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New laws give car buyers extra protection

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Due to the huge number of questions generated by this topic, we have taken the time to replace this article with a brand new and more comprehensive explanation of your rights when rejecting a new or used car. Please follow this link to our new article from now on:

Rejecting a car – your consumer rights.

This old article will no longer be updated, and any questions will be directed to the new article. Many thanks, stuart.


(PS – if you’ve come here from the MoneySavingExpert forum, then they have been asked to update their links to the new article above. Also never take advice from the anonymous keyboard warriors on the MoneySavingExpert forum, as they are very often wrong and misguided!
stuart 11/08/2017)

Car buyers will get more rights when rejecting a faulty car from October 2015

From 1 October 2015, the old Sale of Goods Act 1979 will be effectively replaced for business to consumer (B2C) sales by the new Consumer Rights Act 2015, which is good news for car buyers. The new Act gives greater consumer protection in line with EU requirements.

The big benefit of the new law is that car buyers will have 30 days to reject a new or used car from a dealership if it has a fault which was present when you took delivery. The old legislation was vague and was not easily enforceable in the event of problems with a vehicle.

If a customer wants to accept a repair then they can, but they are not obliged to and can demand a full refund.

The new rules, which only affect private car buyers (consumers) rather than businesses, and only from cars bought from registered traders (i.e. – not private sales).  The Act covers both new and used cars.

This is a very powerful law in support of consumers, but it is important that you follow a clear and careful process to make sure you have the backing of the new law.

It is the customer’s obligation to prove that there was a fault when they took delivery of the car. Faults that only appear after you have driven off will not count unless you can show that they had to have been present when you collected the car.

The rules should be particularly useful when purchasing from auction, or other situations where there is little or no opportunity to inspect a car before purchase.

Tips for car buyers when rejecting a car

  1. A fault does not have to be a problem that renders the car undriveable. According to the Act, the “goods” (i.e. – the car) must in of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect.
  2. Inspect the car for faults before purchase, and get written confirmation that they will be addressed prior to delivery. Take photos or video to highlight the problem so you can compare to the ‘fixed’ result.
  3. Inspect the car for faults at time of delivery. Do not allow the dealer to rush you and do not sign any documentation on delivery until you have inspected the car thoroughly.
  4. Once you have driven home, inspect the car again. If you spot any problems, take photos or video evidence.
  5. If you notice any problems, cease driving the car as soon as is practical. Notify the dealership immediately, preferably via phone and definitely in writing (email is fine).  Explain the problem clearly and in detail, and supply photos or any other evidence.
  6. If you are interested in pursuing your option to reject the car, do not keep driving it unless absolutely necessary and there is no alternative. If you do need to drive the car, make sure you inform the dealer to avoid any dispute later on.
  7. Get everything in writing, with clear dates. If the dealer is happy for you to keep driving the car until they are available to look at it, get an email confirming that.  A car dealer’s verbal promise is worth nothing.
  8. This is not an excuse to change your mind because you don’t want the car anymore, or you realise that you’ve bought the wrong car for your needs. There has to be a clear fault with the vehicle.
  9. Rejecting a car will be easier for a new car than a used car, simply because there are fewer grey areas and everything should be working properly on a brand new car. If you are buying a used car, especially an older car, you will need to clear (get it in writing) about anything that is not working that you want fixed before delivery. If a dealer is offering a car with a known fault, and it is advertised as such and sold ‘as is’, you can’t reject the car because of that fault.
  10. The Act only governs faults that were present when you bought the car, not ones that developed afterwards. That’s what warranties are for.
  11. Your 30 days is paused while a fault is investigated and repaired. This is to stop a dealer taking 31 days to investigate a fault and then decline to refund or repair because it’s outside the legal window.

Unless there is a clause in the sales contract which says you are obliged to return the car, then it is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle. You only have to make sure the car is available to collect.

If you are rejecting the car under the new 30-day ‘short term right to reject’ legislation, you are entitled to a full refund by the same method in which you paid for the car. The dealer cannot charge for usage, damage, wear and tear, collection of the vehicle or anything else.


Once again, please note that this article has now been replaced by a brand new and more comprehensive explanation of your rights when rejecting a new or used car. Please follow this link to our new article:

Rejecting a car – your consumer rights.

This comments section below will no longer be updated, and any questions from readers will be directed to the new article. Many thanks, stuart.

For the best independent and impartial car buying advice on the internet, always check with The Car Expert:

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
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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    • Stuart, I recently purchased a used Ferrari from an approved dealer and had to make a 1,000 mile round to collect the vehicle which included 2 ferry journey’s and two nights hotel accommodation. My expenses including fuel were in the region of £700. I rejected the car within 48 hours of returning home due to numerous significant faults. Am I entitled to be reimbursed for the travel costs incurred in addition to any other compensation for the inconvenience?

    • Hi Bernard. No, there is no provision for anything in the Act beyond a full refund for the vehicle. For anything else, you would have to negotiate with the dealer.

    • Hi Stuart

      I bought a used car from a dealer, didn’t notice there was a chip in the windscreen and it was pointed out to me either.
      I have asked them to replace it as I thought it was their duty to point it out to me at point of sale. They have said provided it passes MOT they don’t have to point it out to me.

      I believe they have a duty to point this out under the Consumer Rights Act?
      How can I take this further?


    • Hi Ram. I don’t think the dealer has any obligation to point out a windscreen chip. If the car has passed its MOT then it is roadworthy and the dealer has fulfilled its obligations. The dealer does not have to point out any minor scuffs or dents, either. If you don’t notice these imperfections when you are inspecting the car, it’s not the dealer’s fault.

      It would be different if you specifically asked the dealer if the car had any windscreen chips and they said “no”. Then they would be guilty of mis-selling for lying to you about the car’s condition.

  1. I have bought car from dealer and it’s faulty ie no sensors as advised, charger not working, seat belts dirty and wipers were faulty noted in rain when going back home after buying car(changed by kwikfit the next day). Now i demanded refund and they say they would reduced 500 punds as deduction after 4 days of sale. What do you suggest?

    • Yes, under the new legislation explained above, you can demand a full refund – they have no right to deduct any money if you are returning the car in the same condition as when you bought it.

      Refer them to this article, or more importantly, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    • I bought a from the dealer up until 9 months I discover that the lic disc and number plates are not corresponding , do I have the rights to return back the car and get another one

    • Hi Duncan. You probably won’t be able to return the car now, as it’s something you should have noticed before now. You will need to speak to the DVLA and have the discrepancy corrected.

    • Hiya, sorry i couldnt figure out how to do own post. I brought a car friday 4 days ago, i checked for everything that i could think off. But didnt check the dashboard. The car sales place made me sign this piece of paper saying once i buy the car any problems are mine. Soon as i got off the industrial estate i was checking my speed after crawling about, and the speedo wasnt working… Its still not working and someone mentioned this new law. What can i do? Ive been trying to fox it myself but im upset that i brought a car with a problem they probly knew about which is why they got me to sign that paper. Will be greatful for a reply

    • Hi Robyn. Their piece of paper does not trump the law. Under the Consumer Rights Act, you can reject the car or have them fix the problem. A car without a functioning speedometer is not fit for sale.

    • Hi I purchased a car from stone acre on finance 8 days ago I noticed some paint work issues when purchasing and I still bought the vehicle but I have since noticed my passenger side door does not lock from the inside the catch must be broke. The car is not central lock either so I have to work round the car to lock from the outside when locking. Also it doesn’t go in to reverse gear sometimes are these things covered by the consumer rights as if they are can I reject the vehicle and give it them back ?

    • Hi Kimberley. The paintwork issue would probably not be considered significant enough to warrant rejecting the vehicle, and the central locking issue is debatable (the door can still be locked, you just don’t have the convenience of working central locking). However the problem with the gearbox is probably enough to warrant rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act.

  2. Hi Stuart,
    I was wondering if you could give me some advice?
    Basically I bought and paid cash for a brand new £25,000 car back in April 2013. My problem is that I have experienced no end of trouble with it. It has been back to the dealership for repairs more times than I care to remember and they have been major jobs!
    Even the guys at the dealership have admitted that it’s something that they just don’t see with my make of car and that they only see them when it’s time for service.
    I’m really tired of having to used their courtesy car time and time again and my main worry is that in March 2016, the warranty will be up. I have put this to the garage and they said because of all the problems I’ve had with it, the manufacturer may extend the warranty for another year however I feel that it’s not much of a consolation due to it continually causing me problems.
    I’m exasperated to be honest!
    Many thanks for listening

    • Hi Barbara. Make sure you are keeping a documented file of everything that has been wrong with the vehicle, including all correspondence with the dealer.

      I would try legalbeagles.info for advice on challenging the dealer and manufacturer about the vehicle being not fit for purpose and demanding a replacement, as it’s not an area we have expertise in dealing with here. Ignore an comments from the dealer about “we never have problems with these cars”, as they will always say that…

    • Hi I recently bought a brand new 2017 commercial truck I requested it to be delivered out of state so I don’t pay taxes on it now I’m having trouble getting it insured I haven’t took delivery on the truck yet but I’ve already signed my contract what are Mr rights at this point and can I do what’s called a rewind and get it delivered in California instead of out of state

    • Hi Ricardo. This is a UK website, and I don’t know what the relevant laws are in California or in your state.

  3. Hi Stuart, I have bought a second hand car 3 days ago and when I drove it back home I noticed the driver seat was loose and move quite noticeably when accelerating/slowing or turning and on further inspection, I noticed the engine was leaking oil a bit from everywhere as well as an electric mirror not working. The two first faults are not even reported as warning or anything in the 4 days old MOT which worries me. Am I entitled to a full refund for these faults as I cannot trust the car anymore if these 3 issues are present and I do not want it repaired: I do not want to drive it with anyone in it, who knows what else is hidden somewhere else and I think the MOT is dodgy at best if not worse.

    • Hi Richar. Yes, as explained above, you can take the car back and demand a full refund. The dealer almost certainly won’t like it, but it’s your right under the new laws. Make sure you stand your ground, and have a copy of the law (it’s linked at the top of the article above) so they know that you know your rights.

  4. hi stuart I just bought a used car 3 days ago and I’ve been having problem ever since. They told me the car was in good running condition and I believed it but the car was sold as is can this new law help me?

  5. hi Stuart
    i am dealer, i started the business about three months ago, i sold a car about 45 days ago. after 15 days of sold the car the buyer complain me and complain suddenly his car clutch is broken.. as new trader i took the car from his home and repair it and i did not charge him anything for it. but today he text me his car breakdown again and he is going to complain it to the complain authority to refund his full money.. the car is sold about 45 days ago.
    what would be the next is he eligible for that claim?
    as i know about the new rules after 30 days he can’t ask for the refund..
    please help me with solution.

    • Hi Kamrul. Given that the problem was reported within 15 days, he can probably argue that it falls within the 30-day window. The repair has clearly not worked, but it is impossible for me to know if this is a problem with the car or his driving. I would suggesting visiting Lawgistics, which deals with a lot of legal issues in the motor trade. They have been covering the new laws in detail, so you will probably find some good advice there.

    • Hi Stuart

      I bought a car from a dealer that broke down after 6 days. The dealer paid for it to be repaired. About four weeks later the car broke down again with the same fault symptoms. The dealer has agreed that I can reject the car and have a refund. However, they have deducted the amount of £1,000, one-sixth, off purchase price due to use. Can you advise if I am entitled to a full refund as the same fault has occurred? If I am not entitled to a full refund is there a guideline/law as to what is a fair reduction? After the fault occurred (2nd time) I discovered that the registration plate is different to the original and that the mileage is a lot lower than was recorded by the manufacturer a year ago.



    • Hi Maria. Normally, you are entitled to a full refund unless the car is no longer in a similar condition to when you purchased it.

      Changing the registration plate is perfectly common, so that shouldn’t be an issue. The difference in mileage is important, though, so if you are locked in an argument with them about the refund you might want to mention that.

  6. Hi Stuart,

    I just bought a Chevrolet Cargo Express van from a dealership yesterday, and found out 2 hours later that the slider doors won’t lock at all, so I told my sales men that I’m returning the van and left it at the dealership.I feel ripoff and demanded a full refund the same same day but the sales men manger said that they don’t allow refund for commercial vehicle only for regular cars. Also the manger told me that my loan was one day with Los Angeles West and then today I’m with capital one. Can I i get my 2,500 credit down payment back on a commercial van and return the van? What will happen if I just leave the van their at the dealership (currently where it’s at)? Will this mess up my credit? Thanks

  7. Hi my son brought a car through fininace on the 25th Nov (£8000) on the 29th Nov he had to call AA as he couldn’t start the car AA took the car back to dealer ship and on the Monday mornin my son called them to say the car was on their forecourt due to it not starting. My son has losed all faith in the car now and wants to cancel his agreement, it’s now the 9 th dec and he still has no car and dealer ship seemed to be playing games with him not returning his calls,, he explained to fininace company who said because they is a fault he is able to cancel ,,,, but still left not k owing anything,,,,,, please help worried mom thank you

    • Hi Marie. Yes, your son should be protected under the new legislation. If he is not getting a satisfactory response from the dealer, he should contact the Ombudsman or seek legal advice. Make sure you inform the finance company of your intention to reject the vehicle. The finance agreement has a 14-day cooling-off period, but that will expire very soon if he took delivery of the car on 28 November.

  8. Hi Stuart,

    I was hoping you could give me a little advise about my situation? I bought a second had car from a dealer on the 27th August. I didn’t get a chance to drive the car until early November due to the dealer wanting to get the car an MOT after I bought the car and then I needed to wait for the log book to arrive so I could insure myself on it. The dealer told me on the day that I bought the car that the MOT had run out, and so would like to get a new one it before I took it away. But when I tried to drive it for the first time after being able to collect the car, it wouldn’t move. after a few hours late at night to get it moving, it finally drove. There are various other faults on the car that I noticed after I got it home. I contacted the dealer the next day about the fault of the car and he point blank refused to give me a refund, swore at me and put the phone down. I ask advise from Citizens Advise and so I wrote him a letter. He claims he never received the letter, even though I sent it recorded delivery and wont return my calls. Iv had the car looked at by a mechanic and the Ministry of transport and both have said that the car should not have passed the MOT that he put it through on the 5th September. It has only driven 80 miles since I bought the car (the day I finally got it working and haven’t driven it since) and There is excessive rust under the car with holes, the engine is a mess too possible engine management system issue, and there are welding issues, It is un road worthy and un drivable. Ministry of transport are actually investigating the garage who did the MOT. Iv only just found out that the MOT on the car hadn’t run out like he said to me when I bought it, It had failed its MOT only 6 days before I bough the car, on many major faults, but as I have never bought a car before and a complete novice I believed him and was glad to have a years MOT on it. My problem is that because I couldn’t drive the car for ages due to him wanting to get an MOT done, which took a few weeks for him to get done, and then waiting for the log book to insure it, I am out of the 30 day period. where do I stand with this?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, Its events that have unfolded over the last 2 months

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Sophia. It’s unfortunate that cowboys like this still exist in the industry. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution and you are going to have to work had to get your money back – and even then, it may never happen.

      You are going to need to take legal action against the garage to get any kind of result, as clearly they will not respond to polite requests. I would suggest visiting legalbeagles.info, as they have loads of good legal advice as to how you can pursue the matter, but you will probably need to engage lawyers to act for you if you ever want to get it resolved.

  9. Hi there Stuart, Im a garage who repairs cars and when business is slow i buy a car or 2 to repair and sell to keep my business running. i brought a 2006 ford focus diesel with 146k, checked the vehicle over, driven the vehicle for a couple of days and all was good, just faulty reverse camera 3′ screen. changed a couple of tyres as hey was at min tread depth, gave the vehicle a check over and given it a fresh oil & filter change with a engine flush as i do with all my cars and customers that come in for a service. 7 weeks later the customer comes to see me and states a fault. This vehicle was sold for £1000 less than retail price for its age & mileage & they knocked me a further £95 to go towards the vehicles road tax. i was happy to offer them that deal as the vehicle was good. they refused to take out any warranty for the vehicle. ref to the fault 7 weeks later they stated it had a loss of power and could hear a hissing sound that turned out after having a look to be a turbo inter-cooler pipe ( advised then i would require further time to remove it and check to make sure it defo was the pipe and nothing else ) i was busy that day but gave them a date to pop back but they didnt come back. they know someone who knows me and asked them to call me stating am i going to fix it free of charge under the new law act & starting to state if this is not fixed they want a full refund. all my cheap cars brought and sold have always been happy with my service i have provided & have been honest & never push for a quick sale/profit.

    This surly is not the case where all customers read the full refund and push for this pushing honest business out & a way of taking business for a joke. i understand where some business are bad and see money and love there low act on the customer and not helping where possible.

    Am i right to refuse the free repair as the vehicle was in top road worthy condition when sold & the customer is to pay for the repairs as necessary.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Roger. If it was seven weeks after the sale, then they do not have any rights under the new legislation. They would have to refer to the Sale of Goods Act and claim that the car was not fit for purpose and should not have been sold. Given that it was a nine-year old Ford with 146,000 miles on the clock when they took delivery, they would have great difficulty proving this.

      I would suggest visiting lawgistics.co.uk, who specialise in legal information and advice for motor traders.

  10. Hi we purchased a car a few weeks ago, all the financing sorted, registration document arrived, but the dealer won’t give it to us because they say it has a fault. No timescale has been given for rectifying the fault, and they won’t or can’t say what the fault is. Can we reject the car before we have taken delivery? Or perhaps this new 30 day rule is why they are insisting on keeping the car until they say it is “fixed”? We no longer have confidence in the car but are unsure of our rights here.

    • If you have already paid for the car, it’s more difficult to cancel the contract and walk away. You absolutely have the right to know what the problem is and what they are doing about it. If the car has not been delivered, the finance should not have been activated, but it sounds like it probably has been. I would contact the finance company and inform them that the car has not been delivered. You can advise them that you no longer want the car and want to cancel the contract (you have a 14-day cooling off period for the finance agreement), but they may try to then bill you for the car if they have already paid the dealer for it.

  11. Hi,
    I bought a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer ( Network q) 1 year old from a dealer some miles away.
    The car is still under manufacturers warranty and plagued with a reoccuring fault that my local Vauxhall Dealership (not the VM dealer I bought it from) can resolve or identify and repair so far.
    The car was bought in July 2015.
    It is going in this week again for the same issues which render the vehicle virtually undrivable.
    Can I reject the vehicle or demand Vauxhall resolve this under the consumer acts or is my greivance with the original dealer where the car was purchased?
    I am allowing this next repair (under warranty) to hopefully resolve the situation,however I am planning my next step if it fails.
    I feel Vauxhall are accountable as they hold the warranty for my car,I guess the law may see it differently?

    • Hi Ian. The manufacturer warranty is provided by Vauxhall, so any dealership can address warranty issues. It may be that another dealer might sort the problem straightaway (not all dealers are equally competent).

      If you are not having any luck, you can contact Vauxhall head office and lodge a complaint with them. You are certainly within your rights to insist that the problem is fixed, although rejecting the car is more difficult.

  12. Hi Stuart,

    Firstly thanks for a great article that makes things a lot clearer.

    I am currently dealing with a dealer who I bought a 09 Nissan qashqai from for £6300 on 23/12/2015. This car had a full MOT on.

    On 5th Jan an engine malfunction light came on, the company who will only communicate via email, advised me to take it to a local garage and they would pay for a repair.

    The garage who are very reputable advised me of two fault codes, that the car was blowing blue smoke and loosing power this needed a new turbo. Plus, the car key was shown as not being synced with the car. With this in mind he advised me to ask for a refund as their maybe further problems with this car. I requested a refund from the dealership in line with my consumer rights.

    At which point the dealership stated they rejected this claim and would like to do diagnostics themselves. They have said that the car needs its variable vanes cleaning which will solve the problem and a new battery for the key, a ‘simple repair’ by their admissions. Note this is not a fully independent garage it’s next door to the dealers and they carry out MOTs on all the cars they sell.

    I’m inclined still not to trust them so I have again requested a refund in line with consumer rights using official emails with advice from citizens advice.

    The dealership have advised me they are not part of an ADR scheme. They will not speak to me on phone or in the dealership and I’m not allowed to ring the garage where my car is, emails only which are replied at best slowly, if at all.

    They have again rejected my refund request. Am I looking at small claims? What are my next steps?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Donna. The dealership does not have the right to refuse your refund request if there was a fault present when you purchased the car.

      If they continue to refuse, your only course of action will be to get legal assistance and take them to court. You will need to show that the car was faulty when you purchased it, rather than a fault occurring after purchase. This is not that simple, and you will need expert advice from at least one other garage (preferably a Nissan main dealer) to say that the fault must have been present when you purchased the vehicle.

      It is likely that the threat of legal action would force the company’s hand, but it’s not guaranteed.

  13. thanks for the reply stuart, a great piece of information, anyway i have contacted the dealer and they have refused to comment, they also said they would call me and they didn’t , i then called them and seems everyone is off work or in meetings , so can i simply take the car to them and leave it there with all the books and log book, the finance company say it will take min 8 weeks to give me a decision ?

  14. hi stuart
    i contacted the dealers and they simply wont reply back to me , every time i call they seem to be in meetings or off for the day, spoke to the pcp company and they say it will take min 8 weeks to resolve,they did say it is complicated because i used a part exchange car within the deal , is this right to say it will take 8 weeks, could i simply take the car to the dealer and hand them the keys back , or will it breach my finance, i will obviously make any future payments until it is resolved ?

    • Hi Wayne. I suggest you do the following:

      1) write to the general manager/dealer principal of the dealership, stating your intention to reject the car. CC the finance company, as it’s their car, not yours. Make a point of complaining about the dealership’s behaviour and request his/her immediate confirmation of receipt of your letter. This should at least trigger a response from the dealership
      2) contact customer services at Nissan UK head office to complain about both the car and the dealership – you can also forward them a copy of your letter to the dealer. This usually results in the manufacturer jumping on the phone to the dealership, and has the effect of lighting a fire under the dealer to get off their butts and sort it out.

      I wouldn’t drop the car back at the dealership, as you are still required to insure it and look after it on behalf of the finance company, and you can’t just throw the keys back to the dealer and walk away.

    • hi stuart
      thanks for the info, i have escalated it to the finance company who says it will still take around 8 weeks to come to a decision, still also waiting for them to phone me back.
      the dealers simply still not calling me back, and contacted nissan direct and they asked what resolution would i be happy with, i told them to return the car for a refund or another car but not a nissan, they refused and said i would not get my money back, so i quoted the new terms conditions back in oct 2015 and she simply said , so your going down that route then ?. so at present its an on going battle.

  15. Hi stuart – Lengthy post warning – could you help – i have a peugeot 308 estate , bought on 6th april – large diesel leak was found on 11th april – after noticing patches on my driveway- reported on 11th april , got the car back as I really liked it – i have had issues constantly practically every month – but i am getting to the point I no longer want this car- have I left it to late to do anything about this? all issues have been report ed but they keep washing their hands of it and telling me to go to a peugeot warranty dealer – bought the car from arnold clark.

    Please could you give me a little advice – i think i have left it too long – but I really liked the car – at the moment the ABS light is currently on and requires a wheel speed sensor.

    Thank you

    • Hi Lauren. Arnold Clark doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service, based on the feedback we get here. To properly take them on, you will need to get some legal advice – visit legalbeagles.info, which is a brilliant forum for consumer rights, or engage a solicitor.

  16. Hi Stuart, I purchased a car from a car supermarket on Sunday and discovered the cruise control system was not working correctly on the Monday evening when a fault appeared on the dashboard. I immediately called the dealer and was so annoyed by their response that I decided I would return the car. I wrote to the dealership this morning informing them of my intention to return the car for a full refund. Firstly they apologized and offered to arrange a repair, which I rejected as I am fed up with them. The representative then told me that it would be difficult for me to get a refund through the consumer rights act because it wasn’t a major fault and I didn’t pick it up when it was checked etc etc. She then offered me the option to return the car under their 7 day money back guarantee policy, but this incurs a £299 admin fee.

    I am not sure if she was just trying to swindle £299 out of me by bending the truth or I would find it genuinely difficult to get my money back under the consumer rights act. I am also wary of losing the opportunity to return the car within 7 days, especially if a full refund is a non starter. I would appreciate your thoughts? Thanks

    • Hi Michael. Under the new laws (and the person at the other end of the phone may not have been properly briefed), you can return the car for a full refund within 30 days. The law does not specify that it has to be a major fault, merely that the fault had to be present when you bought the car.

      They cannot charge you £299, or even £2.99, as it is your consumer right. I would suggest speaking to the general manager/dealer principal if they are not playing along. Keep your tone polite but firm, and make it clear that you know your rights.

    • Stuart, thanks for your advice. I am still disputing my case with the dealer. They have insisted that because it was not a major fault, i.e. the car still works fine, and they offered a full repair, I can not return the car under the consumer rights act.

      Cruise control was an absolute must when I purchased the car because of the amount of motorway miles I do. They have acknowledged their is a fault but claim I can not prove it was there when I purchased the car – bearing in mind I reported it within 24 hours and 20 miles! The whole thing has made me mad but they have grinded me down now to the point I am almost ready to walk away.

      Do you know of specific text in the act that I can quote in my formal correspondence? Also, if I get no joy, where can I go from here to escalate my case? Thanks.

    • Hi Michael. The Act is linked in the opening paragraph of the article (or click here). Section 22 covers the short-term right to reject.

      The second link (or click here) explains it in fairly simple terms. At no point does the text specify the fault has to be ‘major’, but a court would decide whether the car is fit for purpose – and therefore it is unclear whether it would rule in your favour. For example, if an interior light bulb was blown on a used car, would that entitle a customer to a full refund? To the best of my knowledge, the new laws have not been tested in court as yet.

      I’m sure that any court would consider reporting a fault with 24 hours and 20 miles as an indication that it was likely to be present at time of delivery. However, if there is otherwise nothing wrong with the car you may as well get them to simply fix the cruise control and save yourself a bunch of hassle.

  17. I have purchased a brand Vauxhall Mokka costing £21,400 from Evans Halshaw in Cardiff after 38 day of ownership the car has developed an electrical fault which after 3 weeks Vauxhall has failed to fix , they keep fibbing me off by stating they have escalated the problem to the highest possible status within Vauxhall technical but still have failed to find the problem, the car has covered only 600 miles in that 38 days and they are refusing to give me a replacement car by stating that they want to go down every avenue including stripping out cable etc so I feel even and when I receive back the car it may have been stripped to the bone which makes me feel cheated, unfortunately I paid cash for car as I was left some money, have I got a case to demand a new car. Or do I let the weeks stack up before so one decides to do somththing positive

    • Hi Steve. I suggest taking the matter up with Vauxhall head office if you are not satisfied with the response from the dealership. Make sure you are clear in stating that you are happy to have a replacement new car of the same specification, but that you not consider the original car to be fit for sale.

  18. Hi
    I collected a brand new BMW on the 8th January 2016. After 250 miles and 11 days of ownership I noticed a whistling noise coming from the automatic gearbox when reversing. Having owned BMW’s before with the same gearbox I knew this noise was not right. I called the dealer and they listened to the noise and said it didn’t seem right but would not commit. The car is now with them whilst they investigate the fault. I believe it requires a new automatic gearbox (I’m a mechanical engineer by trade). I have written to the dealer rejecting the vehicle (have also told them verbally) and have also spoke to BMW finance requesting the same. Under the new law are they obliged to replace the vehicle with a new one? I don’t want to be fobbed off that it’s a characteristic or if they do admit to a fault having a new gearbox in a car that is less than two weeks old that has done less than 300 miles.

    • Hi Adam. You should be entitled to a refund for the vehicle, and you will need to co-ordinate with the finance company because technically it’s their car. If you want to allow them to replace it for another vehicle, then that’s entirely up to you and they would probably prefer that.

    • Thankyou Stuart, I am more than happy to have a replacement vehicle so will pursue that parh first. Excellent website by the way.

  19. Hi Stuart,

    I agreed a PCP deal with Audi for an A6 on 21/12/15 , and paid a partial deposit. They explained the vehicle couldn’t be released until 26/01/16 as it had to be retained by the branch for 90day’s as a demonstrater.

    I have since contacted the Audi dealership over the month of January on numerous occasions both via telephone and e-mail in order to pay the remainder of the deposit due, and make arrangements for delivery of the vehicle. I am receiving absolutely no communication from Audi at all. Every time I phone my details are taken but no one returns the call.

    The service has completely put me off and made me wary of the dealership. What are my options on terms of being refunded the partial deposit paid in light of the circumstances, as well as any other protection provides by the Consumer Rights Act 2015?

    Many thanks again.

    • Hi Andy. The 90-day rule is standard across the industry, so your position is not unusual.

      As for the conduct of the dealership, you still have a valid contract with them, so you will need their agreement to cancel it and get your money back. Contact the dealer principal to complain about the conduct of the sales staff. Kick up enough fuss and make it clear (politely, of course) that you no longer want to do business with them, and they should give you your money back. If the dealer principal won’t take your phone call, call back with a German accent and tell them you’re André Konsbruck (head of Audi UK) – it’s worked before, and although the dealer principal won’t think you’re funny, at least you’ll finally get to speak to him.

      If you’re not having any luck with the dealer, call Audi UK in Milton Keynes and make a complaint there – that usually creates a few fireworks at the dealership and they will suddenly remember you exist.

  20. Hi,

    Just after a little advice. Brought a car in Nov 2015 09 plate with 60,000 miles on through a dealer on finance. However on the 4th Jan the engine warning light appeared and it is thought to have 2 major faults costing around £2000. The garage have agreed to look at it but aren’t saying they will fix it as its out of warranty (only got 1 months warranty although website states between 3 and 6 month warranties) not sure where to go after this as we can not afford to repair it and didnt expect this after 2 months of ownership!!!

    • Hi Kerry. I would suggest you start by looking closely at their website and your contract to understand why you only received a one-month warranty if they advertise three or six months.

      To get advice on how to challenge a dealership, I recommend visiting legalbeagles.info, which has some excellent forums for legal and consumer advice. In many cases, successfully disputing matters with a dealership relies on you knowing your rights and being able to confidently express them – many traders rely on consumers not really understanding their rights or standing up for them in order to avoid paying for repairs or refunds.

  21. Hi Stuart

    I could do with some help. I purchased a 63 plate BMW X6 from a dealer in September but it wasn’t delivered until October. Last week it developed a fault and I took it to BMW to be fixed. They turned it around within 2 days and said it was fixed. On the drive home the car developed the same fault and was eventually recovered by BMW emergency service. I have been provided a loan car but BMW have now had the car a week and are still trying to work out what’s wrong with it. They suspect a wiring loom !
    Where do I stand regarding compensation or returning the car ?

    • Hi Steve. Although it’s annoying, it’s certainly not unusual for a fault to be misdiagnosed at a first attempt, especially if it’s a problem that has not ben seen before. It’s also not unusual for a car to work perfectly when the service centre road tests it, and then promptly fails shortly after the owner gets it back. Very annoying for you but unfortunately it can happen. Unless the technician takes the car for a proper hour-long thrashing to see if it will break, these things can recur.

      As for returning the car or compensation, it would depend on the cause of the problem. You have had three months of presumably faultless use and it was a used car to begin with (albeit still covered under new car warranty), so there would need to be proof of a design or manufacturing fault which has caused you a direct loss to claim compensation. Even if they agreed to take the car back (which they won’t), you would only get a proportion of what you paid since you have used it for three months.

      Given that it was a used car when you bought it and you’ve had it for three months, any warranty or compensation claim would need proof that the fault is due to poor design or manufacture, rather than a problem which was you (or the previous owner) caused by your driving (eg – a stone or piece of debris gets flicked up by a tyre and cuts some wiring).

  22. Hi Stuart,

    Recently purchased a Nissan Qashquai from a trader. Engine management light has appeared after three weeks of driving which In my car history is always expensive. When you have previously mentioned “present when purchased” how can this be demonstrated if the warning light did not illuminate until weeks after purchase?. Can a refund be requested. Also, can the trader advise that this is wear and tear? Your assistance would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Anthony. I’m not sure how much luck consumers have had rejecting cars under the new laws so far, and am yet to see any data. However, a warning light coming on after three weeks of driving will be a difficult battle for you to win, as it is likely to be tricky to prove a problem was present when you took delivery, especially if you have covered a few hundred miles since then when the damage could have occurred.

      You can certainly take the matter up with the dealer, and your initial chances of success may well depend on how well you can convince them that you are fully prepared to take them to court to have the matter resolved in your favour. Demanding a refund is likely to be met with a flat rejection, so you are probably best served seeking a full repair for the problem instead.

      If you do want to reject the car and claim a full refund under the new laws, I would suggest that you would need to have a franchised Nissan dealer inspect the car and advise what the problem is, and therefore whether it was likely to have been present at time of purchase. However, this is going to cost you a fair amount of money which you are probably unlikely to be able to recover unless it’s glaringly obvious and beyond doubt. And even then, challenging the dealer may require taking legal action to force the issue. You would need to be very confident before taking such a step, because if you lose then you will have increased your costs considerably (especially since you’d probably have to pay the dealer’s legal expenses, too).

  23. Hi Stewart I took delivery of a new Renault Twingo just before Xmas on 18/12/15. At first we were happy with the vehicle but my wife, who was to be the main driver of the vehicle, started to experience a problem with the stability of the vehicle in winds from the first time she experienced the weather condition. She said that she really had to grip the steering wheel to prevent the car veering across the road. She has now had to alter her route to work when the wind is blowing as she feels unsafe in the car.

    The Twingo is supposed to come fitted with electronic safety control, which assists the road holding in windy conditions. Initially I was sceptical and thought it was just a case of my wife getting used to a new vehicle and with it being a rear wheel, rear engine drive. The next opportunity I took the vehicle for a drive in windy conditions, and I would have to say I’ve never experienced such a scary drive in a vehicle and I’ve driven many cars, big and small over the years. I really felt the car would be blown across the road into oncoming traffic.

    I’m happy to book the car in to the nearest Renault dealership – this car was effectively purchased over the Internet from a remote dealership with negotiations/finance (PCP) sorted out via e mail – for them to look at. Should they come back and say there is no fault with the ESC, as I suspect they may, have you any suggestions on how best to proceed? Effectively, I think this car will prove not fit for our purpose, but we are now (just) outside the 30 day period. Does the fact that we bought this via the Internet give any additional protection, and how does the fact that the car is on PCP finance fit into the situation? I’d be most grateful to hear your thoughts.

    • Hi Martin. The first step is clearly to have the vehicle checked over by the dealership to make sure there are no problems which may be causing your problem. There is no point in me getting involved in saying that you are right or wrong, as it would take a lot more detail and knowledge of your situation, and that’s not what we do.

      Proving that a vehicle is “not fit for purpose” is always difficult, as “fit for purpose” is not necessarily the same as “fit for your purpose”, so the argument would revolve around the suitability of that particular vehicle for your needs. You would need to get very good legal support, as it would be a very difficult case to argue. The opposing view would be to suggest that you bought the wrong car for your needs, and that’s not the manufacturer’s fault. The forum at legalbeagles.info might have some good information on this.

  24. hi stuart
    thanks for your help, the dealership is taking the car back under the new legislation as it was brand new and within 30days, however we paid for over 1000.00 worth of extras fitted to car like trims and bars and things, ehat happens to them , do we loose them or will they have to come to a resolution ?

    • Hi Wayne. If the dealer is giving you a refund for the vehicle, then it should cover everything that came on the car when it was delivered (including all accessories). If you bought these elsewhere after delivery, then they won’t be covered.

      If you have agreed for the dealer to replace the vehicle with another one, then they should be fitting the same accessories to the new car (or swapping them across from the first car).

  25. hi stuart, thanks
    we wouldn’t accept another of the same car due to all the problems with it, we went for a different make brand new from same dealer, they are taking this car back, we paid them for the extras which were fitted 1 week after we took delivery of the car, so not sure if we still have something to go with

    • Hi Wayne. The decent thing would be to refund the cost of the accessories, but it would not be a legal obligation under the new legislation.

  26. Hi Stuart

    I bought a car for £4000 from a dealer 13 days ago which had 2 punctured tyres that were not mentioned.

    The car also has a steering issue due to worn out suspension bushes which need to be changed immediately according to two service centres. The car also developed a problem with the throttle. I can’t drive the vehicle and I sent a letter to the dealers 7 days ago which they’ve received and ignored. I’ve got evidence in writing from the service centres of the faults present.

    Shall I simply go to the dealership and make a big commotion, refusing to leave unless they refund me the money. Can’t believe these people are able to sleep knowing that they present lies and knowingly sell faulty cars.


    • Hi Karim. Unfortunately, just because the law entitles you to a refund doesn’t mean that used car dealers will play nicely.

      Storming down to the garage and making “a big commotion” may not improve your chances at all. If they refuse to comply and you eventually leave, it could be interpreted as acceptance. You are better off seeking some legal backup in the form of a letter from a solicitor threatening to drag them into court, as they are more likely to respond to that. It shows that you are serious and that you are prepared to fight for your legal rights.

  27. Hiya I bought a Peugeot 208 a 2012 plate December 2015.
    They provide a 3 month guarantee with the vehicle. Also there is a 12 month RAC warranty. The touch screen is non responsive and showe up all the time gps fault. I rang them they told me I need to go to Peugeot to get a diagnostic which will cost me £60 and then the garage will contact RAC to see if its covered under RAC warranty. But will not find out till I pay for this. Don’t understand why I have to pay for a fault when I’ve only just bought this car. I bought this car from Eddie Wright’s.
    Wondered if you could advise me thank you.

    • Hi Yazmin. If the garage that sold you the car is not a Peugeot dealer, they won’t be able to fix the screen and it will have to go to a Peugeot dealer. The Peugeot dealer will demand payment for any work done, and the garage won’t pay for the work until they are sure it’s a warranty problem and not something you’ve done to break it. It’s annoying, but it’s fairly normal when you buy a car from an independent garage. If it is a warranty issue, the garage should refund you the £60.

      You should still be covered under your three-month warranty from the dealer, let alone the 12-month RAC warranty, but it means negotiations between the garage, the RAC Warranty people and the Peugeot dealer. An aftermarket warranty is never as good as a manufacturer warranty, where the Peugeot dealer can simply bill all their costs back to the manufacturer with minimal inconvenience to you.

  28. Hi Stuart,

    Nice website with prompt reply’s on this thread, thought i’d give it a go, sorry for the long message.

    I purchased a car (BMW 318CI 04 plate – paid almost £4k cash) from a dealer on the 23rd Dec. It came with 12 months warranty (Momentum Warranties Ltd) Drove away that night and was pulled by the police for having no MOT, despite being assured the car had 1yrs MOT when sold (documents would be posted). When I contacted the dealer about this, they said that they were having problems with VOSA at the time (very close to xmas) and came to collect the car. Got a call about an hour later saying the car was ready to collect, with a full MOT (no advisories). Given the time to get the car back to dealers I highly doubt it even went up on the ramps and am very wary of this MOT being correct and not just rushed through for the dealers convenience and legal rights given I had then spotted a couple of minor problems that would fail an MOT or at the very least should be on the advisory list. Still awaiting PF letter regarding being pulled with no MOT, and have been told by dealer they’d cover the cost of a fine if given as it’s their fault.

    Moving on, the car had been having some rough idle issues since I bought it (within same week) so I had been reading up on forums trying to get to know possible problems that could be causing this. It had lost power a few times when first pulling away, but quickly corrected after restarting engine. Given the age of the car I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect, but it should be of satisfactory condition (i.e. no major faults within 3/6months). But just the other day the engine light came on when starting and the engine/exhaust is sounding really rough, the light wont go off. I am waiting on a OBD reader being delivered to find out what fault codes are returned. I have not driven the car since the light came on.

    I have been doing a bit of online reading (how I found your site) and am now rather worried. From what I’ve read many places, the Momentum Warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, they will try every loophole to get out of paying, and given that the BMW is over 10yr old, I suspect that they will claim wear n tear (not covered) whatever the problem may be. Even if not, the claim limit is £750 and the problem may (still don’t know) cost more than this to fix.

    I was under the impression from SOGA that any major fault within the first 6 months was assumed to be present at point of sale and would be up to the Dealer to prove otherwise or they would be liable to fix the problem (i.e goods not satisfactory, should last more than 7 weeks without a major fault). Now I’ve been reading up on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which replaces SOGA??? and apparently it’s now up to the consumer to diagnose any Major Fault not clearly visible at time of sale, before driving off, despite the consumer not being an auto mechanic. How does this protect the consumer?

    I guess I’m just asking for advice on what my next move is… Rough Idle problems were always present, within the first 30 days, but the engine light and problems have only just occurred. I have owned the car for 55 days now. From what I’ve read, even taking the car to a garage to be diagnosed can cost a bit and Momentum Warranties may wriggle out of even covering diagnosis, as well as fixing the fault. If I take the car back to the dealer, they’ll probably just hit me with ‘use your warranty’ line. I went to a dealer rather than private sale for peace of mind. What should I do first / next?

    • Firstly, it is possible that the MOT was performed and the DVLA system hadn’t been updated in a timely manner (there is an amusing post on the forum about this exact issue). Or it could be that the car was never tested in the first place.

      With regards to the new consumer laws, you have to raise the issue with the selling dealer, rather than the warranty provider, within 30 days (ie – before 22 January in your case). If you have done so, then you should still be able to push to reject the car even though it has gone beyond the 30-day window. You still have the right to insist that the dealer rectifies the vehicle – for more info, have a read of this article by Which?

      Any aftermarket warranty is no different to an insurance product, and the warranty provider will often make you jump through all sorts of hoops before they will pay up. You often also need to pay for any work up-front yourself and claim back from the warranty provider afterwards, unlike a manufacturer warranty.

    • Thanks Stuart,

      MOT problem could be as you said, but some things should have still been on the advisory at the very least. Fingers crossed the PF see it this way and I don’t get a fine given I’ve explained the situation / shown paperwork re the purchase or the car. Read that wee post on the forum, amusing but a bit daft to wind the police up un-necessarily . I’ve always found being nice helps them be nice in return. Officer who pulled me was friendly enough, we ended up talking web tech in his car for 10/15mins while waiting, guy was just doing his job after all. Had I wound him up he would have probably noticed the near bald rear tyres that should have failed the MOT it supposedly passed with!

      I actually had that Which article sitting open while also reading this thread, good info…

      I have spoken to the dealer today and they said bring the car back in and they’ll get it sorted, so hopefully all will go well with no need to deal with the warranty company as of yet. Any problems and I’m now armed up with some legal info should I need to use it, Thanks for the advice ;)

  29. Hello! I purchased a brand new Honda CRV 2015 about 21 days ago. I took my car on a longer drive a few days ago and noticed that severe back pain developed as the journey went on (30-40 mins). I had a sore back after I got out of the car. I then got into my car again today and after about 30 mins I noticed that severe pain started again in my lower back. I was using my other car during the week and this does not happen with that car so i know it is directly related to the honda crv. What are my rights?

    • Unless there is a recognised fault with the vehicle, you won’t be able to claim it’s a fault, so you have no “rights”. It is most likely that there is nothing wrong with the vehicle, but that the design of the seat is simply not compatible with the specific shape of your back. This is not an unusual problem with car seat design, particularly if you have ever had back problems in the past.

      There are plenty of aftermarket companies who sell various back support devices, cushions, etc. That may solve your problem

  30. Hi Stuart,

    Thank you for all the great article and great advice.

    I brought a ten year old VW Golf for £2000 from a second hand car dealership in Jan 2016. It was described as in excellent condition. 5 weeks after the sale I noticed the the alarm system wasn’t working. The mechanic at my local garage said there is some electrical issue with the car which needs to be repaired, but the car dealership where I bough the car said they wont pay for any further repairs as they only gave me one month warranty on clutch and engine.

    Would the Consumer rights Act 2015 not give me a 6 month warranty on the car being fully functional and as described? If I understood correctly, the act states that if the consumer shows the vehicle is faulty and requests a repair within the first six months of purchase, it is automatically assumes that the fault was there at the time of purchase.

    Thank you for your help

    • Hi Ben. The Consumer Rights Act does specify that, but it would probably be a slow and expensive process to use that to chase the seller, with no guarantee that you will end up winning the case. Just because the Act ‘automatically assumes that the fault was there at the time of purchase’ doesn’t mean that the trader won’t be able to show that there is a likelihood that the alarm was working at delivery and was then broken by you afterwards – legal issues are never black-and-white.

      The cost of repairing the alarm system may well be a lot less than using legal means to chase the dealer. Even if you were to win, there is no guarantee that you would get all your costs back.

  31. Can you give advice on a private car sale in Scotland please. I paid a 100 deposit on the 9th of Feb and bank transferred the balance on the 10th Feb 2 I went out in the car for the first time 2 days later when I noticed diesel smell coming in the car. I took it straight to the garage and left it there for 4 days getting fixed. Broken injector that will not torque properly. The garage have me various advisories including it has a returb engine that has loose and ill fitting parts. Gearbox prob in 4th 5th, broken back bush, lose handbrake. I do not know what the miles are on the car as it has a different engine and I have no paperwork for this. It was described in very good condition by the seller. I paid 406 for the injector fixing and am waiting on quotes for the rest of the repairs. It’s a 2006 Citroen c8 with questionable 95000 where do I stand?

    • Hi Karen. Unfortunately, with a private sale there is no real protection for you. You can try and take the seller to court, but there would obviously be considerable costs involved and no guarantee you would win – and even if you did, there’s no guarantee you would recover all of the costs involved.

    • It might improve your chances in a civil action, but other than that it won’t change anything. The seller could argue that they told you that the engine number did not match, and there’s very little way to prove otherwise. They could tell you that the car ran on magic beans, basically, and unless you have some kind of written proof that you were lied to, there’s not a lot you can do.

      If you want to allege that the engine change was not correctly disclosed to the DVLA (which is probably true), then the end result is that the car is likely to have its V5C withdrawn and be taken off the road altogether until the correct paperwork is filed (and such paperwork may not even exist if the seller was dodgy anyway). You would still need to take the seller to court to try and get your money back, and there’s still no guarantee that you will be suitably compensated for all your expenses and associated hassle.

  32. Hi,
    I bought a car from a dealer on the 1st December 2015 and 2 weeks later it was returned to be fixed as there was an oil leak from the gearbox. They replaced the whole gearbox and loads of other bits. I received the car back on the 20th February and it was supposed to be fixed however it was again returned 3 days later on the 23rd February again with yet another oil leak from the engine this time! Now it was supposed to be fixed and they were to test it over the weekend and I have just been informed on the 29th February that it is still leaking and they have to take out the gearbox again!
    The vehicle is only 3 years old with 20,000 miles on it and I arranged finance myself for the vehicle through a car finance company. I have only had the car for 3 weeks in total but I have have owned it for 3 months now. I have been paying finance for the vehicle since 1st December. Please advise the possibility of the dealership exchanging the vehicle and how this would affect my finance agreement? Can a change of asset be done to avoid setting up a whole new finance agreement, as it took me a lot of time and patience to get my car finance.

    • Hi Stuart. If you were to reject the vehicle and have the dealership supply another vehicle, it would mean a new finance agreement. The current agreement is secured against that vehicle, and the vehicle belongs to the finance company (not you). For the finance company to agree to reject the vehicle, it would mean the termination of the agreement and there is no guarantee they would offer the same terms on another vehicle.

  33. We bought a second hand car from a local car sales which all seemed fine to start with. When my husband drove the car home it made a little judder like your foot slipping of the pedal. He reported to the garage the following morning. They said it probably due to be empty of fuel before we purchased it and it was probably air in the pipe. Drive for a few days and if doesn’t clear come back. No surprise it didn’t. We took it back and they booked it in for diagnostics. Faulty turbo showed up. This took the best part of 3 weeks to find and be agreed to repair between us, the finance company and the garage. Problem still there after this. They cannot find the fault and we are 6 weeks on and we have had the car for 1 week. The car company are now saying there is nothing wrong with it and don’t want to take it back. Where do we stand??

    • Hi Mrs Wood. You will need to work with the finance company if it is a PCP or HP agreement, as the car belongs to them. The dealership won’t want to keep working on the car because it costs them money, but that’s not your problem. If they have been unable to repair the vehicle then you have the right to reject it (again, consult with the finance company). I suggest you visit legalbeagles.info, which has a lot of excellent consumer legal advice and information which will help.

  34. Hi Stuart,
    We have brought a used car from an auction. Which claims to take only fleet cars and no private listings. Trusting this we brought a VW Golf estate. Paying £5,000 for the car plus an additional £528 in indemnity fees which weren’t made clear until the bid for car was made. We were not given the opportunity to test drive the car at all. They drove the car from the carpark to the gate of the auction and closed the gates after handing over the keys. There was barely any fuel in the car so we arranged for a pick up truck to come and collect the car. Even when loading the car onto the truck it was clear to see that there was a problem with the gearbox. The car came with a three month warranty, it was not made clear what the warranty covered and what the limit on the warranty would be. We were just told not to worry about it, it would be sent through via post. It was advertised as premium cover, so we thought it would cover anything that would be wrong with the vehicle to a certain extent.
    Fast forward to this Wednesday, the warranty papers came through. Bearing in mind that the car the car had been parked up in the driveway. It was taken to the garage after the warranty papers had arrived. The vehicle was rendered as undrivable and the warranty only covers £250 if a claim is to be made. However, on further inspection we were told that the car needed to be taken apart in order to diagnose the problem and even that would cost more than £250. Other problems such as the gearbox, juddering clutch, chip in the windscreen and one of the tires being under the legal limit are only a few of the problems that were found one of the problems when the car is shown to a mechanic.
    I Attempted to contact the auction, I received nothing but bad customer service is. Instead of offering to help I was being yelled that down the phone. The man on the phone claimed that I had no right to return the car and it was now mine. I also visited a certified registered Volkswagen garage before making the phone call. Where they told me that it would cost £72 to conduct a health check to diagnose the problem. It was also mentioned that they could possibly cost thousands to fix the gearbox if that is the actual problem and it needs replacing. I also mention this to the man on the phone, he told me to go to another garage as all Volkswagen were trying to do was make money off of me. I then did some research and found this article I need some advice do you think this comes under the consumer rights act of 2015. If so what do you think I should do from here on out. I have also done some other research for consumers in general and it states that if the goods aee defective or not fit for its purpose of the right to demand a full refund. As well as the goods must be in satisfactory quality of the satisfactory quality does this also apply to court. The faults that have come up in the car were not made clear, nobody explained that there was a problem with the car and it was sold as a car free of defects. Contacting them on the phone has not seem to have had an impact what action should I take now.

    Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Hi Tooba. Much of what you describe is simply the way cars are sold at auction – no opportunity to test drive, there are auctions fees involved on top of the cost of the car, cars are sold as-seen – usually to trade customers rather than private individuals, who have a workshop to prepare the car for sale to a private buyer. At an auction, there is an opportunity to inspect vehicles before the sale to notice things like tyre treads, windscreen chips and other problems, but there is no opportunity for a mechanical inspection.

      An auction house is not bound by the same rules as a dealership, as far as I am aware, so I don’t know if you have the same recourse under the Consumer Rights Act. I would suggest visiting legalbeagles.info to see if they can offer some assistance, as they specialise in consumer legal advice.

  35. Hi, I found this really useful. Ive recently purchased a used car, and we were looking at the MOT certificates, apparently in December, it was relieved that the car had the worn break disks on both the front and rear of the car, break pads wearing thin on the front and shock absorbers has light misting of oil offside rear. We have been told that an MOT was carried out in February by the dealer but we haven’t been given that certificate (supposedly going to be emailed and posted out) Natrally me and my partner are concerned as its going to cost a lot of money to be fixed and we were not told about any of this before we purchased the car. Do you have any advice in relation to the law etc

    Thanks for reading

    • Hi Peter. You can check any vehicle’s MOT status here: http://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status. This will tell you when the next MOT test will be due (and therefore, when it was last carried out, since it lasts for 12 months). The car would have had to pass its MOT test before the dealer sold it, but that does’t mean it would be clear of advisories about brake discs/pads, etc. A car can be sold with advisories – this means the car is currently legal, but will require maintenance in the near future, which the dealer is not obligated to fix. If the car had failed its MOT inspection in December because of those issues, then they would have to be addressed before the vehicle could be sold.

      Unfortunately, it’s one of the things you should check before buying the car, not afterwards. It may have a pageful of advisories that you will have to attend to at some stage (depending on your annual mileage), but that’s not the dealer’s responsibility.

    • Hi Stuart, Thank you for your reply. It turns out that the advisories were fixed prior to the car been sold to the dealer. In addition the dealer fixed any faults that where on the car prior to purchase (I rang them this morning about it). Thank you for the advice and something that i will defiantly take to hart next time i buy a used car

  36. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a second hand motorbike/scooter about 2 weeks ago from a dealership, I’ve already had a problem with one of the mirrors loosening and queried if they can fix it because I didn’t know how to and was advise I could do it so I try but broke it. After that in the second week of me having the bike the key ignition barrel broke, I got the bike towed down to the shop next day to get it sorted under the 6months shop warrantee, it got fixed and whilst there I expressed my lack of faith in the bike and suggested I would give the bike back to them and get a different one from the shop. I was told my only option was since I bought the bike it’s now got an extra owner, I broke mirror the and I’d have to part exchange with loss of value to my current bike. I was told by the dealer owner there are no law or buyer right backings for me for this situation in the circumstances of second hand vehicle or purchasing of vehicles. So I took my bike back home to way up and read up my options. Currently I have the bike 2weeks and 2days into ownership.
    What do you reckon about this?

    • Hi Tim. Neither of those problems sound like a valid reason to reject the bike under the Consumer Rights Act. If the ignition barrel is now fixed, the only issue is the broken mirror. And as you pointed out, you broke that yourself. Assuming that there are no other problems with the bike, I don’t see why you would want to change it for another bike.

  37. Hi there,

    I bought a Suzuki swift from a dealer back in January the 1st. When asking about noises in the car he said this was normal for the type of model. He told me that everything was fine and that it had just been serviced a week period to me getting it.

    I took it home and 1 week later my rev counter started dropping to 490-200 and then cutting out and complained that the car was making a weird sound when starting in first (only described as a hoover) and that when you take your foot of the accelerator it makes a crunching noise. He took it into the garage and said that it was just the clutch but they didn’t need to fix it there and then, but he fixed the revs.

    My car battery died a month and a half after that, so my local garage who I’ve been to for ages told me that my gearbox bearings we faulty and needed fixed soon. So I phoned the seller and said this and he said he was surprised this had came all of a sudden and he needed to get his mechanic to look into it.

    He looked at it today and found that the gearbox bearings or clutch bearing is faulty and not working properly. The “hoover” noise should not be there at all, and the noises when letting the car roll shouldn’t be there either. I stated this problem has been there since I bought the car and nothing was done to sort it.

    Apparently my seller told me that I only took out a 30 day warranty (when he didn’t tell me the warranty day) and that these noises were normal…..when in fact I believe that he was passing me off until my warranty day ended. I expect he wants me to pay £500 to fix it.

    What do I do? Sorry for the long message!

    • Hi Kirsten. I think you should be able to pursue this under the Consumer Rights Act. You won’t have the right to automatically reject the car for a full refund because you are outside the 30-day window. However, the dealer has one chance to repair the vehicle – if this doesn’t work, then you are entitled to a refund. There is some good information here.

    • Hi Stuart,

      I’ve been to the garage 3 times since I got the car on the first of December. I stated about the noises and steering and he started that it was wear on the clutch and I wouldn’t need to worry about it, although it was apparently a bearing the whole time and the steering shouldn’t be like that….its been there since the beginning and I grudge paying these repairs when I’ve only had it for 2 months with problems that have been there since the beginning.

      Thank you very much.

    • I understand, but if the seller isn’t playing ball then you will have to get some legal assistance to secure your rights. This will also cost you money, but may assist in recovering your costs. Unfortunately, the longer the matter drags on, the harder it is to get your money back.

  38. Hi I got a car on finance from Newcastle car finance with a 3 month waranty it’s been problem after problem as in clutch gone inlet valve abs now engine light has come on brakes failed twice on me and I’m getting nowhere with them they said unfortunately I signed a deal and I can’t pull out any help would be appreciated

    • Hi Paul. You should be able to get the dealer to resolve this, even if you are out of your 30-day window to reject the vehicle. I suggest visiting legalbeagles.info for some consumer advice, but you may well need to get your own legal assistance to resolve the matter.

  39. Hi Stuart,

    We bought a car from a reputable second hand dealer 3 weeks ago. Drove on our first big journey (4 hours) and the next day the engine warning light came on, and the AA came out. They said that the engine was misfiring and had to replace a coil valve, which we had to pay for. Two days later the car wouldn’t start, AA called again and we were told that the battery must have a fault and needs replacing.

    I contacted the trader who seem reluctant to refund, although I would have thought we were covered under the new Act?

    Many thanks

  40. Hi Stuard
    We just got a van from dealer. Half we paid cash other half is finance. On our way back from dealer it turned out that there’s no a/c but was advertised that there is one. Also van won’t drive more than 70 mph but no one never mention anything. Also part of a roof cover is missing. Again no word about it. Is there anything we can do?

    • Hi Joanna. You should be able to reject this vehicle. Speak to the finance company (since the vehicle belongs to them), and make sure you have the advertisement which claims the vehicle has air-conditioning. If you can’t provide the evidence that it was advertised as such, you won’t be able to reject it on those grounds.

      As for the speed issue, it may be that the van is limited to 70mph (many fleets limit their vehicles). If so, this can probably be easily rectified. As for the roof cover, you should be able to get the dealer to replace it if it was missing at point of sale.

  41. Hi I brought a car from a dealer in June 2015 it was brought in finance. I have now found out that the engine management light was disconnected and has faults that mean it’s dangerous to drive. Can you tell me what my rights are and how I get all my money back I have paid out so far?
    Many thanks if you can help :(

    • Hi Jenny. You will have to take legal action against the dealership, and it may not be easy to prove that they knowingly sold the car with the engine management light disconnected. They could easily argue that you disconnected it yourself (or had someone else do it), especially since you bought the car nine months ago and are only raising this now.

  42. Hi, In December my son bought a 2nd hand car advertised as being low mileage well maintained Service History excellent condition and included a 6 MONTHS warranty . The warranty was the the selling point that convinced my son to buy the vehicle concerned for peace of mind , we have proof off this on copy of the advert . On arrival to collect the vehicle we were told, the car was not ready as it had been taken to a local garage to have a dangerous oil leak fixed and to be serviced prior to us completing the purchase. Eventually this was completed but I noticed the service book hadn’t been stamped and he apologised stating that the garage was now shut but gave us the Auto guard premium warranty booklet and the signed associated documents.
    Yesterday the car broke after 12 weeks when the cam belt snapped and was taken to the authorised warranty dealer in the booklet , where we found that the said car had never been issued a 6 month warranty and none had been registered with the car dealership since Oct 2015 , hence the paperwork we were given was worthless . The dealer is now saying that the cam belt wouldn’t have been covered anyway but the booklet states that the car must be serviced and the cam belt checked and renewed necessary before the warranty is valid issued . The repair is likely to cost as much as £1200,so I am claiming that the car was sold under false pretences . Where does my son stand legally? This has been made worse as my son cannot get to work until he either gets the car fixed or buys another car which he cannot afford.
    Many thanks in advance for your advice

    • Hi Dave. Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a dealership, but it is likely you will have to get legal assistance to resolve this with the dealer. If everything you say is correct, then the dealer should be liable for the repairs. However, that doesn’t mean it will automatically work out that way and you are unlikely to get anywhere by arguing with them.

  43. Hi Stuart, I’m a car dealer who works on a fore court, I’ve been reading through your article and also the new consumers act. I have a couple questions for you, if you don’t mind.

    Say I sell a car from the forecourt under £1000 with a brand new 12 mnth MOT ticket. No mechanical issues with the car, had a visual inspection by the buyer & also a test drive & all partys are happy with the condition of the car inside & out.

    Then 2 weeks down the line I receive a phone call saying the water pump is broke & needs replacing or the head gasket is blown? Who is liable for that? As the car was sold as fit for purpose, as described & of satisfactory quality?

    When the car left our fore court is was running fine who’s to say the buying purposely didn’t put water in it to bugger it up so they cab get a refund and do the same again to another dealer & essentially to driving a free new car every 2 weeks for the rest of their live?

    I’m slightly confused? Surely us sellers have some protection also? How can we foresee future problems that had no indication of happening when being sold they have sole responsibility when any problem occurs?


    • Hi John. I’m not sure if there have been many cases that have been tested in court yet; usually things get resolved between buyer and seller. The new Act points out that the fault must have been present at time of purchase and it is up to the customer to show that.

      I recommend visiting (and subscribing to) Lawgistics if you don’t already, which provides excellent and regular news about legal issues for motor traders. There has been considerable discussion in recent months about the new Consumer Rights Act, and Lawgistics covers the traders’ point of view very well.

      In essence, you will need to show due process in your pre-delivery inspections and keep an immaculate paper trail for every vehicle, to be able to show that you are doing all that can reasonably be done if you are challenged. Obviously this won’t stop unreasonable customers from being unreasonable, but if they try and take you to court you will need to be able to show that you follow best practice in every way.

    • Ok, so any new fault that has occurred with the car we are not liable to repair & can refuse a refund? I’m confused as I’m reading mixed replies. So if a vehicle left here running perfectly then 2 weeks down the line I have a phone call saying the head gasket is blown it is up to the buyer to prove is was faulty at the time of purchase?

      Would you recommend drawing up a contract that are along those lines?


    • OK, so if what I’m reading is correct from that website you sent me to, if a used car leaves the dealership 10+ years old & develops a fault within 30 days that was not there when sold it is up to the consumer to prove the fault was there upon delivery?

      Please don’t sat you are unsure as I’m reading comments where you are telling consumers they are entitled to a full refund, but under what circumstances? It seems as if us dealers are looked upon as cowboys & expected to foresee all future problems

      A 2001 for focus leaves here, brand new MOT slip with it, 2 weeks down the line the water pump fails… Who’s liable? Because it certainly didn’t leave the dealership like that, nor would of it passed an MOT. Here is an extract of the site you recommended;

      This is new and is designed to allow consumers to return goods for a full refund if a fault appears in the first 30 days of ownership. The customer does not have to give you an opportunity to repair in this first 30 days.

      However, if the customer wants to exercise this Right they must:

      1. Prove there is a fault

      2. Prove that the fault was present at the point of sale

      If you have undertaken comprehensive pre delivery checks and have kept good records of those checks, you will have made it very difficult for the consumer to prove the fault (hyperlink) was there at the point of sale.

      It is obviously up to you how much time you want to put into your pre-delivery procedures but we would recommend you:

      • Put a new MOT on each vehicle you sell

      • Complete a Pre-Delivery Checklist

      • Get the customer to sign to say there were no apparent faults during the test drive

      • Have the vehicle checked and/or serviced by an independent garage

      • Take photos or even a video of the vehicle

      So if I followe the procedures above (which I do) and a customer comes back within 30 days with a new problem it is up to them to prove it was faulty when sold & if they can’t they are liable?


    • Yes, you are correct. The customer is required to prove that the problem was pre-existing, as our article clearly states. I have to assume that someone asking a question has read the article (even if I am fairly confident they haven’t…).

      As I have previously stated, I don’t know whether there have been any disputes that have got as far as a courtroom as yet. If you follow the processes you have listed above, it will be hard for a customer to claim you are 100% liable. Of course, as you would know, even with the best will in the world and a thorough inspection, a fault may exist but not be evident in pre-delivery and only show up once the customer is down the road, so a court would presumably look at the balance of probabilities to decide whether a fault was likely to have been present at point of sale or developed afterwards. Your diligence in pre-delivery inspection and servicing would be a key aspect of your defence.

      Bear in mind that this all applies only if the customer is wanting to reject the car for a full refund. And on something like a 2001 Focus (your example), the value of the car is likely to be a lot less than the cost of the customer taking you to court, so they will need to have a strong case to pursue it that far given that they have a real risk of losing.

    • Nice one Stuart, thanks for the replies, it’s all just a bit confusing with law changes and every case being different so pardon my questions, I appreciate your time taking to do this, one more thing (haha) you stated all this is only regarding a customer asking for a full refund. What about if they bring it in for repair, let’s say again for an example the 2001 Ford Focus, that has a blow head gasket which essentially writes off the car, does the same law apply? They have to prove it was there? Even for minor mechanical issues?

      Sorry again to keep bugging you,


  44. Hello there Stuart, very informative article thanks !

    If I might pick your brain slightly… :^) – I bought a use Jag X type from a trader last week and booked it into a main Jag dealer for diagnostics and a service as I always do – this time I am very glad I did !

    It seemed fine in my test drive but on Saturday it started making an awful grinding noise around the front at low speed, so I took it in on Saturday rather than wait until my appointment on today.

    They said it’s unsafe to drive, offside front brake pads, disk and caliper totally shot, the piston could break through at any time and I’d lose all brake pressure and probably lock the wheel.

    I am waiting for the full report to see what else might be wrong, and will contact the trader when I know the full extent of the problems and likely cost to fix – and if we can’t reach an agreement then I will require my money back.

    My question is… :^) – since the car is now in Hove (trader is in East London), who pays to have the car recovered back to him ?

    Also… I traded in my old Jag, presumably if he has already sold it on then I can claim back the full invoice amount (1300), rather than what I paid plus the trade in (950) ? – I’d prefer my old car and 950 quid back but realise that may not be possible.

    Best regards and thanks in advance for any advice.


    • Hi Chris. Assuming that you are able to reject the car successfully, the trader would have to offer you a refund for the invoice price of the car. This would be a cash refund for the entire value, rather than your old car back again and the balance in cash.

      If you would prefer your old car back and he still has it, you can certainly ask for that, but it’s his car now and (as far as I know) he is not obliged to do so.

  45. Hi,

    I purchased a car on the 26th January 2016, on the 29th Feb (34 days) the car started the flash faults abs, stability etc. After going back and forth they come and collected the car. I realised that a service was not done as advised at point of sale, ( car was last serviced in June 2015). They advised they changed the battery but according to them it was a low voltage fault, amongst that wrong information was given to me over the time the fault has been reported the car is still in their possession and they advised, they have offered the do the service and changed the warranty. It was 34 days when the fault was reported with all the issues can I hand the car back? I hope you will be able to help.


    • Hi Dana. Since you are outside the 30-day limit, you don’t have the automatic right to reject for a significant problem. However, you still have rights to expect the car to work properly.

      The seller is entitled to one attempt to repair the problem within the first 60 days. If it is not fixed, then you are entitled to reject the car. For more information, visit the excellent consumer legal site legalbeagles.info

    • Hi Stuart, thank you so much for your response; just want to clarify so the them saying the car was newly serviced at the point of sale but not is not a reason to reject? As they claim the battery was changed I am confused about the low voltage, so it makes me feel could this issue have been detected if the service was carried out as advised.
      They have had the car now (3 weeks on Monday), I have had to pay for rentals and I am yet to receive a response, or proof of the diagnosis report on the car. I hardly get any updates.


    • Hi Dana. The Consumer Rights Act specifically states that the car “must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect”. What you would be arguing is that the car was falsely advertised because it had not been serviced, which would be covered by the Sale of Goods Act. Normally, the customer would be entitled to have the car serviced by the dealer for free if it had been advertised as being recently serviced.

      Have a read of our latest article on resolving a dispute with a car dealer, but if they won’t respond then you will ultimately need to consider engaging in legal support to deal with them.

  46. Hello stuart
    I bought a car (toyota verso mmt )from one dealer or i can call trader watever but the time i drove back within 10 in m25 in heavy traffic after slowdown in third lane gear slipped from drive to neutral and stickk in neutral so u cant put back on drive or reverse ,so i called this dealer and told me just switch off car and off i did so i drove like couple of miles it happen again so untill got home its just 27milles happen 4 times ,i called thus dealer again and tild me that just call me 2morrow,i called next day and i told him i dint need thus car because is very dangerous to drive so i need my money back he was shouting and hang the phone so what can i do???its two days now since i went to cillect the car

    • Hi Eddy. This should definitely be a case where you can reject the car. You can call the dealer to advise him if you like, but you will need to formally reject the car in writing (email is acceptable).

      This doesn’t mean he will comply happily, but it is your legal right.

    • Thanks stuart im already email him and postal sign and tracking my rejection and i tried to fax but wasnt went through,its hard to call him because yesterday he hang the phone,so if he will not respond what next step action to take

    • Unfortunately, Eddy, you may need to engage a solicitor to take legal action against the dealer if they will not respond to your calls and letters. The law is on your side, but it doesn’t guarantee that the dealer will cooperate nicely.

  47. Hi stuart i bought a hyundai ix35 for 8100 before40 days i import it to cyprus before 2 weeks and is fuuuuulll of rust !!! It needs 3000-4000 repairs… what can i do?

    • Hi Mar. This is something you should have been able to check for before purchasing the vehicle, as it is unlikely to have appeared overnight. If you have now taken the vehicle out of the UK, it will be difficult for you to get any recompense from Cyprus.

  48. Hi Stuart,
    On the 30th November 2015 I bought a Ford Ka from a dealersh. The car is 15 year old but I was told it was in good running condition. Stupidly I didn’t enquire exactly when the mot expired when the dealer ship stated it had a valid mot. After reading all the paperwork after purchasing the car for £590 I realised the mot expired this month. Today I took the car for the mot at a well known MOT testing garage to be taken to the testin area after 20 mins to be told they wil be abananding the mot due to safety. So concerened they didn’t even charge me for it. After 4 months after purchase i was advised by the gentlemen carrying out the mot that the corrosion underneath wasnt down to general wear and tear neither were the other problems on the extensive list.
    Where do I stand in refund terms and a I able to obtain a full refund?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Jayd. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to have a lot of luck in obtaining any money back on a car you paid £590 for about four months ago. The age of the vehicle and the purchase price suggest that it wasn’t going to be a spectacular example of the Ford Ka, but you would have great difficulty and considerable expense trying to prove that none of the problems were caused or created since you have owned the vehicle.

      Unless the dealer promised a full 12 months of MOT in the purchase price, I don’t see how you can ask them for a refund now.

  49. Hi stuart, please help i purchased a new car on the saturday drove out of showroom got ten minutes to my home and smoke was pouring from rear end so contacted the dealership but being a saturday they told me they were shutting up. So i left car in garage all weekend took monday off work to take car back in and it stops on the highway they then tow it that arvo and i dont hear back from them for 2 days i call they say there repairing ….i dont want to deal with them and i dont want a new car that is under 24 hrs old and needing repair …..also when i picked it up it had scratches in interior grease on floor and 50ks on clock. How do i say to them i want nothing to do with the what i think is a demo car.

    • Hi Shannon. Regardless of whether it’s a new or used car, your legal rights are the same. Assuming the car has a significant problem, you are entitled to a refund rather than a repair if you would like. You simply need to make that clear and in writing (email is fine).

      You said the car had 50k on the clock. Do you mean miles, or are you not in the UK? This article pertains to UK laws; other countries will have their own laws.

  50. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a 12 plate BMW 320D from Arnold Clark on Friday 18/03/2016 and on the Saturday I noticed a number of issues:
    – chip in windscreen
    – wiper blades need replacing
    – passenger seat feels like it could fall out at anytime
    – dead battery in key fob
    – error with parking lights (this has now gone)

    I’ve lost faith in the car and want to return it.

    I bought the car and the finance deal was arranged through Arnold Clark with Barclays Partner Finance. It is a Personal Loan Agreement (otherwise known as a fixed-sum agreement I believe?)

    The car was £11,988 (if sold using cash) and I part-ex’d my Ford Focus in for a trade-in price of £7900. The focus had a settlement figure of around £10,240 I think which obviously put me in negative equity. They added this to my new finance deal (personal loan).

    I’ve been told by the Citizens Advice that I am eligible for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, I’m just curious how much I can claim back? Would it be the trade in value of the focus (£7900) minus the negative equity? Or could I potentially return this new car and receive a full cash refund of £11,988 and just keep paying the finance company as I’ve been told the loan is against me and not the car?

    Any help would be much appreciated!!!


    • Hi Alex. If you are able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you would receive a cash refund for the original purchase price (i.e. – £11,988). You won’t get your original car back.

      You will need to work with your finance company, as the car will quite possibly belong to them rather than you.

  51. Hello Stuart, i purchased a 1990 Nissan pulsar gtir today from a dealer called car sales, Arnison avenue in High wycombe. At first it drive fine, gears responding normally as they should, but now after 3 or 4 hrs the gearbox has gone. Only 5th gear seems to just work, lots of noise from it now..I understand i bought a 26 year old car, but surely its not right that they can get away with selling me a car that gearbox breaks’ 4 hrs after driving it. Please can you give me the best legal advice for my situation. He hasn’t returned my calls yet, but it has only been 2 hrs since the gearbox messed up.

    • Hi Antonios. Under the Consumer Rights Act, you should be able to reject the car and get a full refund.

  52. Hi Stuart

    Very informative site, both myself and a work colleague purchased Vauxhall Mokka 1.6cdti cars which we picked up on the 30th Nov 2015 on the 18th of this month his car broke down with a blown turbo with only 3000 miles on the clock, yesterday the 23rd my own car broke down on my way home from work same fault with only 1850 miles on the clock both cars are now in the Arnold Clark dealership where we purchased them on pcp schemes through GMAC financial. where do we stand with regards to these new laws as we are both very unsure of the cars now and would like to reject them

    • Hi Robert. You are outside the 30-day window for having the automatic right to reject the vehicles, as well as the 60-day window for the right to give the dealer one chance to repair and then reject if the repair does not work. So you either rely on the New Car Warranty to fix the problems and carry on with the cars, or you attempt to pursue the dealer under the Sale of Goods Act as not being fit for purpose.

      Trying to reject the cars at this time is likely to be a slow and painful process, as the onus is on you to prove the cars are not fit for purpose rather than you having blown them up through inappropriate behaviour. Given that you have had the vehicles for more than three months, you are likely to get short shrift from the dealership (and Arnold Clark does not have the best reputation for customer service, as numerous commenters on this site have pointed out) and be referred to the warranty process.

  53. Hi Stewart,

    In September 2015 I bought Ford Mondeo, 3 years old, top version 2.0 petrol ecoboost 30k miles on the clock. In Febuary the car broke down and has been diagnosed by an independent ford garage – piston rings damaged, no pressure in the 4th cylinder, oily residue in the 4th cylider. This is a serious engine problem and the car may even require a new engine. I have only done 3.5k miles since I bought it in September. I have contacted the dealer and asked for a free repair under the Sale of Goods Act (sent them the full diagnostics) but have been told that they can only make a small contribution as low as 10% under condition that I will deliver the car to them. I am not 100% sure however, I think that under the Sale of Goods Act I am entitled to a free repair if car isn’t feet for purpose and even more under the Guidance for Second Car Dealer Compliance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is dealer’s obligation to collect the car and I only have to make it available for collection (dealer’s headquater is about 180 miles away).

    Am I right?

    Thanks for your response

    • Hi Chester. Just because you believe that the law is on your side, it doesn’t mean that the dealer will go along with what you feel is right. They could dispute that the damage was present when the car was sold, and that you have inflicted the engine damage over five months of driving.

      If you want to challenge the dealer under the Sale of Goods Act (or other legislation), you will need to seek professional legal advice.

  54. Hi Stuart, I am a start up dealer and have recently (within the last 4 days) sold a Mazda RX8 to a customer, during by the sales process I explained the start up and shut down process, as they are prone to flooding, I have today received a call from the customer stating that the car will not start. This is likely due to the fact she has told me she has been driving it round the block to keep the battery from depleting, early signs suggest it could be she has flooded the engine as a result, would she have a claim under the new regulations?

    • Hi Rob. The customer has to show that there is a fault with the vehicle that was present when purchased. I’m not sure why the customer would need to be driving a car around the block within four days of purchase to “keep the battery from depleting” unless there is some fault with the vehicle or she has been running the ignition for extended periods of time without starting the car. It sounds like there is more to this story than you have described.

    • Hi Stuart, to further clarify, my customer purchased the car for her husband who is currently away from the UK, I think she felt she should drive the car every couple of days to keep the battery from becoming low (not on my advice), she has freely admitted she had done a couple of short runs around the block in her 4 days of ownership, however it is very well published these engines do not cope well with not being warmed up properly and can flood as a result, as said this is most likely what has happened, further confirmed by the fact she has told me she has watched videos online about this very issue, but she does not want to “make things worse” – she is therefore claiming there is a fault and wants her money back under the new regulations, does she have a claim if it is proven she has flooded the engine as a result of these short runs?

    • She would have to prove that there was a specific fault with the car to be able to claim a refund under the new rules, rather than her not following instructions on a known issue with the model.

  55. Hi Stuart I ordered a 2016 Corsa from one dealer in Jan but changed my mind when I ordered it it came with 500 of free fuel . I went to another dealer who said they could match the price the car I was promised by the first dealer came with on star . The second dealer had found the car I wanted it was the one from the first dealer … When I collected it last week i asked where the onstar was the dealer said we had never mentioned it ! I said yes it was to have it that’s what the first dealer said . I took the car home I have since been informed by a third dealer I have been sold a 2015 car at a 2016 price at no point was I ever informed of this I feel really upset and don’t know what to do ? I have only had the car one week I have been told to take the car back I have an old model on a new plate can you help at all

    • Hi Sharon. You appear to have been a victim of your own greed. If you had signed a legally-binding order from one dealer, why were you out buying another car from another dealer? You should be doing your shopping around before signing a contract, not afterwards.

      Unless you can prove that you have been misled and mis-sold (which is unlikely), you won’t have a leg to stand on.

  56. Hi, I wonder if you could answer a question for me? I bought a car 3 days ago from a second hand car dealer. It was a Ford Focus for £980 for my son. It had a clean MOT and Service History and drove well. However on Sunday the engine management light came on. I thought “perhaps this is bad luck” and it sounded like coils needed replacing (I don’t know much about cars but had this problem on another car and it sounded the same). The seller had advised that the car hadn’t had a cambelt change and so I told him I was going to get this done. As this was already booked I asked the garage to look at fault from the engine light and they confirmed it needed a new coil pack. I was prepared to pay for this and so didn’t contact the seller. I got another call from the garage ( a trusted mechanic I use regularly) to say that he had tested the compression in the cylinders and one had almost no pressure in at all. He said this repair would “be expensive” and advised that I should return it to the seller. At this point I called the seller. To be fair he was quite reasonable, but said that as another garage had looked at the car, for all he knew “they could have damaged it”. Where do i stand legally on this in terms of asking the seller to repair the car or for me to return it?

    • Hi Louise. If you can get your garage to provide a written report which details the engine problem(s) and states that the problems would have been present when you purchased the vehicle, the seller will find it very difficult to argue that you should not be entitled to a full refund. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will co-operate…

    • Thank you for the swift reply. My mechanic did say that I could have been unlucky as the car drove for around 70 miles after we collected it, before the light came on, so I suppose on that basis, it would be very difficult to say that the fault was definitely there when I bought the car. For future reference and just to clarify, you’re saying that it does not matter if you take the car to an independent garage before contacting the original seller? I appreciate that might be best practice, but it may not always practicable, so I just wanted to clarify whether this then gives the seller the right to wriggle out of his responsibilities?.

  57. Hello Stuart, I bought a Land Rover Disvovery 2 from a dealer in Totnes in Devon called Riviera Sports Cars.
    I came all the way from Kent on the basis that it was a great car and in particular they said that the chassis just had surface corrosion.
    I checked it on the periphery and there was some rust, but I was assured by the dealer that it was surfsce only and could be treated snd undersealed, also the MOT which was carried out that morning said slight corrosion in the advisories.
    There was also squeal from the engine that he said was probably the fan belt, however I clearly mentioned it a number of times but thought it would be an easy fix to change the fan belt.
    I called the dealer next day and told him that my local garage said the squeal was a manifold issue which would cost approx £270-300 to put right.
    Then I took it to a professional to book in for a chassis corrosion treatment and when he looked at it underneath he said that there was severe corrosion and it was uneconomical to treat. We also saw that the exhaust was heavily corroded and one mount was rusted away and it was hanging down. Also the front headlamp was misted up, both of which should have been MOT fail. I sent them emails with photos and a report from the under seal professional
    I called the dealer and asked for a refund but he refused. I havd sent them emails with photos and a report from the under seal professional showing them the extent if the corrosion and about the squealing noise, the 2 missing bump stops, the headlight and faulty parking sensore.
    I have called on a few occasions since and they are not recognising that the issues that I have raised snd are still refusing to take back and refund. The dealer us saying that he sold it privately, but I have a receipt with Riviera Sports Cars on it.
    They havd offered for me to take it back to Totnes where the MOT station can give it a secondary inspection with me there, but I don’t think it will be objective and it is a long way and I am only willing to drive it there if I can leave it and get a refund.
    they are also being cery aggressive, defensive and rude to me.
    Where do I stand and what can I do next to get them to take back and refund me?
    I look forward to your reply.
    Thanks, Adam

    • Hi Adam. From your description, it does sound like you would qualify to reject the vehicle under the new Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, that doesn’t mean that the dealer will comply willingly, as you have discovered. You may need to either contact the Ombudsman or get legal assistance to get the car rejected and your money refunded.

      Certainly, if the dealer is now trying to claim that he sold the car privately rather than as a trader, he is asking for trouble to rain down upon him from the authorities.

    • Thanks for your very swift reply Stuart, I am very impressed and I appreciate it very much.
      Can you tell me which Ombudsman I should contact and/or where should I get assistance to reject the vehicle? The local Trading Standards or which organisation?
      I have a report from the under seal professional and I am going to ask my local garage to put it through an MOT check and ask them if it will pass and what advisories they would put on it.
      Will this help to build a case for rejection?
      Please advise and I’ll let you know how I get on.
      Kind regards, Adam Clemson

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

  58. Hi
    I’ll apologise in advance for the length of my issues I’m going to list, I purchased a used Audi A4 traded in my Audi A3 as part ex and to pay off the remainder of my finance on it, and then got new finance for the new car, as my car (A3) was worth a little more than the settlement amount due to finish my finance I was given a signed receipt staying this, they now refuse to give me the refund, I was also advised they would transfer my private Reg plate over to the new car I said they could take that out of the money owing, I’ve since has advise from the DVLA saying they haven’t changed it over and I’ve now lost all rights to the plate, and apparently my money. Going back to the day I drove home my new car the engine management light came on, as the garage was already closed by that time I called them the following day, took it back they plugged it in and turned the light off, advised me to come back if I came on again which it did the day later, I called had been promised a callback waiting 2 days with nothing so I went and they arranged for me to go back the following day, after waiting 3 hours I drove home after they said it was fixed, obviously wasn’t it came back on the next day, all while this has been going on I’ve been telling the finance company, and along with that engine light on now the brake pad fault light came on. I refuse to ever go back to that garage they are intimidating and dishonest. The finance company sent me to a independent garage who inspected it and said the brake pads are completely worn down I’ve had to the car less than 2 weeks, after informing the finance company I looked over my paperwork ie MOT certificate and details of the car on the signed finance agreement it shows that they have also lied about the cars mileage by more than 2000 miles, it’s all going to be investigated by the car finance company, but they can’t help me with getting my private plate back of my refund, the car still has to be fixed and more investigating to be done on the engine, I feel I’ve been taken for a ride, they’ve seen a young girl on her own with a baby and just conned me, I’m sick of all the problems, i think the way the garage have behaved it illegal and I need some help, hopefully the finance company will do something, I’m just sick of it all now! Please can you advise me how I would go about getting my private plate back, I’ve called far too many times and been fobbed off and ignored I’ve been to the garage that many times I refuse to go again, sorry it’s so long

    • Hi Kelly. Firstly, have a read of our article about how to handle a dispute with a car dealer. You will need to work with the finance company, since the car belongs to them. They should have the ability to resolve most of the vehicle issues for you.

      As for the private plate, try contacting the DVLA (although it probably won’t help, since they are generally useless). You may ultimately need to take legal action against the dealer regarding the value of the plate and any monies owed to you from your part-exchange, as it sounds like they are not going to be responsive to your polite requests.

      For future reference, never part-exchange a vehicle with a private plate still on it – organise the plate to be put on retention and have the original plate put back on the car before you sell it. Because the DVLA’s systems are completely retarded, you need to arrange this about 8 weeks before you get rid of the car rather than it being doable at the time of sale (which it should be; this is 2016, after all, and other countries manage it perfectly well). Once you have signed the vehicle over with its plate still on it, you will lose the rights to that plate.

  59. Hi Stuart, I hope you can offer us some advice.

    Last week we picked up a brand new Mini Cooper 5 door. Before purchasing the car I contacted Mini Cooper customer services to say I was interested in buying that model but first I needed to check that it was capable of towing. I was informed on two occasions via email that it was and given the towing capacity which was perfectly adequate for our needs. So we purchased one, I have since been informed by five different tow bar companies that it would be illegal to fit a towbar on that model because the VIN plate does not have a figure for mass train weight which means the car is not homoglated for towing. Even if I could find someone who would fit one it wouldn’t be insured. So I have just spent nearly £20000 on a car that is not fit for my purpose after being assured by Mini customer services directly that it was. The dealer said they cannot take the car back as they weren’t the ones who mis-informed us. Where do we stand? Is there anything we can do?

    • Hi Rebecca. Good question. I can understand the dealer being reluctant to take the car back if they have not misadvised you about the towing issue, and therefore it’s not their responsibility.

      You will probably need to take the matter up with MINI Head Office, starting with the same customer service department who misadvised you. Ultimately it will be up to MINI (which is part of BMW UK) to buy the car back from you at the full purchase price – and settle any finance as necessary. If you have the two emails that back up your claim, they should eventually agree to refunding you, but it may take a bit of work to see it through to that point.

  60. Hi Stuart. My son recently brought a Citroën Grand C4 Picasso. Within 2 hours of buying the car a warning light came on advising not to drive the car above 5mph
    . On checking the fault it turns out the fault is a due to the rear air bag suspension, what rights as my son got ?

    • Hi Steve. Assuming that it is a significant fault (and not just a loose sensor or something), he should be able to reject the car and get a full refund, unless he would prefer to have the car repaired. I assume that he purchased the car from a dealer rather than privately?

      If he wants to return the car and get his money back, he needs to put it in writing and be very clear in stating that he is exercising his right under the Consumer Rights Act (2015).

  61. Hi Stuart,
    I hope you can help with this. we bought a ford S Max for £5000 with 75000 miles on the clock, and 42 days later, and 400 miles worth of driving, the engine gave in and we have been informed we will need to replace it, the turbo injector and the clutch at a cost of £3000, do we have any rights as it was beyond the 30day cut off. thanks for helping on this, its causing no end of stress to my family.

  62. Hi Stu…. we bought a mazda cx5 3 weeks ago…part ex….2012 plates …. the oil level is rising… the fuel is leaking into the sump… this is a known fault… unfortunately we didnt know about this before hand…. and after doing some research. .. found out it seems to be a problem with mazdas…. assuming we go for a refund…. how would this work as we part ex the toyota rav for 3300….

    • Hi Cass. In the event of a successful rejection, the dealer would give you a cash refund for the full value of the Mazda – which would include whatever value was placed on your part-exchange (in your case, £3,300).

  63. Hi Stuart,

    I would be most grateful for your advice. I purchased a car as a retail sale at the end of March. I was told the car does not include warranty but assumed the legal mininum of 28 days would apply. I signed the sales order and paid a deposit but when paying the full balance the dealer wrote spares and repairs only on the sales order.

    We agreed that faults with the ABS and other items were to be resolved and a fresh 12 month MOT would be applied. The car passed the MOT but the faults were still present or re-occurred. I have returned the car three times for unsuccessful repairs. The retailer admits the faults were present at the time of sale and resolving these was part of the agreement.

    The car was £1,800 and was clearly not spares and repairs. I have a photo of the car before purchasing with the advert stating it comes with 12 months MOT but no indication that it was spares and repairs.

    It has been a week and the gearbox is making a noise and the car is leaking some sort of fluid. I would like to reject the car for many reasons including that it is unsafe and they have failed to repair the ABS three times. Another garage could verify the gearbox problem was present at the time of sale. I have not even used the car (other than to drive it straight back to the garage).

    I am unsure if I can reject the car because of what the dealer wrote on the sales order. Even though I was assured the car was in good order or would be prior to completing the sale.

    Any advice you can offer would be highly appreciated!


    David W.

    P.S. I paid by credit card. Perhaps I can reject under the sale of goods act?

    • Hi David. I don’t think that the dealer writing “spare and repairs only” on the order at time of paying the balance (as opposed to before it was signed) would hold any merit, so you should be entitled to reject the car for a full refund.

      Of course, that doesn’t mean that the dealer will comply willingly…

    • Thank you Stuart. If the dealer is not willing (which seems likely), what are the implications? Would this mean small claims court? The “spare and repair only” is written in different pen and different hand writing but it may be difficult for me to proove it was added afterwards. If this does go to small claims, do I keep possession of the car for now without using it? Just concerned about damage / responsibility of the the car whilst ownership is contested.

      Thanks again for your advice.


      P.S. I should have mentioned I am in Scotland, does the regulation also apply here or is it only applicable in England? Actually to complicate matters further I am Gretna on the border and the garage is in England…

    • Hi David. I’m not sure of the legal differences, if any, between Scotland and England in this instance. A good site for legal questions is legalbeagles.info, which is an excellent and independent consumer legal site.

      If the dealer will not co-operate, you will need to consider legal action. Yes, you would keep possession but it is definitely best if you do not drive the vehicle unless absolutely necessary.

      Do you have a copy of the original sales contract you signed? That one shouldn’t have any amendments.

  64. Hi Stuart, I purchased a used car from a dealer found on Autotrader 2.5 weeks ago. The dealer worked from home (no premises) but the paperwork appeared to be professionally managed, a 1 page contract was supplied, 6 month warranty and VOSA slip. The dealer said it was a family business, they had two garages but the cars traded in sometimes did not meet the profile of the garage forecourts and instead were sold by him. I have had some issues with the car which were not evident on the day of purchase: ESP Failure/Hill Holder Failure – dashboard warning light is on and also switches the ASR OFF, Rear window demister/defroster failure, Sunroof intermittent failure to fully retract, Thermostat control fails to adjust temperature. I called the warranty company and they advised me to take it to Halfords Autocentre for a full diagnostic check, the cost (£48) was not covered under the warranty and I agreed to pay for this. Although Halfords had 2 scanners onsite they were unable to communicate with ECU and therefore could not diagnose the root cause of any of the errors or remediation. They recommended I take this to a Fiat Dealership which charges double for the same check £114. I have booked it in but don’t really want to deal with all these issues or take the risk of further costs that may not be covered under warranty, which has a maximum of 2k spend. My preference would be to return the car under the 30-day ‘short term right to reject’ legislation which I understand entitles me to a full refund by the same method that I paid for the car. (which was regrettably cash). Can I exercise this right even though I was given a warranty? Do I have to fix all these problems? It’s not just the cost, its time off work, taxi’s, stress and potential risk for further reoccurring issues that concerns me, I have lost confidence in the car and transaction and just want to return it.

    • Hi Linda. The key issue would be the ESP failure, as it’s a key safety system of the car (which also controls the hill hold and ASR/traction control). You should be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act for that issue alone.

      The rear window and sunroof issues are probably not serious enough to warrant rejection of the car, but in this case it shouldn’t matter.

  65. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a new Ford on 19th March. Upon inspection I noticed a few scratches and the dealer told me to take the car and they would book it in with the body shop to be rectified.

    When we got the car home we noticed the whole car was covered in scratches and swirl marks. We notified the dealer immediately, they told us is wasn’t a problem and the car would be sorted.

    On 31st March, the car went back to the dealer and two days later I went to collect the repaired car. On inspection the car was still covered in scratched and swirls. We left the car with them and a few hours later we had another call to say the car had been detailed and all was now ok with the car.

    I inspected the car again, although some of the marks had gone the car still had scratches and swirls. The dealer told me they could do no more for the car and to contact Ford UK.

    I have contacted Ford, who have asked the car go to one of their body shops for inspection. Ford have spoken with the dealer involved who say the paint is too soft.

    My question is, where do I stand? Can I reject the car as they have had two chance to correct the paint work to no avail and by their own admittance the paint is too soft.

    At the moment the dealership is being very slow in responding to anything Ford asks them and I feel stuck in the middle, just wanting the issue resolved. It might be worth noting I have emails form the dealer acknowledging the problems and apologising for the condition of the car.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John. Unfortunately it is often the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, so you may have to keep chasing and chasing the dealer to get the matter properly dealt with. If you go quiet and simply wait for it to be resolved, there is a very good chance it will simply be forgotten/ignored.

      Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a dealership.

    • Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for responding. I understand that this would get forgotten/ignored if not chased up, so I have no intention of letting the issue go.

      When you purchase a brand new car, you expect (and are entitled to receive) a perfect specimen!

      With regards to my question about where I stand though, do you have any comment?

      Can I reject the car as they have had two chances to correct the paint work to no avail and by their own admittance the paint is too soft?



    • I’m not sure whether a court would rule in your favour on whether paint imperfections are a reason to reject the car. The Act does specify that the car must be “free from any defect”, but it would be up to a court to decide whether a poor paint job carries the same weight as a mechanical defect. But you certainly have the right to expect Ford to fix it.

      Ultimately it is likely to fall to Ford UK to either agree to swap the car for a replacement or offer some other form of compensation.

  66. Hi Stuart

    I have bought a classic car from a reputable dealer a week ago. The standard terms for such a vehicle is “sold as seen” etc. We have since found some fairly significant rust in a structural area which would be an MOT fail. It’s repairable, but fairly costly.

    In your opinion would this type of a dealer and situation be covered?

    • Hi Andy. The Consumer Rights Act does not recognise any difference between new or used cars, regardless of how old they may be. I would assume that this would be considered a suitable case for rejection of the vehicle under the Act.

  67. Hi i recieved my brand new car that im getting through finance on the 6th april and i could smell diesel from the moment i got in but i thought nothing of it. As it turns out its leaking diesel in the engine and ive been inhaling diesel fumes the whole time. Am i able to reject the vehicle or claim anything for any health issues/ inconvenience caused?

    • Hi Dominic. It certainly sounds like you have grounds to reject the vehicle for a full refund. However, if you want to pursue the manufacturer and/or dealer for any kind of compensation, you would need to be taking formal action against them, which will probably mean getting a lawyer.

  68. Hi Stuart,

    You give some good advice here and I must say it’s impressive how you respond to everyone. I would like some advice on my situation.

    I bought a 2008 Vectra on the 21st of March from a second hand dealer with a one month warranty. There were some issues with the car when I visited it the previous Friday (18th) which the dealer said he would fix. He said that the car would be Mot’d and fixed up by the Monday when I collected it. When I got the car he was closing up so it was a bit of a rush. The main issue was there was a juddering from one of the belts which he said was just while the car was cold. However after drving it that week I noticed that the issue was not going away. I was away travelling the following week but booked the car in for a check over at my local garage to make sure there were no issues before my warranty expired.The report came back with the following issues:

    – 3 x tires should not have passed MOT and are exhibiting cracks and badly worn
    – number plate bulb gone
    – front bulb gone
    -tracking is out
    – Dual Mass Flywheel and clutch are about to fail and need to be replaced immediately (juddering I noticed)

    What are my options? I have rang him outlining the issues and his tone changed completely. He says he wont be replacing the DMF and clutch as its wear and tear and is ignoring the other points. He is now suddenly busy all next week and cant see the car, and I’m worried that my warranty will run out and also my 30 days under the consumers rights act. He has diverted calls from my mobile direct to voicemail..I know this as I rang him off the landline when my calls were going to voicemail.

    I am considering rejecting the car and reporting the MOT centre through DVSA.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Colm. Yes, you should be able to reject the car for these issues. As long as you write to formally reject the vehicle within the first 30 days, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to actually be processed.

  69. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a used car from a dealership day before yesterday (Thursday) , Yesterday, I took the car out for the 1st time since driving it home from the car shop, went for a coffee, returned and not battery!

    Called them this morning (Saturday) They jump started it, and
    I took the car to the dealership. Driving the car to the dealership, i noticed that the roof was leaking (which was a question I specifically asked when buying the vehicle and no leaks were confirmed), I told the dealership that I wanted a refund and I wanted to reject the vehicle, as it had been less than 30 hours, let alone days! They refused (very aggressively) and took the car in for repair said it would be done in a few hours. Now They say I must wait until Monday when they fit the battery as they said they took it out for it? I have had to rent a car!

    So I am wondering what I can do next? They refused me rejecting the car, yet they have it now… I have lost confidence in the car and the people I bought it for.. Am I stuck with this, what seems to be a menace of a car?

    • Hi Dunrod. Firstly, the car is almost certainly not a ‘menace’. A flat battery and leaky soft top are both issues which need to be fixed, but you need to keep your tone calm if you are trying to successfully reject the vehicle.

      Whether you can reject the vehicle on the grounds of a flat battery may depend on what was causing it to go flat. If there is an electrical faulty which causes it to repeatedly flatten the battery, you may have grounds to reject the vehicle. If you simply left your lights on or something similar and it works perfectly thereafter, it’s not a cause for rejection.

      A leaking roof is probably cause for rejection, or at least demanding the roof be repaired or replaced.

      The dealer is not allowed to refuse you rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, so assuming you can demonstrate that the problems existed when you bought the car, you are entitled to a full refund. You need to set out your case in writing (email is fine), which also sets out the date for your rejection claim. If they refuse, you will need to talk to the Ombudsman or take legal action against the dealer. It may take some time, so it is important you have written to the dealer (and had a reply or some confirmation of receipt) so that the date is clear.

  70. Hi Stuart. Love the article and how you are responding to everyone. I am wondering if you can help me out. I recently moved to the UK (Scotland) and purchased a car, and am now having some problems and would be greatly appreciative if the members on here could give me some advice on what they would do if in my situation.
    I purchased a 2008 Vectra diesel 1.9 Sri on 21/03/2016. When I viewed it the previous Friday it seemed ok apart from a rattle on at low revs. The dealer said it was as the car hadn’t been driven in over a week and when it heats up it will be ok. He said he would MOT the car and fix up the bits and pieces and have it ready the Monday. I asked him to do the timing belt and water pump as well and after a bit of negotiating he agreed if I would pay the asking price (separate MOT centre would be carrying out the work). I arrived just before closing on Monday due to work and picked it up. However when I got home and checked through the documents there was no record of timing belt and water pump being done. I drove it to England the following morning for work and it was fine on the motorway, however driving in towns, at traffic lights etc there was a juddering at low revs and when engaging the clutch. I phoned the dealer to let him know about the missing documents and also informed him about the juddering which he said would be the clutch release bearing. Eventually the timing belt documents were posted out to me but I was still concerned about the noise.
    I took the car to my local garage last week (6th April) to get the once over and put my mind at ease. Here is the list of items:
    -three tyres cracked and worn below legal limit
    -tracking out
    -front bulb gone and number plate bulb gone
    -Anti rollbar bushing gone in back
    – DMF and clutch need to be replaced.
    My worst fears were confirmed about the DMF and the clutch! I phoned the dealer immediately and his tone changed considerably. He said he would do his best to fit me in and have a look, however they would not be changing the DMF if it was noisy and not failed, and they don’t care what the other garages report says. He said they were busy in the next two weeks but he would give me a call back to see if he could fit me in. Needless to say no call, so I rang him again the next day and it went straight to voicemail I used my work phone to ring straight after and surprise surprise I got through. He began to make excuses as to why they couldn’t see the car next week as it was “Easter week and they were really busy”. My one month warranty will expire the week after along with my 30 day sale of goods act rejection period.
    My thoughts are that I will write him a letter stating that he has to make good all the faults the other garage found or I will have to begin the process of reporting him to trading standards and rejecting the car under the sale of goods act, and I am considering reporting that MOT centre too. I have recorded all telephone conversations so far using an app for my phone so I have a record of exactly what was said and when,
    Sorry for the length of post and any advice is greatly appreciated as I don’t really know much about cars (enough to get by) and anything above is what I’ve learnt from researching forums the last few days.

    • Hi Heachaoireann. Assuming you write to reject the vehicle within 30 days, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for them to process the rejection. If the dealer refuses to accept your rejection, you will have to take action against them to make it happen.

  71. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve found your article really helpful, thank you. I thought it would be worth asking you about my specific case.

    I bought an Audi A3 from a local car dealer for £2.5k. The airbag light was on when I test drove it and they agreed it would have to be fixed for the MOT – they promised 12 months as part of the purchase, it was advertised as having one 3 months previously.

    I put a deposited down of £250. I decided to do extra due diligence and took out an AA check and found the MOT certificates online, it has not had an MOT for 18 months. I contacted the dealer, as I was concerned by this and it did not reflect the advert posted on auto trader. He said it was nothing to worry about and said he would throw in a warranty. I continued with the purchase – silly me!

    When I drove the car home following picking it up (3 miles), the engine warning light came on, as did the airbag light. I called the dealer, he said it was mostly likely a faulty sensor and would pick it up to look at it. In the meantime it went into limp mode on the motorway, I contacted him again. He collected it the following week and replaced a part and said it was fixed. I drove it 10 miles and both warning lights came back on. I made a verbal request to return the car, they persuaded be to keep it and for them to fix it.

    After the 3rd time I took it to another garage and asked them to do a full diagnostic as I knew the 30 days was fast approaching, it came back with several codes and the airbag being a serious problem (£1500 to fix). I sent an official letter asking to reject the car. They asked to collect the car to fix again and has had it twice more.

    I sent the ‘letter before action’ and am about to file a small claim. He is now saying that I have continued to drive the car and put mileage on it. Could this really be a defence given I had repeatedly asked for a refund and accommodated them having the car back for a total of 6 days? I did not have the funds to purchase a new car. I have been loaned one now by my dad and my A3 is off the road to prevent more mileage.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Samantha. As long as you are still within your 30 days, it doesn’t matter that you have continued to drive the vehicle. You can demand your money back under the Consumer Rights Act.

  72. Hi Stuart,I need your help,I bought a car on the 1-4-16 and I went to do some services and mekanic told me this car have so many problems,can I return a car to the dealer please help me

    • Hi Eduard. It depends on the problems, and whether they are significant. The article above explains it all fairly clearly, so I’mnot sure what sort of help you are looking for.

  73. Hi Stuart , I bought a used Honda Civic from a Honda dealer in Norwich , it was delivered to me on Saturday by their driver . I then drive it for the first time on Sunday but noticed that there amid some issue with a wheel bearing or something as its making strange noises and grinding when I turn the wheel.. They tell me to take it to local Honda dealer to check issue and they may pay for work required .Am I entitled to a full refund instead? Thanks Richard

    • Hi Richard. It depends on the nature of the problem. It may be a quick fix, in which case it may be easier to take that than get a refund and have to start looking for a car all over again.

  74. Hi there

    I bought a brand new car on PCP and collected it 2 weeks ago. When we collected it there were some things that we were promised that weren’t delivered. We also ran into an issue regarding our part exchange.

    when we first met i explained that i would want to use my part ex as a deposit and that it had been valued at £XXX by various other dealers. The salesman said that he would need to apraise this at a later date which was fine. When filling out the contract he stated that because he needs to appraise the vehicle later on he would put the value down as ” customer owning ” instead of ” part exchange value “. Not once did he explain the part exchange procedure to myself.

    2 months passed and it was collection day and they never appraised my car and now all of a sudden my car is worth nothing and i have to pay the £xxx before my new car would be released to me. They also did not provide extras which were verbally agreed but not put on the contract.

    I’ve made a complaint and all they say is ” i signed the contact , i signed the contract ” and now because of my behavior i’m not getting any further help or the extras that were promised to me.

    I’ve admitted i signed a contract but it was incorrectly filled in ( not to my knowledge at the time ) and without extras promised, which according to the salesman didn’t need to be added. I feel ive been mislead into the contract but being a very very large german company they’ve suggested i get a lawyer if i challenge them anymore.

    help me please

    • Hi Mike. Unfortunately, if you have signed a contract then it’s very difficult to prove that you have not got what you agreed to.

      Them telling to you get a lawyer is probably nothing to do with them “being a very very large German company” and more to do with the fact that you are trying to challenge a legally-binding contract which you freely signed of your own volition.

      Have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a car dealer, but you may be better off complaining to the very very large German company’s UK head office if you feel aggrieved by the dealer’s conduct.

  75. If the 30 days has passed but you still find a fault with the car that was present when I bought the car can we still fight to have the car returned because we no longer want it ?

  76. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a used car from Arnold Clark and took delivery of it on 5th April.

    On the drive home, I noticed a chip on the windscreen. I called the dealer as soon as I got home and they arranged to look at the car, with a view to repair it.

    They confirmed the windscreen can’t be repaired and has to be replaced. The person dealing with me said they would need to get this authorised by the Service Manager, order the part and call me to take the car back in.

    I’ve just been told the Sales Manager won’t authorise the replacement screen as its over £600.

    Where do I stand?

    Thanks in advance


    • Hi George. Unfortunately, Arnold Clark does not have the best reputation for after-sales service, so good luck getting anything out of them.

      In terms of rejecting the car, it would depend on the severity of the chip and whether it is in a position which requires it to be repaired or replaced. If it would fail an MOT due to the chip, you would be within your rights to reject the vehicle or insist on it being repaired. If it’s not a legal issue, the dealer is probably entitled to say that they never promised to fix the chip and it was never agreed over the course of the sale.

  77. Hi, hope you can advise me.. I bought a Mini Cooper 2007 for my wife exactly month ago, however the car has formed a fault as it giving out blue smoke whilst driving and burning oil. I have been advised it maybe the piston rings and a costly job, would the be covered under warranty or am I eligible to ask for a refund?

    • Hi Onkar. You have 30 days to claim a refund, so you are probably outside that now. You still have the right to demand a repair within six months of purchase, and if that is not satisfactory then you can claim a refund.

      Alternatively, if you are otherwise happy with the car, you should be able to have the work covered under warranty if the warranty provided allows for it (used car warranties are hugely variable in their coverage).

  78. Hi Stuart thanks for a great thread and website. Lots of information.

    I purchased a used car on finance just under 2 weeks ago April 2nd. I traded in my car for £5000 and paid another £2500 on top and have an 11k finance with Barclays partner finance. I noticed a couple of issues with the car that the dealer has offered to fix but the car broke down recently. I’ve had enough and just want to cancel the finance and reject the car well within 30 days. They have offered to repair it but at this point I don’t really care and want my money and my car back which they still have.

    I had the car towed to their dealership and left it outside their gates and was ready to go there and get a courtesy car while they fix it but I just don’t want it anymore. I’m not quite sure what the fault is nor can I prove if this fault was there when I took it as I’ve been driving it for almost 2 weeks.

    I have called the finance company and they have said that I need to give the dealer a chance to repair it but I don’t want it at all.

    All I want is for them to take their car and give me my car and my money back but I don’t think it will be that easy. Any advice would be appreciated.


    • Hi Alex. You will need to work with the finance company as technically it’s their car until you have finished paying for it (unless it’s an unsecured personal loan).

      Without knowing what the fault is, it’s impossible to say whether it justifies a refund under the Consumer Rights Act, but it is up to you to prove that the fault was present when the car was purchased.

  79. Hi, I purchased a 2008 Mercedes from DaceXchange in Stockport in January 16. Test driving the car, all was fine except there were a few bits of paintwork that needed doing. They agreed to do the paintwork and would telephone for me to collect. They duly telephoned and we went all the way back to the garage to collect the car. However – the paintwork had not been done. So, a wasted journey and an angry me told them that I wanted it done and delivered.
    They delivered and done the paintwork (in a fashion).
    However – the next morning, when the car was cold, the gearbox started playing silly buggers. We live in a very hilly North Wales, and to exit our road it is a steep hill downwards, onto the next road which is a 20 mile an hour steep hill upwards to a then flat road with speed humps, then back down another steep hill to the flat!
    The gearbox was changing up too soon, the engine laboured so the gearbox changed back down, when slowing for the speed humps the car would judder and the revs go up and down in a jerky fashion. This happened until the engine started to show a temperature reading on the gauge.

    I contacted the garage, told them of the problem, they said the only thing they could do was book it into the garage they use to get it looked at. I was asked to bring the car back. Considering it is our only car, I told them this and they said they would not have a replacement for me to use until first week of March! I had no choice to wait, as I could not afford a hire car. Anyway, I took it back to them, they gave me a car to use (with no fuel in it). I had this car over a week, and they called me to come and collect my car. When I collected it they assured me that all the problems had been fixed, the gearbox needed oil, that was all!

    Sooooo, the next morning………You guessed it! No change.

    I contacted the garage again, he read the data sheet provided by the garage that supposedly fixed it, and told me they found a leak, but not on the gear box. They did not, however, find where the leak was, what it was, or fix it! Bring it back, they said, but this time no replacement car to use. This was unacceptable to me so he suggested that I find a garage near me! Err, I don’t think so, they will need to pay for the repairs and I’m not falling for the ‘you pay, we will reimburse’.

    They contacted Service4Service, but told them that there was a light on that needed investigation. Not sure where they got that from because there are no warning lights on the dashboard at all! Anyway, the Service4Service guys found an approved Mercedes garage, who contacted me to arrange to come and collect. When I told him what was going on he said it sounds like a gear box problem, not an engine problem, they don’t do gearboxes! So, they put Service4Service onto Chester Gearbox centre. However, because the problem is only occurring when the engine is cold, they need the car overnight.

    Problem. We don’t have another car, therefore I cannot get to/from work whilst the car is in the garage. I telephoned DaceXchange. Basically – hard luck, if you want the car fixed we will pay for that, but not a replacement car whilst it is being fixed.

    Before I tell them to come and get the car and give me a full refund (which I don’t want to do because its on finance and I will get stung for all sorts of charges, plus the more important fact, I really like the car and don’t particularity want to get rid of it!) am I within my rights to have a replacement car whilst the fault is diagnosed and fixed?

    • Hi Michele. Long story short, you are not entitled to a replacement car while yours is fixed. Many businesses offer courtesy cars, but they are just that – a courtesy, not a legal requirement. And if a courtesy car is offered, they almost never offer fuel so it’s not surprising that the one you had previously didn’t come with any.

  80. We purchased a used car on the 17.02.2016 (£5,000) after driving it for no more than 30 minutes it broke down. Called the garage straight away they towed the car away and got the car running again. Employee put diesel in the tank instead of petrol. I took that as human error however car was still a little rough so ran the current fuel right down then put fresh petrol. On the 9th April car broke down again on a busy motorway. Garage called again, car is currently with them stripped – Rocker arm has snapped and wedged in the engine and sheared the teeth off the timing belt and other damage to the engine. Top gold package warranty was taken, however I am that sick of the car I want my money back. How do I stand?


    • Hi Chris. You are now outside the 30-day window for automatically rejecting the car, but there is a second possibility that may cover your situation.

      You would have to show that the current problem is the same as the original one, and that their repair has been ineffective – you have six months to exercise this right and demand a refund. Given that you bought the car on 17 February and the car has been back with the dealer for a number of days (which do not count as part of your six months), you are still within this window.

  81. Hi Stuart

    Questions if I may, I have issued a new car rejection under the new law, do I allow the vehicle to be collected and await refund within 14 days?

    Asking because once the car has left my possession, they have the car, and could refuse refund once they have this, then I have nothing, I paid cash £30,000.

    Or, something happens to the vehicle while in their possession awaiting refund.

    They can agree to refund before collecting, but once they have the vehicle surely we are still relying on them honouring the act.



    • Hi Martin. You are correct that you are rather stuck waiting for them to pay you. If you have anything in writing to confirm they have agreed to the refund, that would be good. If they have taken the car off your hands without any correspondence as to why they have done so, you are at a greater risk.

      If you don’t get payment or any response from the dealer, you will need to take legal action against them. However, it probably won’t come to to that. Presumably, if they want to dispute the rejection, they will give you the car back.

  82. Hi Stuart, I have been so stupid, I bought a used car on Friday 08.04.2016 from a dealer and picked it up on Wednesday, I asked the dealer how much tax was left on it he said 2 months but I didn’t know the new law about having to buy new tax when buying a car, anyway that’s not my biggest problem, the problem is I never got the V5C green tear off portion from him so I can’t tax the car, I’ve been phoning him the past few days but he keeps giving me the run around telling lies, I know now that I shouldn’t have bought it without the V5C doc, I really don’t know what to do or who can help me, I’m now without a car as it has no tax, can I take the car back to the dealer for a refund? Please help

    Kind Regards

    • Hi David. I would have thought that this would qualify for you to reject the vehicle, as it is not fit for sale if it can’t be registered. However, if he is not answering your calls to get the car taxed then he is unlikely to be cooperative in giving you your money back…

  83. Hi Stuart. This is a fantastic site you’ve setup, and offering genuine help to beleaguered buyers. Good on you!
    I’ve just paid a deposit to a dealer on a car that is advertised as 87k miles. On getting home and doing checks online it is actually 187k! Can you say hoe I stand on my deposit if I withdraw?
    many thanks again

  84. Hi Stuart
    I sign a sale contract with car dealer and paid a deposit on 16/4/16 to complete sale by 23/4/16
    I inform dealer that I will pick the car on 18/4/16 and insured the car on 16/4/16 but I received a phone call on 17/4/16 to inform me that there has been a mistake and they sold the car to someone else. They offer to pay my deposit back
    What rights do I have? What can I do?
    Akin uysal

    • Hi Akin. There’s probably not a whole lot you can do. There may have been a legitimate reason (eg – they have multiple sites and the vehicle was sold by another site and the paperwork hadn’t made it across to the site where the car was located), or they may just be unethical. All you can really do is take your deposit back and not buy another car from them again.

  85. Hi I bought a n American car from a small dealer on the 8th April the day we bought it home we realised the car seats were not original – the car had all the connections for electric seats but these were manual. It also looks like the panel has been changed as its a different colour and there’s a 4×4 button and it’s not a 4×4 . Today we realised there is no alarm – this is factory fitted and the key supplied works central locking but didn’t manually open the door. The dealer has said he will make right but finding the alarm tonight has been the last straw.
    Do you think we are in a position to legally reject the car

    • Hi Maz. It’ difficult to say – there may be legitimate reasons for each of the issues you have raised (eg – many cars with connections for electric seats even if they are not fitted, as it makes the wiring and installation costs cheaper). If it’s a used car then it’s entirely possible a panel has been changed. The 4×4 button is interesting, but if the car is not 4×4 and was never advertised as such then you’d be hard-pressed to say that there is a fault with the vehicle.

      If the dealer is prepared to fix any problems, it’s probably a better solution than rejecting the car. None of those issues sound like significant problems unless the car was not as advertised.

  86. Hi Stuart

    I have had a response from the dealer to my earlier post of a new car rejection under the consumer rights act 2015.

    They have sent me a buy back part exchange appraisal form to sign, which surely if I sign I am giving up my consumer rights and they are merely buying back the car from me? or is this how a car rejection would be handled?

    Your advice would be appreciated



    • Effectively they do have to buy the car back, as you are now the owner and registered keeper. You can’t undo the sale, so it makes sense that they would handle it this way.

      Assuming that they are paying you the same amount you paid them, you’re not giving up anything.

  87. Hi Stuart, I took delivery of my car yesterday (19th) and thought all was OK till I drove it to work the next morning. I thought something was not right so I dropped it off at my local garage for them to look at and wow.Bare in mind it had a 12 month mot the cars faults were as follows…front discs warped, front wheel bearing worn, rear drop link broken,front wishbone broken and a possible problem with the injectors. Anyhow the bill comes to £600 when the car cost me £2000, so I contacted the trader who offered only to pay for bearing and discs £200 which I felt I had to accept. The garage is carying out the work now but do I have any recourse now to get the dealer to pay for it all. Bearing in mind it had a new mot which I have been told should have been picked up on. I was also told there was no warranty available for the car and he demanded to be paid in cash.
    Thanks for any advice in advance.

    • Hi Dave. All in all, it sounds like a pretty shady operation. However, it is possible that the car did pass an MOT inspection if the inspection station was equally shady (and there is always slack in the system, despite legal requirements).

      With the collective number of problems you have listed on the vehicle, you should be able to demand either full repairs or a full refund under the new Consumer Rights Act.

  88. hi Stuart
    i purchased my car on the 24th march and on the drive home that day i had EML and warning lights on and car went into limp mode it was back by the 28th march and they had the car till the 6th April went to collect after advised car was good to go on drive home and had a warning light on again and took the car straight back to dealer where it was discussed about a refund but he told me he would put the car into Citroen which they did but while in the office it was discussed that if i had any more light on i would be return the car for a refund, i collected the car on the 15th of april and made it home no light on the 19th April i had the same warning’ engine oil pressure to low’ so phoned the dealer who advised us to take it back which we had to be towed back to garage i explained that enough was enough and wanted a refund he said he couldn’t as needed manager to authorise it is on holiday i recieved a call on the 20th telling me i’m not having a refund that they want to repair the car and hand it back i clearly explained that i don’t want the car i have had the car for 7 days in the last month where do i stand with a refund?
    kind regards Hannah

    • Hi Hannah. I would say that you should definitely be able to claim a full refund for the vehicle. You have given them opportunity to fix it, even though you were not required to, and you are still well within your original 30 days (the clock stops whenever they have the car, so although your original 30 days expires on 23 April, it would be extended by however many days they had the car back for).

  89. Hi all I’m a little confused!!! Wonder if anyone can assist I bought a car on the 7th jan 2016 from a trader the car had a few minor problems that weren’t described on the advertisement such as no sun visor, back door handle slightly loose and then discovered once I got home and put child lock on the back door didn’t open at all, minor issues that could be rectified at a small cost however on March the 22nd a more sinister problem occurred 5th gear stopped working completely when I was on the motorway, with my son who had just had minor head surgery, I was absolutely terrified, however I managed to drive the 45 minutes back home safely, I contacted a family friend who is a mechanic and he told me that my VW Golf should have a JYJ gear box but In fact has a VW polo gearbox fitted which is a lower ratio which has caused the 5th gear to go (9n destroyed) and it’s only a matter of time before the rest go, I’ve been quoted a price of anything between £600-£1300 to repair… I don’t have that sort of money so I contacted the trader and explained this and he told me that it’s my problem I’ve been driving the car for 3 months and that he had sold me a fully working car it’s now your problem, however I don’t think that’s correct or fair in any which way I’m not a mechanic and wouldn’t of been able to tell at the time of purchase which type of gearbox was fitted etc. I’d appreciate some guidance

    • Hi Amy. Firstly, always be cautious about third-party advice on technical matters. Volkswagen uses several different gearboxes for the Golf range, and some of the are the same as used on the Polo. It could be that your friend is 100% correct about the gearbox that is fitted to your car and the one that is supposed to be fitted, but I would get a Volkswagen dealer to confirm this.

      Even if the gearbox is not the correct one for your car, the dealer is correct that you have had the car for three months, and it would be difficult to prove that you didn’t have the gearbox changed after you bought the car.

  90. Hi Stuart,
    You advice would be greatly appreciated. I bought a 2004 Lexus Yesterday a trader outside London( 1 hr travel from my place). Me and my friend both do not have much knowledge on mechanical side thought car to be in good condition and was told it is checked 82 point check and is in good condition. I found one problem as oil leak and trader checked it and said it is not recent one. Thus trusting on everything took car and drove home. Paid part in credit card and partly in debit card. Couldnt get receipt as the trader said book has been taken away by his colleague for another sale and promised us he will post it.Just got the green slip and card payment slips with manuals ,hpi clear, 82 checks done paper. Today(yes in 24 hr time) saw oil leaking(engine oil) and dropping in the ground. Was really unhappy and called them.Being a sunday, was only able to talk to another employee, he said they can fix the issue if I get the car to them.But I insisted to return the car, as too far and could not trust on their repairs. which he was not happy and said he cant answer my question and only his boss can advice.Still waiting for his callback and no luck.Tomorrow Monday I am thinking calling and check when I can return.Also telling about this new 1 month reject policy .What do u think my chances are ?Please advice.

    • Hi Ian. It will depend on what is causing the oil leak: if it’s simply an overfill, the leaking should stop once the excess oil has gone. If it’s a more significant fault, then yes you should be able to reject the car within 30 days of taking delivery.

      It’s not at all unusual for dealer management to not work weekends, so you will need to speak to the dealer principal/general manager from Monday onwards.

  91. Hi wonder if you coulc help my son brought a bmw v8 17000 poundfrom a dealer with warranty after a week the engine went where does he stands please ty

    • Hi Michelle. If your son can show that the engine failure was the result of a problem with the vehicle at point of sale, he can reject the car for a full refund.

      If he cannot prove that the fault was present when he purchased the car, rather than as a result of damage caused after delivery, then he will need to claim on the vehicle warranty. He will need to check the warranty paperwork to establish how he needs to proceed on having the necessary work undertaken and paid for by the warranty firm.

  92. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a car six days ago, a 2011 Seat Altea XL, and have only driven it three times since then. Last night the DPF light came on, so I followed the manufacturer’s instructions and took it for a long drive with high revs to burn off the soot. This did not work, so I took it straight to a local garage, who have told me that it needs a whole new DPF, which will be somewhere between £1000 and £1500. I would rather return the car than pay this amount. Does my 90 day dealer warranty cover the DPF? And if not, am I within my rights under the 30 Day act, to return it for a full refund?


    • Hi Adam. It sounds like the DPF was faulty at the point of delivery, but you will need to get proof of this if you want to reject the car for a refund. If you want to keep the car, you will need to speak to the dealer to have the DPF replaced. As to whether the DPF is covered by the dealer warranty, you will need to check the warranty contract (used car warranties are quite different from new car warranties, which would definitely cover the DPF).

  93. Hi Stuart, hope you can help, after owning my car for 1 year which I bought from Vehicle Supermarket of Ibstock for £6000, I went to a garage to buy another car and part exchanging this car. The dealer said there is 2 outstanding finances on it. Both finances are against the same garage. I tried contacting the garage and they have closed down, I think he’s taken out lots of finances on poor customers cars he has sold. He said to me we are a very company and everything is checked thoroughly so I didn’t need hpi check. I need to know how long is it before any finance on my car is written off, hope to hear from you soon, many thanks

    • Hi Kash. I would suggest visiting the forum at legalbeagles.info, which is a brilliant site for consumer legal advice and will be able to provide better direction on what your options may be.

      You will probably need to contact the relevant finance companies to check whether there is any money outstanding – it does happen that finance companies can be slow at informing HPI et al that they no longer have any financial interest in a vehicle, so it may be all OK. Doesn’t sounds great, though…

  94. Hi Stuart. My stepdaughter bought a cheap car from a dealer on March 18 and on April 25 it broke down with what has turned out to be a tensioner problem which I believe is something to do with the timing belt. The garage has said it is not worth repairing so it sounds like a major problem. In my opinion This problem must have been prevalent when she bought the car. cCan you advise me of her rights from here. Many thanks

    • Hi Geoff. Your stepdaughter is still within six months of purchase, so she should be able to demand that the dealer fixes the problem under the Consumer Rights Act. However, she is outside the 30-day window for being able to automatically reject the car for a serious problem.

  95. High Stuart. Thanks for the reply. Are you able to explain a little more about the 60 days you mentioned as I have not seen that before. Also what would the position be if the repairs cost more than the car is worth. Many thanks

    • A fault which develops in the first 60 days is deemed to have been present when the car was sold, unless it can be clearly shown otherwise. You are entitled to have the dealer fix the fault at no cost. If it cannot be fixed, you are entitled to a refund.

  96. Hi Stuart, I bought a car privately just over two weeks ago (11/4/16). It’s an Audi A3 Quattro. Within the last week it went in for a service where the mechanic showed me under the car whilst it was up on a ramp that the parts that drive the back wheels from the front transmission (making it four wheel drive) are not actually on the car. It drives fine but is not four wheel drive which is what I paid for.
    The missing parts are the transfer box and the propshaft that runs the length of the car from the front transmission to the rear transmission. I contacted the guy who sold it to me letting him know this and he wasn’t interested and said it he hadn’t done anything to the car is his ownership – it’s sold as seen – go away. If the car is advertised as a Quattro 4wd (I’ve just received the log book confirming it is a Quattro), then surely he’s misled me through his advertising. Can you please advise as to my rights in this case? Thanks.

    • Hi Martin. In the case of a private sale, there is no automatic legal protection for you. You would need to take legal action against the seller, and there is no guarantee that you would be successful.

  97. Hi Stuart, wondering if you can help me I went to purchase a car on Sunday and put a £1500 deposit down and said it would be subject to a hpi check that I would do on Monday. He advised me verbally that it had 1 owner. After doing the checks on Monday I have found out that it has had 2 owners (garage for a year and one other), it had warranty work done in february that recorded the milegage at 3520 and my sales invoice states 3200 and it has had 31 people do a check in the last 2 months and it is finance through the car dealership but will be paid once I pay. I feel uncomfortable with the whole situation and have asked for my money back and they won’t refund. How do I now stand. I have not put any signature on the sales form.

    • Hi Helen. If the car itself is fine, none of those issues are really that important. 300 miles difference is not that important in the grand scheme of things – it’s still a low-mileage car. The issue of one or two owners doesn’t change a lot (it was probably a dealer demonstrator or loan vehicle), and it’s normal for dealers to finance cars rather than own them outright.

      Even if the salesperson has been exactly honest, it doesn’t necessarily make it a bad car. You should make him rewrite the contract to show correct mileage simply to cover yourself if it goes wrong and they turn around and claim you have already been driving it for 300 miles when you haven’t.

  98. Hi just read all of these but none quote like mine. I bought an Audi A5 a few days ago. Paid deposit over the phone, as the dealer is Purgeot in Doncaster (Evans Halshaw) and sales manager explained car was PERFECT. No scratches, no problems and serviced. Perfect example I was advised. Great, paid the full 17K by bank transfer and they send a driver to deliver, which came today. Driver parked on my drive and immediately there was a strong burning smell from the car. Really strong, could smell 5 / 6m away from the car.

    Car also has a 16inch giant scratch across front Wing, first thing I saw. And car had “service due” on the dash.

    I should have rejected right then but it was 7am and the driver was a separate company he didn’t know anything. He asked me to sign paperwork as he had to catch a train at 8am.

    I signed but wrong in giant letters CAR HAS TERRIBLE BURNING SMELL etc.

    I went to work in my wife’s car and called Evans Halshaw from work, they said it could be the car doing a “regeneration” and that can smell a bit like burning, but when I get home to start car and drive it, the smell should not happen then as it will have completed regeneration.

    I didn’t need to drive it as I started it and while not as strong, it’s a pretty obvious smell coming from the car.

    They also said service was fine but not at Audi and they cannot stop the dash permanently saying “service due” and they are happy for me to get scratch repaired and they pay.

    My concern is that I have never driven this car, and I don’t want my first drive to be Evans Halshaw 300miles away where I bought it OR even to their closest centre which is 45miles away, to have issues investigated on a car I haven’t even used!

    I also don’t want want the hassle of taking a car to body shops etc when I was told it was flawless.

    I have not driven the car. It’s Sat in the same spot it was left by their driver this morning.

    I have emailed rejecting the car but worried they will expect me to deal with all these issues! Any advice is very welcome.

    Thank you

    • Hi Cas. You are completely within your rights to reject the car on multiple grounds.

      Firstly, the 30-day right to reject for any significant issue that was present at delivery (the smell, which is highly unlikeley to be a DPF regeneration).
      Secondly, it was not ‘perfect’ as described (although this was presumably a verbal description, which is difficult to prove).
      Thirdly, as the car was bought at a distance rather than on-site, you automatically have the right to change your mind. Have a read of this article on changing your mind after buying a car.

    • Thank you for the response.

      The dealer actually did email the following:

      “I can confirm the car is in mint condition the alloys have been refurbished buy ourselves and there is no marks on the car what so ever I been out and check the car itself and everything works as should

      So it was not all just verbal.

      I had other emails relating to their servicing team having done everything etc.

      My instinct on this car is to reject because the integrity of the dealer is also under question, they have made multiple statements such as “your service indicator is on because we don’t have the equipment to reset this, only Audi does” – even that appears to be a complete lie.

      I’ve sent a request to reject and they have responded with a nice, but “legally considered” response. One point in particular was a concern:

      “I would like the opportunity to have my chance to fix these issues, if it goes to Audi and you are unhappy at what you here or there is a definitive detriment to the vehicle then I would completely understand your view to reject the vehicle. ”

      Highlighting that they possibly don’t accept my current rejection.

      I have responded to insist on rejection as I really don’t wish to be undertaking investigations, works and rectifications on a car that I was advised was perfect that I haven’t driven.

      We’ll soon see what they say.

      I will update you! Thank you again.

  99. Hi. I bought a 05 focus 2.0l titanium from a dealer on the 2/4/16. I part exchanged my old 02 focus estate. Within the first week it developed a starting issue, contacted dealer who said bring it back, we did.they had the car for 2 days and They changed a thermostat. Then 4 days later it started doing the same thing, contacted the dealer again who said bring it in. They had it for 3 days and changed the throttle body. We have had it for 6 days now and it’s now struggling to tick over. Contacted the garage again and they said bring it in next Tuesday and we will look at it again. All the time they have it they give me a courtesy car , all be it a pile of crap lol. How many times do I have to keep doing this? I have no confidence in the car now. Can I ask for a refund? How does the part exchange I did work out ? They gave me £500 for my old car but said it was going to auction? What am I entitled to back? This will leave me with no car ! What can I do as I’m at my wits end? My dealer is 18 miles away so is a pain back n forth all the time. Thank you so much in advance.

    • Forgot to add I paid 1599 for car, got 400 for my part ex not 500 as said obove. Paid for on credit card. Came with 12 months warranty. I rely on a car for work and get kids to school so have had to keep using it but I mentioned this to dealer and was told he fully understands. I’m going to call him in the morning to see what he says but just wanted to make sure I knew what was what. Thanks.

    • So you should get £1,599 back if you reject the vehicle, assuming that was the total price of the vehicle (£1,099 cash + £500 for your part-exchange).

    • Hi Louise. By the sound of it, you should be able to reject the car and get a refund. In this event, the dealer would give you a refund for the total price of the vehicle, including the cash value for your part-exchange – so you would get £500 instead of your old car back.

  100. Hi I bought a brand new Audi .. I picked it up 2 days ago the original deposit and spec indicated that it would have telephone prep and apple play.. This was the spec I signed.. Several days later they sent me a spec sheet different to the original in an email.. The car arrived 4days later.. The car that I received did not have either Apple play or the telephone prep…I paid with a part exchange and cash.. Am I entitled to a refund? Or can I actually get the car I asked for ..

    • Hi Nathan. It’s not necessarily that simple. You presumably signed documentation on delivery that said that the car was correct and in good order. To turn around a couple of days later and claim it’s not correct is going to really annoy the dealer.

      In terms of whether you can return the car for a refund, it will depend on the paper trail and what you actually signed when the car was ordered and when it was delivered – and whether those extras have been paid for. However, you should be able to get the dealer to acknowledge that the extras were originally on the order, and get them to fit those extras to your car at no cost to you (assuming the final price still included those extras).

  101. Hi! I purchased a one year old Mini Cooper with less than 3,000 miles on the clock from my local dealer 10 days ago. Advertised as excellent condition, car had a couple of small marks noticeable which they said they would touch up but haven’t yet. We’ve just come back from holiday and, now the sun is shining, we’ve noticed that one wing of the mini has been damaged and repaired, quite badly! The paintwork is lumpy and bubbling in places and you can see other marks along the bumper where the car has obviously had a nasty scrape at some point in the past. Do I have the right to reject the car as I’ve had it under 30 days? It was sold to me in “excellent condition” and I wouldn’t of bought it if I’d seen the damage in the correct light.

    • Hi Niki. You should have a case to be able to reject the vehicle, although body repairs are not quite clear-cut when it comes to an appropriate level. The car was a used vehicle, even if it was a year old and had done less than 3,000 miles, so it is not unreasonable to find that the car has had bodywork repairs.

  102. Good evening,

    I purhased a car from Evans Halshaw yesterday a 2009 Peugeot 308 Automatic. Opted for an extended mechanical and breakdown warranty whichI fear may actually be virtually useless after reading reviews online.

    However I have noticed a jerking and clunk/knock when changing from 1st-2nd gear enough to knock the car back and pretty loud in the cabin.

    So a day after purchasing I have emailed the salesperson I bought the car with to enquire about the issue and if the car can be seen – IF there is an issue would I be covered for the repair or would they say its wear and tear on a 7 year old car, despite me only driving for 50 miles since purchase?

    • Hi Gregg. You should certainly expect them to repair the problem, and I imagine it would be acceptable cause to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act.

  103. Hi my name jay I recently went to buy a used car they had me take it home because I was waiting there all day to get financed and then finally they got me approved and they were closing so they put a temp dealer plate had me give my deposit and let me take it home as I.was driving home the steering on the car was not right and making noises.I called that nite to let them know and left a message because they were closed. I have not driven the car since I got home with it can I return the vehicle and get my down payment back . I have not signed a purchase agreement but they had my wife who is co signer sign it because she cant go back to dealer with me. I have the car for 1 day because they are close on sundays .

    • Hi Jason. Assuming there is a significant problem with the car, you should be able to reject it. You will need to inform the finance company as well, and formally withdraw from the finance agreement under your 14-day cooling-off period for the finance.

      Alternatively, you can insist that the dealer fixes the car.

  104. Please could you give me some advice. We bought a car last Monday £600 and PX on our 52 plate Vauxhall Zafira for a 55 plate Renault Grand Scenic. We paid the £600 and was told that the would put 12 months MOT on the car and told it would be ready the next day. The day after I phoned up and was told that it failed MOT on a few things and that would be ready on the Wednesday, got the same Wednesday it wasn’t ready and he would phone when it was ready. Didn’t hear anything so called again Friday and was told would be ready Saturday but we went away with it being bank holiday weekend. Phoned today and couldn’t get hold off the owner, so they give me the number off the garage when they where doing the MOT and was told they wouldn’t release the car till the owner of the garage where I purchased the car paid for work done on it. Been trying to phone the owner of the garage where I bought the car and he is now ignoring my calls. Decided to look for feedback about the garage and was horrified to see the feedback from other customers, that he demanded payment towards repairs done.


    Seems like he’s done this quiet a lot with other customers. Luckily I’ve still got my Zafira but he’s got the £600 I paid . What can I do as really worried now. Would you suggest I go to garage and see what’s going and try and get my money back.



    • Hi Jennifer. He sounds like a lovely individual. I would suggest getting some professional legal advice on how to handle this – start by visiting legalbeagles.info, which is an excellent consumer advice site, but you may need to engage your own solicitor to ever see your £600 again.

    • Thanks for the advice. Have wrote a email to trading standards with all the information. Also just found out the mileage we where given is totally wrong. We where told it had been reset for some reason and the actual mileage was 80,000 which we signed to say we understood. Have found out that the actual mileage is 175,000 a big difference. Surely as they have 3 garages in Cheshire trading standards should do something about it as the feedback I have ready is shocking and don’t know how he still allowed to trade. All I want now is my £600 back so I can get a car from elsewhere.

    • Also shocks me with all the complaints they have received they are allowed to sell on auto trader. They have hundreds off cars advertised on there.

    • Unfortunately, crooks like this still exist in the motor trade, and they get away with it until someone is able to pin them down through Trading Standards or the Financial Conduct Authority. And often, after they get shut down they will just open up again somewhere else under a new name.

  105. Hi Stuart
    Need some advice I bought my car 21 days ago and the engine made a huge banging noise and stopped contacted the dealer who was excellent he took the car has told me that he is putting a replacement engine in as we speak. But unfortunately we don’t trust the car where do we stand
    Thank you for any advice Andrew

    • Hi Andrew. An engine failure would definitely constitute a significant fault. You would have to show that it was a fault that was present when you bought the vehicle – the dealer replacing the engine doesn’t automatically assume that, however replacing the engine is a significant cost, so it is something of an acknowledgement.

  106. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a 2nd car 1st april 2016, on the drive home the engine management light came on, my dad a mecanic checked my vehicle (chrysler voyager) and the diagnostic machine said bank 1 senor o2 sensor. I spoke to the dealer i purchased the vehicle from, he advised me to get some quotes from local garages to get it fixed, which i did. He said the prices were expensive ( around £150 -£185) he said he would like the vehicle back to check it with his mechanics, i needed the vehicle to get to hospital appointments so we agreed i would call him within a couple of weeks. When i called to arrange repairs he said he had no courtesy cars, call in a few days, so i called again, same story no courtesy cars. I left it a few days, called him again, he now said he would pay for a local garage near me to repair, the vehicle went in for repair 28th April, but the light came back on after about 30 miles. I took it back to the garage that carried out the repair, they said its still the same fault code and they would need to carry out full diagnostics Testing which would incur a £48 charge. I called the dealer to explain, he is unwilling to pay for the diagnostic test, and made no suggestions to return the vehicle to him, he basically told me to pay for it, and to then call him with the outcome. Where do i stand with regards to payment for repairs? Im quite happy to accept the £48 charge as it will determine the problem and give me peace of mind that i know what the problem is. Is it the dealers responsibility to pay for repairs? Can i return the vehicle and ask for a full refund if he is not willing to repair?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Marie. It does sound like he has been trying to continually put you off and keep you driving the vehicle until you are out of your 30-day window to be able to automatically reject the vehicle. I would suggest visiting legalbeagles.info for some advice about how to address the situation.

  107. Please could you give us some advice Stuart. We recently bought a Mercedes C-class C200 from an independent car dealer who advertised the car on Autotrader. (We have saved this ad) The car was under / around a year old and covered only 1650 miles and still had 2 years left of Mercedes warranty and HPI Cleared. We part exchanged our Civic Type R and transferred the rest of the balance via bank transfer.
    The car had issues with the seat belt not retracting / jamming which he said he would solve but was given little notice of our arrival and shouldn’t be alarmed as he had ordered the parts and I could take it to Mercedes or any other garage of my choice to have it fitted and also an Collision Prevention Assist Inoperative warning which the independent dealer said was not working as it wasn’t part of the Mercedes SE Executive model package and could be turned off. We were assured that any other faults would be covered under warranty and he had taken additional warranty out on the vehicle and we have 3 months warranty with him if anything was to go wrong.

    We took the car to my local Mercedes dealership to have the car inspected and the seat belts sorted today a week after purchasing the car (was the earliest date available) and Mercedes told us the seat belt was incorrectly installed causing it to jam, the drivers seat airbags was exposed, the collision prevention assist inoperative warning error came back due to an incident with a ‘crash report’ and that the whole rear quarter and parts of the door of the drivers side has been made up of fillers and whole cars resprayed to a poor standard. Signs of over spray was visible thought out and was pointed out to us buy their body shop professional. From their inspection of the vehicle they believe the car had been involved in an accident. They also told me that the car would most definitely NOT be covered under their warranty and would not take it in as a part exchange.

    I have spoken to the Independent dealers about this and he claims that he did not know anything about the car previous history of having any body work done on the vehicle or that the car has been involved in an accident. He claims that the car was bought through auction like most dealers and that it was HPI clear and an assured vehicle. He also said that there was no report from the auction stating the car had any problems or issues with the bodywork.

    The Independent dealers has also called to say our part exchanged type r has ECU issues and was reprogrammed and cost £1300 which he wanted us to pay. He said the car was taken as part exchange and not on a ‘sold as seen’ agreement. We have never ever experienced any electrical issues with our Honda and was a sound car having just driven nearly 3 hours to buy the Merc without issues and he even test drove our car without any issues. Where do I stand in this matter?

    After taking a second look at the receipt or ‘Bill of Sale’ we noticed in small print that we had signed against the following agreements.

    ‘ The buyer has inspected and test driven the vehicle and is happy with it’s visual and mechanical condition. The buyer has purchased the vehicle at their own free will and has not been harassed to do so. The buyer values the vehicle at the price that they have paid.

    The Vehicle is SOLD without any additional WARRANTY or GUARANTEE to that implied by law. The Buyer is entitled to an independent garage or AA/RAC Inspection.

    Seller declares that the car is road worthy and appropriately MOT’D on the purchase and or delivery date.’

    We are quite devastated to have found all this out about the vehicle after driving the car back 3 hours and being told that the car to have been involved in an accident which the independent dealer never disclosed to us in person or on this advert and also denies any knowledge of the car having being repaired. He has also stated that he can’t just refund the money if we are not happy with the vehicle and that he will need to take it up with HPI to have the car checked etc.

    Please help as I would like to know where I stand on getting a full refund and my car back

    • Hi Wai. Sounds like you are being given quite a runaround, but let’s look at the key points:
      – the seatbelt fault/collision prevention system fault should be enough for your to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, regardless of whether the dealer offers to repair it
      – the dealer is not obliged to tell you that the car has been involved in an accident. If you have specifically asked that question and the dealer has lied to you, that’s a different story. If an accident is severe enough for the car to be written off by the insurance company (but still legally able to be repaired), that has to be declared and would also show up on the HPI check
      – the part-exchange excuse sounds like rubbish, and is not your problem. Part-exchanges are always sold as seen, so unless the car’s condition has changed between the dealer appraising it and you handing it over, there’s nothing you need to do.
      – you do have a responsibility to check the condition of the goods before you hand over your cash, or sign anything. If the body and paintwork issues were present and visible when you bought the car, you can’t really complain about them afterwards.

      So yes, you should be able to reject the vehicle and get your money back, but you need to keep the argument to the relevant points (seat belt/collision prevention assist system). Same goes for any attempt to extract money from your part-exchange.

  108. Hello, I’ve only just learnt about the new consumers rights. May I ask for your advise please.
    My daughter bought a second hand VW Eos from a car sales. It’s a 59 plate with less than 60.000 miles on the clock. She bought it on the 11 January 2016. It developed a fault last week. The engine management light came on and the car was vibrating. As it was 10 days out of it’s warranty week took it to our local car repair garage who tried to fix it but couldn’t, they tried changing the spark plugs and coil pack as this was the most obvious thing to do. However this did not cure the problem and they recommended that we should to take it to VW for diagnostics. The car is misfiring and has an incorrect fuel pressure reading (local garage diagnostics.) It is due to go to VW on Thursday at a cost of £95 for the diagnostic test. Should she have contacted the garage where she bought it from? is she too late to contact them now as we have started the process of investigating the problem?

    • Hi Rachel. It’s a seven-year-old car that’s out of warranty and purchased about four months ago. You don’t have any rights under the Consumer Rights Act, and would really only be able to make a claim against the dealer if you were mis-sold – but that doesn’t appear to be the case in this instance.

    • Thank you for your reply. It’s a 2010 registration so it’s 6 years old. The act states the car must be “as described” &”of satisfactory quality” &” fit for purpose” taking into account the car’s age and mileage. Surely we would be able to expect a 6 year old car to be of satisfactory to last longer than 3 months and 15 days? I know I sound like I’m clutching at straws here but a 6 year old car costing £5999 should last longer than that surely?
      It’s just making me feel I’ll that my daughter saved up to pay for a car (it’s not on finance) and it’s undriveable. To lose nearly £6000 is awful.

    • The problem you would have is showing that the problems were present when your daughter purchased the car and were not caused by her after purchase. On a six-year-old car that has covered 60,000 miles, it is difficult to prove – which is why cars of that age don’t come with warranties.

      You can take the matter up with the dealership, but your chances of succeeding are likely to be low.

  109. Hi Stuart

    Paid £2000 deposit on a brand new car and picked it up just recently. After less than 300 miles the engine developed a fault.

    The car is back with the dealer, who has been great so far, and I have a courtesy car. They have attempted to rectify the fault but have informed me that it returned whilst testing. They have informed me that are in discussions with the manufacturer and have escalated things as the car is a premier product.

    Should I let the dealer continue to resolve things or should I raise the issue of a replacement car or reject it? I have to say they have treated me very well thus far.


    • Hi Dave. You are covered by the New Car Warranty, so you can insist that the fault is properly fixed and the manufacturer is likely to make sure this is done.

      Rejecting the car may well be an acceptable option for you, but the dealer and manufacturer are likely to do their best to talk you out of that (as they will lose a chunk of money), and it will also involve cancelling your finance agreement and starting over – and you may lose the courtesy car while you are waiting for your new replacement car to arrive. If the car is suitably repaired in a reasonable timeframe, that is probably the easier option.

  110. Hi Stuart,

    We have a BMW that has a fault with the steering column and was reported verbally to the garage 13 days after purchase. They stated that this was probably due to being “new and tight” and that everything probably needed to loosen. 3 months on, the car has now been back 3 times and has had this and other front suspension components replaced due to being faulty. There have also been several operational failings of the garage as at times they told me the car was safe, then it wasn’t, now it is again… I’ve stated to the garage that I want to reject the vehicle based upon not being mechanically fit for purpose, but they are dragging their heels being incredibly slow in the process. They have also stated several times ‘if BMW UK accept the rejection’ and ‘they may state it’s a replacement of the same model only’. From everything I’ve read here, that doesn’t sound right. I’m concerned that they are trying to stall and will be difficult in allowing me to reject.

    Can you advise please what my rights are here regarding A) rejecting the vehicle, B) refusing to accept a replacement of the same vehicle, C) asking them to expedite the process.

    Many Thanks

  111. Hi Stuart,

    I recently purchased a car from Arnold Clark this was 5 days ago, this morning upon starting the car it struggled to start and then the engine was making an awful noise and a error message came up. It came with a 2 month warranty but I’m not interested in getting it repaired am I entitled to a full refund ?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Jacob. If you only bought the car five days ago, why are you not interested in getting the problem fixed?

      You may well have a case to reject the vehicle, but the fault may not be difficult to fix. From previous readers’ comments, Arnold Clark is a difficult company to deal with after a sale, so you may be up for a fight to reject the vehicle.

  112. Hi Stuart,
    I put £150 deposit down today for a Nissan Juke on finance, I’m a young girl and I went in by myself sure I wanted the car but just too look and get some figured today to discuss when I got home! I ended up leaving with an agreement to pick it up on Tuesday! As I felt very pressured. I love the car and I do want to keep it however I didn’t look under the bonnet as I was planning to go back at a later date! I didn’t get a look at the service history, MOT or to test drive! Because as soon as I said about knowing finance details they wanted to do that! As you can imagine I’m very worried! They are a good garage and I know people that have brought from them before! Should I arrange to get the car checked over by say the AA before I leave with it on Tuesday? And drive it to make sure I’m happy before I sign anything else?
    Do I have any consumer rights? Please help!

    Many thanks Sophie

    • Hi Sophie. Firstly, you are responsible for your making your choices, so regardless of whether you feel pressured, it is still your choice to sign a contract or pay a deposit. No car dealer can force you to do that. Now that you have bought the car, trying to insist on an AA inspection doesn’t really change the fact that you have already bought the car.

      However, high-pressure sales tactics are poor form and no dealer should be engaging in this sort of behaviour. But unless they have misled you in any way, it would be difficult to cancel or amend your contract.

  113. Hey Stuart,

    I purchased a car a week ago, the dealer said the car was fine everything good with the car and its recently had MOT, he also said there’s a 3month warranty on the car apart from the exhausts or brakes, anyways when driving the car it makes a loud sound we took it to another mechanic today and he said the exhausts is all broken and petrol is leaking, also when i drive sometimes the engine light goes on and off and when i accelerate the car starts too shake, anyways due to the fact he said the exhausts was not included in the refund am i still obliged for a full refund? In addition to this i scratched the wheels a bit whilst driving because the car would shake when accelerate and this mad it hit the curb.

    Thanks Dave

    • Hi Dave. It sounds like the car has multiple problems beyond the exhaust if you want to claim warranty on the petrol leak, engine warning light and shaking.

      If you don’t want the car, you should be able to reject it under the new Consumer Rights Act – the exhaust being excluded from the warranty doesn’t exclude it from the law when it comes to rejecting the car.

  114. I have placed a deposit on a van at a local (to me)van dealership. The van was not advertised but was on the sales lot for £2795. The odometer reading was 81,000 miles and the dealer verbally confirmed on several occasions that the mileage was 81,000. I agreed a sale with the dealer and signed a used vehicle invoice which the dealer has written the mileage to be 81,000. On returning home, I ran a MOT check and found the van had covered 133,000 miles by June 2014.
    The used vehicle invoice has 3 statements on it as follows
    1. I have been given full opportunity to examine the vehicle and accept its condition.
    2. I declare that I am the buyer of the vehicle described above at the stated price.
    3. I understand that no warranty as to the accuracy of the mileage has been given or implied.

    Can I refuse to pay the balance due to having found out the vehicle has been clocked and reject the sale of the vehicle and can I expect a refund of the deposit?

    • Hi Matt. Yes, the car has been mis-sold. The dealer should have access to the same MOT reports, which will show the mileage is far more than advertised, so they have no excuse for not knowing that the vehicle has been clocked.

  115. I bought a car and once I got it home in the outside light I realise that the car has been damaged as the paint on it doesn’t match. Is it the dealers responsibility to sort it out? Thanks

    • Hi Lee. If it’s a used car, a dealer only needs to declare damage and repair if it’s a Category C or D insurance write-off, unless you specifically ask if the car has ever been involved in an accident.

      If it is a new car, you would certainly have cause to complain to the dealer.

  116. Hi Stuart, I bought a Land Rover defender (W) reg in November of last year and have since had a multitude of problems. It has been returned to the trader for repairs (not carried out) and I was not made aware of the fact that the vehicle had been “clocked” in 2010 which I later found out after checking it’s MOT history online. This explained the coincidental loss of the service booklet – which was replaced and a new one given 6 stamps but no details…
    The vehicle cost me £10,450.00 and trading standards have waded in but I am concerned I will not get my money back, what chance do I have in your opinion? Are there any other methods I can adopt to claim the money back successfully? Thankyou

    • Hi Ian. If Trading Standards are currently involved, you are probably best advised to let them proceed through to a conclusion before you try anything else. The chances of getting a full refund and handing back the car are probably very slim, and it will probably take a legal battle – with no guarantee that you would get full settlement.

      As for the car’s fundamental lack of reliability, it sounds about right for a Land Rover…

  117. Hi Stuart,
    I bought Jag XF 2008 for 9000 pounds from a trader with a 15 months warranty, 12 months MOT, after 2 weeks automatic transmission started playing up, took it to the garage, they found leak from auto transmission, so I rang trader and he said bring it to us and we will fix it. After two weeks of waiting for a repair they called and said they fixed the leak but now it is even worse, car has problems with changing gears – automatic transmission failure. Today I rang and they said tomorrow they will have some info from the garage, they also said if there is no fault on the computer it will be hard to repair it on warranty because no proof. What should I do in this situation? go to court if they want to ”wash off their hands”?

    • Hi Bart. If the dealer has acknowledged the transmission problem and attempted to repair it, they would have difficulty denying it subsequently for warranty purposes.

      Used car warranties are often pretty flaky, so you could be in for a battle if you want to hold them to it. If you are still within 30 days of purchase, you could try to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act (2015). If you are beyond 30 days but less than six months, you can demand repair of the transmissions – and if that fails to fix the problem, you can demand a refund. You may have to fight to get that, but it’s probably a better bet than relying on the warranty because the law is quite clear and warranties are often not.

  118. Hi purchased car on ho got it wed night noticed it was making rumbling noise booked it in with local garage who could only take it the Fri morning, they diagnosed issue with alternator so called dealer that day they said bring it in mon they’d replace part (alternator) and would get it back same day, contacted finance company to make them aware they told me i had 14 days to reject anyway if not fixed properly, this is wed I have had to chase up dealer as they havent once called me, was told today alternator was faulty but sent away for testing and would get back tomorrow with new bearings in it but that they wouldnt replace for new alternator as its over £700 I phoned dealership to find brand new part is under £300 so phoned dealer back to ask if they would pay for that to be told my alternator had just come back with new bearings in it. But it wld be ready tomorrow as I also reported another noise from front driver side which wasnt noted by person spoke to when arranging with them for car to go back in, i informed finance company and they have opened complaint but say I cant hand car back got to follow procedure which can take 56 days only if car hasnt been repaired properly can I get it checked independently then go down route to hand it back, but they havent kept to their agreement New part fited in one day, haven’t contacted me on any occasion, and dont understand why first person I spoke to at finance company said at any time in first 14 days i can reject car if now they are saying I have to follow this lengthy process, this has now been 7days since purchase I know i have to act fast, what can I do, can i just tell dealer to keep car as not happy with their service and the run around with repair and is finance company at it

    • Hi Julie. You have 14 days from the finance contract being activated to withdraw from the finance agreement, however this is simply cancelling the finance – it has nothing to do with rejecting the car. It simply means that the finance company will invoice you for the amount financed since you have cancelled the finance.

      You have 30 days from taking delivery of the car to reject it under the Consumer Rights Act (2015), and I would have thought that alternator failure would be a valid reason to reject the vehicle. However, you have requested that the company repair the problem rather than rejecting the vehicle. You do have six months from delivery to reject the vehicle if the repair does not work. However, you will need to work with the finance company if you are trying to reject a vehicle on a Hire Purchase, because it is ultimately their car not yours.

      If you are still within the 14-day window since purchasing the car, you can withdraw from the finance agreement and reject the vehicle (two separate issues). The dealership will either have to give the finance company its money back, or give you the money to pay the finance company back.

  119. Hi Stuart
    I am hoping you can help with my problem. My partner bought a camper last week that was described in writing on eBay as having a very solid underbody and that they couldn’t see it needing much to mot. It did not have a current MOT but with this description and the assurance from the seller that it was in driveable condition we bid on it, won and paid a deposit. We drove it straight to an MOT garage to be serviced and then were given a huge list of mechanical faults which were clearly not recent faults, told that the brakes were highly dangerous and that it was full of rot on the underbody which had been undersealed. A second garage confirmed this and also stated that there were two fire risks found due to the fuel tank being rotten and the electrics under the dashboard being unsecure. The seller had let my partner drive away with the vehicle in this condition. The seller turned out to be a dealer and is currently in the process of selling another vehicle. After further research I also find that he has had a review describing a similar dodgy sale. He never at one point mentioned the vehicle was unroadworthy. I would like to pursue a refund as he sold us the vehicle with misleading information. Is this something we are entitled to?

    • Hi Isla. Yes, I would say that you should absolutely be entitled to your money back. I would also report the dealer to Trading Standards while you’re at it.

  120. Hi Stuart, some great reading and advice here. Could you give me your opinion on this matter.

    I bought a second hand Mini Countryman from a main agent on 22nd April 2016. Did not notice until later that day that the back brakes were making a grinding noise. Telephoned the next day and was told could be due to being stood a while, and to give it a good run and if the problem persisted to call back and they wou.d check the car. The noise was still there after the weekend of driving so called bakc and the car was booked in to be looked at. The result was they wouldn’t do anything as the car was safe to drive. I wasnt happy and wanted to know what was causing the noise and would they drive round with their car like that. I also asked would new discs and pads cure the problem and was told yes. Much telephoning has been going on mainly one way from me to them, with no one returning promised phone calls. Its been 3 weeks and the last information I got was the sales team are not going to pay for the work and neither is service dept.
    The sales manager who was so concerned about good customer service and promised to do all he could has not been in touch or returned any calls despite my number of calls to him.
    Do I have any legal rights in relation to this problem?

    • Hi Brian. Your chances of rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act (2015) could well depend on whether the actual braking performance of the vehicle is affected.

      If you are otherwise happy with the car, I would suggest complaining to the dealer principal/general manager and keep bugging them until they sort your problem out. For more information, have a read of our recent article about resolving a dispute with a dealership.

  121. Hi Stuart, so under this current system are dealers able to sell cars with faults IF they disclose them to you in writing up front. I have bought a few trade ins from a local garage over the years and they tell me what is wrong with them (anything from a noisy turbo to a broken electric window) and then sell it to me at a low price. I have bought my last 4 cars this way as I’m happy to fix them myself. Just wondered, thanks John

    • Hi John. The dealer should certainly make sure that any known faults are brought to your attention and then listed on the contract. If you are happy to buy a car with a known issue, you can’t really complain about it afterwards. But if a fault develops that you were not aware of when you purchased the vehicle, you don’t want to get into an argument with the dealer about whether or not they mentioned it when you were buying the car.

  122. Hi Stuart, Another desperate mum I’m afraid! My son just bought a 17k 6mth old car this morning, drove it home (1.5hrs from dealer(main dealer)) only to find that the locking system is faulty and the car won’t lock at all. He then drove all the way back to the dealer who informs him although it is covered under warranty, this problem does not come under this and they have asked for the car back again on Monday morning to repair. My poor son is at his wits end as he needs to work and it is unlikely he can take the time off work. Are we within our rights to request a local garage to my sons work to repair it. The dealership have said they cannot do this as it is their sole problem and we must take it back to them. To top it all my son gave up his fantastic 2 yr old car and added cash to pay for the new one. He has asked if they can give him a courtesy car or let him have his old one back and they advise because the service dept are not open until Monday morning this is impossible. We don’t know which way to turn as he is currently driving home with a car which won’t lock and will be at risk unless he sleeps in it all weekend. I paid a deposit for the car on my credit card for £250.00 but he paid the remaining cash on his debit card which we are unable to stop. Have you any ideas please as to which way we should proceed. Should we just insist on a refund and tell them to come and collect the car from us, but then my son will have nothing to get to work in. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you so much, your service is invaluable.

    • Hi Karen. If the car is only six months old, then its New Car Warranty should cover the locking issue, which means any franchised dealer from that brand will be able to take care of the problem. I am not sure why the selling dealer would insist on him having to go back there to sort it out.

      If you want to reject the car, the dealer would have to refund the price paid in full. However, this does not necessarily mean that your son would get his old car back, as the dealer would only be obliged to pay the cash value instead (so it would depend on whether they have already sold it on).

      In terms of courtesy cars, there is no legal obligation for any dealer to provide one, so your son will have to find a way to manage the inconvenience of not having a working car while it’s sorted out one way or another.

  123. Can you confirm what the legal requirements are for providing two keys with a used vehicle if brought from a garage please.

    • Hi Amber. There is no legal requirement that I am aware of for a dealer to have to provide two working keys for a used car. If you have asked before agreeing to buy the car and been told that it had two keys, you would have grounds for insisting on the dealer supplying two keys.

      On modern cars, keys are a big security issue as hotwiring a car is virtually impossible. If you don’t have both keys to your car, there is always the risk that someone else out there has a key to your car.

  124. 3 weeks ago I purchased a brand new Vauxhall Viva, on my order form and finance agreement it states 5dr SE A/C because when purchasing the vehicle I did say that air conditioning was important. When I picked up the vehicle it wasn’t my immediate thought to check that it had air con and I realised a week later that it doesn’t have any, I have emailed and telephone the dealer but they are being quite elusive. I did get to speak to someone yesterday and she basically tried to say to me that the price I have paid wouldn’t have included air con but surely the vehicle order form and my finance agreement say different. I am supposedly expecting a phone call from the manager tomorrow so I really would like to know my rights – please help

    • Hi Rachel. If your contract says that the car is supposed to have air-conditioning then the dealer should have to honour it. Really it is something that you should have checked before you drive off if it was a specific feature of that model, rather than noticing a week later, because it make rectifying the problem much more complicated.

      The dealer may try and argue that you signed paperwork confirming that you have inspected the vehicle and accepted delivery for the car, so you don’t have the right to complain about it now. However, that is really more of an attempt to dodge their responsibility in rectifying the problem. I have no idea whether air-conditioning can be fitted to your car of it will involve replacing the vehicle, but either way it will be expensive and that’s almost certainly why the dealership is dragging its feet.

      For more information on managing this issue, have a read of our article about how to handle a dispute with a dealer.

  125. Hi Stuart,

    excellent article.. I bought a smart car from Carspring on April 25th, they told me they could not deliver the car to me until May 10th (then tried May the 11th). as it was to have two independant AA inspecions and an MOT plus valeting. Carspring apperently are a new way of buying a car. I have only gone on the scant infomation they have provided and the few images on line but was reassured by their recommendations etc positive FBpage

    Car arrives on May 10th. Theres a crack in the windshield, leak in the boot and the valetting is appalling and the panoramic roof has loads of crazy paving.. – I informed the Managing Director of this (i had prior issues due to the time frame so had his number etc)

    He stated that they would sort everything out. Organised autoglass for the windscreen but organised it at a time unsuitable for me so had to cancel and a week later, that is getting sorted.

    The weird bit… the mileage doesnt match the mileage on the report. The report actually states it over a 1000 more than on the odometer.

    The car runs perfectly fine and is exactly what i wanted but the niggles expecially the odometer business worries me.. surely the dealer is not allowed to over exagerate the mileage and they hjave lied to me about the MOT (MOT dated April 7th)

    Who can I report this too?

    • Hi Allison. Firstly, it is entirely possible that the MOT tester simply copied down the mileage incorrectly. You should be able to check the car’s full MOT history and compare it with the service books (if you have them), which should throw up any suspicious mileage aberrations.

      If the car’s odometer does appear to have been tampered with, you should report it to Trading Standards.

  126. Hi, I’m needing some advice. To make a long story short. I was buying a 2010 chevy aveo which I got in Dec 2014. And never missed a payment until last week. I’ve already put over $