated nothing could be done from their side and also stated I should buy directly.

    I would like to know what I am legally obliged to do. They’re refusing to purchase from a reputable dealer and refusing to reimburse me. I was willing to be compensated just with them providing a sd card now I just want a full refund. Please advise


  19. I purchased a brand new 66 plate Ford Fiesta ST Line in December 2016, since then I have had nothing but problems with it. I purchased the car on a purchase hire agreement with ford. Problems I’ve encountered are:

    1, drivers door leaks in rain at the seal – they have agreed to fit new ones – but only after repeatedly turning up at the Ford branch when it was leaking
    2, tyre pressure light continuously on – there was a fault in the main board
    3, losing power when pulling away, feels like it pulls back on me – the brakes were binding so the wheels were not turning hence why it wouldn’t move properly – they have stripped the brakes down and made alterations
    4, squeaky brakes at less than 6000 miles – this was due to problem 3 apparently
    5, passenger seat (its a 3 door) would click when returning it to the upright position to allow my children in the back only to find when I drove it would the whole seat would slide forward- upon them investigating this they have instructed me that the drivers seat has now locked in position and cannot be moved. They have ordered new seat bases for both seats and cannot return the car back to me until this is fixed. I was advised it would take 3+ weeks for the parts to arrive. I expressed my concerns that I do not feel safe driving this car.

    Where do I stand legally with this vehicle, i have no faith in the quality of the car, it is clearly not fit for purpose. They have provided me with a basic courtesy car but I am paying a large amount a month for my car.

    Any advice would be very much appreciated.


  20. Hi. I purchased an Alfa 159 Ti 1.9 JTDm on Saturday 22nd July. I traded in my Chrysler 300C and paid by debit card for the balance. It was raining heavily so it was difficult to check the bodywork but I took it for a test drive. The dealer was in a town location so the max speed I could get up to was 40mph but all seemed OK on this drive (about 4 miles).

    I paid the balance, sorted out 12 months tax, purchased a GAP policy and changed my insurance and then took the car home. The MOT was valid until Feb 2018 with no advisories and it showed a full service history in the book.

    Travelling home, once I got over 60mph, the steering wheel violently started shaking but I just assumed that the tracking was out or the wheels were not balanced as it looked like they had just been refurbished. So I travelled home at just under 60mph (130 miles to home) and all seemed fine with a careful drive).

    The following day I topped it up with diesel and took my wife out to do some shopping so wanted to do a more spirited drive. When putting my foot down, the revs went up to 4,000 instantly but the car did not accelerate and this happened quite often. At one point I had to brake hard at 70mph and the steering shook. The cat started to slow but then the harder I pressed the brakes, it did not slow anymore which was quite scary.

    Also the amount of soot coming out the back of the exhaust is excessive. My previous 2 diesels were clean on the exhaust because of the DPF. When we got home I took off one wheel and checked the discs and they had a rather large lip on the outer rim and a large indent towards the centre showing excessive wear.

    I have it booked into a garage today at my expense to have all these issues looked at. The clutch slipping would be a faulty clutch and DMF and these are not cheap on an Alfa. I am waiting for a report but I believe I have grounds to reject the car based on the above. The annoying thing is I traded a spotless and faultless 300C.

    Do you have any advice before I move to reject the car as I’ve lost all confidence in it – even if the dealer agrees to pay for all the repairs.


  21. Hi Stuart
    I brought a 2nd hand car from an independent dealer 3 days ago. When we first looked at the car it had a problem with the clutch so we asked them to put a new clutch in before we bought it which they did. So the car was purchased and we brought it back only to find out it had an oil leak. It didn’t have a leak when we went to look at it.
    Took the car to my own mechanic to have a new timing belt fitted (as we had no information on when it was last done or even if it had ever been done) and he said the oil leak was coming from the driveshaft and would have been caused by damage to the oil seal when fitting the clutch. The leak is significant enough to cause concern over how much oil is actually left in the gear box.
    I have spoken to the dealer about the problem and I have offered to get the problem fixed locally by my own mechanic providing the dealer refunds the cost to me (£50). It will save a lot of time, fuel and messing around getting the car back to the dealer which is 46 miles away.
    My question is: Who is responsible for getting the car back to the dealer if they want to repair it themselves? Am I entitled to ask them to come and collect the car or is it up to me to take it back to them? I don’t want to reject the car and get a refund as it is otherwise a good car. But, If I were to reject the car, is it reasonable to ask for a refund on having a new timing belt fitted or is that a cost I would have to bear?

  22. Dear Stuart

    On 02/06/2017 I purchased, and took delivery of a Ferrari F 355 on 13/06/2017.

    On receipt of the vehicle I discovered that it was not of satisfactory quality:

    Following approximately 15 minutes of driving, the gear box and suspension warning lights came on and the speedometer stopped operating. I was only able to select reverse, first and second gears. The warning lights reset themselves when the car was turned off and the fault once again became apparent whenever I attempted to move away, each restricting the car to second gear only. I immediately recovered the car to my home address informed the supplying dealer of the problem. At the dealer’s request in an attempt to rectify the fault I took the car to a local garage and replaced the battery and a requested that an independent inspection be carried out. The new battery did not cure the problem and the car still has the same fault.

    During the inspection, the local garage also observed that the windscreen drivers side arm has broken away from the main body, thus making the unit ineffectual in regards to its purpose whilst driving in inclement weather.

    The supplying dealer offered me the opportunity to take the vehicle to a garage of their choosing which would be at considerable expense to myself as the car is unroadworthy in its present condition for the reasons stated above. The garage suggested being in excess of 200 miles from my location means I would have to pay around £600 for a transporter and driver both ways. I offered a compromise by using a dealer closer to my location, this was rejected out of hand immediately.

    I declined the offer as I felt it unreasonable especially as I had already attempted one repair of the vehicle in regards to the purchase of the battery and did not want to accrue considerable further potential expense to myself moving forward in regards to transportation costs.

    The Consumer Rights Act 2015 requires dealers to supply goods of satisfactory quality. Despite several attempts to avoid court action, I cannot get resolution.

    Two questions if I may.

    1. Having produced an independent engineers report am I legally obligated to allow the dealer to inspect the vehicle? if so at his expense and at my home address as the car is unsafe to use on the public highway. I do want him to be in both possession of my money and the car given his stance to date. Their bond of trust has been irrevocably broken.

    2. At what point do I take court action? I feel I have carried out all my pre-court obligations other than the granting dealer’s inspection. I feel that if I allow this, they will attempt a repair which is against my wishes.

    Thank you


  23. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mari. If the car was advertised as having satnav, or you had written confirmation from the dealership that the car had satnav, or a checklist on your delivery paperwork that specifically mentions satnav, then you are within your rights to demand that a working satnav system be provided – or to reject the car for being not as advertised.

    However, if all you really have is a verbal promise that the car came with satnav, then it will be a difficult argument to win.

  24. Stuart Masson

    Hi Louise. You are beyond the six-month period to reject the car with relative ease. You can either try to reject the car as not fit for purpose (which will be difficult and will probably require professional legal support), or work with the dealer(s) to have all of the problems resolved under warranty.

    There is no provision for a courtesy car in your hire purchase agreement or your vehicle warranty, so it’s entirely a matter of goodwill and good customer service. It does not have to be a comparable vehicle to your own.

  25. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lance. You will need to be very clear about which problem(s) you are using as cause to reject the car. If minor repairs like wheel alignments and brake disc machining will fix the problems on a used car, a court would allow that rather than agreeing to a vehicle rejection.

    A problem has to be significant enough to render the whole vehicle faulty. You probably have enough there to reject the vehicle, but you can’t just add a bunch of minor problems together and call it a big problem. You will need written advice from an independent party to say that the car has a significant problem that can’t be easily repaired.

  26. Stuart Masson

    Hi Eira. If you don’t want to reject the vehicle, then responsibility for collecting/returning the vehicle is simply a matter of negotiation between you and the dealer.

    If you are rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, then it is the dealer’s responsibility to collect the car. You can’t claim for any costs like the new timing belt unless it was agreed with the dealer beforehand.

  27. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dean. You can reject the car under the Act, but the dealer will want to inspect the vehicle before agreeing. You are entitled to insist that they collect the car at their expense, which they would need to do anyway after agreeing to a rejection. You can’t really insist that they refund your money before collecting the car.

    You can initiate legal action at any time, if you prefer to have the matter handled by a lawyer rather than by you personally. However, if you try and take the dealer to court without providing them the opportunity to inspect the car first, you are compromising your chances significantly. The dealer will be within their rights to inspect the vehicle before agreeing to a refund – they don’t have to take your word for it. The car remains yours until it is signed back over to the dealer, which means you need to insure it and it is ultimately your responsibility until the V5C has been signed over.

    Bear in mind that you are talking about a car that is 20-ish years old, so a court will be very lenient when it comes to allowing for repairs rather than rejection.

  28. Hi Stuart, took a bit advice first then phoned garage and it’s all turned out well as they took my car back straight away and offered me cash or a great trade in price on any car in their showrooms. I took the trade in option as garage owner was truly sorry that I ended up with a car not worthy of his standards ……am happy at that.

  29. Hi Stuart, I purchased an Audi A4 on the 5/7/17, came with 6 months warranty from used car dealer. had it 2 days and noticed was a knocking noise coming from it after it had been a run, next day it went into limp mode. took car back to dealer they thought was a sensor and told me it was fixed, knocking noise got worse i now know its the dual mass flywheel and it also went into limp mode again, can I ask for a full refund?

  30. Hi there,

    What a useful column!

    My query is (+/-) a follow-up to Marjorie’s (13 February 2017 at 2:21 pm) i.e. the relationship between exactly when the fault was notified and the 30 day and 6 mth rejection cutoffs, and thence the financial terms of any refund.

    Essentially, I bought a car (Land Rover Freelander 2) from a dealer (main dealer group ‘supermarket’ outlet) on 22/3/17 and almost immediately noticed and notified 2 problems, a slipping clutch and a cluster of transmission-related error messages. The car was returned for assessment on 27/3 and after a bit of kerfuffle both were confirmed and addressed and a courtesy car provided (for 4 wks, ready after 3 but I was on holiday – 30 days elapsed during this period.)

    New clutch & flywheel fixed first, new Haldex ECU unit apparently fixed second. Promptly spent significant £ on a LR tow hitch & loom.

    10 weeks later second fault reappeared (not uncommon, apparently), identical symptoms and acknowledged as recurrence (not new fault) by dealer. Currently in LRMD shop again, fault confirmed and under ‘trial and error’ fix regime. My faith in a robust permanent fix is weak.

    Can you confirm that notwithstanding pre-30 day initial fault confirmation, my options as of now fall within 6 month ‘final rejection’ terms and that I’d be down to haggling over refund for the 13 weeks out of 18 that I’ve actually had use of the car? My concern obviously is an apparent fix at 2nd attempt that unfixes itself yet again after the 6 months statutory (and warranty) period has elapsed and my position is much weaker.

    Any advice / clarification appreciated.



  31. I should have made it clear that the error messages in question are fairly fundamental – i.e. the sophisticated LR terrain response modes are disabled, hill descent disabled, ‘traction reduced’ , etc. In short the stuff that makes a LR a LR are non-functional and effectively it’s operating in 2wd. Happens each time the car is warmed up, in normal road cruise.

    Plainly not fit for purpose as purchased, IOW.

  32. Hi. I bought a van and the gearbox has gone within the first couple of days. The garage have offered to fix it but said I need to get it to them. The van isn’t drivable, I heard it is their responsibility to collect it? Please help

  33. Stuart Masson

    Glad it has worked out well for you Colin.

  34. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lee. I would have thought that a dual-mass flywheel failure within two days would probably be sufficient grounds to reject the car. You haven’t the car’s age or mileage, but a DMF is expensive to repair so it is likely to be serious enough to consider the vehicle to be faulty.

  35. Stuart Masson

    Hi Richard. In cases that have so far gone to court, it has been successfully argued that the Consumer Rights Act is separate from any warranty repair work.

    So if you want to reject the car now (four months after buying it), the dealer will be entitled to one chance to repair the fault – any previous repair won’t count if it wasn’t conducted under the process of a vehicle rejection under the Act.

    You can argue with the dealer about it, and they may agree with you and accept your rejection. But if they know the law or refer it to their lawyers, they are likely to insist on another chance to fix the fault.

  36. Stuart Masson

    Hi Dave. If the vehicle is for business use rather than personal use (which most vans are), then the Consumer Rights Act does not apply. You’ll have to negotiate with the dealership.

  37. Hi Stuart, and thanks. Effectively the car is in the midst of a 2nd attempt at a fix now, (a week and counting…) so it would be interesting to see how ‘another attempt’ would be interpreted in the case of a hypothetical rejection now. Could they keep banging away in the workshop for another couple of weeks…months…? No reference has been made to warranty at any point, so it’s accepted that car wasn’t fit for purpose as sold, and that this is the same not a separate fault. Confusing!

  38. Hi Stuart hope you’re well, I’ve been to collect my brand new car today and everything went well at the dealership. The car didn’t look like there was anything wrong cosmetically as it had been out in the rain, it was still raining when I drove away…
    However, when I pulled on to my drive I had a closer inspection and noticed some deep scratches in the bonnet which look like they’ve rusted.
    I spoke to the dealer immediately and they’ve told me to bring it back, what should I expect them to do as I feel I should get a replacement bonnet and not a respray with the car being brand new?
    Also should I be asking for any compensation or any free accessories for the inconvenience?

    Many thanks

  39. It’s for personal use… (want to travel Europe in it)

  40. Stuart Masson

    Hi Shaun. The rust won’t be structural, so the dealer is likely to refuse to replace the whole bonnet and instead offer to repaint it.

    Unless there is a structural problem with the bonnet, they won’t have to replace it. In fact, dealers are entitled to repair minor cosmetic damage or repaint panels on new cars without telling the customer if the car is damaged before delivery. And that happens a lot…

  41. Stuart Masson

    If you are rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, it is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle. If you still want the vehicle but want them to fix the gearbox, then it’s entirely negotiable.

  42. Hi Stuart,

    I’m after some advice (assessing my options at the moment). My wife bought a 6 yr old estate (with approx 52k miles) at the end of April, however it was back at the dealers by the start of June for an excessive oil consumption problem (1L per 140 miles by my calc). They have had it ever since. It was to go to the main dealer but because of their mucking about its only there in the past few days. Although they haven’t told me what’s wrong yet there is a known issue with the engine type that usually requires a new engine.

    In the meantime they put my wife in a Renault Clio, however to allow us to go on a prebooked holiday they swapped it out for an estate. At the last minute they changed their minds and instead of giving us one of their cars they put us in a hire car, and we were told to keep it until ours was fixed.

    I’m assuming that if they can’t / won’t fix the issue, the oil problem should be grounds to reject the car?
    Would they be able to offset the cost of the hire car against any money due back to us? It might just have been more convenient to give us a hire rather than from their own stock, but even at corporate rates it must be costing them a lot (and I don’t expect to see ours back for several weeks) – am I just being paranoid?
    As we haven’t discussed rejection with them, does their ongoing attempt to fix count as their one chance under the act, or would I have to give them another go when/ if we formally reject?


  43. Stuart Masson

    Hi Gary. I would have thought that it would be sufficient grounds to reject the car (as long as it’s not a silly situation like a loose sump plug or something that’s easily fixed).

    Once you formally declare your intention to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, the dealer has one chance to fix the problem. Given that they have not fixed it yet, if you formally reject the car now then the current repair will presumably count as their one shot.

    As for the loan car and any deductions made for use during your ownership, that’s all a matter of negotiation – the Act does not provide guidance.

  44. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve bought with Hire Purchase a 3-year-old VW up! approved used car at a VW dealership a week ago. When I brought it home, the brakes started squeaking to the point that people in the street look up to see what’s wrong with the car. I took it back to the dealer and they said there is nothing they can do as it is the type of brake pads the car has that is making the noise. When I test drove it, there was no noise. Now it is there, especially at lower speeds.
    The dealer says the only thing to do is to clean them and that it will cost me as it is not covered by warranty. Can I request a new set of different brake pads to be fitted under the warranty? I really don’t like the prospect of having a Hire Purchase going on for two years for a nearly new car that I am ashamed of using the brakes.

  45. Stuart Masson

    Hi Patricia. If the pads are new, then this sort of noise will probably go away as they wear in. ALternatively, it could be relating to the valeters cleaning the car and getting cleaning products all over the brakes.

    Take the car somewhere quiet and apply the brakes several times in succession to see if that helps. If not, then go back to hassling the dealer to say that it’s unacceptable. A Volkswagen dealer should only be fitting approved Volkswagen parts, so there’s no reason for the brakes to squeal under normal operation.

  46. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a nearly new Audi from an Audi dealership 5 days ago under their ‘Audi Approved’ scheme. As the car was brought to a local dealership from another one in a different part of the country I was heavily reliant on the detail and photos included in the dealership’s online advertising specific to this car, which I trusted as it was an Audi dealership. I paid £18k + p/ex my old car vs the dealer’s initial £19k list price.
    Although I really like how the car both drives & looks there are a number of features that were listed under my car’s ‘standard equipment’ on their website which I have subsequently discovered are absent. These include the ‘Audi Connect’ infotainment package on the vehicle’s MMI (when I enter my vin on Audi’s site it event tells me immediately that my vehicle is incompatible, turns out my version of the MMI is too old); to use the advertised built-in sat nav I would need to buy maps for £600; the advertised option of a ‘Rain & Light Sensor Pack’ providing intelligent automatic wipers & lights isn’t installed; the 2 advertised USB ports are not installed as are front/rear mats. Even the swish looking Audi chrome ashtray/cupholder container (RRP £40+) which features in their photos of the car has since been removed! Excluding the maps, if I was to have these items retrofitted I estimate that it would cost about £2k without labour.
    On their website is a disclaimer saying that although the dealer endeavours to make sure that the info on their site is “accurate & complete” they are “not able to guarantee the accuracy of that information”. As they are approved Audi dealers I fail to see how they could reasonably claim not to know they had made mistakes in their advertising, especially when it comes to standard equipment.
    My question is, would I have grounds to reject the vehicle due to the inaccurate advertising I have described? Also, as mentioned, I do like the car so an ideal solution would be for them to retrofit and replace the missing items/equipment, obviously at their expense. Is this a reasonable expectation please? Thanks, Martin

  47. Hi Stuart
    Thank you for getting back to me.
    Yes the vehicle was advertised with a sat Nav. I have this evidence clearly stating car with sat Nav.
    However the sd card was missing. The Sat Nav is integrated.
    Can I still pursue to reject?


  48. Stuart Masson

    Hi Martin. If the car’s specification is not as advertised, then you have the right to reject it. Your preferred solution of the dealer retro-fitting the required extras is probably not going to be acceptable to the dealer, as it would cost them too much money (and may not even be possible).
    They will probably try to offer you another car rather than give you a refund, but you are better off getting your money back and then looking for another car. If that happens to come from the same dealer then great, but don’t limit your options to whatever they can source.

  49. Stuart Masson

    Yes. If a car is advertised with a certain feature, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that the feature would be fully functional.

    Realistically, this is an easy fix so if the dealer agrees to provide a suitable SD card, you will probably have to accept it rather than pursue a rejection.

  50. Hi I bought a Nissan Juke from Holdcroft and after around 30 days the car cut off while driving all electrics went out and I went to the dealer for them to check it anyway it came back fine and was working normally then a few more weeks later it happened again but wouldn’t even start something major electrical.
    The RAC came out couldn’t find anything obvious so did a major reset then it started and cut out on the way back to the garage it then started and I delivered it to Holdcroft Nissan they plugged it in the computer and showed no faults then they rang and said the bloke who was checking it went to go to it and the doors wouldn’t open and the boot did and when he shut the boot the radio came on like a mind of its own anyway I’m wondering now can I reject the car or what can I do as I don’t think I want it back after only two months of ownership
    PS it’s bought through finance

  51. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a used 2006 (hard-roof) convertible from a car dealer on 12th Aug 2017 with 15 month warranty . I did not do my home work before buying this car properly as the dealer hoodwinked me in getting this car.
    After a day of driving and properly checking I found the roof to be leaking, front windshield has a big single line crack just near the wipers (which covered the crack) and the left wing mirror not working properly and some minor issues which I can manage.

    Do I have any rights to reject this car as this won’t be fit to drive during winter/rainy days and the cost of replacing a cracked wind shield is huge?

    How should I processed? as I am afraid the dealer might say this is expected from a 11 year old car and might just only fix the roof leak and put the burden on me to fix the rest.

  52. Hi I bought a 2012 plate Range Rover Westminster on June 1 st this year, I made sure I bought from a Land Rover approved dealer as I wanted the extra 2 yr warranty. After one day I found many faults which I was surprised as used Land Rovers are put through a stringent 165 point check inspection.
    One of the faults was a foot long fraying of the driver’s seatbelt (surprised it passed the MOT with it) The car went back to the dealer and the faults were corrected. Just short of 2 weeks later other faults appeared so I took it to a different Land Rover dealer for advice, they said they were shocked by the car’s condition and doubted it had been put through the 165 point checks and advised me to report the garage to Land Rover head office which I did the same day.
    I also sought legal advice and was advised to call the finance company which I did also, I sent them all evidence of damage and faults etc and was told it could take up to six weeks for the matter to be investigated. In the meantime, I must have called Land Rover customer care at least twenty times but to date still no further as I want them to explain how the car could have been sold to me in such a poor condition.
    The finance company got back to me last week and said that the garage had told them all initial faults had been corrected which is true however the other faults haven’t! I pushed the finance company to agree to pay for an independent inspection on the car as I had no faith in the dealer as I believed they may have cut corners so needed to know my car was safe. My car had a health check and body work inspection last Friday, it took 4 hours and the conclusion was the front brake pads approx 80 – 90% worn, front brake discs heavily worn and lipped. Rear suspension both rear shockers damp plus wipers are worn, damage to paintwork and trims loose, bumper trim hanging off and all four locking wheel nuts corroded plus other bits n bobs. I am gutted!
    I have been told not to go far in the car as it is dangerous, I am awaiting a call back from the finance company hopefully tomorrow but do I have a right to reject this car or must I have it repaired?
    Many thanks

  53. Stuart Masson

    Hi Luke. If they can’t work out what the problem is, it’s a fair sign that they can’t fix it. Yes, you should be able to reject the vehicle. You will need to go through your finance company (it’s their car), and the dealer will be entitled to one chance to fix the problem after you formally reject the vehicle (their last attempt doesn’t count as it wasn’t part of the rejection process).

  54. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mike. I would have thought (I’m not a lawyer) that a leaking roof would be a fairly fundamental problem, but it probably depends on the extent of the leaking. It’s certainly a common problem on several hard-top convertibles from different brands. It may be that a realignment from a franchised dealer will fix the problem – the roof is a bulky and heavy thing, so it’s easy for it to slip out of alignment over time and that may be enough to let water in.

    A cracked windscreen is difficult, as it is usually caused by impact damage. Trying to prove that it was like that when you bought it and didn’t happen after you picked it up is not easy.

    If the wing mirror is physically attached but simply not adjusting electrically, you are unlikely to have any joy using this as a reason to reject the car at this age.

  55. Stuart Masson

    Hi Suz. It definitely sounds like you should be able to reject the car, but because you have had it for more than 30 days, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem(s) cited in the rejection.

    To reject the car, you have to have specific issue(s) that make the vehicle faulty. A growing list of smaller issues can’t be added up to equal one big issue.

    Any repairs that you have had to date will not count as attempts to repair under the Consumer Rights Act if you have not formally written to the finance company to reject the vehicle. Therefore, the dealer will have one more chance to fix the fault(s) before you can finally reject the vehicle.

  56. Thanks for the reply Stuart.
    I failed to mention that the dealer got the MOT a day before giving the Car.
    Car also didn’t have much power for washer for water to clean the windscreen.

    Are this things not recorded/checked in the MOT? MOT didn’t have any advisory which is suspicious to me.
    If I give the car for AA inspection and/or get an MOT done again after a weeks time and it fails (Excluding windscreen which I am sure will fail) will I be in a better position to rejecting this car?

    Thank you for taking your time to replying.

  57. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mike. A large crack in the windscreen would almost certainly be an MOT fail, but as I said previously, it’s hard to prove that it didn’t happen after you took delivery. It’s even harder if the dealer has a clean MOT dated one day prior to delivery.

  58. Hi Stuart,
    I purchased a new Porsche Macan diesel earlier this year and within 2-3 months it developed DPF issues. It went in for repair but the problems continued and the dealership has now agreed to a replacement car.The issue I have is that since us purchasing the original Porsche and the new replacement being delivered the road tax has gone up significantly.When we purchased our original car, Porsche was well aware that were ordering the car to miss the new road tax increases as this was stressed to them by us on the delivery date several times. We are saying that due to the faulty original car we should not be liable for the increased tax on the replacement vehicle and Porsche should fund this, both the upfront amount and on-going increase. Your thoughts pls?

  59. Stuart Masson

    Hi Jason. If you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, then the dealer is only obliged to refund the original purchase price. However, given that you have agreed a replacement car, you are probably outside the bounds of the Act, and therefore you can negotiate whatever you like with the dealer or manufacturer.
    Legally, I’m not sure that there would be any obligation to cover any increase in road tax, but I would suggest visiting the forum at Legal Beagles or consulting a solicitor.

  60. Hello. I got a brand new vehicle six weeks ago. It has developed a problem with the 5th gear sticking when taking it out of gear. It does not happen all the time, but say every 7-10th time. So it was hard to pinp point if it was me or the car. In the last week it got worse and got worse when the car got hotter. I immediately took it back to the dealer who confirmed it was either the clutch or gearbox and they well have to strip it out to look at it. I am not happy they they are stripping my new cars engine and possibly the gearbox too. This could manifest problems later. I dropped the car at the dealer today to have the repairs done. Last week when they confirmed the problem I wrote to their head office from their contact us form. The dealer got a copy, but none their got the message. The dealer sent me on a persons contact details. I wrote to them a few minutes ago outlining the problem. I don’t want to reject the car, but just want them to replace it with another brand new one. Can I make such a request?

  61. Stuart Masson

    A new car warranty is there for the manufacturer to replace any parts that are faulty, and will often mean pulling other components out to do so. If everything is done properly, there should be no problems with them removing the gearbox and clutch, or even the engine. Some cars require the engine to come out for a major service anyway (not many, granted).
    If the fault is isolated to a specific component and the rest of the car is fine, you will struggle to convince the manufacturer to replace the entire car under warranty.

  62. Well whats the warranty for then? If the manufacturer wont cover any expenses or replace a faulty car, why do they sell it with a “warranty” at all?

  63. Hi , I bought a car on the 16/08/17 , I rejected the car less than 48 hours later as it broke down , I’ve since been advised the car has many faults i.e. The lights are dangerous and could set on fire any time , I have proof of this , I bought from a private seller . My question is is it worth taking the private seller to a small claims court , he won’t give me my money back ! I payed £4500 for the car from eBay but payed cash as this is what the seller wanted , the seller also stated in his listing that I had 14 days to return the vehicle , thanks in advance

  64. Also the private seller went into a garage to have the lights fixed before the mot , the garage refused to touch the lights and said they needed replacing ,

  65. Stuart Masson

    A warranty provides cover for a certain level of faults, but it’s not necessarily that comprehensive (especially if it’s a used car warranty). A used car does not have to be sold with a warranty, but the vehicle does have to comply with legal requirements.

  66. Stuart Masson

    Hi Lindsey. If it’s genuinely a private seller, then you are tilting at a windmill to try and get anything back. You could try eBay’s dispute resolution service, but the only feedback I’ve heard about that is that it’s not that great.
    If it’s a dealer masquerading as a private seller to try and avoid legal obligations, your chances are much better as this is illegal behaviour. Private sellers don’t normally offer you 14 days to return the car, so that raises my eyebrows…

  67. Hi Stuart, I have purchased a second hand car which was sold as one previous owner. The V5C gas now arrived showing 2!! I have raised this with the garage who have said error at DVLC. DVLC say they have no knowledge of any error. I have advised the garage i wish to retiurn as the vehicle is not as described and have heard nothing from them.
    I suspect returning under the CRA isnt as straight forward as it should be. Do i just return the car ,V5C and keys and wait for payment ? will the only way to get my money back be following a long and expensive legal route? Do you have any advice on how to return and negotiate a refund? The car cost £9500 and there was a £3000 part exchange presumably the gargage should refund the whole £9500 as my car has now gone? thanks for any help

  68. Stuart Masson

    Hi Philip. If the car is not as described, then you are entitled to reject it for a full refund.

    That doesn’t mean that the dealer will play nicely. If they refuse to accept your rejection (which you need to put in writing), then you will need to take action to try and enforce it – this may mean an Ombudsman if the dealership is signed to up an Ombudsman system, or most likely legal action.

    To have any chance of success, you would need to have proof that the car was advertised as “one previous owner”. Even then, there’s no guarantee that a court would side with you – that’s the nature of court cases. You may be better off negotiating some compensation from the dealership rather than go down the rejection path.

  69. Hi I brought a used automatic car from a dealership in May 2017 had it 2 weeks and had to be recovered from rac , it needed a new gearbox which took the garage 4 weeks , then 2 weeks later gears wouldnt stay in place get going into another gear some wires had severed they repaired this , had it back 6 weeks and was recovered by Green flag as wheel bearings had gone on one side again this was repaired.

    This has left be nervous to drive the car in case something goes wrong by premiums for recovery will increase net year because of having to call them out , I need a car for my job as a workplace assessor am i being unreasonable in asking for a refund as I have been off sick with anxiety one of the reasons due to the car as I need it for my job they are fed up of me having to take annual leave to get it repaired etc

  70. I bought a car from a dealer. (SUNNY WEATHER) Noticed the exhaust was loud and the breaks had feedback. Within 4 days I took it to another garage. He said the rear of the exhaust has a hole in it and the ABS needs a look at. Told the garage and they kindly fixed it. New ABS rings and a tail pipe. Tail pipe not under warranty they said but did it anyway. (could this all happen in 4 days I ask you) Sunny weather gone, now rain. I noticed a leak. So bad had to put plastic sheet over the bonnet and windscreen. Told the garage again the said ‘not covered under warranty, but bring it back.’ This is costing me fule to the tune of £40 round trip. Got car back and on the way home it chucked it down with rain. Hey leak still here but worse now 2 places. (have photos and videos) Told them again and yes’ not under warranty’ was told to bring it back. Another £40. Is this a car not fit for purpose? I call it my SUMMER CAR as I can’t drive it in the wet.. All the other stuff ABS EXHAUST didn’t just happen in four days and all I did was to drive it home. The leak, I would presume was already there given the other two things. Just it was sunny and funnily enough didn’t subject it to a to torrent of water before I drove it away.
    Please how do I stand I’m within 6 months and it’s cost me £80 in fule so far with another £40 if I take it back yet again.

  71. Hi Stuart,

    Update on the issues regarding the 2006 hard roof convertible with 68000 miles costing 3750£.

    Previously I had roof leak, wiper water pressure low, cracked windscreen and wing mirror loose. Went to the dealer, got wiper water pressures fixed, roof leak was told fixed but problem persists, got 125£ back for fixing wing mirror and windscreen myself.

    Took the car to a local garage to fix all things but before that got a basic inspections done. Report said both front and rear console bushes separated, CV gators split which would cost 360£ plus tax. So called the dealer again who said he will check and the cost of replacing should be half of what my local garage quoted.

    Also the next day driver side door card came off. Looked like it was glued before.
    Halford was running free cambelt check and safety check, so got a free check from them which reported: front coil spring is broken and rear disc is badly corded and worn close to minimum thickness, which halford quoted around 600£ to replace along with coil spring. And the cambelt around 600£ but with local garage should cost me around 400£

    All this faults coming up within 250 miles of drive (out of which 120 miles just travelling back and froth to the car dealers place) and within 20 days. Is it really worth replacing all this which would cost me easily around 1500£ and not even being sure whether the car will hold up or would I be in the right to reject this car?

    Your thoughts are much appreciated.

  72. I bought a used 2014 Kia Cee’d diesel with 48,000 miles on the clock four days ago from a main dealer £8,000. Since buying the car I have driven the car approx 320 miles from their showroom, mostly motorway miles. Since taking delivery I have noted the following.

    Firstly, the gearbox – the gearing especially one, two and three are extremely difficult to get into gear. It is far from a smooth gear change and it is instead extremely clunky, not something that you would expect for a 3-year-old car. This has become evident as I have driven it over the last few days.

    Secondly, the hydraulic clutch is very heavy, again this has become noticeable once driving more.

    Overall, there is something definitely wrong with the gearbox/ clutch mechanisms. I have driven a 2013 diesel Kia Cee’d with 67,000 miles at a garage today – and they are night and day in comparison. There is a serious issue developing here.

    Thirdly, I had previously asked if this vehicle had been crashed/damaged. I now notice that there is considerable overspray on the inlay of both front doors on this car. This was not disclosed when asked. This was not done in the Charles Hurst garage as they refused to spray the car paint work for chips/scraps and instead fill and polish. So this car had been damaged before – Finally, a minor issue considering the other issues – a plastic piece on the seat that I noted on delivery was not repaired properly has come off as soon as I was home.

    I believe that this car was not sold in a reasonable condition considering the age of the car (3 years old).

    The issues with the gearbox/clutch will get considerably worse. At the moment gear change in the low gears is extremely difficult to select. This should not be the case on a car that is 3 years old with 48,000 miles – unless there is a serious fault developing.
    The garage has given a full 3-month warranty on the car “In the unlikely event you have an issue that affects the running of your car, we will repair or replace as necessary.
    As you are aware, Kia have a good warranty, however, you now have an additional benefit for the 3 month period commencing today 1st September 2017. miles unlimited for this period”. Also, it passed their garage inspection – clutch/ gearbox all in green. Where do I stand with my rights? I am not happy with this car.

  73. Hi Stuart,

    I have a BMW 435Ci coupe, I recently experienced an issue where the car stalled and refused to start. After some investigation I found that there was a recall regarding the fuel pump listed on the DVSA website:

    The BMW dealership are saying they have no record of a recall and have contacted BMW directly and been told this does not affect my car. My VIN number is one that is listed in the attached, so I cannot see how this can be the case. The BMW dealership is telling me I will have to pay for the investigation and repair. What are my rights and where do I stand?

    Can I refuse to pay?
    Can they hold my car if I do so?

    I have contacted trading standards and await a call back but any advise you could give would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  74. Hi Stuart!
    We bought (Hire Purchase) a Mazda CX5 2.2D SportAWD Auto last 04 September 2017. When we test drive it last 02 September 2017 Satnav is not working and the one who assisted us said that the SD card for it will be sorted when we are to collect the car. Said SAtnav button on the dash is the only one that is not functioning. so we assumed that it has, even though on the advert it did not mention any of it and presumed that it was just an error.

    When we went to collect the car we were told the satnav was been set up already and because we trusted so much the sales person, i didn’t have the time to set or learn the satnav of the car if it is working or not because we are in a rush to get home because my wife is on a night shift that day. It was already 08 September when I finally had the time to set up the phone Bluetooth and learn most of the function of the buttons on to the dashboard because this car is new to me because what we had before was a Nissan Qashqai 07 manual. And then I realised that the satnav is not working on this car when I’m trying to operate and find where the SD card slot is.

    10 September, traveled back to the showroom and went to the salesperson and spoke regarding the matter but even she was confused because it has a button for Satnav and does not function and can’t find the SD slot, also, the Mazda showroom personnel can not even find it as well. I was so disappointed and said if they could have been honest to tell us beforehand that it does not have a Satnav, at least, we shouldn’t have taken the car.

    The only evidence we(me and my wife) can hold on to is the verbal conversations we have regarding it and the SAtnav button that is not functioning and the missing SD card slot. Can I return/reject the car?

    I’m really stressed at the moment because we are to use this car traveling to France by the 23rd of Sept that is why we part exchange our old car.

    I hope you can advise me on what to do on this!


  75. Stuart Masson

    Hi Mike. You are certainly having a lot of niggling problems with the vehicle, but none appear to be worthy of rejection themselves. It’s an 11-year-old vehicle, so each of the problems could easily be argued as normal for age/mileage. You seem to have chosen a car that has many issues rather than a few, but unfortunately you can’t normally work on a cumulative basis to equate several minor faults to one major fault (unless you have a very good lawyer).

    The most likely candidate would be the leaking roof. If you have already formally rejected the vehicle and their attempted repair has not worked, you can move to reject the vehicle. If you haven’t already given written notice to reject the vehicle, the dealer will be entitled to one more chance to fix it.

  76. Stuart Masson

    Hi Andy. You will need to find out, probably from an independent gearbox specialist, exactly what the problem is with the gearbox or clutch so you know whether it’s a significant or easily-repairable problem. If it’s a minor issue that’s easily fixable, you won’t be able to reject the car.

    The previous repair question is a very grey area, unless you have a written declaration from the dealership that it has never been repaired (which I’m guessing that you almost certainly don’t). Therefore, you can’t prove that you asked the question and were told otherwise.

  77. Stuart Masson

    Hi Greig. I would call BMW HQ directly and try to get a definitive answer as to whether your car is on the recall list or not.

    In any case, if the car has a fault and is still under warranty, the dealer can’t expect you to pay for investigation and repair unless it’s a problem not covered by warranty (and it doesn’t sound like that would be the case).

  78. Stuart Masson

    Hi Reynaldo. If the advertisement does not mention satnav, or if you have no written assurance that the car has satnav, and if it’s not a standard feature on that specification of CX-5, then your chances of getting the dealer to pay for satnav to be installed are pretty much zero.

    You have assumed that the car has satnav, and you say that the dealer said it does, but you have no actual proof. Any Mazda dealer should be able to upgrade the system to activate the satnav, but you’ll have to pay for it.

  79. Hi Stuart,
    In July 2016, I bought an Audi 2012 (8k) from a big car supermarket, I paid 500 cash and the rest on finance. 14 days later I settled the finance with my credit card.
    On the same day I drove the car there was an Engine Management Light. It’s been 13 months of being back and forward to the garage and directly to Audi to get it fixed unsuccessfully for the same failure + excessive oil consumption. At the moment the car is at the garage, it’s been 25 days since they are trying to fix it.
    I wanted to reject the car but the garage said that the car is fit for purpose as I have been driving it the last 12 months. They offered me £3,500 as part exchange, which I declined. I started a Section 75 claim through the Credit Card company, and they just replied that I didn’t pay the garage but the Finance company, so I should make the claim to them.
    I called the finance company and they say it’s not them cause the finance is already settled. The suggested to look for advice with the Citizens Bureau Adv.
    I called de Citizens Bureau and they asked me to send the letter to the Finance company and give them 15 days.
    I don’t really know what to do know. I have a lot of documents proving the fault from day 1, but don’t know what to next and what are my chances of getting a decent partial refund.

  80. Hi Stuart,
    They gave me a full refund on the car today. I actually had it in writing (an email) stating that the car was not damaged. Thanks for all the advice on this page. It helped me word a good email outlining my rights and I definitely think it helped me get the refund.

  81. Hi, I bought a car on the 7th Sept from a dealer in Bury. My friend was taken for a test drive while I sorted out insurance ( my insurer closed at 8pm go figure) everything seemed though in order (my friend had not driven the car I found out… The dealer had drove it) and I purchased the car on my credit card…it did seem like a good deal, I should of guessed really :/
    Within 5 minutes of driving it away ( id stopped to put petrol in it) my friend and I noticed the idle was faltering between 1500 and 2000 revs like a roller coaster. I tried to contact the dealer but he was not picking up the messages. We stopped and started the car, the idle seemed to be behaving at that point and I had to drive it back to Lincoln, it was by that time about 8.45 on a Thursday evening and I had my 8 year old son in the car.
    The next day I sorted tax for the car, took it to the next village (3 miles away) but the idle was working at 2000+ revs which was overly high.. .. I stopped and restarted the car and it was doing that faltering thing again. I took videos and emailed them to the dealer, no reply… (btw I hadn’t had a single reply from the messages the previous night either)

    I then tried to call the dealer, no reply, messaged them got a reply to take it back for a refund. I also requested in that message the cost of insurance / tax and the petrol as we were having to drive it back to bury. He then rang me and told me no.. And the only way I would get my money back for the car is to take it back to Bury… As my insurance on it was only for the day I had to take it back that night.
    He then refused to credit my original form of payment. Promised me the money would be in my bank account Monday morning. Monday promised Wednesday.. Wednesday promised 1st thing Friday.. It is now Friday and I’m still waiting.
    I have started a claim with my credit card company to retrieve the original 1800 spent but my question is, can I request in writing.. And take to small claims if needed the other £120 that was spent in expenses for the car.. The insurance, tax and petrol? I haven’t even factored in the petrol for the other car… It just seems really out of order that it was insisted I took it back and yet I’m that much of of pocket.. Or is this just one of those chalk it up to experience times? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  82. Hi Stuart , i purchased a brand new motorcycle through finance on 13/6/17 from a main dealer , engine management light come on 8/9/17 so I contacted the dealership as soon as it did and booked it in to be looked at on the 14/9/17, they didn’t even contact me all day to say they couldn’t find the fault so I contacted them on the 15/9/17 for them to tell me they haven’t managed to fix it they have had their technicians look over everything several times and haven’t found anything so I’m wondering wether I will be covered to return the bike under the consumer rights act after I have proof of them not being able to find or fix the fault, and contacting the finance company as well

  83. Hi Stuart, Me and my Mrs went in to a local recognised car dealer just over 2 years ago to trade in a financed vehicle and to carry over some negative equity to get a newer car that was bigger as we where planning a family. We believed we had got finance as the salesman spoke about “the finance company” had accepted etc, anyway I took that vehicle away after a year I fancied something a bit sportier so we went back to the same dealer and asked how much it would be to do the same process again… only to be told the negative equity was “too much” to put onto another vehicle, at the time we thought fair enough it would be around 3k but we was putting It on to a 12.5k car.

    It recently came to light when I was advised to use my right of the half way voluntary termination in my car finance deal, that in fact I had an unsecured loan and there was no finance on the vehicle, It seems that the time I popped back in to get a new vehicle that they couldn’t do me a deal because they realised they hadn’t got me finance in the first place?

    I now work in the motor trade so I have been seeking advice from various leaders etc, everyone I have spoken to have said I have been mis sold a personal loan due to the simple fact I have only just found out my rights etc. I was also sold GAP insurance on the vehicle ensuring me that my vehicle would be covered for 5 years, when I have been told by experienced salesmen and leaders that on a cash sale the GAP insurance can only be 3 years.

    To top all of this off the “finance” was originally in my partners name and the new “finance” is in my partners name, the dealer actually put the log book which of course we now know has no ties and is on a cash sale, they signed it in to my name. This meaning my partner had got a loan out on a high APR when if we was told we where getting a bank loan we would of gone to one of our banks and my partner didn’t actually gain anything from the loan. The car was signed straight in to my name without her consent.

    I have wrote a letter to the dealer and sent it via post, kept a copy for myself. I contacted the financial ombudsman as soon as I became aware I felt I had been mis sold a loan, they told me the steps of the process and how to get the ball rolling.

    Am I going to get laughed at for my partner and I not reading every detail and it being put across as a finance package? Or have I actually got a chance of putting things right, as I told the financial ombudsman service I don’t seek compensation, just no financial downfall (as advised). I don’t want this to happen to someone else!!

    Thank you

  84. Hi Stuart, I had purchased a 2-year old Mercedes Car from a Dealership on Hire Purchase/ lease. It still had 1 years Manufactures Warranty on the car. The car was running fine, however, about 3 months ago, as I was driving home as smoke appeared from the bonnet. I called Mercedes breakdown who advised me to “drive the car on dual carriage way to clear it up”, however, as I was close to home and there was further smoke escaping, I parked outside my garage. Within minutes of getting out of the car, it was engulfed in flames – the entire car was pulled apart by the Fire Brigade to put the fire out. I contacted the dealership as well as my Insurance Company. The Insurance Company came the next day to collect the burnt out car and carry out an investigation which they determined as a possible electrical fault. They paid out and I now have a new BMW on a similar Hire Purchase/ lease. However, my driveway as well as my Garage doors have been ruined.
    I have tried to call some no-win-no-fee solicitors, however, they tell me they cannot take the case on as there is no personal injury claim. So my question is do you think it is a viable option to make a claim under The Consumer Rights Act 2015 against the Dealership who sold me the car or Mercedes itself, or would it be worth it?
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    Thank you,

  85. Hi Stuart,

    I would send a message with our dilemma.

    Long story short, we part exchanged our old car for a new car on finance. There were a whole host of issues with the new car and the dealer are allowing us to exit the deal. They still have our part exchanged car but we don’t want the car back, the insurance has expired and we have already had to cancel the insurance on the new car we didn’t actually get, plus we have gone with another dealer so would ultimately have to cancel this insurance after a week or so anyway, a hassle we do not want when w can survive without a car for 2 weeks. The problem is the dealer are stating that they cannot cancel the whole deal unless we take our part exchanged car back, as far as i am concerned they are now the legal owner and we held up our side of the deal (i.e. they accepted the car and signed the V5C form) but they didn’t hold up their end of the deal by delivering a new car in a fit state, hence the reason we want to exit the deal.

    You mention above “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).” suggests we wouldn’t get the part exchanged car back anyway despite their insistence that we have to take the car back (I imagine they don’t want to deal with trying to sell the car and the fact it doesn’t look good a Ford being on a Nissan court). I assume they had an inkling that we would exit the deal and were hoping we would take the car back, as I imagine in most other cases they would have got rid of the part exchanged car pronto. For reference there is a small negative equity of £25.

    What are your thoughts on the matter above?


  86. Hi Stuart.

    I leased a VW polo through PCP for my wife in March 2017. My wife had 2 separate instances where the brakes failed to function and took the car back to the dealer. They said they could not find a fault but replaced a part in any case. As they could not definitively say whether the fault was fixed, we refused to go back into the car. Since then, we have had a courtesy car while VW assess the situation. They have come back with 3 options :
    1. Take the car back
    2. Replace like for like
    3. Take a different VW model and arrange a new price
    The option we want is to cancel completely (without further charge etc) as my wife has now lost confidence in VW and is nervous to use another one. VW have said that option is not available as they cannot determine a fault. My issue with this, is that they could have checked the part they replaced but chose not to – so now we’ll never know if it was faulty!
    Do you think we qualify within the 6 month window of the Consumer Rights Act?



  87. Bought a 10month old Mercedes C200se executive auto with 11k miles in March for £20k from a Mercedes franchised dealer. Since day 1 the car “creaks” when driving on less than perfect roads at low speeds. The creaking is less noticeable at motorway speeds due to wind/road noise. Due to a family bereavement, this was a low priority at the time and I eventually emailed the dealership who agreed to rectify the problem. They had the car last Thursday and I collected it Friday after being advised the door seals had been removed, refitted and lubricated and that it was quiet on the road test. I became a little suspicious when the service manager said it may take a few days for the seals to “settle down”. On driving home it was immediately apparent the noise was still there and driving yesterday it sounded worse than before the “repair”. My 60day window expires on 28th of this month to reject the car. Should I write to reject it now and is the constant creaking from the door areas a sufficient reason

  88. Bought a new car July 2017. Within a week, the handbrake had failed on a hill due to it being too loose. It was fixed, and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. A couple of weeks after this, I got someone out to my car as there was a knocking feeling I could feel through my accelerator peddle once going over 50mph. They could find nothing wrong with it. At the weekend, my car started leaking water – through the joining of the windscreen and the roof, and water was dripping in on to the front passenger seat. Surely I have right to reject the car after all these faults? Even if they replace the sealant of the windscreen, there’s still the issue of mould growing in the passenger seat and causing health problems. Please advise!

  89. Stuart Masson

    Hi David. Ultimately the dispute will be between you and the dealership. There are known oil consumption problems on certain Audi engines, so depending on your model and (importantly) its service history, you may be eligible for a goodwill repair payment from Audi UK. I know another Audi driver who is going through this same process at the moment, and was originally told that he’d have to pay a large amount but is currently negotiating for the whole bill to be waived.

  90. Stuart Masson

    Hi Andy. Glad it’s all worked out for you and that you’ve got a full refund. Well done.

  91. Stuart Masson

    Hi Pammi. Generally, you can’t force a dealer to pay for your fuel/insurance/tax costs. If you’re buying a car that’s a long way from home, then you need to accept that it will cost you a fair amount of fuel to get there and then go back again if necessary.

  92. Stuart Masson

    Hi Liam. Once you formally reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the fault. Any work done before you officially rejected the vehicle does not count (unless the dealer agrees to it, of course).

    Yes, you will need to speak to your finance company, as it’s probably their bike, not yours.

  93. Stuart Masson

    Hi Thomas. If you’re trying to fight the dealer and/or finance company on your own, it will probably be difficult unless you have some kind of written proof that you were quoted on a secured loan (PCP/HP/conditional sale, etc.) but sold an unsecured loan. The inevitable comeback will be that it’s written in the finance contract so you didn’t read it before you signed it. The salesman could swear on a stack of bibles that he/she explained everything properly and that you knew what you were doing. Ultimately, it comes down to what the contract says.

    Carrying negative equity across from one car to another is never a good idea, as you are increasing your negative equity problem even further. Most finance companies have limits on how much you can carry across, and some finance companies won’t allow it at all. Personally, I’d like the FCA to ban negative equity on car finance altogether. However, since you actually had a personal loan, you can load up as much negative equity as you like since it’s not secured against the vehicle.

  94. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kruti. The Consumer Rights Act is unlikely to be too helpful in your situation. Your home insurance is probably a better bet for that sort of thing.

  95. Stuart Masson

    The advice in the article specifically refers to rejecting a car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you are rejecting a car in this manner, you need to formally notify the dealer that you are invoking the Act to reject the car.

    If the dealership has offered you a (settlement) refund separately to the Act (because you haven’t rejected the car under the terms of the Act), then it’s simply a matter of negotiation between you and the dealer.

  96. Stuart Masson

    Hi Kevin. I doubt that the Consumer Rights Act will really help you in this case. If you reject the car now, the dealer is entitled to another chance to fix it. If they claim to have fixed it, you are obliged to keep the car.

    If you want to pursue the dealer or Volkswagen UK for a full refund, you will be working outside the Consumer Rights Act and I’d recommend getting the help of a lawyer.

  97. Stuart Masson

    Hi Peter. An annoying noise is a difficult case for rejecting a car, especially if the car is operating otherwise properly. To be able to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, you will need to establish the cause of the creaking noise so you can determine whether it is likely to constitute a significant fault with the vehicle.

    Once you formally serve the dealer with notice to reject the vehicle, the dealer is entitled to one chance to fix the problem. The work done before now doesn’t count (unless the dealer accepts that they have already tried and they can’t fix the problem).

  98. Stuart Masson

    The Consumer Rights Act serves to allow a customer to reject a faulty car, which is not necessarily the same as a vehicle with a fault (or faults). A collection of small faults isn’t usually enough to render the entire vehicle faulty, although on a new car the expected standard is naturally higher than for a used car that has already experienced a degree of wear and tear.

    The windscreen problem may be grounds for rejecting the vehicle, but the dealer will be entitled to repair the fault – only if that fails are you entitled to finally reject the vehicle. Under your new car warranty, you should be entitled to have any associated problems caused by the fault to be fixed, such as repair/replacement of carpets, mats or upholstery.

  99. Hi Stuart, I bought a as is car with high milage financed four days ago and tonight the drive line broke. I was only going like five miles per hour when it happen. Is this grounds for rejection and what do I say or do?

  100. Hi Stuart. I bought a Citroen C5 tourer on the 28th July 2017 after 2 weeks I found the driveshaft to be clicking took it into the garage i bought it from they diagnosed it as been the drivers side drive shaft,after waiting a week the car went back into the garage a re-conditioned part was put in place and car was returned after 30 mins of being back in my possession I could hear a distinct metal to metal sound so car was returned to garage again,garage diagnosed a faulty driveshaft had been fitted this was replaced and vehicle returned to me 3 weeks have passed and this Saturday 23/09/17 the car broke down this time the hydraulic slave cylinder on the clutch had collapsed and burst consequently spilling brake fluid all over the road,AA came to rescue and car is now back at garage again,now considering this car has only done 44k i feel these problems shouldn’t be happening i hope you agree,I have spoken to the finance company and i have rejected the car due to these faults and that my wife no longer feels safe in this car i’ve compromised and said that this car is probably a bad one and that I would be prepared to accept another car of my choice rather than fall out with the dealership/finance company can you tell me if ive done right by this look forward to your reply.Geoff Connor

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