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Car buying advice

How to handle a dispute with a car dealer

We regularly get readers asking for advice on how to resolve their dispute with a car dealer. So let's look at the steps you should take to get your problem sorted.

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It’s all about the paperwork

I’ve said it many times before and I will probably be saying it forever: verbal promises are worthless because you have no proof of anything. A judge wouldn’t simply accept your word over a dealer’s, and would ask you to present evidence to back up your claim. This is what you need to be referring to when you are disputing a problem with a dealer:

  • contract (vehicle order form, finance agreement, repair work agreement, etc.)
  • pre-contract finance information
  • policy documents (for finance agreements, warranties, insurance, etc.)
  • receipts
  • written quotations (on company stationery, not a blank piece of paper)
  • letters or emails from the dealership
  • advertisements, offers or vouchers
  • brochures

The key items are those in the top line of that list: the official contracts you and the dealer have signed regarding your vehicle order, car finance or repair/maintenance work. These are legally binding agreements between you and the dealer and form the crux of any dispute.

The vehicle contract spells out exactly what you are getting for your money. Every relevant piece of information should be included in this document. If the dealer offers you a free service or tank of fuel, have it written into the contract. If you are signing an order subject to a satisfactory inspection or repair, make sure it’s written down and worded in a way that you agree to. If you need a specific delivery date, or are making any particular arrangements for collecting the vehicle, have it written into the contract. No exceptions, no excuses.

The same applies to your finance agreement and any service/workshop agreement. Most people do not bother reading these documents in detail, which is a mistake when you are signing your agreement to any terms and conditions contained within. If you don’t read the document before signing it, you lose the right to complain about whatever’s in it. If you read it and don’t like what you find, either don’t sign it and leave, or make amendments as necessary and make sure the dealer signs off on it.

If your issue is not covered by the relevant contract, then you will need to show other written evidence to back up your claim. The other items in the list above are what you need to be referring to, and you will need to show clear evidence to support your case.

Keep all the paperwork relating to your car and your finance agreement; you may need it if you have any problems.

Understand the different parties involved

Cars are complex things, but the way we buy and run them can be complicated as well. This can mean that what you think is a simple issue for the dealer is actually a more difficult matter that involves the manufacturer, the finance company, the warranty provider or another third party.

The dealer sells new cars on behalf of the manufacturer, finance on behalf of the finance company, and other aftermarket insurances and warranties on behalf of those providers. Any issues involving anything beyond the specifics of the sale will usually involve another party, and the dealer will usually need to consult with them before agreeing to anything. This is normal, but don’t allow them to use it as an excuse to do nothing.

Escalate the matter to the next person

There is often a temptation to go “straight to the boss” and bypass lower levels of an organisation to get a problem solved. The problem with that approach is that the boss usually has no idea who you are and will simply bounce the problem back down to the bottom of the chain to get it sorted. So summon all your levels of patience and start at the bottom, working your way up as necessary.

Your first point of call at the dealership is usually the sales executive or service advisor. It is highly likely that they will need to go and get more information and authority to fix your problem from their manager. This is perfectly normal – sales execs and service advisors rarely have any authority to do anything except take your money.

If the salesperson or service advisor can’t sort your problem, you will need to escalate the matter to more senior people until it gets resolved. The next port of call is the sales manager or service manager. This person at least has control over a budget to fix problems and can usually authorise fixing yours.

If the sales/service manager can’t/won’t help, the top person at the dealership is the general manager or dealer principal. This person can authorise any action that falls under the control of the dealership. If you can show that you have spent time trying to get your matter resolved and are coming to the general manager as a last resort, they will quite often cooperate simply to get the problem resolved and make it go away, regardless of whether or not they agree with you.

Often, an individual dealership is part of a larger group of dealers owned by a large company. If so, you can take the matter up with the dealer’s head office.

If you are dealing with a franchised dealership representing a manufacturer (as opposed to an independent used car dealer) and are not happy with how the dealer is handling your problem, you can also take your issue to the manufacturer’s customer service department at their head office. To an extent, this means starting again at the bottom of another chain, but manufacturers are able to exert pressure on a dealership to get problems sorted, so by all means make use of it.

If you have failed to get anywhere with the dealership, and the manufacturer if appropriate, you can then take your case to the independent Consumer Ombudsman (or Financial Ombudsman Service if it relates to your car finance) or take legal action against the dealer.

Fortunately, if you have followed a logical process and been diligent in escalating the matter, it should have been sorted long before reaching this point.

Next page: What if the dealer refuses to help?

Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive 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.

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  1. Hi Stuart,

    I did a test drive for a BMW X3 in a BMW dealership. When I did the test drive the sales person mentioned that the car had been sold a couple of days ago and was back on the market as the buyer finance didn’t go through.
    This was last Saturday. After I came home I had a though about the car and decided to go for it, I phoned up the salesman and he sent me a worldpay link to deposit and secure the car. I paid the deposit first thing Monday morning as the dealership was closed on Sunday.
    The salesman is on holiday so I went to chase the dealership and they explained to me that the first buyer decided to pay cash and that I wouldn’t be able to buy the car. They are giving the car to the first person on the basis that he had signed something, and I did not. I however did paid the deposit and I though that there is something legally binding there ?
    Now this car has all the stuff we like and none of the stuff we don’t need and wouldn’t normally paid for, this is also a used car so pretty much that’s the one we want.

    What are my options here ?


  2. Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for providing a clear explanation on what to do when needing to make a complaint. My issue is of a technical nature. My complaint can be summarised with “I was promised something and the dealer is refusing to honour it.” The chain of events can be seen below. I am requesting for the dealership to honour the first contract they sent to me, as I believe the RFL increase should be covered by them as they had approximately 3 days to register the vehicle before they closed down due to the lock down. The dealership is saying it’s no one’s fault and asking me to pay the RFL increase. Do I have a case?

    1. Norwich Audi sent me a signed pre-contract for a personal lease agreement over 2 years.
    2. The parties to the contract is VWFS and myself. It is also noted that the registration date of the vehicle is 20 March 2020.
    3. I signed and sent back the pre-contract along with my driving licence via recorded delivery.
    4. The dealership received and signed for the delivery on 21 March 2020 at 9am.
    5. After approximately 3 days, the dealership closed down due to the COVID-19 lock down.
    6. The dealership re-opened on 1 June 2020.
    7. The dealership emailed me a new pre-contract with an increased price to cover the RFL increase that was introduced on 1 April 2020.

    • Hi Abdul. If the car wasn’t registered until after the lockdown then the VED/RFL/road tax bill will be whatever it is at the date of registration. Likewise, if the overall price of the car and on-road costs had decreased, you would be entitled to the lower price.

      The dealer certainly shouldn’t be registering a car if it’s not ready to hand over to a customer – had the car been registered in March but you had not been able to collect it before the lockdown started, you’d have ended up paying for three months’ road tax and no car.

      Given that the price of the vehicle has changed and your original contract is no longer valid, you should have the right to cancel your order without penalty (and with the return of any deposit already paid). But there is no obligation with the dealer or leasing company (as appropriate) to alter the pricing to pre-lockdown levels. They may choose to if it prevents you walking away, but they’re not obliged to.

    • Hi Stuart, Thanks the RFL would have been paid by the dealership and I haven’t paid any deposits, I was ready to pay when I signed and returned the contract but they did not get back to me. They’re now asking me to pay for the RFL increase amount embedded within the financials of a new contract if I still want the car. My main complaint was that they’re not honouring the first contract they sent to me.

    • Government charges are beyond the dealer’s control, so the charge will be whatever the going rate is on the date of registration.

      If the overall price of the vehicle changes between the contract being signed and the car being delivered (which can happen quite often, especially for cars that are ordered from the factory and may involve a waiting period of several months), then the dealer is entitled to pass on the increase. If you’re not happy with this, you are entitled to cancel your order.

      Likewise, if the manufacturer or finance company announced a better finance offer that meant lower monthly payments between signing the order and taking delivery, you would be entitled to take that rather than being held to the higher payment that was on offer originally.

  3. Hi
    i have bought a car from franchise Citroen dealer second hand 1 keeper still i am paying finance i am driving a car now 11 month and now there is sensor problem come out i took to the Citroen dealer big dealer they telling you car has accident you sensor we try to fixed 3 times and still come but now we opened everything and find car has accident i said i didnt have accident they said your sensor and headlamp was something screwed fixed holding i said i dont know how this happened all i know i never had accident myself accident this car , a car its new for me 2017 i want know why and how did happened please tell me how to deal with this franchise dealer they hide me this car has accident or something inside car has screwed ?

  4. HI, I brought a car 20 days ago and on the 10th day the engine warning light flashed up. I took it to my local rac approved garage who found 6 engine faults. I took the car back to the dealer who look over the car and surprise surprise found nothing wrong and therefore wont give me a refund.
    I know longer want the car as I have lost all faith in the car and the dealer. what can I do please? I know if I take the car back the fault will happen again but not sure if that will happen within the 30 day period.

  5. Hi stuart,

    I bought a car on 16 Jan 2020, I saw the car online and purchased it over phone. The dealer was over 200 mile away. I paid independently to have the car delivered. the car was advertised on auto trader with 3 reg keeprs and full service history. i have the advert. when the v5 was received it shows 5 previous keepers with myself as the 6 and no service history. I have take advise off citizens advice who advise me to send the dealer a letter and claim for my losses… which i did…. the dealer says he will only refund me, if i dont take him to the small claims courts for the costs I have incurred. can he do this ?

    • Hi Margaret. If you are looking to reach a simple and informal agreement with the dealer, you can both agree to whatever terms you like.

      However, you do have options if you want to pursue a legal path. Given that the vehicle was purchased off-premises, you have until 14 days after delivery to change your mind and get a full refund – for whatever reason you like. Since you would have received the car less than two weeks ago, you should should still be within this time period.

      if you want to argue that the car has been mis-sold, you are covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Within 30 days, you can reject the car and demand a full refund. However, the onus is on you to prove that the car has been mis-sold, which means you will need the original advertisement with the relevant claims about ownership and service history.

  6. hello Stuart. i recently brought a 9 seater for my family back in October 2019 for £1300 24 hours later the car broke down with my family in i phoned the person i believed to be a private sale i purchased on Facebook sale site.. he made a offer of £80.00 good gesture to get recovery home made me suspicious he was a trader i asked for my money back and he refused and said he would pay for parts if i get diagnosed ..i got inspected and come back as glow plugs and fuel regulator he only paid £200 towards parts and told me at first he was only going to pay for cheap Chinese parts of ebay but the car was a ex taxi car as stated in his ad it was highly maintained due to being a taxi so i doubt they would source fake cheap parts as the council would be strict on the condition of the car. the parts got fitted and the problem still the same it dont start unless jump started and that could take ages sometimes.. he is claiming he is acting as a agent on behalf of a friend and has the friend to back his story but still asked for a refund they are both telling me to take him to court as they think im in no right to..

    (1) he never told me once that he was acting as a agent on behalf of a friend at the time of sale or in advertisement.

    (2) He told me he is no longer a trader and his business is closed but on the companies house its still active also if you message asking for a test drive on a car he has online he replied back saying yes was available to test drive but yet his supposed to be permanently closed i have the screenshot of his business on google saying permanently closed at the time he told me to look now time gone by it says open every day. ive sent him 3 letters before proceedings just him saying that he is acting as a agent and he dont believe ive got the parts mention fitted .

    (3) I believe he used a aggressive selling tactic on me as i mentioned to him that i was in need of a 9 seater due to my wife giving birth to our new addition to the family we had 6 children already so needed more space asap. he told me on the phone who ever gets the car is a lucky person as it is highly maintained also his son didn’t want him to sell it as it was the only car he could sit up in the front with him.. i took what he said on board i did not doubt him for one minute sounded a real genuine man i told him i had to use public transport to come and collect and he kindly offered to deliver to my home address free off charge so i see this a a kind gesture as a private sale from Facebook he delivered the car the next day himself i looked around the car everything seemed ok so i purchased it and dropped him to nearby station. next day is when it all started ive not drove the car Evan 20 miles since owning it.

    (4) i googled the landline number to find it went back to his car dealership yard ken wallace quality used cars North Allerton inspected it to find that the same car he sold me was on there but yet he said his business was no longer active and he was only selling for a friend, as mentioned above his still active on companies house also if you sell more than 2-3 cars a year i believe your classed as a trader ?

    (5) every time ive tried to find a resulation he says he has no money as he going thru a divorce with his wife and he has to sleep in his car yard office in a sleeping bag trying to make me feel bad for him . ive lost my self employed carpet cleaning business i just started up because i sold my work van to get the 9 seater of him also my family car was sold so it left us no choice to sell up the equipment to get another car for the time being to get to school but now ive lost it all the cars and my business i set up .

    (6) i was told by citizens advice that he has broken the law by selling his stock on facebook acting as a private sale to sell rouge cars is this right ?

    (7) can he get into trouble for claiming his business is no longer active ? i have the proof he said this.

    (8) can he get away with it by actin as a agent ? i didn’t know he was acting as a agent and it was not mentioned on his ads on his website or Facebook.

    (9) can he get into trouble for using his private life story to sell me a car ?

    (10) most off all do you think i stand a chance ? ive logged all chats and got receipts of parts been fitted also got a diagnostic reports he has also been emailed them but he still refuses to collect .


  7. Hello Stuart. My wife saw a car dealer’s advert for a car but in the advert it said “sold as seen” She loved the car and bought it anyhow, “sold as seen” was also on the receipt. Soon after the emissions light came on and it was found the handbrake would not hold it on an incline. The dealer was contacted and told my wife to see an individual who would check the emissions. She phoned the man who would not give his surname or address and she arranged to meet him in a car park. She thought better of this and got the problems fixed by another garage then sent the dealer bill for the repairs. A week later, during a run of some 10 miles, smoke starting pouring out of the back of the car. She called the retailer who was upset that she had had the repairs done herself and told her to sue him. Any ideas what to do?

    Thank you.


    • Hello Stuart ,
      I tried to find answer before I write to you as this is the first time I have paid for a used car at a dealership and promised we could collect car the next week , but yesterday we were told we can’t have car because of the log book is not registered to trader or something and we have to wait for up to 28 days .The dealership let us us use the loan car until it got sorted .
      Is this normal practice, or am I’m supposed to be worried? There isn’t much I can do I guess since I found out that we paid deposit before my son read and sign documents and afterwards we transferred the money 48 hrs before delivery, only do we find out now the date on the document says 31/01/20 !!
      A stressed mum here that doesn’t know this can happen .


  8. Hi Stuart.
    I had trouble with my 04 reg toyota auto slipping in to neutral and then not restarting.
    The only place that could diagnose and fix was the Toyota dealership.
    We asked for a quote to ‘fix all the problems’ and were told new actuators and an ecu would be £1300 we agreed to pay and picked the car up a week later.
    A day after collecting the car it started juddering in gear 1/reverse. I took it back to Toyota as soon as I could 2 days later.
    A technician came out in the car with me and agreed there was a problem.
    Toyota agreed to fix it as they thought it was poor alignment of the new parts.
    They have now called 2 days later to tell me it needs a new clutch actuator as the new parts have caused this to also fail and want to charge me £1000

    Im really unsure how to act next as this is now more than the value of the car in total but having already paid £1300 I feel trapped. I also stupidly assumed that replacing the actuators had meant both in the First place but have nothing in writing.

    Any advice at all gratefully received.

  9. i have a car that i bought from new that is now 2 years old, it developed a grinding noise on the cars autohold button when catching the bite on the clutch to drive away.
    The dealer has tried to fix this 3 or 4 times now, finally offering a like for like change of vehicle, the problem started at around 6000 miles and it has taken them this long to agree they dont have a long term fix.
    My question is do i have to accept a like for like replacement age and mileage wise,or should i push for a full refund or a new car
    The car has been in for other things too, like the engine management light , recall work.
    I payed £100 on credit card to get the section 75 protection and the rest via my bank, so no finance .


    • Hi Iain. The dealer/manufacturer is unlikely to agree to a brand new car, given that you have had this car for two years and continued to drive it over this time. You can obviously negotiate on what is acceptable to you, but it is likely to be a used car of similar age/mileage. Try and negotiate for something better (younger/lower mileage/better specification) as compensation for your hassle, and to account for the fact that you will be the second (or third, fourth, etc.) owner rather than the first owner when you come to sell it.

  10. Hi i bought an Alfa Romeo Mito 3 weeks ago from a local dealer. After 3 weeks I have been told the car needs a new cambelt. Should the dealer do that as only had it 3 weeks what are my rights?

    • Hi David. If your car was sold as having a full service history, and the cambelt should have been changed as part of the service schedule before you bought it, then you would have a right to expect it to be done. However, you’d need to have the original advertisement clearly claiming a full service history, rather than relying on what a salesman may or may not have told you.

  11. Hi

    I recently bought a brand new car from Mercedes. Paid the deposit, and was sent an email to sign a registration letter and advices the car would be available the next week. I had not paid mind to the registration which was done on the 1st of July whilst the car was being delivered on the 8th. Anyways I signed and sent.
    I was then phoned by the sales advisor saying that as I was a cash buyer I had to make the rest of the payment before delivery of the car I paid no mind to this as it was a Sunday I note the money will only clear by Monday when the car would be delivered. We agreed I will come to the showroom to pick the car up myself after work.
    On my way to pick up the car at 5pm I get a call telling me unfortunately I will not be getting the car as it had sustained some scratches which they hadn’t noticed and need to take it the body shop which will take two days to fix. At this point am disappointed I have paid for the car already and am not getting.
    It then dawn on me that hang on this is no longer a brand new car. I complained to the salesperson who insisted the car will be fixed to Mercedes standard and will look not be noticeable. I said I want a new car or a full refund for what I paid for.
    Since then there has been some heated argument with Mercedes as they claim their car is now fixed to standard and are offering a new car or a refund. They offered goodwill of 3 years services which I refused. I have also refused to take delivery of the car and returned the V5 to them.

    Are they right to do this, I paid for a brand new car which has now been repaired before getting to me.

    I have already reported this to the customer services who are following the decision made by Mercedes.

    • Hi Bells. It’s very common for new cars to suffer cosmetic damage between leaving the factory and being handed over to you at the dealership. Had the damage occurred earlier on in the process, the dealer could have repaired it and you’d be none the wiser.

      Unless the repair is not done to a Mercedes Approved standard, you don’t really have the right to reject the car. A “brand new” car simply means that you’re the first owner, and has no standing regarding vehicle condition.

  12. Hi Stuart,

    I need your suggestion on my issue with one of the car dealer.

    I bought a car from a dealer and he sold it to me as it was one year old when i bought it.
    As i was new to this country i didn’t check for the number plate. It was imported one from the European country.

    I was convinced that the papers are right as it was shown as first registered in the UK for that year.
    But later i came to know only, when i was selling and it was two years more older than i thought.

    When i went back to them to exchange with other car. He was quoting the car for very less amount.

    I asked them why are you quoting very less amount. He comes saying it belongs to this respective year of registration.

    Then i have asked them why didn’t you say this when i was buying it. i would taken new one.

    He says i don’t know who sold at that point but he is not working here anymore.

    The settlement amount and what he is trading has a large gap.

    Please let me know what should do now. Can i sue him for his lie and selling the car.


    • Hi Raviteja. You’d need to have proof that you were mis-sold the vehicle, such as the original advertisement or an independent witness to agree that the dealer lied to you. Without physical evidence, it’s your word against the dealer’s.

  13. Hi Stuart,

    I need your guidance on the best course of action here.
    I purchased a used 55 plate Peugeot 307 on 25/10/2018. The car drives fine and is ok. However, I took the car for general health check, servicing and to have the two front tyres changed, wheel balanced and alligned. The workshop was able to do all the jobs except the jobs relating to the tyres as the wheel locker bolt could not be found in the car. I was then advised to go and sort this out and bring the car back once I get the wheel locker bolt. I have looked online to see if I could buy any but I have noticed that this is specific to each car and the ones online are not guaranteed to fit/work.
    I then contacted, the trader with regards to this and his response was ”sorry I’m just a trader I don’t know the history of the car”
    I am of the opinion, that being a trader of the car, he should be able to help further.
    What can I do in this case please.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Olu. Yes, the dealer has a responsibility to make sure that all the essential equipment on the car is present. Unfortunately, getting a replacement locking nut is a pain.

      The quickest way to resolve it is going to be via a Peugeot dealer, who should be able to source a replacement locking nut for you. You may then have to have an argument with the dealer to get them to pay for it, however.

  14. Hi Stuart

    Bought a used car, it developed some fault. Spent a month with the dealer that they should fix it, eventually they fixed it. After the fix, it broke again. While i had reported it to the bank (credit card) and hence received the refund through the bank, however during this duration (now almost 6 months), out of 3 months i have been without a car.

    Can i claim cab expenses, motor insurance, road tax, tyres replaced cost, in the court and also ask court to ask dealer to take the car back. I was not offered a courtesy car. Yeps, i still own the car (obviously broken not derivable and at workshop). Does it worth it?

    And how much dealer could claim for car usage per mile?


    • No, the Consumer Rights Act does not make provisions for costs beyond a refund of the price of the car. There is also no clear guidance of what the dealer can claim for usage in the time you’ve had the vehicle, so it is simply an arm wrestle between you and them.

  15. Hi Stuart,

    I have recently purchased a new car from a main dealer through Carwow. At the time of specifying the car there were a number of extras priced at £0 that I selected. I received a price from the main dealer (and a number of other dealers) for the car as specified. I then met with the dealer to sign the contract. At the time of meeting the dealer I questioned the £0 cost options and was told they would look into this. We never concluded the deal on the day and I subsequently received the order by email the next day. Within the order everything was specified as discussed including the £0 cost options. I confirmed acceptance of the order by email and subsequently called the dealership to pay a deposit of £500.

    The following Monday the dealer called me by phone to say that there had been an error and the options priced at £0 should not have been zero cost. I explained that ‘offer and acceptance’ has taken place and there is now a legally binding contract in place. They have offered to cancel the order and return my deposit, however I don’t want to do this and feel they should honour the contract regardless of the mistake that has been made.

    Can you please advise what my rights re in this situation.

    Many thanks

  16. Hello Stuart,

    I have both a 320D BMW last week from a second hand garage. On my way home I have noticed smoke coming from the engine and also smoke inside of my car. I have contacted the dealer and brought the car back. They have agreed to fix the problem with no extra charges. Car spent a week in the garage because they were “waiting” for the parts. After picking up the car it stalled on the way home on motorway, however restarted few minutes later and has been fine. However the first problem with the smoke is still present and hasn’t fully fixed. Due to not having another car I have had to drive this car oven the last couple of days and all the smoke is giving me headaches and I assume it’s bad for my health. I have contacted the dealer again and requested to reimburse me if I get the car fixed in another garage due to the fact I believe the garage that bought it from is not up to the standard since I have basically taken a faulty car from them twice. It’s either that, or they’re just trying to get rid of the car. I am requesting for my money back, however the dealer is insisting of fixing the car and refusing to refund my money. What can I do and what are my options? thank you.

  17. Hi Stuart , thanks for the reply , where do I stand on the fact that the car was advertised as having a full service history and not getting it ? , I think I would have haggled a bit on the price had I known it wasn’t available , I understand I would have had some of the costs to bear on a 10 year old car , just the fact it was falsely advivertised

    • if you want to go through the hassle of engaging a lawyer to send them threatening letters, you may be able to negotiate a small refund to account for the difference between it having a full service history and no service history. But on a ten-year-old car, that difference is quite likely to be less than you’d spend pursuing it – and the dealer knows that.

      Checking the service history is something that should be done prior to agreeing to buy the car in the first place, or if they don’t have the books handy then at last before you take delivery of the car. Dealers are always much keener to oblige or negotiate before they get your money than afterwards.

  18. Hi Stuart , I purchased a car from a second hand dealer in April 2018 , 4 months later and I still haven’t got the full service history it was advertised with , I’ve gone through mediation with the dealership and the AA have now advised that they can do no more , amongst a few issues I’ve had to resolve with the car and several waisted calls with the dealership (I’ve got several emails and pictures surrounding issues with the car) am I right in thinking that I could persue this through trading standards (few issues when 1st purchased) and then the small claims court to cover the costs I’ve spent (ie cam belt , discs , pads , gear selector) and to ask for some form of refund due to the lack of service history (car is 10 years old) and was advertised as having FSH, appreciate any help you could give

    • Hi George. You will probably struggle to get compensation for your costs, because it’s entirely possible you would have had to spend some or all of that anyway on a ten-year-old car with a full service history. Unless you can show that the car was faulty at point of sale or mis-sold, you’re unlikely to get too far.

  19. Hi Stuart,
    I ordered a vehicle November 2017 with delivery date 15th of May. After a few months of mild chasing, I’ve just been informed that the vehicle is no longer produced so will not be delivered. Based on your answers to Sarah 11/4 2018 and in particular Lindsey 26/4 2016, I assume that all I can do is ask for my deposit back and start looking for another car, but am looking for some independent confirmation of that. T&Cs do not specifically cover this, but do have an ‘Events Outside Our Control’ clause. As you write to Sarah, it sort of sucks that if I don’t receive I lose my deposit, if they don’t deliver, well, tough – I imagine it’s the same case here?

    • Hi Rune. Correct – if the dealer cannot supply the car because it’s no longer in production, you can’t hold them to the contract and it becomes void.

  20. I’ve just got car on finance from local garage ive only had it 6 weeks and warranty was for a month it broke down and its a fault with the started motor. They are saying I need new starter motor and would have to pay costs for it. Is there anyway around this given I’ve only had car 6 weeks?

    • Hi Kellie. Other than the cost, replacing a starter motor is a pretty simple fix, so I don’t think you will be successful in trying to reject the car for a refund – and even if you could, you are outside your initial 30 days so the dealer can deduct an amount for usage/wear and tear.

      So unless you can convince the dealer that they should pay for (or share the cost of) replacing the starter motor, you’re probably going to have to foot the bill.

    • Hi it wasn’t starter motor it was blown fuse which cost me £50 to fix plus labour cost. I’ve only had car back 5 days and its done it again. It won’t start. Surely something can be done now????

    • Clearly something is causing the fuse to blow, so you will need to find out what that is. It may still be something very simple.

      You will probably need to take it to a different garage and pay for them to look at it so you have evidence to take back to the original seller.

  21. OK thanks for getting back to me stuart.
    It just seems to be along time when they are purchasing this car from another dealership. I recently had another call from them today delaying it another day.
    Am getting to the point where I think they do not

  22. Hi Stuart
    I have placed an order for a nearly new Ford Focus ST from a dealership near me . we have paid a deposit for the car and was told a delivery time of a week . we were told that the car was at the other end of the country and would take this long to get to them . I have had no correspondence or contact from the dealer at all but from when we rang them for details for the insurance . It has now come to the end of the week and when we rang today to enquire about it we were told that the transport company had not delivered it and now they are saying that it will be next week ? is this normal and do I have any grounds for compensation or discount .

    • Hi Matthew. No, you don’t have any grounds. They’re guilty of poor customer service in not keeping you informed, but your sales contract will almost certainly show that they have 28 days leeway to deliver the car, after which time you can cancel the contract if it still hasn’t arrived.

  23. Hi Stuart
    I bought a car from a dealer on finance. The finance company paid him outright and I pay them back separately. The car had an issue of burning oil smell and after attempts to take it back and not finding the problem he said he will not keep wasting money on a car with no issues. I then took it to my mechanic who lifted the bonnet and said I needed a gasket change which turned out to be the case after I took it to the dealer. He repaired that. During this time my battery died a few times and I had to ring the breakdown company. I mentioned this to the dealer and he said it could just be the cold. Turns out the battery had reached its end life upon sale but he didn’t see it as his problem. Before I signed the contract the bumper was broken and he wrote down fix front bumper. Three months later I am still having this argument and he glued my bumper down with yellow resin as he said he could not replace the clips and I’ve noticed significant scratches on the bumper. I have since noticed that the car floods in the back as I needed my spare tyre. This however was noticed after the 1 month warranty so would I have any grounds to complain? My question though is how can I get him to replace my bumper and do a proper job as the glue is obvious and plain wrong and also this would probably snap if needed to be removed to do any work under there. I therefore left it with him. He is adamant he has fixed it. He even rang the finance company to complain that the repair is done and I haven’t picked it up. They are not willing to help either because they said it is cosmetic and they have no involvement with that and this is between me and the dealership.

    • Hi Dee. The finance company is right about the bumper – cosmetic issues are not sufficient grounds to reject a car as faulty.

      The battery is probably just a cost you’ll have to swallow, as it is considered a consumable wear and tear item, and batteries can fail at any time – some ie within a year and some may last for many years depending on how the car is used. He may well have known it was on the way out when he sold it, but you will struggle to prove that.

      The leaking problem may be grounds to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, if you can argue that it is significant enough to render the whole car faulty. For more information, have a read of our article on rejecting a faulty car.

  24. Hi Stuart

    My father signed a contract at a main dealer for a large brand last Monday.
    He has had all electronic copies emailed for reference last week.

    The deal was for £159 deposit (he is part exing instead)
    £159 per month

    Today he had a call from them to say the offer he wasn’t quoted and signed for expired months ago….. the deal now is £194 per month, but for him they will do £184..

    He advised he would have to cancel if this were the case as he cannot pay more than the deal stated.

    I wanted your opinion on this, surely they are bound to honour the figures signed for over a week earlier?


    • Hi Sarah. If the price changes after he signed the contract, he is entitled to cancel the contract and get any deposit back. He can’t hold the dealer to a given price if that’s no longer available.

      It sounds like the dealer has made a stupid mistake, which will be very annoying but ultimately you can’t hold them to a price that they can’t deliver.

  25. Hi Stuart, my brother followed an online advert to a used car which he bought. The company is an auction house that also sells cars without an actual auction, I consider this a retail sale. They advertise all sales are sold as seen etc. The car didn’t get my brother home before breaking down on his way home (head gasket). He has since returned the vehicle. This was 10th January and he still hasn’t been refunded. He wrote an email on 11th January formally rejecting vehicle as not of satisfactory quality nor fit for purpose. His invoice is even dated 12th January to coincide with their Friday auction to seem above board. They say the auction is always live. This isn’t a live auction and Consumer Rights Act terms apply surely? The garage is having none of it and threatening to charge him for storage! We have followed citizens advice bureau advice and next step is court action. My parents are reluctant because they don’t want to lose more money over this. I don’t believe this garage should get away with such practices. Any advice?

    • Hi Pete. I suspect he probably is covered by the Consumer Rights Act, but it may take court action to resolve the matter. Visit to see if any of their legal experts can advise on whether they think it’s worth pursuing.

  26. Hi there,

    I bought a used car a couple of weeks ago from a small independent dealer…a few days later I found the wheel wasn’t straight and the engine was smoking. I tried to contact the dealer via mobile and company landline, I left voice mails and text messages but they were all ignored.

    I took it to a local Indy garage and they diagnosed a multitude of problems including illegal tread tyres. I managed to get in touch with the dealer by calling from another number and they said they would call me back with a resolution but never did. The car was offered with a comprehensive warranty but they are still ignoring me. What should I do next?


    • Hi Scott. If the dealer is behaving like this then it’s unlikely to be registered with The Motor Ombudsman. That means you are basically going to have to speak to a lawyer and get them to send formal correspondence on your behalf to demand action.

      You should also read our popular guide to rejecting a faulty car, as it sounds like you might need it…

  27. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a second hand VW in November 2016. The service was naff and the salesman/advisor advised me not to suggest they can make a same-day sale if I didn’t have intentions of doing so at the end of the month (I’m sure this is related to commissioning) but I went along with the purchase of the car as it was what I wanted (with a different advisor another day).
    I was told the car would have ‘Android Auto’ yet it did not and would cost me an extra £175.00 one-off payment. This was taken with a pinch of salt. During a service at VW my car was crashed into under their responsibility and they completed bodywork on it for repair for free under their insurance.
    VW have cancelled several attempts for a booking since my services and MOT were due, after confirming a courtesy car was available, making me rather angry (building up of bad experiences) trying to work around my full-time job. During this time I was receiving calls every day regarding service surveys and feedback which I was honest about. The advisor I had been working directly with to book in services and signing my car over to, informed me that the feedback I had received was a reflection of her work and affects her job and she could get fired if she didn’t get 100% positive feedback- which I was startled about). I explained all of my bad experience to date with a manager after picking up my car from repairs and he kindly offered me a free ‘Android Auto’ installation which would allow me to connect my phone to the bluetooth and the touchscreen display.
    I booked my car in with a replacement courtesy car for when this can be done, confirming 100% with the advisor and the manager that this installation can be done on the model of my car as it was a 2014 reg plate. They confirmed yes and I booked it in – rather relieved that they were able to rectify one of the bad experiences with what I initially wanted when I purchased it. I then received an email the day before my car was going back into VW to state that the model could not take the installation and that there is nothing they can do, although promised they would confirm this before they ordered it in and before I booked my car in.

    Do I have any rights here? I had asked to speak with the manager’s manager but was asked to go in to speak to him face-to-face to which I doubt I would be able to get what I wanted out of it, which was an apology and potentially end my contract?

    I hope you can help

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Lana. You’re almost certainly not going to get to walk away from your car and your contract – you’ve had it for well over a year now, so that’s simply not going to happen. Although you’re always welcome to ask for it, and miracles do happen. They may be prepared to end your current contract if you agree to part-exchange for a new or newer car, and start a new finance contract. This may or may not be suitable, so consider whatever they offer you very carefully and don’t get pressured into making a decision on the spot.

      I would suggest you make a very clear timeline of everything that has happened to you and your car since you bought it, and take it with you when you go to meet whoever it is that they are going to put you in front of. I would also suggest taking someone with you for moral support, maybe a friend or relative. That way you’re not on your own against possibly several people from the dealership and feeling intimidated.

  28. Hi Stuart, agreed to buy a 3 Series BMW from a local dealer on Saturday which included px for my current 5 series M Sport tourer. The invoice has all the details on including signature from me and the dealer. I paid a £200 deposit via bank transfer, Today the garage has text me to say they have spoken to BMW who say my car is an SE not M sport despite what it says on my log book and they have quoted the wrong px value on the invoice. Where do I stand and what can I do? Thanks J

    • If the dealership appraised the vehicle for themselves, rather than simply relying on your description, then you can argue that they have nothing to complain about.

      Ultimately, if they don’t want to proceed with the sale then there’s not a lot you can do other than get your deposit back and move on. If they are simply playing games and trying to squeeze a few hundred more quid out of you, then do you really want to be buying a car from these people? Get your money back and find another car – it will be worth it in the long run.

  29. Hi Stuart, I need a bit of help. In mid march 2017 I leased (private lease) brand new SEAT Ateca. Last week whilst driving my clutch got stuck half way in and I had to stop on the side of the road with as I was unable to change the gears and a lot of smoke was coming out from under the bonnet. The car was towed away to Seat dealer for servicing, I was told that the faulty developed due to my driving and that it will not be fixed under warranty, I’m not happy with what they told me as the car is only 8.5months old and I have done only 1200miles since new. Please advise what can I do? Thank you!

    • Hi Kamil. Obviously, you’re entitled to a second opinion from an independent clutch specialist before simply paying up. Clutches are wear-and-tear parts, so it is entirely possible that your driving style has caused the breakage. Whether it’s likely, rather than just possible, is not for me to say.

  30. Hi Stuart. On Wednesday this week I viewed a car because their website quoted what I thought was a good PCP deal. When entering the (bid brand) dealership, they said that their website was quoting the wrong APR but that, legally, because they didn’t have any deals available like that and because their website was quoting incorrect information, they would honour the deal (what they offered was actually £10 pm more expensive but I let it slide). I put a £200 deposit down and they gave me a printed summary of the deal that they were offering. However, they are now saying that the APR that they offered on the deal isn’t available so I would have to pay an extra £40 per month on the PCP deal for a longer period of time, for the same car.

    Can you offer me any advice as I feel like they are just saying this to squeeze more money per month out of me, and that the facts that I have a written offer and that I placed a deposit down on the car, should mean that they should honour that deal?

    Thank you

    • Hi Mark. Either the salesman is lying or they don’t understand how finance works (which happens an awful lot).

      Finance offers are almost always presented as X% APR representative. Representative means that not everyone is necessarily offered the same rate, and that is quite possibly what has happened here. If that’s the case here, it isn’t that the website is wrong, but that the finance company isn’t offering you the same rate they are offering other customers for whatever reason.

      Or it could be something else. However, it’s highly unlikely that the “website is wrong” or that the finance offer quoted “isn’t available”.

  31. Hello Stuart I bought a 2010 Audi A4 on the 8 Aug and the piston got a hole in early Oct.
    After 3 repair atempts and discussions with dealer he said he would put in a recon engine with new cambelt. Just got car back and took to Audi to book in a recoil problem and the engineer said it had not been put back incorrectly coolant pipes blocked off etc, and no new cambelt. So I believe it’s a 2nd hand engine not a recon.

    I am asking if i can ask for the car to finally be repaired by Audi at his expense or get the job done and claim it back

    • Hi William. A “recon” is a reconditioned engine, so by definition it will be second-hand.

      If you have written advice from an Audi dealer that the engine has not been reinstalled correctly and that the promised new cambelt has not been fitted, you can go back to the seller and negotiate for whatever solution you would like. He may agree for an Audi dealer to repair it, or he may want to do it himself.

  32. Hi Stuart,

    Hopefully a quick question…

    we bought what proved to be a faulty car, ended up going thru small claims and got a default judgement against the dealer which was enforced by bailiffs, but there was no mention as to what happens to the vehicle now, we cant afford to insure it further and buy and insure another car, but cannot SORN it as it is parked on the road (no alternative), we don’t want to repair if the dealer can then come and make a claim for it, and therefore we will have wasted probably hundreds of pounds getting the car fixed and he will benefit from then having a fixed car free of charge.

    So what should we do? who owns the car?

    • I think you should get professional legal advice on the matter. You can start with the excellent site, but you may need to engage your own solicitor to help you out.

  33. Hello Stuart.
    I bought a used car the other day from a (dodgy) dealer and now have issues with two things:

    1. The car was advertised as having a new cam belt (on the description). Speaking to him, he confirmed to me that it had recently been replaced. Very foolishly, I did not check for servicing/proof that the cam belt was replaced during the viewing – I knew about the Consumer Rights Act and thought I would be covered… I have since checked the original ad and it seems he has edited the advertisement and removed the bit about the new cam belt!

    2. Upon inspection, the bumpers looked dodgy and he assured us that the bumper had not been replaced but just painted over. We get back to find a receipt from a year ago for a new front bumper, in with the car manual.

    I have basically been lied to, which surely is not legal. I paid by bank transfer and do like the car, but just want him to pay for a new cam belt if that is what was originally said.

    What approach can I take? I have admittedly been quite naive. I would really rather not take legal action but could threaten to?

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Paul. Your chances of success, either informally or via legal means, will likely rest on what written evidence you can provide. If you have a copy of the original ad that claims a new cam belt, that’s a good start. If you don’t, it’s all down to he said/she said and that’s difficult to win.

  34. Hi Stuart.
    On 14th October I bought a 3 year old car with 35k miles from an approved dealership, and this morning when I got into the car, the inside of the front windscreen was dripping wet. I’m not just talking about a bit of condensation, it was dripping with water onto the dashboard. It was a very misty morning today – the first one we’ve had since I bought the car – and I don’t know if that is related. If it was below freezing I would have been scraping ice from the inside of the windscreen for sure.
    I rang them up and booked it in for an inspection and test to see if there is any water ingress, however when I rang them they said “Yes, we’ve heard of this with some cars” and I got the impression that they did not see it as an issue.
    My preference is that this is fixed and I keep the car, however if they don’t or can’t fix it, or even say there is nothing wrong with it, where would I stand? After paying £17k I don’t think it is of satisfactory quality.
    This will be the third time I have had to take the car back by the way, the other two times were for tracking and the 4WD geometry, not that that’s rleevant to this of course, just venting a bit…
    Thank you for your advice.

    • Hi Chris. I’d suggest searching online for other owners of the same make/model to see if this is a common problem or something unique to your car.

      It could also be something very simple – if you’ve recently had the car cleaned, there could be some dampness inside that’s then condensing on the windscreen overnight. Or it could be a window not properly closed, so that the interior gets colder than usual so water forms on the inside of the windscreen. Or there’s a leak somewhere in the windscreen rubbers – maybe the windscreen has been replaced at some stage, which is common enough, and the new one hasn’t been sealed in adequately.

      Until you can be sure what’s causing it, it’s difficult to know how to proceed.

  35. Hi. I bought a car online last Tuesday and but £200. Deposit down on it. And arranged to pick the car at the end if the week. I noticed the mot had finished on it and told them. They said that they will put 12 month mot on it for me. Following day they phoned me to say that the car had failed it mot and and it would cost to much to fix. I was bit disappointed with this . Asked if they can pay the deposit back into my account and if they could let me know when that have repayed me. They have only been intouch with me once and that was when I taxed them to see if they had paid the deposit back to me with a answer of ” Yes regards”. 9 days later in still waiting to get my money back feom them.

    • Hi Dei. You’ll have to keep chasing and hassling them every day, and basically become the most annoying person in the world until you get the money back in your account. Yes, it’s annoying, but if you don’t keep at it then you may never get your cash back. Phone them, don’t text, as you’re giving them the chance not to confront you. Advise them that if the money is not back in your account by day X, you will be calling Trading Standards.

  36. Hi Stuart.
    I purchased a second hand car through a finance company.
    I had the car serviced and then 3 weeks later the clutch went.
    I got the clutch fixed.
    And then I was driving and it started to make a loud noise from the engine.
    I got the car recovered home and phoned the car finance company.
    After 4 weeks they said they would send an independent company to check the problem.
    I gave them a list as on closer inspection there was a list of problems from leaking front shock absorber to sensor on windscreen not working which also means automatic wipers or lights don’t work.
    Hole in the exhaust brake disc and pads worn to metal.
    And the company they sent out said the big end bearings had gone.
    I only had the car for 10 weeks.
    They have just phoned me and said I will have to pay for repairs as it is wear and tear.
    Although the inspection didn’t check the shock and didn’t say much regarding the sensor.
    Is this right as I now have a car I can’t use and have to still pay for it.
    I’m now in debt for a car that does not work

  37. Hi, my mum and dad purchased my first car on 28/07/17, it’s a 2007 MINI One 1.4, they part exchanged our Ford KA and payed a further £1200. Whilst initially viewing the car my dad noticed that the tread on the front tyres was low, the salesman insisted that the car would go through tests to make sure it’s roadworthy before they collected it. They agreed to buy the car and a week later collected it, the owner of the garage believed that the front tyres were in good condition so they weren’t replaced, the owner also tried to give my parents £500 less for the car they were part exchanging than what was agreed the week before.

    When they arrived home with the car the red oil light flashed on and then off. The car has continued to do this ever since when the engine is hot and the car is going very slowly or reversing. My dad contacted the AA who towed the car back to the dealership the following day. The dealership said they would fix the car and they had it for a week however the owner was very reluctant to do any to the car and cleaned there was nothing wrong with it until my dad said the AA had towed the car and that he had a report from them. The owner said the a new oil pump, oil filter, pressure switch and exhaust vanos had been fitted to the car. But the oil light still continued to come on and off.

    Yesterday my dad took the car to a mini specialist who plugged it into a diagnostic machine, which revealed that the oxygen sensor has issues. Despite these issues the engine management light was not illuminated. When my dad arrived home, he took the speedometer off the car and found that the bulb for the engine management light had been surrounded by black silicon to prevent the light being visible. My dad then looked at the oil filter, which he believes has not been changed by the garage. When my dad called the dealer he then said that the oil pump was second hand and not brand new, which had been previously implied.

    Meanwhile my mum contacted the previous owner of the MINI, who also bought the car from the dealership. She said that she has the car for 4 weeks but only had it at home for 2 days as there were many issues. She said that when the car had supposedly been fixed she drove down the road and all of the warning lights illuminated. She then insisted that they take it to a specialist, which they said they did but she found out that no specialist mechanic had been consulted and that the car hadn’t moved from the car park, So she got her money back.When my dad told the dealer about this, he said the woman was lying and that she returned the car because she couldn’t afford the finance. The woman also has a friend who is currently in court proceedings with the same dealership.

    My dad has paid for new alloys, new brake pads and the diagnostics test as well as £1000 for my mums insurance (she’s a new driver) and £80 to transfer a private reg onto the car. My dad feels like he’s invested too much money into the car to just return it and get his money back and ideally wants the car to be fixed if possible. He’s booked it in with the specialist for a few days time but is still uncertain as to whether the dealership is willing to pay for the repairs to be done on the car. Should the dealers legally have to pay for the repairs or does it have to be one of their mechanics- considering all the cover ups and lies that they’ve told?

    Sorry for the long story and I apologise if my story has sent multiple times as it wasn’t posting at first.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Elisha. By the sound of it, these guys are not just lazy and/or ignorant like many rubbish used car dealers. They are deliberately meddling with their vehicles to turn a quick sale, and it sounds like they are used to dealing with angry customers. If you want to challenge these guys, you are going to need to get the help of a lawyer.

  38. My daughter purchased a used car from a small used car dealership and it had some transmission issues that the dealership said they would pay to have fixed. It has been in two different auto repair places for most of the last two months. She has just made her second car payment and still does not have the car. She is a single mother and has two children that need to be transported to and from school and daycare. Is there anything she can do to make the dealership stop dragging their feet and get the car fixed?

    • Hi Judy. It’s difficult, as trying to take any kind of action against the dealer will possibly take longer to organise than it’s likely to take anyway! Keep hassling them, and become the most annoying (yet at all times polite) person in the world until they get it done.

      You can chase the finance company to see if they can put any pressure on the dealer, but it’s always come back to you having to chase it, unfortunately.

  39. Hi Stuart,
    I’ve bought a brand new VW Polo 17 May 17, on Saturday the engine light came on. It’s been in the VW garage and the engineer has advised that a stone has made a hole in the air cooler radiator. The car has under 1000 miles on the clock and it hasn’t even been driven on a motorway yet. The garage has sent me a video to show the “damage” and has advised a cost of £455 to change the air cooler that is leaking coolant.

    Can you give any advice or help?


    • Hi Chris. What advice are you looking for? Are you suggesting that the dealership is lying to you about the cause of the damage?

      The sort of damage described doesn’t have to happen on a motorway – a car travelling at 30mph colliding with a stone that has been flicked up could potentially cause this damage. It’s just unlucky.

  40. Hi Stuart
    When my car was getting serviced by Kia Marshall in Ipswich where I brought my car from. They said due to radiator cap going missing it ruined the engine. I told the manager who serviced my car, that I got no need to touch the cap, and the last people that touched anything in my bonnet is the Kia garage, they’re the ones that serviced and looked all over, the day before I purchased the car. I told the manger who ever serviced my car, they didn’t screw the cap on properly, and the manager than said “you wouldn’t have made it home from our garage if we didn’t screw it on properly”, I live 10miles away from the Kia garage. I than said to the manager if you think I opened the cab and didn’t screw it on than how did I manage to drive 200miles on a motorway. It’s a Kia Rio car, purchased on the 29/09/2016, the radiator cab fell off somewhere on the motorway, I only drove that car for 6month and and it was my first time on a motorway when my car broke down due to the cab not screwed on properly. Now the Kia motor asking me to pay £2,000 to get the engine replaced. They said I got no warranty. I got the car brand new in 2016 with 3years contract.

    • Hi Salima. It’s a difficult situation, because neither of you has proof as to how the problem has occurred. As much as you may know that you have never touched the radiator cap, you can’t prove that the dealership didn’t screw it back on properly six months ago.
      If you want to pursue the matter, you are probably going to need to get legal assistance so that you can work through the process with some expert support. However, if you don’t have a solid case, you will end up spending more on legal fees than the engine repair will cost.

  41. Hi

    I bought a Seat Leon 2007, from a private dealer, using finance. Within a week of driving the car, it developed issues, some of which I pointed out at the dealership, they claimed it wear and tear, but it was obvious faults. I called the dealership, and as usual, those smiles turned into angry face, always giving me a winning persuasion. I cc’d my finance company in every email I sent to them, but the dealership never has replied, always I have to call them to chase them. Anyways, I told them the issues, said that I would need to get it fixed, I proposed that I get it fixed at my local garage, as the dealership was 100 miles away. They agreed. When I gave them the quotes, out of 10 garages I gave them the cheapest. They laughed at me, stating that their mechanic could do it for free. I contacted my finance company, and they advised me I have to take it to them to repair, that was still WITHIN the 30 days, and submitted this via email, on a legal template, and informed them by text, phone and informed my finance company that I wish to reject the car. Issues were these:

    1. Alternator or starter motor pulley or mechanism is faulty. Squeals on start-up. May be misaligned or bearings worn out.
    This should not sound like this and the start-up should be smooth.

    2. Centre console buttons do not open or close central locking. Needs replacing. Please replace.

    3. Engine management light has come up. Diagnostics indicate issues with evaporative emissions purge flow. The n80 and n115 valves need to be changed.

    4. On idle, idle in not constant, and stutters slightly. Indicates issues with timing.

    5. ALARM system does not work. Sensors or door do not trigger alarm when armed with doors locked.

    6. On pre collection, a full service was promised, due to the car not having any prior service history. My Mechanic has checked spark plugs, air filter, these need replacing. Please replace.

    7. Right wing mirror does not retract properly. You can hear the motor struggling when closing.

    8. Remote key does not open and close the car at all times. Works intermittent. May have something to do with the alarm system?

    9. Door speaker passenger door side has intermittent connection. Please investigate and repair.

    I gave them everything that needed to be repaired. A week later, I called to chase this up with the dealer, and they said the car was ready. When I went to the dealer, to be honest nothing had been done. All they did was replace the door speaker. They kept on telling me the car was not sold with an alarm, when it clearly states on the auto trader ad, alarm. I showed it to him, he laughed and said the alarm only goes off when the window is smashed. Even though my car is supposed to have an ultrasonic alarm that activates if something moves in the car. I have driven seats for 10 years now, and I have done my fair driving and research to at least know the basics.

    I drove the car home, bearing in mind, now I had spent so much money on fuel, days off etc. and it’s gotten far worse. It’s been 2 weeks now, and my finance company are playing games with me. They telling me to go to a mechanic, get the car diagnosed, and quoted for repair, then they will speak to my dealer. I have now spent more money on diagnosing it, given them the estimate and the faults found. I bought the car on 04, 04.17, and today its 17.05.17, and the car is just sitting there. I have constantly emailed my finance company, telling them I am at a loss. I can’t drop my kids to school by car anymore. Incurred so much costs, time, days off taking time to deal with the issues in chasing up the dealer, finance co and getting quotes from the mechanics.

    I just wish to give the car back, and get free from this nightmare.

    What advice can anyone give?!

    • The best advice I can give is to speak to a solicitor. Clearly you are not getting anywhere at the moment and that is unlikely to change in a hurry – the dealer is presumably hoping that you will give up and simply collect the car. It will probably take legal action to kick them into life.

  42. Hi Stuart
    I bought the BMW 525d used manufacture approved car from BMW over 8 months ago.
    The car have a faulty air condition from day 1, I did contact the dealer same day to let him know that there is a fault and he advised me to take car to local BMW. They have diagnosed and tried to fix the car 5 times with no success. Air con stops working always after about 5 weeks.
    Last 2 repairs they asked me to cover the cost, which were refunded after my complains to customer care.
    However the air con is not working again and again they are asking me to cover the costs.
    Could you advise what I can do next?
    Thank you

    • Hi Mac. If you have had the car for more than eight months, it will make it difficult to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act – unless the total time the car has spent back at the dealership is more than two months, which would bring you back under six months of net ownership.

      You should still be under the 12 months used car warranty from the BMW dealer, so you will need to keep chasing the dealer and, if necessary, the warranty provider (which is probably not BMW UK). You may need to consider engaging a solicitor to help you get this sorted properly.

  43. i bought a brand new fiat panda cross, picked it up dec 2016 with the sat nav which i was told went with the car to integrate to its Blue&me technology. Dealers have finally accepted my car does not have Blue&me and my sat nav is not compatible, yet i bought the car for this feature (Blue&me) and the salesmen were aware. the dealers have investigated why it isn’t compatible, at one point ordering a special tool from Italy to take the dash out to see why it wasn’t wired for the facility. they waited 6 weeks for the tool and had the car for four days. My car has been in their workshop 4 times since bought. They have now admitted it does not have the facility. I have a meeting with the franchise manager this week, and would like to reject it or them to provide me with an alternative. Obviously the dealers are aware of this and cannot replace the car for the same make and model as they are all built now without the facility. I am in my legal right to ask for a 4×4 with sat nav if it means upgrading to another model of car? with no extra cost to me?

    • Hi Sarah. According to the Consumer Rights Act, you have the right to ask for a refund, and the dealer has the right to deduct for mileage/usage.

      Anything else is outside the auspices of the Act. You can negotiate whatever you like with the dealer if they are prepared to go along with it, but they are not obliged to go beyond what the Act says.

  44. hi stuart , i have a problem with a car dealer , so last week on friday i was at a car dealer in milton keynes to see a car .. finance car..second hand one.. 6000 pounds..
    ok then i liked a car and they obtain a finance for me one hour later and i signed online a contract.. it was a hire and puchase finance on the car.. then when i want to take the car home they told me.. wait the car is not working you leave the car with us for 3-4
    days and you will take it like new..
    i said ok no problem.. then when i arrived home i thinked better and i call to cancel the contract…so all this was in the same day.. last week on friday.. i called also the car dealer and the finance company..
    now the problem is that the finance company allready send the money to car dealer after i signed
    the contract…and finance company told me that i should speak again to car dealer so they can send back the money to them… so i called again car dealer and they told me that they are not obligated by the law to send money back but they will discuss with the finance company and will see…
    couple days ago i got a letter from finance company where they stated that i have to pay the loan… you know.. like the contract its still in use… crazy no…
    like i said i didnt touch the car the car is still with the car dealer i was suppose to came back 3-4 days later to take it.. but i didnt wait i cancel the contract in the same day when i signed for it… to avoid any cancelation fees..
    now tomorow they suppose to meet each other so they discus about this bettwen them… finance company and car dealer… but im affraid all this will be on me.. even if they cancel the contract they will put me to pay huge fees… im not sure..
    please stuart help me , i dont know what to do is a matter bettwen them.. who send the money to who.. i dont care..
    i dont have the car and dont have the money.. but by the letter from finance company i should start payng back the loan from 24 may…
    i called to cancel in the 14 days that is written into the contract so whats my fault?
    what should i do.. help please thank you Peter

    • Hi Peter. The 14-day cooling-off period applies to the finance, not to the car purchase. By cancelling the finance agreement, you are basically saying that you will find another way to pay for the car. Cancelling the finance agreement does not get you out of the car purchase.

      It is very unusual for the finance company to pay the dealer for the car on the same day you signed the order, especially if the car is not being delivered to the customer for several days. I would contact the finance company and try to speak to someone else, and get confirmation that they have definitely sent the money to the dealer.

      For more information, have a read of this article: I bought a car and have now changed my mind

  45. Hi Stuart,
    We bought an ex-Motability Qashqai from a main dealer just over a year ago. Part of what we were told about the Motability scheme was that the cars had to be serviced annually. We also had a warranty for a year.
    A couple of weeks after the first year was up, the gearbox developed a rattle, and the dealer has told us that the gearbox needs to be replaced, at a cost of over £7000. The whole car cost us £12,000!
    We hadn’t had the car serviced in that year (but we were about to!) and the warranty period had just ended.
    The dealer put in a claim to Nissan, who said that they wouldn’t accept any responsibility, as the car had missed 2 services – at which point we were told that the car hadn’t been serviced in over a year before we bought it, or by the main dealer just before we bought it. We obviously had assumed this had happened.
    This car has only done 17,000 miles, and we have driven it very carefully.We feel that we have done nothing wrong, and that the dealer, or Nissan, have let us down badly here.
    What are our rights? Can we demand that the gearbox is replaced free of charge? We simply cannot afford to pay for this ourselves.
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Peter. Your chances of success will depend on what proof you have about the claimed service history. If you have nothing more than the dealer’s word, there’s not a lot you can do. If you have anything in writing that the car had been serviced, such as the original advertisement or an email from the dealer, then you can claim against them.
      Your position is more difficult in that you bought the car a year ago, and presumably you have had the car’s service books in your possession for that entire time, so you have failed to notice that the car did not have a proper service history. This is something that you should have noticed and raised with the dealer at point of delivery or shortly afterwards. It’s a bit late to raise this now, as you have clearly been driving the car around for a year. Your argument that you have driven very carefully is irrelevant, since there is no proof of that and the dealer could argue that your driving caused the gearbox failure. Proving who’s right and wrong would be a lengthy and difficult process, and you probably don’t have a strong case.
      Nissan head office is unlikely to budge in its position, since proper compliance with service requirements is a condition of any new car warranty.

  46. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a car 2 weeks ago. It was delivered to me and I have only contacted the seller via phone and email. They had confirmed that the car had never had any accidents and it’s in very good condition. When the car was delivered it was a sunny day (the car is silver), so unfortunately I didn’t see anything wrong with the bodywork and the paintwork and paid the full amount on the day.
    I didn’t use the car at all, and then one day I noticed that the car is far from perfect, rear panels repaired and a few other elements painted. Everything quite badly done.
    I’ve contacted the company and they agreed to take the car and get it properly done.
    What are my rights now if I want to return the car and get my money back?


    • Hi Martin. If you have already agreed a resolution to the issue with the selling dealer, you can’t really change your mind and now reject the vehicle. Under the Consumer Rights Act, if the dealer’s repair does not fix the issue, you can then reject the vehicle in the first six months.

  47. Hello,
    We have agreed a PCP for Nissan X- trail for 12000 miles a year and £403.83 monthly payment. We sign the contract after 2 weeks and after a week we receive a letter from Nissan Finance, stating that our agreed mileage are 8000 miles a year. Then I contact the dealer and they have changed the mileage , without my permission, telling me this is a better deal and monthly payment remain same. Then have lied us, because on today of signing , they changed the mileage and never show us a copy of agreement to be read. Now I am asking them to change the mileage and dealer doesn’t wish to do that. Very disappointed and this was my first time buying a car in UK, What are my rights?

    • Hi Shenel. It would be impossible for you to sign an agreement without physically seeing the agreement, so you have a responsibility to read what you are signing. However, it sounds like the dealer has behaved in an unscrupulous manner (it’s certainly not a better deal). You should get in touch with the finance company regarding the dealer’s behaviour and insist that the mileage be amended. You should also contact the dealer principal and make the same demand. If the dealer does not co-operate, contact Nissan UK and make a formal complaint about the dealer’s behaviour (frankly, you should be making that complaint anyway, as pressure from the manufacturer is the only way the dealers ever will be pulled into line).

  48. Hi! Stuart, I hope you don’t mind me asking but I would like some advice please. My son bought a 10 plate BMW at a local garage here in Liverpool around 9 months ago on finance, and he received 3 months warranty i think. He had some trouble mechanical trouble within the warranty period and had it repaired free of charge, However he had more trouble with it outside of the warranty period with the flywheel, which I needed to be replaced at a cost of around £500 approximately, then all of the electrics went down and he had no indicators, no central locking and no heater etc, so he took it to an expert who deals with this kind of thing, only to be told that the clocks had been changed at some point before my son bought the car and the wrong clocks, with a different mileage, which showed almost double the genuine mileage. The technician told my son to take it back to the local garage from which he bought the car from but my son told me that because it was outside of the warranty he would have to pay for it himself, which horrified ,e. My son is a registered ATA panel beater and works for a Vauxhall dealership here in Liverpool, and has informed myself and hi Mother, my wife that there is something else wrong with the car now as well and it is going to cost him Approximately £1,000 to have it put right. I believe that the car is not fit for purpose and therefore the HP should be annulled or the car should be completely repaired free of charge and would like your expert advice on this matter please if that is possible and you don’t mind,
    Kindest Regards,

    Graham Howard

    • Hi Graham. It would be unusual for someone to change the speedometer for one with double the correct mileage – usually you would be trying to replace it for one which has fewer miles on it to make it look like the car has done less mileage.

      It’s entirely possible that the car has either been involved in an accident or suffered some fairly harsh treatment by the previous owner(s). The car is outside the six-month window provided under the Consumer Rights Act, and even when those cases have been taken to court, judges have been very lenient on dealers with used cars with problems. Trying to prove that a six-year-old used car is not fit for purpose is a very tough ask. You may be able to make a case if you have clear evidence of clock tampering, but probably not for mechanical faults on a used car that is out of warranty.

  49. H Stuart, this is all rather depressing. My problem is not however about the car, a new Nissan Juke, but the dealership. I have just returned from taking my wife to collect her new car but without it it. I suppose I should have walked when the test drive took place in a car with a filthy interior.

    We arrived to collect the new car and found it stood in the dark on the lot with little space to even open the doors. It was suggested that we might want to look at the car whilst some paperwork was redone I had no desire to stand in the rain looking at a wet car in the dark. It was impossible to check for any faults but when my wife got into the car we found that it was un-valeted and had not been prepared as promised (this was a new vehicle). Although we had arrived on time we were abandoned to sit and wait.

    When I spend money on a new car I not unreasonably expect the experience of collection to be pleasant rather than annoying, I don’t need a big reveal or flowers just courtesy and professionalism. I now have no faith in this dealership and refused to accept the car.

    I imagine they will try to resolve my lack of faith by threatening to keep my deposit. We shall see.

    I wonder if it is worth speaking to Nissan?



    • Hi Steve. First port of call is to try and resolve the matter with the dealer principal/general manager. If the car was due to be collected, it will have already been registered in your name and is therefore a pain to either undo with DVLA (and the time limit to do so may have already expired) or the dealer would have to buy the car back from you – which would be for less money than you paid for it, as VAT and other costs of sale have already been paid.

      If it is a new car, there should be no mechanical concerns and it is simply a matter of poor customer service from the dealership. You will be making your own life much easier if you make your annoyance very clear and then give the dealership the opportunity to rectify the problem. They may offer some fuel, free servicing or other gesture of goodwill, and will save you a lot of hassle in terms of cancelling a contract, having to get the refund processed and then go elsewhere to purchase another car and go through all the same purchase processes again.

      If you are unhappy with the response from the general manager of the dealership, then by all means escalate the matter to Nissan UK. Again, the offer is likely to be one of goodwill and compensation for your poor experience rather than cancelling your contract and refunding your money. Legally, there is no recourse for rejecting a car because it has not been valeted.

  50. Hi Stuart, no I have been in the second new Audi A6 since August 2015 ( after trading in the first new Audi A6 for it). Within two weeks , end of August 2015, the car showed the high oil level message which the dealership fixed. The car didn’t show the message again until September 2016 , just over a year since the first message. Since 1st October 2016, the car has showed the message three times, the oil sensor has been changed twice and currently the car is in the dealership. The latest information from them, is there is a likelihood of a leaky fuel injector which could be the reason for the increased oil level and hence the reduce oil level message.
    The finance company is aware of the issues and have eight weeks to investigate and then issue a first and final response. I have requested a cancellation of the pcp agreement, the car is bought back by the dealership and they settle the remaining finance on the car. I gather as the car is over six months from delivery, I am not covered by the Consumer Rights Act, is there anything further I can do to push through the rejection of the car.

  51. Hi Stuart ,
    I bought my second new Audi A6 on a pcp agreement in March 2015 ( dealer incentive to swap over my 2012 Audi A6) and after 4 weeks , the reduce oil level message came up on the MMI display. I spoke to the garage and the car was returned to them and after 4 weeks they invited me in for a chat. Needless to say they were very apologetic due to their error in over filling the oil. In July 2015, the car broke down, the clutch went to the floor and the car wouldn’t move. The police were involved due to the position of where the car stopped. Audi assist came out and took the car and I to the local Audi dealership, who had the car for a week and eventually call me back to say they couldn’t find anything wrong with the car. By this time, I had enough of the car and sought to Return the car to Audi but as you quite right have said on many occasions , at least 50% of the pcp agreement must be paid first which equates to at least half of the agreement term. The alternative for me was to trade the car in for another at another Audi dealership, as didn’t want to drive the car anymore. I got another Audi A6 in August 2016 after handing more money out on another deposit and within two weeks, the same oil level issue appeared on the MMI. Surely I thought I cannot be that unlucky, two new cars and both with the same oil level problems, but I was as it happened again. The dealership was notified and the car recovered. The car was gone a week and I drove a hire car arranged by Audi assist ( this was the third hire car from Audi in 9 months). The dealership acknowledged they had overfilled the oil during the preparation before I took delivery and again they apologised. In September 2016, the oil level message appeared again and the car was taken back to the dealership where the oil sensor was changed. By the 15th October, the oil level light appeared and again the car return to the dealership ( I was now in a fourth loan car) with another oil sensor installed. By the 12th Nov , the oil level message appeared again and I contacted the dealership again and currently the car is with them trying to find out what is wrong and I am in the fifth loan car since March 2015.
    Needless to say I am not impressed with Audi and the issues that I have experienced since March 2015 have put me off buying another Audi. As I am in a 48 month agreement and I am only 15 months into it, do I have grounds to hand the car back due to reoccurring problem with the oil level without paying anymore.

    • Hi Steve. If you have only been in your current car since August 2016, presumably they started a new agreement and you are only three months into it rather than 15.

      Since you have had your current car for less than six months, you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act and you can attempt to reject the car. The dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem, which they have had. Given that they have failed to fix the problem, you can move to reject the vehicle. If successful, you are not entitled to a full refund as the dealer can charge for usage/wear and tear. You will need to do it in conjunction with the finance company, as the car belongs to them rather than you.

  52. Hi Stuart,

    This hasn’t turned into a dispute (yet) but I’d like to be informed whether it is reasonable or the industry standard.

    I’m waiting for delivery of my new car, and was given a delivery date a few days ago, of 2 weeks away. However, when I was emailed over the Confirmation of Registration form for the new number plate, the registration date is quoted as a few days earlier (2.5 weeks earlier than proposed delivery).

    I have questioned the date but have received vague and non-committal responses, basically dodging my questions, and have since just asked for the date to be changed, but no reply yet.

    Is this normal? Will I lose out on road tax and warranty? Can I insist that they change the date, and is it even possible?

    I have not yet arranged insurance for the vehicle, nor have I been offered or informed of free 7 day insurance.

    Thanks in advance.

    • It is probably because the dealer wanted the car registered in October rather than November to suit their own numbers. It’s not your problem and you don’t have to agree with it. You don’t want the car registered until the day you pick it up – if anything goes wrong and you end up trying to cancel the purchase, it is always much harder once the car has already been registered.

    • Thanks Stuart. I have since been told that it was just a form for admin purposes and my car won’t be registered until the day before collection, however the skeptic in me now wonders why this was communicated over the phone when the conversation was via email up to that point. So I’ll have to check it again on the day…

    • Probably just laziness. Salespeople tend to forget that while all the paperwork is second nature to them, customers often have no idea what’s going on and why they need to sign different forms or provide certain information. They generally need to be better at explaining the processes of how everything works, but generally dealers prefer not to tell customers too much about what is happening…

  53. Hoping you can help me here – I purchased a Ford Fiesta from a used car dealership. We originally went to collect on Saturday 4th June, but had to leave it and collect on Sunday as some work they had agreed to do first had not been done satisfactorily. This was resolved by the time we collected on Sunday, and we drove the car the 30 miles back to my parents with no issues; however, after a 10 minute drive home later the same evening, the car made an unusual rattling sound when I changed gears, and subsequently stalled. I managed to coast onto my drive, but on attempting to start the car once more, it rattled and stalled itself again. We contacted the dealership the following day (Monday 6th June) and they agreed to send out a mechanic to check the car on Tuesday 7th June (today) however have failed to give me any time frame in which they will do so, and are no longer answering my calls – I have two numbers for the dealership which I have tried (once around 9am and again around 12 noon,) but have yet to receive a call back. I am quite anxious at this point as they said that if they are unable to repair the car onsite (i.e., on my drive) they will have to arrange for it to be uplifted to their garage – At this point, I can’t see them being able to repair it on my drive, and they won’t have time to arrange for uplift, which will subsequently delay the repair. I’ve been contacting them on my mobile so that I have a clear record of how many attempts have been made to contact them, and the queries have been logged by text (as I have been unable to find an e-mail address for them.)

    The thing is, it was a lovely car when it was driving, and if they would just pull their thumbs out, repair it and get it back to me, I can’t see me having any further issues. I have got a 6 month warranty for the car, so I don’t understand why they’re being so cagey.

    • Hi Robyn. Used car dealers have a reputation (often well deserved) for being sweetness and rainbows up until they have your money, and then very difficult to get hold of afterwards. Sounds like you have this exact problem. The best way to successfully get the issue resolved, as annoying as it may be, is to keep bugging them until they agree to resolve the problem just to make you go away. Stay calm and clear about what you expect, and don’t let the conversation get diverted away from delivering the outcome you are looking for. If the person you are talking to flat-out refuses to help, go up to the next person in the chain. Like most things in life, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  54. Hi Stuart, Hope you’re well and can help us!

    We bought a car from a used car dealership… The MOT it had done that day mentioned seepage from the power steering hose as an advisory. We accepted the car with it being an advisory as there was a warranty included so knew if there was issues we’d get it repaired. Lo and behold the next day the power steering completely failed, It took a week from when we first reported an issue for it to come back to us after a major headache with the dealership.

    On the car being returned to us we took it for a drive, a mile up the road, the car wouldn’t go into gear. We had it checked out and the Slave Cylinder it seems has failed after the Dealership accused us of burning the clutch out, the car has since been stick driven to put it onto our drive as we had left it where it stopped working.

    At this point in time we want to exercise our Short Term Right to Reject the car, however the car is still on our drive and the dealership is 30 miles away, Doe’s the dealer have to pick the car up or do we need to get it there ourselves?

    Also we have found that the dealer has amended the order form after we have signed it and got our carbon copy, he was spouting off about not covering the clutch and it seems he has added this onto their copy of document. Do you know where we stand from on a legal point in regards to this?

    Hope you can help! :)

    Thanks Checky

    • Hi Checky. To reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you would need to return the vehicle to the seller. In other words, you will need to book a truck to collect the vehicle and take it back to the dealership.

      If you have a carbon copy of the original contract which does not contain a subsequent amendment, then the amendment has no legal value. Any amendment has to be present on all copies of the contract, and initialled by both parties.

      It sounds like he is a right charmer…

  55. hi
    how long does a 2nd hand car dealer legally have to keep a car you have paid a deposit on before he can sell it to someone else

    • Hi Lins. It would depend on the circumstances of the situation, and the terms and conditions of the contract. You haven’t really given any detail of what has happened, so it’s hard to understand what you are looking for.

  56. Hi
    I bought a used Toyota two weeks ago from dealer and yesterday I was on motorway and got fire and burned completely and it is hybrid car , please advice me on this as the car is third part only insured

    • Hi Abdullah. Your course of action will depend on the cause of the fire. If you are looking to reject the car due to a fault, you have to show that the fault was present when you purchased the vehicle – and that may be difficult if all that’s left is a burnt-out wreck.

    • Hi Suresh. Finance companies normally like to see some level of deposit when they are lending money, as it looks a bit ropey if you are asking for £21,000 but have nothing to contribute yourself. This is probably more of an issue than the provisional licence.

      You may find it easier to get a personal loan for the same amount of money.

  57. Hello Stuart, Dave here hope you can help! We brought a five month old Renault Captur 65 plate from a main dealer with the rest of a 4 year left on it. The price was £12,945 They allowed us £2000 for our old car, so we paid £10,945 cash. On the third day of owning the car we had the breakdown service out as it would not start. The mechanic said the battery was showing only 5%, He jump started it and we had a run around the block. The mechanic said that the battery was then showing 100%. We informed the dealer who told us to keep an eye on it to see if it happened again. Two days later the car just went dead, you could not even lock the doors. On the dash it showed break failure. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the brakes and think it is an electrical fault. The car is in the garage now and we are waiting to here from them. By the way we have only covered about 200 miles or less in the six days we have had it. We have lost all our confidence in the car, so would like to know if you think we would be entitled to a full refund. Keep up the good work! Regards Dave.

  58. Hi Stuart
    I have recently just signed the Hire Purchase Finance Agreement for a car and now the company are saying that they have miscalculated the amount saying that the agreed monthly figure is going to increase can they do this

    • Hi Lindsey. Unfortunately, they can simply cancel the contract you signed, which it should explain in the contract Terms and Conditions. It sucks, because you wouldn’t have the same right to change your mind because you don’t like the amount.

      They will come back to you to offer a new contract at the higher payments. You don’t have to accept this, and can walk away from the deal altogether (with a full refund of your deposit), or use it as a way to negotiate a better deal from the dealer.

    • Hi Johhny. You should be able to cancel the order based on the fact that the dealer has well and truly failed to deliver the car within the promised timeframe, which should be noted in the terms and conditions of your vehicle order. You should also be able to get any deposit back.

  59. Hi Stuart
    i have just purchased a used Skoda Octavia from a dealer, myself & my dad did a through as possible visual inspection of the car & both did a test drive. 6 days after purchase i started having problems with changing gear, i rang the dealer who is now saying it’s not his problem & that clutch’s can just go like that. I have driven the total of 38 miles since purchase so cannot believe that this small amount of driving has caused the gear box to completely fail. After much discussion over the phone he has agreed to have a look at the car, do you think i have the legal right to insist on a repair? Thank you for your input

    • Hi Jenjen. You definitely have the right to have the gearbox or clutch repaired, depending on the warranty offered on the vehicle when purchased.

      If you are wanting to reject the car, you need to show that the vehicle was faulty at time of purchase. This is likely to involve some arguing with the dealership, and you will need to be firm in holding your position.

  60. Hi Stuart i bought vauxhall zafira tourer diesel on 15 plate only had it few weeks now and its got a message come up on dash saying diesel particular filter full and every now and again i get no power in 1st gear and all a sudden it goes i phoned dealers explained the situation and they advising me to take it on motor way and thrash in high revs and it should clear out but i have to do this maybe twice a month due to me doing short journeys but i wasnt made aware of this that this car would not be suitable for me its really annoying and i dont get much time to go on motorways due to my work but shouldn’t be doing this can i give the car back and get a petrol one please advice thanks

    • Hi Imdad. The car is not faulty, so you can’t reject it on those grounds. You would have to argue that the dealership mis-sold you the vehicle based on your description of your requirements, and that is far more difficult to prove.

      The diesel particulate filter absorbs unburnt diesel particles when the engine is cold, and then burns them off at a high temperature once the system has properly heated up. In most cases, a driver will have the odd longer journey (20-30 minutes) where the particles are burnt off. However, if you are only ever doing very short journeys, the system never heats up sufficiently and the filter will fill up. At this point, you need to take the car for a longer drive to clear the filter. If you don’t do this, the filter will clog up and will need to be manually cleaned out. This damages the filter and may require replacement (which is expensive).

  61. Hi Stuart
    I ordered a 208 on the internet on 31 March. Delivered today 5 April – only to find some scratches on the paintwork. This is a brand new car. I sent the driver back up to the dealer !!
    They are now saying that I have no right to cancel / reject and using bullying tactics i.e. firm solicitors etc. Where do I stand ?

    • Hi John. Trying to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act on the grounds of some scratches would be difficult unless they were severe (otherwise a repair would be much simpler).

      However, if you ordered the car on the internet and it was delivered to you, you have the right to cancel it within 14 days anyway. For more information, have a read of our article on cancelling a vehicle purchase.

  62. Hi, my daughter paid a deposit of £200 on a used car but the insurance was so excessive she decided not to buy it. No contract was signed yet the dealer has kept £100 ” for his having to re advertise”. Is this legal

  63. Hi Stuart,

    thanks for your response. I guess in addition to what you have said, should the salesman at the dealer have told me about this before I agreed to place a deposit? And also, how would you know which finance company they use and if its the right one?


  64. Hi Stuart just read the article about disputes, I have had terrible trouble with Dacia I have had a nightmare with my sandero step way , broke down with only 5000 miles on clock 3breakdowns later ,I had to pay £1000 to have car repaired Dacia reneged on their decision to fix it . I bought it brand new they refuse to even discuss it . So I have initiated legal action against march2016 glad for any advice

    • Hi Dave. It is unfortunate that you have had to take such action on a new car. If you have already started legal action, it is best to stick with that course and let the lawyers handle it rather than taking any further actions yourself. Your lawyers should be speaking to Dacia HQ as well as the dealer, as the problems should presumably be covered by the New Car Warranty which is provided by the manufacturer rather than the dealer.

      Of course, this assumes that there is a clearly identifiable fault with the vehicle rather than anything you have done to break the car.

    • I have bough a car from a dealer and it turned out faulty. I asked for refund but he deducted £300 even though I send him a copy of report from the garage who examined my car. He also tried to charge me for a warranty that was never applied to my contract. Was he right to charge me £300 for a usage of the car?

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.