Rejecting used car: how to prove that the fault was present at the point of sale

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    • #92361 Reply


      I have bought a Ford which is less than 4 years old with low miles for £6000 by cash.
      On the first longer trip, the car has broken down on the motorway when we were coming back home.
      I have called to recovery company. Truck came and took car to garage. They said that it is probably engine head gasket failure. So I cannot use the car even for short distances.
      I used car only for around 300 miles and I have car for less than 3 weeks.
      Following day I informed dealer by phone and email. I have explained everything and told that I want to reject car and to get full refund.
      I think, that it is not difficult to prove that there is a fault, because car is not of satisfactory quality. But how to prove that the fault was present at the point of sale?
      After this car fault I have started again checking all documents. I found out, that dealer put stamp (date is the same then we bought car) in service portfolio, but we didn’t get any documents which will prove that service was really made. So it is not clear what kind of check has been done by dealer before car was sold.
      The last service (with all documents in detail) was done 20 months ago and in this period of time car was used for a bit more than 12000 miles.
      All I get from dealer is just two MOT test certificates. As well I have 3 month mechanical breakdown guarantee in which is write ‘I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, this vehicle is mechanically sound and of roadworthy condition, and that any mechanical faults at the time of sale that fall within the scope of this policy, have been corrected and the vehicle has had a pre-delivery inspection.’ But I didn’t get pre-delivery inspection document. Or maybe they don’t have to give this document for costumer?
      Before I bought a car, I was informed that everything is fine, that car was checked. So I believed that everything is fine, because the dealer is big and well known.
      Now I feel that I can’t trust for my dealer and I decided to check my car by an independent garage and just after this to give car for a dealer.
      The basic question is: how to prove that the fault was present at the point of sale?

    • #92364 Reply
      Stuart MassonStuart Masson

      Hi Indra. If the car has broken down with a head gasket failure, it should not be difficult to argue that the fault was present at point of sale and the dealer would struggle to prove otherwise.

      A written opinion from the third-party garage should be sufficient. If the dealer refuses to accept the rejection, you would then need to argue it out with them.

      • #147079 Reply
        AvatarIori hughes

        Bought car in may this year after 4 wks air bag light came on intersmitently ignored thought was minor but got worse dash lit up like blackpool illuminations and car kept going going limp mode
        Garage have tied twice to fix and failed
        What are my rights?

    • #106188 Reply

      Hi Stuart,
      My son (new driver) bought a used Mazda (55 reg) on 9 September 2016. 3 months later he was driving home (fortunately still in 30mph area but about to go on 70mph dual carriageway at rush hour) when his brakes failed at an intersection. Fortunately he was able to pull to the side and neither he or no one else was hurt, this could have ended very differently if the normal route home had not been blocked by a serious accident he would have been on a 70mph dual carriageway at this point.
      He was recovered to a local garage and the breakdown recovery driver had found that the rear driver’s side brake line ruptured. The garage found that the whole underside of the car was severely corroded and the brake lines were corroded to the bottom of the car. The dealer was contacted and agreed that the local garage could fix the rear brake lines the garage negotiated the cost and payment directly with the dealer. We were unaware that only the rear brake lines were replaced by the way.
      3 weeks later (Christmas and New Year in between) the car went for it’s MOT at the same garage, which it failed because of corroded front brake lines (we thought that they were all fixed, however we don’t want to fight with the garage as well). In addition there were advisories regarding corrosion on suspension etc (stuff that was mentioned 3 years prior on MOT advisories but had not been mentioned in the 2 most recent MOT’s which we erroneously thought meant they had been sorted).
      My son has written to the dealer immediately after getting the MOT failure to reject the car, he also stated that as he’d had the use of the car for 4 months ( though it didn’t go anywhere much over 2 weeks at Christmas) he was prepared to negotiate on the refund as he’d had the use of it for 4 months but bearing in mind that he’d had to put 4 new tyres and replace nearly all the headlights and taillights. The dealer asked how much to repair but he had lost confidence in the car and said he wanted a refund. Silence from the dealer until we have 3 days until the MOT runs out and he’s sent a solicitors letter claiming that the fault was not there when they sold the car. So he’s trying to claim that the brake lines corroded and ruptured all in 3 months.
      My son feels that he can’t prove that they didn’t but I disagree I can’t believe that the dealer can really claim this particularly after fixing the rear brake lines already. In addition the pre-cat lambda sensor has failed causing the warning light to come on but can’t be fixed because it is corroded to the bottom of the car. This will cause the car to fail the emissions test though by some fluke it just passed.
      Do you know if brake lines can corrode to the point of failure in 3 months?

      • #106396 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Judith. No, the brake lines would not be likely to corrode to the point of failure in three months on a new car. However, we are not talking about a new car.

        Corrosion is inevitable on a car in some way or another, so it is effectively wear and tear. It is entirely possible that the brake lines were considered safe when the car was sold and subsequently corroded to an unsafe level.

        Your son’s case is likely to depend on the weight of evidence to suggest whether the brakes were acceptable at the point of sale. The MOT reports are one consideration, but the dealer’s own pre-sale inspection would also be taken into account by a judge. If the dealer can show that the brake system was properly inspected then it would strengthen their case. If they can’t show this, it would strengthen yours.

        You will need to engage a solicitor to represent you and assist you in fighting your case, especially since the dealer appears to have already done so to defend theirs.

    • #107075 Reply

      Hi Stuart,
      Since asking that question, and to inform others reading this we have had DEKRA inspect the car and their view is that the amount of corrosion that is on the underside of the car and caused the failure of the rear brake lines and the MOT failure of the front brake lines would definitely have been present at the point of sale. Also reading the consumer rights act it clearly says that the dealer would have to prove it wasn’t in this condition at the point of sale up until 6 months after point of sale. As the dealer (used car sales) couldn’t even find the sales invoice and had to ask us for a copy and as the MOT was 8 months old I think that they have made a threat using a cheap online solicitor to put us off. Since my son could have been killed I will be pursuing them to the bitter end.

    • #109092 Reply
      AvatarElaine Collughan


      We bought a Mazda 6 which broke down in the first 16 miles (on the first day we had it). We needed to be towed by the AA. Both AA and garage (who towed the vehicle back to themselves) didnt agree on what caused the malfunction – AA stated that it could have been the oil pump and the garage stated that it was clogged fuel injectors. The garage claim that these fuel injectors could have been clogged by us putting in dirty fuel and stated that they wanted to investigate to find out. However, how likely is this? Do the garage have a case? Also I dont trust their mechanics to provide us with an honest answer. Please advise.

      • #109168 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Elaine. The dealer is not obliged to accept your rejection (as you can imagine, there have been a number of buyers trying to reject a car as an excuse because they no longer want it), so they are entitled to investigate any claim that the vehicle is faulty.

        Clogged fuel systems are relatively common – often because dealers sell cars with almost no fuel in the tank, meaning the fuel pumps are sucking any debris and detritus in the bottom of the fuel tank into the engine. If this happened on the day you bought the car and you took delivery with the fuel gauge indicating empty, it is a far more likely answer than poor quality fuel.

        If it is clogged injectors, then it’s an easy fix and will not cause lasting harm, and therefore is unlikely to be acceptable as a reason to reject the car.

    • #118333 Reply

      I bought an Mercedes A140 on 11.08.17. On driving home the BAS/ESP warning light came on and the car went into limp mode. I test drove the car (at speeds of no faster than 30/40 mph) before purchase and the light did not appear. I did not get a pre-inspection proof from dealer. Car is 2004, with 75000 miles. Although the car is old, the mileage is low. The issue is remedied temporarily by turning off ignition and restarting – a little hairy when travelling on dual carriageway at 70mph when car is loosing speed as in limp mode. The issue is intermittent. I took the car to a local garage the next day and the mechanic drove the car and witnessed the problem. On running diagnostics the car did not show any faults. Which I found surprising as the car had gone into limp mode the day before. The mechanic suggested that the Steering angle sensor may be a fault, and if this is the case it would be an expensive part to replace if required. It could be that it just needs resetting. My question is that I would like the dealer I bought the car from to make this repair at their expense, but they are refusing to do this, they are considering going halves on the cost. The car is currently with them to diagnose the problem. I do not think that this is a new issue, and I feel that the car is unsafe to drive. I do not know if there is a way to prove that the fault was present at the time of sale? Your advise it greatly appreciated.

      • #118338 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Kate. If you had a mechanical problem on the way home from the dealership, it would be difficult for them to argue that the fault was not present at the point of sale.
        However, your story suggests that you did not immediately report the problem to the dealership and instead went to another garage the next day.
        If you have a used car warranty, you can see if the problem is likely to be covered under that.
        If you want to use the fault as a means to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you will need to get the other garage to provide a written report, confirming the fault. Then you can take this back to the selling dealer as evidence that the fault was present when the car was purchased.

    • #122035 Reply


      We purchased a 21 year old Mazda Bongo on 6th October 2017. We paid £200 deposit and the balance in cash on collection.

      We’ve now had the vehicle independently checked by a garage (12th October 2017) and they have made list of the work that needs to be done on the vehicle to make it safe. Whilst we accept that the vehicle is 21 years old, we feel some of the issues raised should have been picked up at MOT (dated 4th October 2017) and I don’t think it should have passed. Also, on 7th October 2017, the day after we collected the vehicle, the rear section of the exhaust fell off.

      The full list of problems raised by the garage were; front discs on inner faces, OSF suspension link, both front tyres worn on edges, OSR inner sill, NS and OS front inner sill, both front outer sills, both rear brake discs and both front brake discs on inner faces, rear brake pad nearly on steel. The only advisories on the MOT were; brake pas(s) wearing thin Front, Tyre worn close to legal limit – nearside front and slight corrosion nearside front battery tray.

      As we purchased the vehicle less than 30 days ago, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, do we qualify for a full refund.

      • #122074 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Geoff. If the car was to fail an MOT shortly after purchase, you’d have a good argument for rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act (assuming you bought the car from a trader rather than privately, which you didn’t mention).

        If the concerns raised by the third-party garage show that the car is unroadworthy rather than just suffering from wear, you may be able to convince the dealer to refund your money.

        Advisories are not suitable reasons for a refund, as it may be months or years before action needs to be taken depending on how much driving you do. You need to have evidence that the car is faulty. The exhaust falling off would need to be shown as a fault, rather than being damaged while driving.

      • #127636 Reply
        AvatarJillian O

        Hi Stuart, I brought a Volkswagen Golf gt sport 1.4 tsi 170, on finance in January 2016, the car has been problematic since I brought it and been recovered several times, and had a FULL engine rebuild by the sealing dealer within six months of purchase, which resulted in them keeping the car for 6 weeks and sending off the cylinder head allegedly. The did not resolve the issues the car was still misfiring and and losing power that in June 2017 the car was in the garage for timing cain replacement. I had lost all faith in the dealer and also the finance company.After the chain replacement the car was recovered by VW for recall of abs/epc unit, after the work was done the car was still misfiring on all cyclinders and multiple issues, VW said that they felt the engine had had a replacement and ‘poor’ work was done on the car. The engine management light comes on intermittently and misfires real bad. On Monday I had MOT done and car failed due to emissions and high lamda reading, Kwik Fit did a diagnostic on the vehicle and again multiple cylinder failure, and now car is not road worthy. I have paperwork that dealer did not present to me on sale that a lot of work had been done on the vehicle prior to me buying it namely timing chain replacement and also engine lights and multiple misfiring. I have lots of evidence from various garages and RAC, also VW regarding the misfiring that I have reported on numerous occasions to dealer and finance.
        I have reported this latest MOT failure unroadworthy report to finance company and to the ombudsman, the finance company are saying they cannnot assist my claim and that I have to prove that the faults were there at point of sale or developing, they are also saying that it will be hard for me to prove as the car had full engine rebuild. I have disabilities and severe back issues, I also have young children that I need to take to and from school. I feel the dealer are being unreasonable, yes a certain of time in the contract has elapsed, but surely with the amount of reports and issues I have had with the car justifies faults at point of sale? I am seriously at the end of my tether with it all, I have kept to
        My side of the deal and made payments on time and no default, they have not kept to theirs in the car is not fit for purpose and full of faults electrical and mechanical, I just want to return. The car and pay for a car that actually works: :-(

      • #127799 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Jillian. The Consumer Rights Act provides a six-month window for buyers to reject the car where the law is essentially on your side and it’s up to the dealer to prove that the faults were not present at the time of sale.

        Once you go beyond this six-month window, the law essentially favours the dealer and it’s up to you to prove that the car was faulty at the time of sale. Since you have now had the car or two yers and did not reject it in the first six months, despite claiming that it had significant faults during that time, it makes it much harder to try and reject it now.

        Realistically, you will need to engage a lawyer to represent you and work through your correspondence with the dealer dating back to when you first had problems. They may be able to find a way that allows you to reject the car, although the dealer will still be entitled to reduce the refund amount significantly since you have owned the car for more than two years now.

        However, there is no guarantee that you would win or get back enough to cover what you’ve spent on legal costs.

    • #122104 Reply

      I bought a used vehicle from a dealer on the 30 September 2017. The engine management light came on two days ago and I took it to a different mechanic just to diagnose the problem. The mechanic e
      advised that there were serious faults with the vehicle and it should not have been sold to me in this state. I called the dealer and told him i
      I’d like to return the vehicle as it’s within the 30 days form purchase but he refused to offer refund. He said to bring the car so he can fix it. I don’t trust him and don’t want the car fixed, but would like a full refund. He refused and said I would have to let him fix it. Do you know if I can return the car and request full refund? My sales invoice said that I’m entitled to take the car for an inspection at an independent garage.

      • #122246 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Ola. If it’s a significant fault, you can reject the car within the first 30 days and you do not have to accept a repair if you don’t want to.

        The difficulty is establishing whether the problem is enough to render the car faulty. An engine management light may come on for any number of reasons, and it may not be for a significant fault.

        For more information, have a read of our article about rejecting a faulty car.

    • #123260 Reply
      AvatarMark farren

      Hi I bought a car from stonacre in hull in February 2017.
      On finance from marsh finance and we had to have a black box fitted as we had bad credit ,
      We got 3 month warranty,
      Unfortunately approximately 5 weeks into having to car , we had a leak from the roof as it is a hard top convertible Ford Focus , we reported this to them and that asked us to take it to Blackburn depot , they had it few days and was unable to find fault they said & then when they did find it and they said they couldn’t re pair it and it had to go back to stone acre at hull , stone acre arranged someone to collect the car from us at great harwood,Blackburn back to hull 115 miles each way , they had the car for a good few weeks , they arranged courtesy car for this period , they then brought the car back & they thought they had fixed the problem , unfortunately when the car arrived back we did a water test via hose pipe and the leak was still there and worse than before , so then we contacted hull again and they again arranged for someone to come and collect our car for further test , so another 3/4 weeks passed and car again came back to us , we had the car for a few days and again the car started leaking in again , so we contacted hull , and arranged collection once more ,
      For a full month of May / June they carried extensive test to see where this leak was coming from , this was the 3/4th time back in the garage since February
      They thought they had fixed it once more we got the car back and again was leaking
      They had done smoke tests ect and couldn’t find a leak , we got the car back
      And we filmed the leaks taken loads of photos and sent them to stoneacre hull ,
      They have had the car probably for a good 12 weeks in total I did ask for
      Exstention of warranty which was arranged, free mot & services,
      In which they emailed ,
      Then the leak re appeared this was July / Aug so they again
      Collected car , ordered new seals , fitted them and did test after test they say ,
      And car was leak free as they thought ,
      We got the car back after another month in the garage in September , the car was home week or so and the leak has returned,
      We are now in dispute as we have had enough of the car doing 230 miles every time it’s needed to go back , the fact we bought a convertible we havnt used as in the garage majority of summer , and the leak is still there and it’s had repair after repair
      We have said enough is enough and the car should be returned and finance settled ,and we shouldn’t have to pay any shortfall, they are saying it dosnt work like that and we will only get what the value of what the car is worth at today’s face value any shortfall we will have to pay ??? How can this be if they have had the car more than we have ? Where do we stand and are we within our rights to return the vehicle or reject
      And owe nothing to our finance company,
      Stone acre are now being hard work as all the managers have changed & moved to other areas , stating they won’t cover the short fall ect ,
      This car has had a fault within 5 weeks of purchase & still has the fault they are saying to try and fix it again , we don’t want it fixing now it’s been in so many times and not been fixed please help
      Thank Mark

      • #123271 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Mark. You are probably outside the six-month window for rejecting the car with the support of the Consumer Rights Act, although it depends how long the car has been back with the dealership on its various repair attempts (since that time doesn’t count). you should contact your finance company first, as they have to approve your rejection (it’s their car, not yours).

        If you are able to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, you won’t get 100% of your initial price back because the dealer is entitled to reduce the refund based on your use of the vehicle during your ownership. The law does not specify how this is calculated, so its a matter of negotiation/argument.

    • #127279 Reply

      Hi Stuart,

      purchased a Ex-Demo DS3 Cabrio from Citroen Main Dealer(i think Citroen UK)
      in 27.10.2017 since then i am waiting for them to supply second Key, no luck.
      Plus also waiting for the Service Booklet.
      I have contacted them several times but no joy!
      Should i want to sell this car in the future it would be more difficult or costly to me.
      Do i have a case to return this car and asking for my money back.No Part-exchange or HP Agreement in place.
      Your advise helpful, be for i look at legal advise!


      • #127405 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Helmut. You will have to keep hassling the dealer (without being rude or abusive, of course!). Just keep annoying them, call twice a day if necessary, write to the dealer principal demanding immediate provision of the keys and service books. Go into the dealership, if necessary, and demand to have the items handed over (weekdays are better for this, as they can’t dodge it by saying that the relevant admin staff are not around on weekends), and so on.

        It may be that they have simply lost these items, and are hoping that you will give up and go away so they don’t have to go to the hassle of replacing a £300 key and chasing up service records. That’s not your problem, as you need a spare key (if your current key dies or is lost, you won’t be able to use your car) and a lack of service books will devalue your car when you come to sell it.

        Assuming they can find or replace the missing items, it’s not going to be sufficient grounds to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

    • #128593 Reply

      I recently bought a Renault Clio 4 days ago. As I left the used car dealers place I noticed a strange engine noise. I continued to drive home thinking the car might be simply cold, the noise hadn’t disappeared so I got my local mechanic to check the car 2 days after purchase. He thinks I have a faulty / wearing water pump which could damage the engine and make the car un-roadworthy. I have contacted the dealer and asked for a full refund over this. The dealer states even if I get evidence to prove the fault existed when I bought the car. He will argue that my mechanic has corrupted the car in order for me to get a full refund. How should I proceed? Do I go to another interdependent mechanic for a 2nd opinion / evidence?

    • #131592 Reply
      AvatarTayne netherwood

      Hi. I’m in need of help.
      I purchased a smart car from brand new back in 2016. I had trouble from the start but that was settled. Below is when I booked my car in and for what problem..

      27/07/2016 – Touch screen inoperative.

      Updated touch screen software

      03/06/2017 – Service

      21/06/2017 – Engine bay squeaks and rattles, high revs when car is idling.
      Customer rebooked

      08/07/2017 – rebooking, customer no show.

      26/01/2018 – Rattle coming from car, customer advised it sounds like it is form the engine area, door handles sticking, handbrake light flickering on dashboard.
      No fault found, new offside and nearside door handles.

      26/03/2018 – Fault: Investigate when handbrake is off the handle light is still flashing. Rattle from engine when doing 50mph and over. Grinding noise coming from brakes.

      Workshop controller road tested vehicle with customer, no fault found.

      23/04/2018 – Investigate handbrake light flickering on and off, rattle from engine, grating noise coming from brakes

      Road tested vehicle, no fault found. Bare in mind they had my car from the 21st April till Monday 30th and they had only done 19 miles in my car. 8 of them were done on Monday. Clear signs that my car was not tested correctly for the full week.

      Today the 4th may 2018. I had an independent inspection and he found a fault. He is to write up the report and email it to me.
      What position am I in to reject the vehicle? I have given them umpteen chances to rectify the problems but no faults were found. Am I able to hand the car back and claim anything?

      I have proof on videos and recordings of all the faults as well to back me up.


    • #131724 Reply

      Hi Stuart.
      I bought a Mercedes E class a year ago from a dealer, less than three months after having it the engine broke and needed a new engine. The dealer eventually changed the engine for a 2nd hand one once I begun a legal claim. The engine however came back with faults that cost around £500 to solve which I paid as I needed the car and his alternative was to take the engine back out. I continued the claim so that I could get this cost back and more for the inconvenience. He mentioned his solicitor can proof the fault was not present at point of sale and threatens with counterclaiming.
      Should I be scared? Do I need someone to represent me?
      Thanks a lot

      • #132001 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi John. If you are pursuing a legal claim against a dealer, I would always recommend having someone to represent you.

        Winning a legal battle isn’t always about who has the better case, it’s as much about how well you argue your case.

    • #132364 Reply

      Hi bought a car on the 30th of December last year and the car has been back for a week for a number of problems since it came back 2 month ago the problems have occurred again but with extra problems e.g gearbox is failing automatic and the car is just absolutely unroadworthy as on a motorway and the gears started going down instead of up under slight acceleration. Where do I stand?

    • #136784 Reply

      Hello, I recently bought a car which has an intermittent misfire. It happens on some days and not others, its particularly unsettling on the outside lane of the motorway. Anyway, I’ve had a main dealer try to fix it, unsuccessfully, so have taken it back to the company I bought it from. They have been unable to detect the fault so wont let me reject it, I bought it 5 weeks ago and reported it after a couple of weeks of purchase. How can I reject the car without “proof”? Thanks

      • #137667 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Neil. If you have rejected the car after the first 30 days but before the first six months, it’s up to the seller to prove that the fault wasn’t there rather than you having to prove that it was.

        That doesn’t mean that they’ll cooperate, but it does mean that the law is on your side if you want to pursue it. Unfortunately, unless the dealer is signed up with the Motor Ombudsman, you’ll need to speak to a lawyer.

    • #137889 Reply

      Hi Stuart,
      I recently purchased a used car, 64 plate 10500 miles, within 3 days numerous faults came up on the car. on the 3rd day I rang the garage and asked them to collect the car as an engine management light came on advising me to seek workshop assistance immediately. On the Friday, after they collected the vehicle I asked them to refund the vehicle, I went into the dealership on the Saturday as their communication / customer services are appalling. The dealership are evading questions and are adamant only one person in the building can start a refund process (there are at least 30+ staff), I was unable to start the refund process whilst I was there and told to go away and someone would contact me back.
      We’re now on the Tuesday and they have finally agreed to refund the vehicle, however are asking me to go in to start paperwork. They are also trying to withhold £500 until they receive the log book back, the problem being I have still not received the log book since buying the car. By withholding money they are making it difficult for me to purchase another vehicle, which I need for the 50 mile commute for work. Where do I stand with the withholding part of a refund?

      • #138490 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Georgina. The dealership can’t sell the car without the V5C logbook from the DVLA, so it’s not unusual for them to hold back part of the refund until you forward on the logbook once the DVLA gets around to sending it to you.

    • #139196 Reply


      I bought a 14 DIG-T qashqai in 2016. I have had numerous issues with the vehicle including a new clutch, dual flywheel, doors were out of line, radio does not work properly, the stop start doesn’t work properly, literally just to name a few!

      I am now faced with a bigger problem, oil is leaking, the time chain is rattling and a new engine looks as though it is needed. Nissan released a technical bulletin in Dec 15, however did not do a recall, stating there are a batch of faulty engines, my VIN states with in the the numbers.

      I am quite frankly fed up with the problems with the car. I now have the proof the car was faulty on purchase. Do I have a leg to stand on to be released from my finance on the vehicle?

      Many thanks!

      • #140957 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Jessica. Regardless of the technical bulletin, you will still have difficulty rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act when you’ve had the car for two years or more.

        Even if the finance company and dealership agree to your rejection, the dealer will still be able to reduce your refund by an enormous amount to allow for your use of the vehicle over the last two years – so you may not end up in a very favourable position, depending on how you set up your finance agreement.

    • #140757 Reply


      I’m looking for some advice about a Mini Cooper 61 plate I purchased on hire purchase in 2016. The car engine warning light came on and the car lost power. I was recovered by the AA to my local garage. My mechanic says that the compression has gone in one of the cyclised has gone and I need an engine replacement. I have complained to the finance company but I’m not sure how they can prove if the engine was faulty at time of purchase? The car has done 66,000 miles approx. I have done around 40,000 miles in it. Thanks liz

      • #140959 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Liz. Trying to prove that a seven-year-old car that you bought two years ago had a problem at time of purchase – as opposed to occurring any time over the last 40,000 miles since you’ve had it – is likely to be incredibly difficult.

    • #141112 Reply
      AvatarAtif Noon


      I’m looking for some advice about a Citroen C4 Picasso 2015 I bought in April this year from a reputable second hand dealership. About a month ago, it started making a creaking sound every time the wheel was turned full lock. Then a week ago, the drive shaft completely snapped, nearside at outer CV point. The alternator belt was also shredded. My wife was driving at the time, with my 3 month old and they were left stranded in the middle of the road. She was recovered by the AA, who said that due to the nature of the fault – that replacing the faulty part could risk an oil leak – that it had to be taken to a local Citroen garage. Given the fact that I need the car for child pick-ups, they repaired the car (costing £700). I was notified by the mechanic that the tension belt was subject to a product recall by Citroen – although I was unaware of this – this was fixed for free. This is a very new car (2015 model, only 27,000 miles on the clock), and the Citroen mechanic said he had very rarely seen something like this in a car so new. Looking through the paperwork, there was an MOT done in Jan 2018, which was clear. Despite the fact that I declined any warranty offered when I bought the car, and because I bought the car less than 6 months ago, does not the Consumer Rights Act provide some form of redress for me? Grateful for your advice, so I can plan next steps. Thanks, Mr Noon

      Once you go beyond this six-month window, the law essentially favours the dealer and it’s up to you to prove that the car was faulty at the time of sale. Since you have now had the car or two yers and did not reject it in the first six months, despite claiming that it had significant faults during that time, it makes it much harder to try and reject it now.

    • #141156 Reply
      AvatarCharles Halliday

      Hi Stuart,

      We purchased a 2012 Ford Grand CMax Automatic by debit card on 17th May for £7.5k. I noticed it shudder when pulling away on a steep hill, the day I collected it but put this down to driver error (too soft on accelerator). We didn’t realise it was a major problem until a long distance drive involving hills and filled up car on June 23rd. Tried and failed to book the car in as dealership staff on holiday. Then we were. Independent engineer test drove it and broke the bad news – gear box issue and dangerous. Told dealership on 8th of August that I wanted a refund. Rejected. Gave them car to carry out fix this month. Said they had done it, but fault showed up first day back. Reiterated request for refund. Again – rejected. Have made reference to Consumer Rights Act via email but they ignore it and dispute that the problem was there at time of purchase. They’re now offering to have the car fixed at their own cost of £3000 but I no longer trust them or want the car. How important is an independent inspection for a court claim because it would require the car being stripped down?

    • #147041 Reply
      Avatarjoe round

      hi stewart, i purchased on car on hire purchase in jan this year it came with a free 12 months warranty, a month ago i had a total loss of power and black smoke coming out the exhaust which ended up in me having to be towed of the motorway, the AA came out and advised me that its the turbo thats gone, i got in touch with the garage to which they said “yes no problem ring the warranty they will sort it out for you “, now the warrenty have advised me that the turbo was only under warranty up to 70,000 miles, when i had the car it was already on 75,000 miles, ive had it looked at by a garage and they’ve also made me aware that the DPF is also blocked and the total bill is £1250, the warranty are now saying for them to do anything i have to prove the faults were there at the time of purchase because ive had it over the 6 months, many garages have told me this is impossable?

    • #147476 Reply

      Hi I purchased a Jaguar xf in October 2017 from a non jag dealer full history but non jag dealer. I Have taken finance on this vehicle and was £20k at point of sale, over this last week I have had numerous issues with the functioning of electrics, climate control has ceased working, all different lights on dash coming on and off, the list goes on. took it to a auto elec to diagnose and it was found that the main fuse box was water damaged on the drivers side.

      originally we thought that the windscreen was not sealed correctly but after researching and ringing around I managed to speak to a local jag specaialist and they informed me of a known fault that was issued out by jaguar in feb 2017 on a technical service bulletin

      ‘‘The cause is from the electrical wire from the washer bottle level/pump, water tracks along wire with capillary action this then tracks back to fuse box and causes issues with electrical systems or causes fuse box to short out and blow. This then causes failures to vehicle electrical system due to the electrical short, this may have causes issues to other electrical control units within car. There is a technical bulletin with Jaguar dealers to this failure’’

      my question under the CCA 1975 Protect me as the vehicle has been in my possession since October 2017 It has been proven that there is a known fault on the vehicle before I purchased. So far the bill has cost me £1100 to replace the main fuse box now I need to take it elese where to get the pump replaced etc…

      can I reject this vehicle, or enforce that the dealer, finance company pick up this cost?

      Please help

    • #151412 Reply

      Hi, I purchased a Mercedes C class from a registered dealer. The ad stated that the car is in perfect condition. I’ve had a few calls prior coming to the dealer, and was reassured that the car is roadworthy and ready to drive. The dealer did mention reluctantly that the check engine light came up a couple of weeks before, but nothing to be worried about. At the time of sale, again, I was reassured that the car is absolutely fine. I did not get a chance to see the car before the sale, as everything was rushed. After paying the money (in cash, as they said their card machine is broken) and during signing the documents, I noticed a strange paper. The dealer was covering the top part and was rushing me to sign everything. It said that I acknowledge that the car is unroadworthy and should be towed. When prompted, the dealer again reassured that it’s just for their records and it does not apply to my car, as it passed MOT. I have not been given the copy of that paper.

      After the sale, I was taken to the car (again, very rushed), the key was in the ignition, and the car was ready to be driven away. I must mention that I had my two young children with me at the time. I did scan the error codes (after the sale), but it did not show anything comprehensive.

      On the motorway, within 40min from the sale, the car went into limp mode, and I had to pull over. Called the dealer, they shouted at me that I saw what I signed and they don’t accept any returns. Slammed the phone down on me and since then were ignoring any communication.

      The car was taken by RAC to the nearest garage, where it turned out to be unroadworthy and costing over £1000 to repair (more than the price I paid for the car).

      Long story short, I had a sheriff decision made in my favour because they didn’t send their reply to the court. They applied for recall of the decision. Now we have to go to court. How do I prove that I did not know that the car was unroadworthy? And that I was not given all information prior purchase?

      • #151544 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Al. It sounds like you ignored a lot of red flags in your rush to buy this car, and a shoddy dealer has exploited that.

        The dealer is obliged to supply a vehicle in a roadworthy condition. They would have to show the court that they made you aware that the car was not roadworthy and tried to prevent you driving off in it.

        For more information, have a read of our article about dodgy trader tricks.

    • #152524 Reply
      AvatarTom Whitear

      I recently purchased a second hand VW Golf. Everything with the car was fine during the inspection, paperwork, test drive and journey home after purchasing the car. The day after on the commute to work three lights came on the dash for the braking system. I had the car checked roughly 2 weeks later as that’s the earliest I could get it looked at. The dealer advised it was a £1300 repair (The ABS control module has failed) How do I go about proving this was faulty before I bought the car? This was a private purchase so I know my legal standing is almost nothing but I have been left with a non-roadworthy car and a huge repair bill


    • #152528 Reply

      Bought a 2016 ford c paid over 12k for it didn’t test drive and had it delivered to the house. Drove the car for 13 days in day light hours only. On the way home it become dark so put the lights on and one of the headlights didn’t come on. Returned car for its service and few bits that we’d noticed as problems inc the light. They kept the car for a week and when I got it back neither headlight worked, rang the Aa who come and found a wire from the good head lamp to the broken one, being used as a way of trying to bypass the cpu? Aa wrote a report and I rejected the car due to fault being poorly repaired which led to both headlamps not working. Also the full service hadn’t been done correctly as the coolant levels were below minimum. The garage are saying I can’t reject the car because I drove a lot of miles in it. Is this correct?

    • #152541 Reply
      AvatarCHARLOTTE Harris

      I bought a1 year old Nissan Note from a Nissan garage and asked who was the first owner.I was told that it came from Nisson Direct.When I asked to see the Log book I was told that Nissan Direct still had the Log book.When I recieved the Log book it stated the previous keeper was Hertz rental.Have i grounds to reject the car.I would not have bought the car if i had known it was ex rental. Thank you. Andrew Price.

    • #152743 Reply
      AvatarGEORGE S

      I just bought a Ford Focus 2012 / 55000mls from the dealer 3 days ago and today the car went in a limp mode at 60mph (lose total power and i was nearly to do an accident) the dealer take the car and he said it will fix it. Can i ask for a full refund in this case? even if the dealer will fix the car? (i am a bit scare to drive it) Thank you.

    • #152997 Reply
      AvatarKevin West


      I bought BMW 420d Gran Coupe (2015 reg) from Sytner BMW in June 2018. In October 2018, BMW recalled around 280,000 vehicles due to EGR – (Exhaust-Gas-Recirculation) Cooler leakage issue.

      I never received any communication from Sytner or from BMW (UK) or BMW Financial Services as my car is on Hire Purchase.

      It was only in January 2019, I took my car for a minor service, when they confiscated my car and provided me with a courtesy car. For 2 weeks I didn’t hear anything from them, and after that they informed me, there is no time frame as to when BMW will be able to fix my car.

      I contacted BMW F/S, BMW (UK) and Sytner(BMW) to ask why they did not send me any communication regarding recall ? as the issue is related to cars catching up fire, but they did not give any response. I assume, they didn’t inform me, so that I do not reject the car with in 6 months as after than ONUS will be on me to prove of the fault.

      I gathered my evidence, and contacted BMW F/S and rejected the car, which they said they can not accept because there is not fault in the car, it was just a safety recall.

      Can you please advise what shall I do in this situation ? and how strong my case would be if I take this matter to the court.

      Many Thanks

    • #166265 Reply
      AvatarDan rowley

      Bought a van a year ago. Realised it was faulty immediately.on limp home mode .phoned within 6 days saying I wasn’t happy with it as it had faults. Always said mil wasn’t showing. Garage told me to just drive it. Took out once broke down immobilised within 5 miles. Wrote letter of rejection after 20 days. Have also discovered mil concealed with an object. Small claims hearing soon.
      Will court believe us?
      Thank you

      • #166747 Reply
        Stuart MassonStuart Masson

        Hi Dan. If the van is a business use vehicle, you won’t be covered by the Consumer Rights Act for rejecting the vehicle. As a result, it’s likely to come down to who does a better job of convincing a court that the vehicle was knowingly sold when faulty.

    • #166879 Reply

      Hi Stuart,

      I bought a Nissan Jazz 3 weeks ago. The car started when I tried to check the car. Then we did all the required paperwork. When I was ready to go, the car won’t start. The dealer said that it’s just the battery as it’s not been used for a while. So, I took it because battery is not a big issue. Please make note that the MOT was done on that day as well. They used a jumped lead to start the car and they came with me to the nearest petrol station to refill but left the engine running. I managed to return home without any problem. The next day, I went out, the car started ok but then it failed to start again coming home. Luckily, someone got a jump lead and helped me start the car. I called the dealer and I was advised to replace the battery. So I took it to Kwikfit the next day (charged the car first) but I was told that there’s nothing wrong with the battery. I called the dealer and was advised to gave it a good run and so I did. But the problem was still there the next day. Since the first drive, the car will never start unless I charged it first. I had not used the car for it’s intended purpose as I’m worried it will die where I won’t be able to get it working again. Today I took it back to the dealer but the car won’t start even after charging for few hours. It only started when using a jump lead. The dealer refused to accept our rejection because they want to try and fix it first. They have not given me a courtesy car because there was no available car. I want my money back but it seems to be that it’s going to be a battle. Any advise you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Will this problem be enough for me to reject the car and get a full refund?


    • #167108 Reply
      Stuart MassonStuart Masson

      Hi Mark. Have a read of our article about rejecting a faulty car.

      If you are within your first 30 days, you do not have to accept a repair. However, the dealer is entitled to investigate the issue to see if they agree that it is a significant fault (ie – to satisfy themselves that you’re not lying to reject a car that you no longer want).

    • #170457 Reply
      AvatarTimothy Glenn

      Hi Stuart,
      I bought a 17yr old car through a dealer. It had done relatively few miles for a car of its age – c. 36k.
      It has now blown a head gasket roughly 2.5 months after purchase. Noting the cars age but low mileage added (less than 1k miles since purchase), what is the likelihood of proving fault at purchase?

    • #171689 Reply

      Hi I bought a 40k amg car and the car was mot’ed a day after sale.
      The car had some steering issues and brake issues.
      Later, it was found all the discs and pads were in need of changing.
      Now the car has come back with cosmetic damages of £500 and they are declining to accept and want to offer £100 goodwill gesture. No investigation or proof they didn’t do it.
      The car has some suspension problems too.

    • #171768 Reply
      Stuart MassonStuart Masson

      Hi Matt. The issue of cosmetic damage is difficult if you have no proof – regardless of how sure you may be that the garage caused the damage.

      With regard to the suspension and steering issues, it will depend on the nature and severity of the problems. For more information, have a read of our article about rejecting a faulty car.

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