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Rejecting a car – your consumer rights

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

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Car buyer guide: Tips for 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 be “of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect”. A fault has to be significant, which on a used car will include considerations for age and mileage.
  2. Inspect the car for faults before purchase. Get written confirmation that faults will be addressed prior to delivery. Take photos or video highlighting problems to compare to the ‘fixed’ results.
  3. Inspect the car again at time of delivery. Do not allow the dealer to rush you. 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, by phone if possible. Follow up in writing as well (email is fine). Explain the problem clearly and in detail, and supply photos or any other evidence.
  6. If you plan to reject the car, do not keep driving it unless absolutely necessary and you have no alternative. If you do need to drive the car, make sure you inform the dealer to avoid any dispute later on. By continuing to drive the car, you may make it more difficult to argue it has a significant fault.
  7. Get everything in writing, with clear dates. If the dealer is happy for you to keep driving the car until it can be looked at, 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. If you are buying a used car, especially an older car, be clear (in writing) about anything that is not working that you want fixed before delivery. If a dealer offers you a car with a known fault and it is advertised as such, 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. The Act covers you for up to six months after purchase. However, the clock stops while the dealer has the car to investigate the fault or make repairs. This is to stop a dealer taking an excessively long time to investigate a fault, to try and reduce the time available for you to reject the vehicle. So if the dealer has your car for a week, you can add a week onto your 30 days or six months as relevant.
  12. The dealer is unlikely to meekly accept your rejection of the vehicle. A rejection will cost them thousands of pounds, so they will either want to fight you (and potentially force you to take them to Court) or offer you other incentives to keep the car. If you accept any such offers, you will almost certainly waive any further right to reject the vehicle.

If you have a question about your rights when rejecting a car that has not been covered by this article, please ask us in the comments section. Please have a read through other people’s questions before posting yours, as we won’t keep repeating the same answers to the same questions over and over again.

Disclaimer: Any opinions or views expressed in this article are the views of the author and should not be considered as professional legal opinion. Should you be in any doubt, always seek the advice of a qualified legal professional.

This article was originally published in September 2016 and was most recently updated in May 2020.

Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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  1. HI Stuart,
    I bought a brand new BMW i8 on 26th November 2016 with PCP finance from BMW financial services. We noticed a loud whirring noise from the electric engine and took it back to the dealership on 10th December after 14 days of ownership. They diagnosed a fault with the electric motor which needed replacement. By the 28th December it was still not ready to collect and we were told it would not be fixed before the new year. We enquired about rejection process for the vehicle from the dealership, who acknowledged the email and said would escalate to managers. We heard nothing more from them except a miraculous phone call the following day saying it was ready for collection. Having heard nothing from the dealership, we collected the car, as any normal person would.
    Having still not heard from the dealership, and having done some research online ourselves, we went direct to financial services to commence the rejection process on 13th January 2017 (after 29 days of having the car actually in our possession).
    They have rejected our claim on the basis we collected the car on the 29th December, but make no acknowledgement of the fact we wanted to reject before collection and was not given the information on how to do so. Although the car is now fixed, we believe we were still within our right to reject the car and force financial services / dealership to accept the car back and refund all payments made on the car and clear the outstanding finance. They have accepted there was a major fault and have offered 1 months lease payment as compensation for the time the car was in their workshop, which we have not accepted.
    Do you think we have a valid case if we took this to the financial ombudsman? And in your experience, how long does this process take? If we accept the compensation payment, will this affect the ombudsman’s review of the case – is this seen as an acceptance of the outcome from our part?

    • Hi Viv. Once you collected the car, you have essentially forfeited your right to reject the vehicle as you have accepted the repair. You can dispute this and argue that you were misled by the dealership, but it does make your case more difficult.

  2. Hi there,
    I have recently purchased a van with a trader, which came with 6 months warranty and was AA assured to be in good working order. I had to travel a couple hours by bus to retrieve the van as they couldn’t deliver all the way to my address, even though they advertised nationwide delivery!
    When the van was picked up, it seemed fine. Only faults so far were: No CD player as advertised, no working radio, driver-side wing mirror attached with rubber sealant (extremely bouncy and useless).
    The van got home in one piece, but once I had a proper look in the cargo space I found that the end floor panel was very rusty and patches were crumbling away as I swept the dust off it – I can see the road through the floor. So I can’t use the cargo area to hold things in case they fall through.
    If that wasn’t bad enough , after a single night of light rain showers, the interior lights were full of water and dripping down on me. It’s been a few days now and the driver-side floor is soaking wet, and so is the seatbelt for some reason.
    I have told the dealer the problems, he said he will look at the wing mirror and leak, but lifting the plywood floor isn’t in their checks and the floor problem (the big problem!) seems to have been disregarded!
    The dealer also wants me to drive this faulty van back to the dealership (nearly 5 hours away, the other side of Scotland!) even though I have pointed out several times it is his obligation to collect the van. I said I might be able to meet him halfway and he said I should be aware that this could incur cost to me.
    He keeps dragging it out and I only have a few days left to cancel my insurance before having to pay an entire years worth.
    Please help!

    • The Consumer Rights Act only covers private purchases for personal use. If this is a work vehicle (which I assume it is), then the laws for rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act do not apply.

      However, it sounds like the vehicle is in very poor condition, so you should be taking issue with the description and the AA report. If it was mis-sold, you should be able to get your money back. But you may have to fight for it.

  3. Hi All,
    Just wanna know where i stand on my case.
    I bought a new Mercedes on PCP on 2nd Feb 2017 from Lookers MB Maidstone (a franchise)
    On the 13th Feb 2017 the car would not start.
    We called MB Assist and they took it to MB Colindale (a MB garage).
    Long story short, i emailed the finance company and Lookers MB on 14th Feb 2017 to reject the car as it was not fit for purpose. MB Colindale say the car has “unidentified error”. MB Maidstone are saying that i can not reject the car as they can fix it. They have not supplied a replacement vehicle and it has been 2 weeks. I have again today stated to the finance company MB Finance that i wish to reject the car and cancel the agreement.
    I am within my rights aren’t I? Even mor so as i rejected within 14 days too….
    hope to hear from you.

    • Hi Jasson. Your right to reject depends on the nature of the fault. If it renders the car undriveable (which appear to be the case), you can reject the car. You need to do this in conjunction with the finance company, as it is their vehicle and not yours.

      The fact that the dealership can fix it is not your concern. As long as the fault is considered significant, you do not have to accept a repair.

  4. I bought a car at auction which had been traded in by a dealer, car was described as a Golf GTI and mentioned 2 services by volkswagen. Having purchased the car it turned out that the car had been imported and was not mentioned on auction literature, it also failed to mention that this was not a standard car but one that had been heavily modified with performance upgrades. Although brochure did state sold as seen I was not aware it had been imported, the number of owners or that it had been modified. It also mentioned that new buyer had to apply for V5 when in fact the auction house was able to supply this. Any advice greatly appreciated.



    • Hi Paul. You should be able to go back to the auction house and cancel the purchase if their description is not correct. However, it is likely to depend on the wording of the vehicle description and the auction house T&Cs. The Consumer Rights Act does not generally apply for purchases from auctions.

  5. Hi Stuart

    I hope you can help me, or let me know if I am just being to picky! I recently bought a 3 year old car, from a well known internet dealer, as such I wasn’t able to view the car I was actually buying, except by the pictures they had listed. I asked if the vehicle had full service history, to which I was told yes. I also asked if the paintwork was pristine, to which I got the reply that “the bodywork must be in excellent condition”. They also had a car condition report which showed all the areas of the car were in “very good” condition.

    Now when the vehicle turned up, one day late I might add with no contact from the delivery company or the dealer, there were quite a few stone chips to the bonnet and side of the car, some of them quite big (1.5 cm in diameter), a scratch and chips to the side of the driver door. It had also only had two services and a chip in the windscreen…

    They have paid to have the car serviced, however they are only offering a paint stick to fix the rest of the damage. I do want to keep the car, but I feel a little bit cheated that I had asked about the paintwork and they have omitted to list the damage.

    Am I entitled to get them to fix the paintwork/windscreen properly? They are advising that all used cars come with scuffs and scrapes and that the paintwork is still in excellent condition.. It’s not my version of excellent, and I did make the effort to ask :(

    Any advice would be gratefully received.



    • Hi Katy. Your chances of rejecting the vehicle would depend on two factors: 1) whether you have anything in writing, as opposed to a verbal promise regarding service history and condition; and 2) how well you can argue the definition of “excellent”.

      In cases which have made it as far as court, judges have been very lenient on dealers when it comes to wear and tear on used cars. If the vehicle is still able to perform its role properly, the chances of rejecting a used car on cosmetic grounds is likely to be difficult.

  6. HI we purchased a used fiat car 4years old. 3 days after driving it I noticed the drivers seat belt had fraying at the top and there wasn’t some sort of product like grease or Vaseline masking it I wiped it off and the fraying was worse this may have also been hidden from the dealer, but they didn’t give me a pre sale used car check list so I don’t think they checked. Also fiat advise cambelt change at 4 years If car has been used for city driving its mileage suggests it has 40565. What can I do.

    • Hi Danny. You will need to find out about the nature of the seat belt issue and whether it is affecting the belt’s ability to do its job in an emergency. If it is not up to scratch, you may be able to reject the vehicle.
      A dealer is not obliged to do a cambelt change so unless you negotiated it during the sales process, you would be responsible for having it done and paying for it out of your own pocket.

  7. Hey Stuart,

    We recently bought a car from a local garage and it had the engine management light on. We were told in writing that it will be fixed, they will conduct a 54 point check and a service – I have written evidence of that. In addition, they said the car will have no issues mechanically. When we came to collect the car they ask us to pay through cash or bank transfer. Once paid through bank they told us that a car actually belong to a dealer, a 3rd party but before sale he said it belongs to his friend and the person who was leading the sale said HE had it listed it somewhere. We became suspicious but thought it may be unnecessary. When I climbed into the car, my driver seat couldn’t move forward and when they inspected it they said it needs a weld as it was broken and was told to bring the car on Monday to be fixed. We took the car out and suddenly the engine management light turned on again. We called them and they said bring it Monday and sooner after the fog light came off. This got us suspicious especially the nature of the sale and we checked the dealers website and it was listed for £1900 and we were charged £2000 and were told the car was originally for £2500. That lie made us cringe that there maybe other problems especially with the engine light on. As this was our first car we thought the problem was engine or transmission as it as there was a crackling noise and the transmission a bit stiff, which they denied to be a fact.

    However, we checked it through halfords and they said the issue was actually the water pump leak and they found several other issues including the need to be serviced, which they told us they did. The garage dude offered to fix the car but we had trust issues so we declined and asked for a refund instead. In the meantime, we are looking to book an inspection from Dekra to give us concrete answers. So then the garage dude sent us to the dealer. However, none of them were taking responsibility and the dealer said he has nothing to do with it as he traded it to the garage guy who sold it to us. But the dealer did come to collect the £1800 and the garage dude took £200 deposit. After a bit haggling the dealer offered us to conduct repairs at their chosen garage or a vehicle exchange to which we agreed. They told us to come at 12pm. We called then like 20 times just to say to come at 4pm. After that we have been physically waiting outside for 1 and half hour outside their garage and kept calling them to no avail. One of the dealers brother pick up and said he will call us. Its been 3 days since they have not contacted us and would not pick the phone up. We must have called them over 40 times.

    We are trying to take legal action and have already involved trading standards and will send letters to mediate to both parties in the next few days. I am under an impression that my problem may not be that significant but the dealer is running from their responsibilities. Can I reject a car under these circumstances in court as they neither are professional nor trustworthy and I simply do not wish to do business with them.

    Apologies for the long comment. I would appreciate if you could help. I look forward to hearing from you.


    • Hi Wally. If the seller – as listed on your contract – was a registered trader (rather than a private seller), you can reject the car for a full refund. It sounds like there may have been some dodginess in how the car was sold in an attempt by the dealership to avoid its legal responsibilities.
      If you have already involved Trading Standards, you should let that process take place. Your right to reject under the Consumer Rights Act will depend on who actually owned and sold you the vehicle, and whether your acceptance of an alternative offer of repairing the vehicle has now waived your right to reject.

    • Hi Stuart,

      Thank you for getting back to me and for the help. I understand if I ask for a repair that will waive my opportunity to reject the car. However, since they are not honouring it, I have no chance of getting it repaired and I certainly do not wish to repair it through them, maybe another garage, if they proceed.

      Therefore, I have booked Dekra to inspect it thoroughly as well as that is what the Court normally accept. I just hope everything goes well. Thank you again for the help and helping everyone else. Good day.



  8. Hi Stuart, You seem to be helping a lot of people on here so I’m hoping you maybe able to help us….
    Late yesterday afternoon we bought a Mercedes A200 (65 plate) for £16k on PCP from an independent local garage in Chester le street (30 miles from our home.)
    We done most of the deal over the phone with the sales guy and asked all the usual question ..Did it have any damage/scrapes/scratches/dents etc? had it been involved in any accidents? was in in a good clean state which the sales guy replied ITS IMMACULATE AND CAR IS VERY CLEAN AND TIDY, NO SCRATCHES, SCRAPES OR ANYTHING.
    When we arrived, we asked to see the vehicle and he said he’d take us to it once we went over the paperwork etc he done the handover outside in the blistering cold and it had started to rain so we all climbed into the car to get out the cold and he showed us all the instruments etc…as we were getting out to handover my husband noticed one of the alloys has quite a large chunk missing from the alloy its self he told us he hadn’t previously noticed this but apart from that the car was immaculate. It was raining so we only got a very brief view of the vehicle due to the time of day and the inclining weather hubby noticed a few white polish marks that had stuck to the car which rubbed off when he touched them.
    We went on our way and when we got up today to have a proper look at our vehicle in the light of day the rain and wind had fully washed away any white polish marks and it their place were scratches ..nearly one on every panel!?
    another alloy badly damaged had also showed up and on the left side of the bumper under the indicator theres a crack and visible collision repair as it looks like someone has spray painted the whole piece of damage but it has just been left to drip down so theres just a huge 5 inch by 5 inch thick paint drip on the front of the car which yesterday wasn’t noticeable at all..I immediately rang the garage and he seemed to know exactly what damage I was talking about which to be honest fuelled my anger even more..I said I no longer want the vehicle and asked how I can reject it or refuse this car due to being completely duped and lied to. he said I have to give him the opportunity to fix it and Im not allowed to reject it..please can you tell me if I can just hand this vehicle back please.


    • Hi Alex. If the sale was conducted over the phone, then you can give it back for a full refund within 14 days for any reason at all (as long as it’s still in the same condition as when you bought it). For more information, have a read of our article on buying a car and changing your mind.

      This is a better bet than rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, as you don’t appear to have any written evidence that the salesman claimed the car had no scratches, scrapes, etc.

  9. Hello, I bought a Vauxhall Insignia on the 23rd Jan, after a few weeks I had much difficulty in engaging gear, I called the dealer and they said it was best to contact the warranty company, I did this and they advised I take it to a local garage for a diagnostic check, I took this to the local garage and was told I needed a new clutch and dual mass flywheel, the quote was £914 plus VAT. I called the dealer again to say that I wasn’t very happy as the warranty only covers up to £500 and I thought it unfair that I had to pay an extra £600, they then told me to take it to a garage they deal with who could fix it for a cheaper price but I may still have to pay for any cost over £500, is this correct?

    • Hi David. I would have thought that a clutch and flywheel failure would be considered significant faults and a reasonable reason to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act – you have 30 days from purchase to do this, so you would need to act promptly.
      If you want to have the car repaired instead, you can negotiate for the dealer to cover any costs over and above the warranty cover but this would probably negate your right to reject.

    • Thanks for the reply Stuart, they took the car in and replaced the concentric valve cylinder and all appears to be ok on that part. Though I collected the car on Saturday and it has now developed another fault, the car went into limp mode today with a message on the instrument panel saying ‘service vehicle soon’ so I took it into my local garage, they put it on to their computer and said it was showing 3 faults connected to the turbo. I called the dealer and he said there was only £62 left on the warranty as it is only up to £500 and the clutch cylinder came to £438. He said it may only be a sensor though and that the rest of the warranty would cover this, he then said that if it is something worse I could then be liable for the remainder of the cost? Surely the dealer should cover all costs regardless of warranty value? Can i still decide to swap the vehicle with the same dealer or ask for a refund before 3 months if I am not satisfied this car is not going to be beset with problems?? Many thanks for your help, Dave

    • Hi David. The warranty and the Consumer Rights Act are two separate issues, so your course of action will be dictated by what you are trying to achieve.

      In terms of rejecting the vehicle, this new fault would be considered a separate issue to the previous fault, so if you are still within your first 30 days you should be able to proceed with a rejection if the turbo has failed. If you are past the first 30 days but still within six months, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem. If that doesn’t work, you can reject the vehicle. But it is a separate case to your previous clutch issue which has been repaired. The Consumer Rights Act protects you irrespective of the warranty on the vehicle. If you are successful in rejecting a vehicle, you are entitled to a full refund (if within 30 days) of the car’s invoice value. If you want to negotiate a replacement vehicle from the same dealer or any other arrangement, you are venturing outside the protection of the Act.

      A used car warranty is an aftermarket insurance policy against mechanical failures, and it will have the same T&Cs and limits as any insurance policy. A dealer is not obliged to offer a three-month warranty on a used car and it’s not a blanket coverage for any faults that the car may develop – although dealers are usually poor at explaining this.

  10. Hi

    I purchased a brand new Vauxhall Astra through an online broker in 01 March 2016. The online broker sourced it from a recognised Vauxhall dealership.On 30 March 2016 I had to put my the car into my local vauxhall garage due to a loss of power. They identified the fault as the crank shaft sensor and replaced it. The car has since been in a further 5 times for the same fault which I believe is a clear safety issue. The tipping point was on 01 February 2017 the car lost power on the motorway and it was a terrifying experience. I could have been involved in a serious road accident and decided that the car was dangerous to not only me but other road users. I again put my car into my local Vauxhall dealer where it stayed until 15 February as Vauxhall technical were liaising with my local garage. During this time I had emailed and spoken to Vauxhall customer service, the online broker and the supplying dealership stating that I believed the car was dangerous and after numerous failed attempts to repair it I wanted it replaced. It is fair to say that none of the 3 parties involved would take ownership. Although I was still arguing with the 3 parties I had no option to pick up my car on 15 February. On 16 February I drove my car and it virtually broke down within one mile, this time as an issue with the turbo/pipe. The car bonnet was damaged with parts hitting the underside and causing a large dent. No-one can confirm if this fault is related to the loss of power issue.My car is still with my local dealership. I have again contacted all 3 parties and I am being given the complete run around. It is clear to me that this car came out of manufacture with this safety fault as can be evidenced by the fault time line. Vauxhall has been unable to rectify this fault after 5 attempts identifying various issues they believed it to be but my car keeps losing power. Where do I actually stand and what can I do?


    • Hi Ian. The Consumer Rights Act only covers you for the first six months of purchase. After that, you are reliant on the manufacturer’s new car warranty. The warranty is provided by the manufacturer, so ultimately your dispute will need to be with Vauxhall head office. You have the right to insist that they fix the car, but if you want to try and force a rejection now, you would need to consult a solicitor and take legal action.

  11. I was preapproved for a vehicle here in Puerto Rico drove it two hours home and the check engine light came on as well as some airbag system maintenance light I’m feeling movement in the frontend in I put the car on the road a total of 4 n half hours I have had it for 9 days I’m not satisfied with the performance and the dealer hasn’t received payment I have the check in my posesssion can I bring it back I have only paid $320 for the paperwork fees

  12. Many thanks Stuart, I’ve decided along the same lines as you and don’t want the hassle and stress associated with rejecting my GLC. I’ll use this as a learning and next time be more vigilant and get things in writting,,

  13. Hi Stuart,

    Just over 2 weeks ago I took ownership of a Mercedes GLC Coupe paid for not on PCP. The day after handover I noticed the center console was a shiny black plastic and the door inserts silver when both should have been black walnut based on two agreed conditions of sale. I raised the issue with the dealer who eventually offered a free service as compensation which I reluctantly accepted as I wasn’t aware of the right to reject at the time. A few days later due to miss information by the dealer I became aware that the second condition of sale was broken and my new vehicle didn’t have run flat tyres fitted. After enormous stress the dealer agreed that they had miss informed me about the tyres and have fitted run flat tyres. When the original standard tyres were fitted I had noticed a tyre jumping noise when in full lock which has gone with the run flats fitted. yesterday I found out the tyre noise is known as crabbing and a fault in steering geometry that Mercedes are refusing to accept but it’s causing excessive tyre wear and has the potential to cause damage to the steering system. Mercedes are claiming that changing to winter tyres below 6-7deg C in the winter will cure the issue which has proved not to be the case here and here based on all these issues with this new vehicle would I have the right to reject given it’s less than 3 weeks old.

    • Hi Rick. Given that you have had the dealer rectify one issue and accepted an alternative solution to the other, you have probably forfeited your right to reject the vehicle. If the new tyres do not fix the fault, you can reject the vehicle within the first six months.
      The trim issue is not likely to be cause to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act anyway. If you did force the issue, it would likely cost you far more time and money than it’s worth, so a refund for any extra money paid for the non-existent option and a free service is probably the better choice.
      Crabbing is a common problem on modern cars and SUVs, especially in the UK where people tend to choose (and manufacturers tend to offer) wide wheels with low-profile tyres for vanity reasons. If it happened on the base spec car with smaller wheels, I’d be surprised.

  14. Hi stuart
    I brought a car that was claimed in the advert to ‘drive superb’ but when i drove the car everything completely when wrong on it including bangs and smoke from engine, airbag and brake lights and it even broke down on my twice trying to drive it home. I was stuck on the motorway and as im only 18 i had no money to pay for a recovery vehicle to take it 30miles home. I rang the dealer and asked if he could get the recovery back to his site as it was 5mins away and he wouldnt take any responsibility for it and wouldnt help in any way so i had no choice but to leave it on the motorway and informed the dealer where is was. i am currently going through the correct steps to get a refund but im unsure whether it was his responsibility to retrieve the vehicle and will me not having the vehicle make it more difficult to get a refund.
    Thank you

    • Hi Nicholas. Under the Act, the dealer is not obliged to retrieve the vehicle for you. You should be able to reject the car for a full refund, but you will need to return the car to the dealership and then try and argue for them covering your costs of having it recovered.

  15. Hi Stuart,
    We bought a car from a dealer 5 months ago and have had multiple breakdowns mostly due to injector failures. First injector failed after 3 weeks (car going into limp home mode); 2 weeks later limp home mode again but cleared after sitting 30 minutes; just under 3 months a different injector failed; now 5 months and one of the replaced injectors has failed.
    Aftr the second failed we requested that the dealer replace all injectors, but they would not do this.
    A friend (a VW dealership mechanic) told us that one possibility was that petrol had wrongly been used at some time. Mis-fuelling a TDI means the engine has insufficient lubrication and causes rapid pump wear resulting in metal debris in the fuel system. In this case potential full repair costs can be £4k-5k!
    Are we entitled to a refund, as the first failure was after 3 weeks so can the fault be deemed to have been present at time of purchase.
    If we’d realised we’d have asked for a full refund at the 3 week breakdown. Now would a refund with ‘reasonable’ adjustment be appropriate, and is there any guidance on what is a ‘reasonable’ amount.

    • Hi Peter. You are within the first six months and the dealer’s repair has failed (you said that one of the replaced injectors had failed again), so you should be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

      There is no guidance in the Act as to what constitutes a ‘reasonable’ adjustment; it’s all a matter of negotiation.

    • Thanks Stuart,
      The dealer has agreed on a refund. The amount offered seems in line with the book value difference between between it’s value and that of 6month newer car having the original mileage.

      Though it doesn’t now matter in our case, would just the engine beaking down twice, not be a sufficient reason for rejection?

    • Probably, but it depends on the fault which caused the car to break down. On a used car, the fault has to be considered significant for age and mileage, but it would come down to how well it was argued in court.

      If you can successfully argue that the end result was that the car was unable to fulfil its role of transporting you from A to B capably because it kept breaking down, then you would probably be successful. However, judges have been quite lenient to date on dealers when it comes to used cars.

  16. Hi, purchased cash a brand new CX5 via online contact, reputable Fleet supplier whom sell certain manufacturers models. Local Mazda dealer delivered car on trailer, good hand over. 28 days motoring later it is evident that this car will never achieve its stated mpg figures, not even come close however you try to drive it like a saint; so I want my money back, time is running short but is it doable?

    • Hi Ian. Rejecting a car for poor fuel consumption is very difficult; there is probably not a single car on sale that matches its claimed lab figures in real-world driving.

      Your fuel consumption should improve as the engine runs in; this can take a few thousand miles until you get to the car’s best figures.

      For more information on this issue, have a read of our article comparing lab test and real-world fuel consumption.

  17. Hi,

    I purchased a BMW 5series on the 13th January i have had nothing but problems with the vehicle and it seems to be something new every day as far as mechanical or electrical i bought it from on of the Largest car supermakets in the country a very reputable company some of the issues were present at point of sale which they said they would rectify and others have arisen subsiquently.

    although via calender days i have owned the car for 31 days i have only had the vehicle in my possesion for 13 days as for the rest of the time it has been in the shop getting fixed. Am i still entitled legally to a refund seen as i have only technically had the vehicle for 13 days ?

    • Hi Scott. Yes, the clock stops on your initia 30 days for any days where you have not had possession of the car. So you can claim that you are only 13 days into your initial rejection period.

  18. Hi Stuart

    Apologies for the length of this query. I bought a 2009 Nissan Qashqai in May 2016 from a dealership for £7795 under the Cared4 scheme and 12 months warranty. After 2 months the airbag light came on the dashboard. To cut a long story short I have had to take the car back 5 times for the same problem and each time they have told me that they have found the fault and the light shouldn’t come back on again. They have reset the airbag, sorted out something that had fused together, soldered a lose connection under the passenger seat, changed the airbag module, soldered a lose connection under the driver seat and on the last occasion told me that they cannot find what the fault, reset the airbag and told me to come back if the light comes back on. The light came back on for the 6th time and I couldn’t face going back to the garage.

    I contacted Nissan Customer Services who opened up a case and investigated the matter. They suggested that I take the car back to the dealership for the 6th time for a full diagnostics to be done and will oversee the work. I declined as I would have assumed that this would have been done after at least the 3rd time of taking the car back and had no faith in them finding the fault. I said that I either wanted a replacement or a refund so they directed me back to the dealership. I wrote a letter to the dealership rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act and understood that there would be a reasonable sum deducted for usage of the vehicle.

    I received the following response:

    “I appreciate your concerns with regards to your airbag light, and looking through the history of your visits it has been difficult to resolve. Initially the fault could not be replicated with the ECU stating that something had occurred in the past but was OK now, and it took until your 3rd visit for the fault to manifest itself for us to try and resolve the problem.

    I am confident that now the main unit has been replaced and eliminated from being at fault that the problem can be diagnosed and repaired once and for all. I believe you last spoke to our Service Manager who assured you that this would be the case, but I do understand your reservations. With faults such as this it can take patience on both sides to rectify, but they can be fixed.

    Should you still wish to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you are correct that a reasonable reduction will be made. Thankfully I have not been in this position for some time so have taken guidance from our solicitors as to what is deemed reasonable as there is no prescribed formula laid out by the act. They have advised that the usual calculation is to deduct the HMRC prescribed 45 pence per mile allowance from the value of the original price paid, so if you have done 5000 miles, the amount refunded would be reduced by £2250. The alternate route is to deduct the amount you would have had to pay to hire a vehicle for 9 months. We have spoken to Enterprise who have confirmed using our reduced Business rate that they would charge £771 per month to hire a Qashqai of a similar specification. We would of course use the lower HMRC route. A full refund of your Service plan would also be made.

    I look forward to hearing from you advising of which route you wish to take.”

    My questions are:

    1. £2250 is a large sum, does the dealership have to follow this formula? I was expecting a figure of between £1,000 – £1,500. I feel that they have quoted their figure to put me off asking for the refund and instead get them to try and fix the fault. I also feel that instead of deducting a reasonable sum for usage they are refunding the current market price of the car.

    2. If I am forced to keep the car because of the £2250 deduction, where do I stand if the car develops the same fault after the warranty?

    3. Can I ask for a replacement car?

    4. If I am forced to keep the car can I ask for a discount off the price of the car under the Consumer Rights Act?

    At the time of buying the car my brother noticed that there was a slight change in the paintwork on a part of the car and we queried this with the salesman. He said that there was no record of an accident. I feel the fault may have been as a result of a previous accident where the airbag was activated and not properly rectified.

    My fear is that if I want to upgrade my car or sell in the future no one will buy it if this fault keeps reoccurring hence my request for a refund. I’d rather cut my losses now. I rely on my car for work and also transport my grandchildren on a regular basis.

    • Hi Marjorie. The dealership is entitled to claim a reasonable reduction for usage if you are rejecting between 30 days and six months. However, there is no guidance as to what constitutes a ‘reasonable’ amount, and it sounds like the dealer is trying to take advantage of that.

      In answer to your questions, if you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you can’t ask for replacements/discounts – you reject the car and get a refund. Any other negotiation takes you out of the terms of the Act. You can go down that path if you prefer, but you are waiving your right to reject the vehicle.

      In terms of what is ‘reasonable’, the HMRC figure of 45p/mile is not appropriate, as it includes an allowance for fuel costs, insurance, road tax, etc. which are not related to the car’s value. A short-term hire is also not really appropriate for similar reasons. I would suggest you find out what the monthly payments would be on a typical PCP for a similar vehicle over 3 or 4 years, as you would likely have a monthly figure of £200-300 rather than £771. You also need to deduct any time that the car has been back at the dealership, which could well add up to a month or so by the sound of it. While you’re at it (since it’s all a matter of negotiation), you should claim any expenses associated with having to return the car to the dealer on five separate occasions and deduct that from the final figure.

  19. Dear Stuart,
    I purchased a brand new BMW 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately the car doesn’t drive straight but drifts to the right. It’s particularly noticeable on straight, flat motorway stretches. Take real care if you need to fiddle with the navi!
    I wrote to the dealer informing them of the fault the day after purchase. The local dealer drove the car last week, confirmed the problem and spent several hours adjusting the chassis tolerances…
    Result: less pressure needed to correct BUT the car still continually drifts right.
    What should I do now? Reject the car within 30 days?
    (There’s also a problem with the driver seat bottom stuffing making it uncomfortable but haven’t done anything on this yet aside from inform the dealer – pax seat is great!)
    Most grateful for your advice. Thank you.

    • This is unusual, as on a UK road a car will usually tend to drift left due to the road camber.

      It may be a suitable cause for rejecting a new car, depending on how severe the drift is. The driver’s seat issue won’t be suitable, however, unless there is some kind of fault with the seat.

  20. hello stuart i bought car from dealer. when i bought tgey give me AA inspection certificate. which they health check car. they said car is in perfect condition. when now i just had done my car service from volkswagon. they found in heath check car need many things to do. which they are cost 1700 pounds. i speck my dealer they dont want me to help at all. i not even done my 14 days. so please tell me what i need to do

    • It will depend on what constitutes a genuine ‘need’ to ensure that the car is able to fulfil its role. Any time you take a car into a garage, they will find work that ‘needs’ to be done and will pressure you to have the work completed – after all, it’s in their interests.

      You will need to go through the list of ‘needs’ advised by the Volkswagen dealer and compare it to the AA inspection. If there are items on the AA check that are incorrectly recorded, you can take that up with the dealer and potentially reject the car.

  21. purchased off gumtree add dealer told me car wos exccelent with no faults and injectors just done which is not the case it needs new injectors ans a new turbo wife refuses to drive the car and it keep cutting out dealer promised refund now back tracked and as ask me to travel a 300 mile round trip to fix and i dout the car would make it with the ploblems need advice

    • Hi Mark. It is normal for a dealer to want to inspect the vehicle before agreeing to a rejection (as, inevitably, people try to use the Consumer Rights Act as a way of trying to return a perfectly-functional car they simply don’t like).

      Your case is made somewhat more difficult because the dealer is 300 miles away. Within the first 30 days you are not obliged to take it back for inspection or repair. You can reject the car in writing, however the dealer is not obliged to accept your rejection – which means you would need to take the dealership to court to try and have the rejection enforced. They may accept a third-party report from a local garage which diagnoses a significant problem with the vehicle, but they are not obliged to do so.

  22. Hi Stuart
    On 7 January I purchased a used car from the dealer. Paid for it by debit card.
    A couple of weeks ago I’ve noticed that the rev counter is bouncing. And it uses too much fuel. BUT the fault code does not appear on the dashboard. Anyway I brought it to the local garage for an advice, the mechanic took a ride and said that it can be caused by a couple of faults. But once again they cant fix it, as the fault code does not appear. It can appear in a couple of weeks or couple of months. The warranty does not cover this fault.
    Can you advise me please what are my options? Can I reject it for a full refund? Or it is not the reason?
    Can I ask to fix or replace?

    Thank You in advance.

    • Hi Kate. Without knowing what is causing the faults, it’s difficult to say whether they would justify a rejection under the Consumer Rights Act.

      The rev counter bouncing may be annoying, but from your description it doesn’t seem to be affecting the way the car drives, so it would not seem likely to be suitable cause for rejection. Using too much fuel is largely a subjective opinion, as fuel consumption can vary wildly depending on usage and in any case, manufacturer official claims are not usually representative of the real world.

      Given that it is a used car, I would say that you would be unlikely to be able to reject the car on these grounds. You can certainly ask the selling dealer to fix the rev counter, but I’m not sure if they can do anything about the fuel consumption unless there is some kind problem with the engine.

  23. Hi Stuart, I am so confused i dont know if you could advice me please

    I have bought a second hand car (use car) from a garage, but not a dealer, less than 48 hours the car is showing a problem as such on dash board : STOP – ENGINE OIL PRESSURE TOO LAW, it is Peugeot 307 and 2007 year. And have taken it to a garage close to me the mechanic after seeing the car the light which appear on dash board he advise me to take the car back from the garage where I bought it and whether they repair it or claim my money back, that the car was definitely with the problem before i bought it because there is sufficient oil in the engine,

    And I call the garage which i bought the car to let them know about what has occurred on the car and i only drive it twice from there to my home and next day to my work and today to dropping my girlfriend to airport the problem come up on the car. And They said there is no more things between us and as they told me the car was with no problem and driven for work and social activities, and as on the advert was saying that the car is driving fine good conditions comfort driven no problem etc… so they have no ideas if the car has this problem or not.
    and it was sold with no warranty, that i cant take it back and there is no need for them to repair it. that it is sold therefore it is sold.
    On the day of sale i inspected the car even did test drove for 10 mins or less there where no problem, but now there is a problem.

    And many times i Asked if there any other problems link with the engine why you decide to sold this car, he said No, And he did not mention any problem which supposed to be with the car all He says the car is very good condition driven perfect, clean and the MOT service test was just last week on 26/ 01/2017 and car drive fine.
    i asked for service history of the car he show me all the MOT service papers. So I was confident in buying it as there is no problem with the car, but less than 48 hour this appear. and Pay Him the money by cash.

    Now i am confused i have no ideas what to do next or what are my right?
    should i go back to the garage and return the car to claim my money as the mechanic advice, or i just lost for i have been coon?

    Many thanks in Advance consideration

    Tito Frang

    • Hi Tito. The garage can say that there is no warranty, but that does not mean they can ignore the law. And the law allows you to reject the car within 30 days if it has a significant problem.

      The dealer is entitled to dispute your allegation (you could be making it all up as an excuse to get rid of the car), so you will need to find out what the actual problem is. If the car is driving properly and there appears to be enough oil in the engine, it may just be a sensor fault which could be easily fixed. You will need a written report from a certified workshop that details the problem so you can show the selling dealer to progress your issue.

  24. Hi Stuart, wonder if you could advise me please?
    I bought a second hand cheap car from a dealer for £850. I bought it over the phone and paid £50 deposit to the dealership and he requested £800 cash on collection which I paid when I picked it up.
    When I picked it up, I noticed a rattle from underneath and he said it’s just a slight rattle on the clutch but its fine and doesn’t need replacing. Driving home, I became more concerned as the gears were whining too. I have taken the car to a gearbox specialist and he confirms that the gearbox is faulty, repairs estimate £615!. I called the dealer today and he said that the car was sold as a private sale and therefore he would not repair/refund and told me to take him to court! He even said the invoice he gave me was on unheaded paper. However, The car was advertised on the dealers website, (still have the page saved), deposit paid by card to the dealer and collected from the dealer forecourt at no time did he say it was a private sale. Where can I go from here as it seems I’ve been lumbered with a scrap car- only purchased a cheap car with the last of our savings to get to work as i was made redundant last year so this is getting near the final straw for me!
    Any advice much appreciated,
    Many Thanks


    • Hi Michael. At this price point (and for what is presumably a fairly old car with high mileage), resolving mechanical issues with a dealer will always be difficult, even with the Consumer Rights Act.

      Your best bet to returning this car for a full refund is to engage a solicitor to write a fairly threatening letter, pointing out that it was not a private sale as he claims and that attempts to dodge his legal obligations in this manner will result in you reporting him to Trading Standards. This is probably a better route than debating the costs of repairing the gearbox.

      You could also contact your bank. Depending on the card used for payment, they may be able to assist in reversing the transaction.

  25. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a car from a dealer which developed a major problem with its automatic gearbox a week after purchase which made it undriveable. This was confirmed by a report from the main franchise dealer of the car.

    After some back and forth I returned it to the dealer who stated he needed to conduct his own investigation. The repairs were too much and I formally rejected the car in writing. He also agreed over the phone and in writing (SMS text) to refund me in full. That was 2 months ago and he has missed multiple deadlines. Furthermore I have since found he has sold the car on via auction (as he never sent the transfer of ownership section on the V5 document). He still insists he will pay a full refund and is just waiting for the payment from the auction to come through. However I have lost all faith in his intentions. What should I do?

    • Hi Jon. You should not have to wait for him to sell the car to pay you for it. He is obliged to repay you when the car is returned, not after he sells it. Obviously, this is less desirable to him as he would probably have to put the car on his finance, but that’s not your problem.

      Unfortunately, if he is not paying you then all you can do is engage a solicitor to help chase him. Obviously that will cost you money and you can’t reclaim that from him, but you don’t have a lot of options since you have already handed the car over.

  26. Bought a brand new car and after an initial inspection and handover, I drove away home.

    An hour or two later I noticed that the paintwork had a large number of small colour blemishes covering at least two panels of the car and immediately returned to the dealer who agreed that the blemishes had occurred at the factory. The dealer stated that they were allowed one chance to rectify the paintwork under warranty and the work would take approximately ten days to complete in their body shop and they would supply me with a temporary vehicle once the work commenced. I did not specially agree to this work but did query some details and was told that the dealer would confirm what action would actually be taken and inform me in the next few days. I then drove the vehicle home.

    I now realise that the dealer has no right to determine what action he takes and it is at this point (well within 30days) essentially up to me to exercise my consumer rights. No alternative was offered by the dealer nor any indication made that there may be an alternative course.

    Having thought about it in the cool light of day, I would want to reject the car as I consider it is not of a satisfactory quality. Whilst not a legal issue, I have lost faith in the quality of the car and feel I was nudged in a particular direction favourable to the dealer, further I would not consider a major respray taking 10 days on a new car as being acceptable.

    Am i within my rights to reject the car as having a manufacturing fault?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Scott. Even though it is a new car rather than a used one, “small colour blemishes” would probably be difficult to use as justification for rejecting the car. They would be easily rectified and the result should be as good as new.

      Dealers are not obliged to disclose minor damage done to the vehicle during production or delivery. However, if you directly ask about it then they cannot lie about it. I’m not sure if there is specific guidance, but last I heard I think they could get away with damage on up to four panels before it was considered major. I don’t know if a case has been brought to court in a similar situation under the new Act.

  27. Hi stuart

    I purchased a new vauxhall from a garage 300 miles away due to them having the vehicle available it was brand new and I was given a delivery date his didn’t happen on there date I waited for a week contacted again I was informed still not arrived dispite it being sat on there forecourt ( vauxhall tracker system) when I queried this they stated there was a reversing camera fault and was awaiting part . Eventually they delivered within a few days I noticed certain things I brought the car for were not working properly ie stop/start auto light etc. I contacted vauxhall UK who advised me to book in with local dealer. This I did to be informed battery was low and this was why so they booked it back in a week of so later to charge this new agm battery within a day or so same problem I went back again and booked car back in after Xmas to be informed battery was low again at this point it was suggested I turn off all auto functions and anything that uses power to see if stop start works they also informed they felt as I had covered around 600 miles in 4 weeks only using car at weekends that they had suspicions there was a fault some but due to vauxhall protocol they were not allowed to do anything as not fault codes recorded also car returning 25 to gallon as apposed to advertised 43 conbind .
    I spoke to organal sellers vauxhall Leicester who collected car and delivered a courtesy car which I can’t drive being manual and to low due to health issues that they were aware of. I have now informed them that I feel I need to reject car as it’s the 4th time in been at a vauxhall dealership for repair and as my local dealer can’t do anything it’s not partial to return it 300 miles everytime there’s a fault and I felt they lost there right to repair when vauxhall UK instructed me to take it to local dealer . They have refused rejection at this point vauxhall UK ignoring emails, and now the latest email informed me there managing director is driving it around this weekend to see what they think this without my consent.
    To sum up 3 months old 4 times in garage so far no car to drive do I really have to pay a solicitor to fight these morons?
    Thanks adrian

    • Hi Adrian. Battery problems are fairly common for cars that have been sitting in dealerships, as you get people opening and closing doors all day long, which fires up all the electronics. But because the car is not being driven, it drains the battery within a matter of days and can trigger other faults. It may be that throwing a new battery in there will fix the problem, but I don’t know if they have already tried that.

      In terms of the Consumer Rights Act, your grievance is with the original dealership that sold the car, regardless of what Vauxhall head office tells you. They are also not obliged to provide a courtesy car under the Act. You are still within the first six months of purchase, but the original dealer is entitled to have one go at fixing the fault. If their repair fails, you can proceed to reject the vehicle. The work performed by any other dealership or garage does not count.

  28. Hi Stuart,
    Regarding the first 30 days of ownership, if the vehicle has been in the possession of the garage for 12 of these days, do these days count as part of the 30 days? I took delivery of my new build car on the 21st Dec and it has been into the garage twice but they have not been able to resolve them.

    • Hi Gareth. No, any days where the dealer has possession do not count towards your 30 days.
      You can even exclude the days between making a booking and the dealer taking the car (to stop the dealer taking 31 days to find time to look at the problem), although if you are still driving the car normally during this time it gets a bit murkier.

  29. hello…i just purchased a bmw 520 2007 from a dealer…he told me EVERYTHING is ok with the car fully working …because i was on work and didn’t had time to see the car ..i mean to drive it…the thing is after 4 days i saw that the parking sensors are not working front or back and the idrive (car’s computer)is not working aswell the image goes scrambeld you can’t read nothing on the screen resulting both things broken and i haven’t done not even a mile from the date of purchase …what should i do ???he told me i have o month warranty on mechanical parts

  30. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a brand new toyota yaris hybrid on finance, which was delivered on the 5th December. Within 2 days it was making really loud intermittent groaning/grinding noises. I took it back to the garage and they said they couldn’t find any fault with it and just de-glazed the brake pads, and said it should be fine. The noise continued, and after a week it got so much worse that I took it back again. They kept it in overnight, but said they could not find any fault, and told me to keep an eye on it. The noise persisted, along with a new clunking noise. So I took it back again (still within the 30 days of having it). They kept it in again, but this time said that the ‘car is just like that’, because the brake pads move about in the caliper. They said Toyota is aware of the issue in it’s older yaris models, and if enough people complain about it then they will find a solution and issue a recall.

    I asked to reject the car and go for a replacement, but they said because they couldn’t find a fault, I couldn’t have a replacement. They said to contact Toyota UK, whom when I spoke to them, told me that only my garage can deal with it.

    To make matters worse, the car has started making another new noise, this time a really loud, really high screeching noise when braking. It’s due to go back into the garage again.

    I am so fed up with the constant phone calls and treks to the garage. Clearly the car is not of a satisfactory quality.

    Am I within my right to reject the car and ask for a replacement?

    • Hi Em. Without knowing what is causing the noise, it is impossible to say whether it is a significant fault which would be acceptable grounds to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. If the dealer will not accept a rejection, you will need to get another opinion as to what the problem is to strengthen your argument.
      You can go to another Toyota dealer (preferably one not owned by the same company) or an independent brake specialist, and you will need a written report which states that there is a fault with the vehicle.
      You will also need to contact Toyota Finance, as they will need to be involved in the rejection process (it’s their car, not yours).

  31. Hi Stuart, I bought a new car on pcp in April 2016, in December 2016 one of the crankshaft blew the engine as a result of it being under Vauxhall warranty it has been sitting in a dealership for over 7 weeks and had the entire engine stripped down. I paid a lot of money for a new car which I don’t expect the engine to fail in such a short time. The dealership state that they will only repair it which they are waiting on a boreing tool, however I at least want a new engine or car I do not want to accept a reconditioned engine. Do I have any rights or options I live in Scotland. Thanks

  32. Hi Stuart

    I bought a Volvo XC60 12 plate with 82k on the clock last week (Thurs) from a dealer who works from home. I paid £11,300 which was a reasonable price considering it needs 4 tyres replacing soon and also need the passenger wing mirror body replacing.

    I didn’t drive the car much on the day I bought it but did the next couple of days and noticed that the clutch was slipping whenever accelerating, it was even doing it when I put ot back into cruise control at 70 in top gear.

    I spoke to the dealer and informed them of the problem on the Sunday. They initially asked if I had spoken to the warranty company (as part of the sale I was given a 3rd party warranty) I was aware that this was not a valid reason for claiming on the warranty and told the dealer this, stating that they wouldn’t no doubt consider it wear and tear.

    Today, Monday, the dealer has offered to pay the labour charge if I pay for the parts for the clutch to be changed, as an offer of

    I replied stating that I believed under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 I expected them to pay for the full cost of the repair or give a full refund.

    The dealer is now saying

    Hi Xxxxxxx I am sorry that you have chosen to decline my offer of goodwill and I am further disappointed to note in your message the unfounded insinuation that the clutch was slipping at the point of purchase – this is simply incongruous with the facts and untrue. As a professional car dealer I am intimately familiar with each and every section of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and as such can assure you without doubt or equivocation that your beliefs (right to refund or repair) as outlined in your message is completely erroneous. To be clear there is absolutely no provision contained therein which entitles you to either a refund or repair following the failure of a component due to fair wear and tear and nor does the length of time since your purchase have any bearing upon the matter as the pertinent detail is the age and mileage of the product – basically it is not ‘unreasonable’ for a clutch to require replacement after 80,000 miles. Indeed I was initially encouraged by your first message where, in your own words, you were able to note the distinction between something ‘faulty’ and something ‘worn’ – in my experience this is a distinction that is often lost on members of the general public. In conclusion you may be completely assured that I have no legal liability to you as alleged or at all with regards to the worn clutch on your car. Sincerely. Xxxxxxx

    Can you please let me know your thoughts on this matter as I am convinced that I have a very strong case but would value an independent opinion.


    • Hi Gordon. Your case is likely to hinge on whether the clutch problem is a fault or whether the problem is fair wear and tear on a 4-5 year-old car with 82,000 miles on the clock. You will need to get an independent opinion from a qualified garage or clutch specialist if you want to contest the matter.

      If you can get an independent clutch specialist or Volvo dealer to provide a written report stating that the clutch is faulty, you will be in a strong position to justify your claim. If you can’t, your case will not be strong. You also don’t clearly state whether you drove the car before purchasing it, which may affect your chances.

      If you are intent on pursuing a rejection, you will need to formally reject the car in writing. If the dealer refuses to accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action to try and have the matter resolved in your favour.

    • I didn’t expect that reply, I would have thought that no matter how old the car was or how many miles it had on it, if it was faulty with something that wasn’t known at the time of sale or obvious or pointed out by the seller then it is faulty.
      Having said that thanks for your more experienced opinion. It’s going to save me a lot of time, money and teeth nashing!

    • A used car will always have wear and tear. In cases that have made it to court since the new Act came into place, judges have shown considerable leniency to dealers for issues which are wear-related rather than something which should not wear.

      If the dealer can show they followed acceptable standards of vehicle preparation, it is very difficult to argue that a wear-and-tear item is faulty. If the dealer has not able to show that they follow standard industry practices, it is easier. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get that sort of information without initiating legal action, and that may be more expensive that whatever reasonable settlement you may achieve with the dealer on your own.

  33. Hi
    I bought a Ford Mondeo 2007 model from a dealer just over two weeks ago. I booked a free inspection with Halfords and they identified the following issues in their report:
    1. Unable to open the bonnet
    2. Oil leak
    3. Exhaust bracket broken
    4. Problems with brakes: discs worn or below min thickness

    I have also sent a copy of the Halfords report to the dealer.

    The car was sold with two year warranty (which is stated on the receipt) covering engine and gearbox. When I asked the dealer about the forms that are generally filled in for the warranty, he said those will be completed when I need to make a claim. This rings alarm bells!

    I contacted the dealer immediately to ask for repairs of just 1-3 as these are not related wear and tear. However, the dealer refused to carryout any repairs.

    Failing that I have asked to receive a full refund for the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but the dealer has refused that over the phone and has not replied to my emails yet.

    I have few questions:
    1. Am I correct in asking for a refund?
    2. As the dealer is refusing to refund, what are my options?
    3. Can I use chargeback scheme of my visa debit card which was used for payment?

    • Hi Siri. The oil leak is potentially cause to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, but you would need to know the cause of the leak (ie – is it easily fixable?). The brakes are probably also cause to reject the vehicle, as the car should not be sold in that condition. The bonnet and exhaust bracket problems are probably easily fixed and not valid reasons to reject the car. However, the dealer should be repairing those for you. Refusal to fix a bonnet that won’t open would justify rejecting the car (if you can’t open the bonnet, you can’t check/fill oil, water and other fluids).

      The dealer is not obliged to accept your request to reject the car. If they refuse, you will need to take legal action against them. You can contact your bank about their chargeback scheme, but they may not agree to it if you still have the car in your possession.

    • Hi Stuart. Have just bought a bmw for 12k. Had problems form day 1 as engine was making a screeching noise. Then gave it back same day and 2days later picked it up again. Now having actually had the car in my possession for 3 days the same noise occurs and now the timing chain is loose as that is making a noise also battery is weak and warning message states excess oil I the engine. Have been advised nor to drive the car as timing chain could snap any minute. The car has 88k miles and is a 2011. Can I reject it as only has it 5 days and the repairs would cost 2k plus for a replacement chain.

  34. Hi Stuart.
    I bought a vauxhall zafira tourer off Evans Halshaw on the 23rd December 2016.
    I was told by the head office when i inquired about the car that it had 12 months vauxhall warranty left as it was only 2 years old.
    i actually asked the salesman to confirm this and he looked at his screen and said no it’s actually 11 months as it was registered in November.
    which was fine with me as the dealer was 4 1/2 hours drive from me, so that meant i could take it back to my local dealer.
    Upon getting home i noticed the service book wasn’t the genuine one for the car as the supplying dealer was different and it only had 1 stamp in which was when the seller bought the car in.

    I contacted my local garage and they advised me that the warranty probably wasn’t valid as it hadn’t been serviced properly. but couldn’t say unless i tried to make a claim.
    I contacted EH and explained that i wasn’t happy about this and i got the runaround form the sales department.
    on the 28th i got the V5 in the post and it transpires that the previous owner was ERAC Uk Ltd which is Enterprise rent a car.

    There are a couple of major faults with the car which i noticed on the way home which will need to be repaired via warranty.

    I finally managed to get through the the sales principal of EH and had a nice chat with him about the issues i had with the car ie warranty, ex-rental etc.
    He was very friendly and said we can get this sorted, and offered me an EH 24 month warranty and as a good will gesture offered to look into repairing a big dent i found after i got the car home which is underneath the car and can only be viewed when looking underneath the car.
    I asked him to put everything in an email which he agreed. i got the email an hour or so later.

    and i he has worded it in such a way as to not accept any liability and everything he is offering is good will.

    I asked the salesman about previous owner and he said ‘he didn’t know off the top of his head’ and changed the subject.
    but obviously this is just words.

    What are my options please?
    I love the car but am 50/50 about returning it or just going with what they have offered or to try and push for a major service in November

    Thanks Steve

    • Hi Steve. To work through your issues point-by-point:
      1) You should be able to get the dealership to supply the correct books or, failing that, a duplicate. It does happen that books get mixed up from time to time when dealers are processing hundreds of cars per month. Without possession of the actual service history, you won’t know if it has been serviced correctly.
      2) Your Vauxhall warranty should still be valid if it the car was sold by a Vauxhall dealer and advertised as having 12 (or 11) months of new car warranty remaining.
      3) Ex-rental cars are very common. Contrary to popular belief, they tend to be very well cared for (most renters are terrified of the insurance ramifications of damaging it), regularly cleaned and maintained and fully serviced. The dealer is not obliged to provide previous owner information unless you ask for it, and should always be able to show you the V5 prior to purchase if you ask. Sales people never look at the V5 to find out who the previous owner was, so it’s entirely possible he didn’t know it was an ex-rental (although it will be common for Zafiras)
      4) The ‘couple of major faults’ mentioned may or may not be grounds for rejecting the car. If the dent was present when you bought the car and it wasn’t raised as an issue (and it’s not a safety or roadworthiness issue), the dealer has no obligation to fix it.
      5) The dealer warranty and dent repair will always be goodwill gestures. Nothing you have mentioned suggests the dealer has done anything wrong except give you the wrong service book.
      If you are concerned that the new car warranty may have been invalidated, I suggest you contact Vauxhall head office and ask them to advise. If it has been, then the two-year dealer warranty seems a reasonable compromise offer.

  35. Hi
    My partner bought a used BMW which was respected and had a body kit added. He bought it in April 2015 and its since needed a mechanical repair costing over 1k
    About 2 months ago the paint started to peel off the wing mirrors and now the paint is bubbling on the bonnet and looks a mess.
    He has finance for the car and still owes a lot ignoring money on this car . However they aren’t accepting they have any responsiblity for this as a repair.
    The value to sell it in the condition it’s in Is perhaps only half of what is owed on the car.
    What Is the best route to take with this ?


    • Hi Vicky. You don’t have any legal rights to reject a car which you bought nearly two years ago. If there was any warranty or guarantee on the paintwork or aftermarket parts, then you can claim on that. Otherwise, you will need to pay for any repainting yourself.

  36. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a Mazda 3, Sport, 2.2 Diesel back in August 2016 from a small trader in Northern Ireland. I purchased it on finance with a company called Close Brothers.

    In September the oil warning light started coming up and disappearing. At that point I tried to contact the trader but he did not respond and did not return my calls. Then I decided to bring the car to a local garage that I like to use (not a Mazda official service). The garage told me that this particular model of Mazda 3 Diesel is notorious for having issues with oil raising and things like that. He then said that he will change the oil and filters to see if that might help.

    And it did temporarily, but in the beginning of November 2016 the oil warning light came on and did not disappear. The same garage then told me that it is a turbo charger failure and the car had to be tolled to the trader’s garage (after managing to get him on the phone). The trader fitted a used part as apparently these are very expensive and covered some of the bill with the warranty that came with purchasing the car- Auto Guard which is valid for the first 6 months. I then had an issue getting any prove that the work was done to my car and I had a very hard time of obtaining it through the trader’s garage and eventually through the warranty company.

    Unfortunately the same fault with the turbo appears to be happening again now (January 2017) as the oil light came up and the engine lost power etc. exactly like the previous time. However now I feel like I have lost trust in this car and in the trader and his garage and I wonder if I have a case for rejecting the car whilst still the first 6 months (which will be in February 2017). I have contacted the trader to inform of the fault happening and that the car is undrivable this morning but yet there is nothing back from him as yet.

    I also wonder if the repair he made back in November 2016 count as the one shot he has under the Act to repair it, or would the warranty waive that?

    I am afraid that he might attempt to fix it temporarily so the car gets through the end of the first 6 months (which is a month fro now) and then I will be left to deal with a faulty car on my own. I would really appreciate your advise. Thanks!


    • Hi Kris. If the fault is the same as last time (therefore the repair has failed), then you should be able to reject the vehicle. However, it is dangerous to assume that just because the symptoms are similar that it is the same fault.

    • Thanks for the reply Stuart.

      I will follow your advise and get the car towed to a garage to verify the issue.

      Since the trader did not contacted me after saying that he will get it sorted, for the next 3 days, I texted him tonight to say that I want him to deal with it. Then he responded with just the number of the garage he works with and nothing else. then I responded that I wish that he makes the arrangements with them because I’ve been experiencing bad customer service by them and that under the CRA I need to give him a chance to repair or replace (even though this was going to be his second chance really). then he stated that this is why he got a warranty for the car with AutoGuard and I should contact them instead, and then he wished me good luck. I felt so frustrated as it seems that just because he has got a warranty that covers repairs up to £500 for the first 6 months (by the way if this is the turbo again it will cost much more than that), he does not hold a responsibility to deal with the repair? I read in an article that the warranty repair does not mean I loose my statutory right to reject the car after the first attempt to repair. I will be very grateful if you can confirm if this statement is true.

      Also if I go for the rejection, do I need to write to both the finance company and the trader?
      Should I continue to pay my monthly instalments if I reject the car?

      Much appreciated!

    • No, your warranty does not replace your statutory rights.
      Yes, you will need to write to the dealer and speak to your finance company – then confirm with them in writing. In some cases, the finance company have been very helpful to customers in rejecting cars by taking their side against the dealer and effectively forcing the dealer to accept the rejection.
      Yes, you need to continue with your monthly payments until the finance company confirms the finance agreement has been cancelled.

  37. Hi Stuart,

    Two weeks ago I bought a Ford Focus 1.5 Titanium on a 64 plate. It had 27000 miles on the clock and was purchased from a franchised Ford Dealer. The advertised price was £10999 and I bought it for £10850 which seemed about right for the age and mileage. On first inspection the bodywork seemed to be in very good condition. However I washed it by hand this morning and noticed a large gouge along the plastic trim at the bottom of the car. However worst of all I noticed the bottom edge of the front nearside door has actually been pushed in so it’s not straight for about 9 inches. It has been painted over badly with a brush touch up. Do I have any redress from the dealer or is it my own stupid fault for not inspecting the car thoroughly enough? Should the dealer be expected to be aware of the damage and price the car accordingly?



    • Hi Paul. If the damage was already there when you inspected the car (ie – you failed to notice it), you have no case for redress. There is no requirement for the dealer to repair that damage in order to sell the vehicle unless it would cause the car to fail an MOT.

      If the car was fine when you inspected it and agreed to buy it, but sustained damage before you collected it, then you would certainly have reason to expect the dealer to repair the damage.

  38. Interesting article and thanks for posting it and the due diligence you’ve done putting this together.

    I bought a third spare car from a dealer last week for £3000 – a 53 plate Freelander. Within 50 miles the vehicle has had total brake failure leading to entire brake system leaking out the rear hub onto the road, the gearbox packing up and the engine spraying black thick oil all over the road. I paid for a complete service including engine flush, new oil, new filters (air and fuel) none of which have been done and on receipt when I picked it up had to put 4 new tyres on it as the tyres were 2-3mm. I am about to walk into the dealer tomorrow. Whats your advice ? I posted the V5 piece when I picked the car up from the dealer “serviced”. Amazing how you can change the oil without removing the filter :)

    By the way this is the 7th car I’ve bought from them and they’re mid way through trying to sell me a £8k Discovery. Any advice gratefully accepted. I’ve had the vehicle recovered, even Wiltshire Police who attended the roadside incident where I had brake failure said the vehicle was unroadworthy and not to go back on the road until it was fixed and had an engineers report.

    • Hi Richard. First step is to go back to the dealer with your list of issues and see what their response is. They may be prepared to refund you for the car or repair it as required, especially if they are trying to sell you another car as well. However, from your description of their vehicle preparation standards, I’m not sure I would be buying any car from them.

      If they dispute your account of what has happened/not happened, you will need to get an independent opinion. You will also need to refer to any written agreements as to what sort of servicing the car would have before you collected it. A verbal promise is worthless.

  39. Hi Stuart,

    We bought a car Honda Jazz from one of the dealers in Wembley.
    The car was advertised as excellent condition and ready to drive away with three months warranty. Took it for a test drive and we agreed to purchase a car. Me and my wife, we are not the experts in the cars and we have not spotted faults, they became visible on the way to home. We found that headlight and identification light were broken, the washer fluid bottle was leaking and airbag light identified error.
    We contacted the seller by a phone on Sunday, seller was very rude and refused repairs near my home as he promised the previous day, he mentioned about repairs at his workshop. We inspected a car at the professional service place, this has confirmed our concerns and advisory regarding brake pads and brake discs.

    This document was sent to a dealer, he only mentioned that he wants to see us in the court and do not contact him again so he refused any repairs.
    I sent him the rejection letter with the request to collect the car at my premises after the refund and awaiting for the reply but I believe I will not get any reply.

    What are the next steps? Trading Standards, Citizen Advice and finally a small case court?



    • Hi Slav. If he does not respond to your rejection letter, then ultimately you will need to engage a solicitor and take legal action against him. It is unusual for a dealer to refuse any further discussion and suggest court action as a first response, which suggests that there is more to this story.

  40. Hello,

    I bought a second hand car and RAC had to tow it back to the dealer the same day as it broke down (Sunday, 18 Dec). I asked for a full refund and the dealer finally accepted (verbally). I’m looking into how to get a refund for the road tax – I paid DVLA for a full year. Now, the dealer said they haven’t yet posted the V5, I have my V5C/2 bit. If I understood correctly, the dealer was not going to post the V5 to the DVLA, asking me to return all paperwork before they refund by cheque (I paid by debit card).
    Do you know if I would be able to recover tax from DVLA if V5 paperwork is not done? My thought is that the dealer is avoiding to add yet another owner on the car, which I can understand. Is there a specific procedure/process for this sort of situations? Or is it that in all cases (even if you ‘own’ the car for only a few hours) all paperwork still has to be done (V5 in particular)?

    Thank you for your advice/opinion!

    • Hi Jo. If you paid the DVLA directly, the DVLA should be sending you a new V5C logbook for the car in your name. The DVLA will also refund you for any unused months of road tax once you sell the car back to the dealership. You can’t sell the car back to the dealership until you have the V5C from the DVLA (which usually arrives within a week, although it can take 3-4 weeks at times). Once you sign the car over to the dealer, you will need to return the notice of sale section back to the DVLA again. It would make everyone’s lives easier if the DVLA allowed you to do all this online on-the-spot, but the DVLA is stuck in the Dark Ages so it all has to be done via Royal Mail (who are fairly busy this week).

      The Consumer Rights Act doesn’t stipulate that the dealer has to refund you via the same method you used to pay. Technically, it’s not a refund. You bought the car and it had to be taxed in your name before you could drive off. In rejecting the car, the dealer is obliged to buy the car back from you at the same price, but you will be added as an additional owner.

    • Hi Stuart. Thank you for the response. I think what the dealer is trying to do, is just skip transferring the ownership of the car on my name. They asked me to return all the paperwork, including any V5 section they gave me. How does this sound?
      They expect me to return everything and then wait for the cheque through the post. They have the car and the keys. I have the service book + MOT etc. What to do?
      I contacted DVLA and they asked me to fill in a V62 but put a cover letter explaining the situation and that I am only asking for road tax refund, not for car log book. The form is not really fit for my purpose, as, for example, it’s asking for the VIN, chassis or frame number – and I don’t have this, as I don’t have the car or the V5 main page where it is specified. Also, normally, you pay £25 for this form to be processed, but if you attach the V5C/2 (or the car is category C salvage) then you don’t pay.
      If I return the V5C/2 to the dealer, then they will probably be able to apply for a new V5 and say they lost the previous one, and so, they don’t have to add me as owner.
      Let me know your thoughts, please. Thank you!

    • That all sounds fair enough, but you should be insisting that you get your cheque ASAP – even if you have to go and collect it. As of right now, they have the car and your money. The DVLA could take many weeks to get its act together, so you don’t want to be waiting for that before you get your cheque.
      The dealer should easily be able to give you the VIN details, and if you have to pay £25 then the dealer should also be refunding this.

  41. Hi Stuart,

    This is an interesting article and I am hoping for some more information to help me with an issue I am currently experiencing with a local small independent dealer.

    I bought a vehicle in November 2016 from them with the agreement that the vehicle would be serviced, come with a 15 month warranty and 12 months advisory free MOT. I was told that the vehicle had passed the MOT but had an advisory on the steering rack which would be rectified and re-tested asap. I was told that I could take the car away and bring it back at a mutually agreeable time to have the work done, which I agreed to. When trying to tax the vehicle I noticed that it wouldn’t let me do this as the system was showing no MOT, I spoke with the dealer and they advised that the system must not have been updated yet and to try again the next day. I did this and still the vehicle wasn’t able to be taxed, I did an MOT history check and discovered that the vehicle has indeed been presented for an MOT but had actually failed, obviously I was not happy with this and the dealer initially advised that I could collect some trade plates from them which would negate the need for road tax, I refused and said that my insurance would be invalid with no MOT and that trade plates are for them to go about their business, not to get around a vehicle being let go with no MOT.

    I also noticed that the vehicle hadn’t had the manufacturers service carried out which required a timing belt and a few other items, I agreed to take the car back to them as they were reluctant to come and pick it up and borrowed a courtesy vehicle from them while they investigated what happened. They advised me that they had been let down by their MOT centre and wouldn’t use them again and after many phone calls and emails I agreed to contribute £400 towards the full service that was required, I wanted this to validate the 15 month warranty that they had sold me and also because I planned to have the car for a long time. The repair / service / mot took many weeks to complete with no updates unless I chased them, I received no service invoice to detail the work, just a stamp in the service book and a brief description of what had been done. The MOT was a pass with no advisory. Soon after taking the vehicle from them I noticed that the vehicle wasn’t driving right, pulling to the left when setting off and shaking when getting up to speed and braking at speed. I advised the dealer and they agreed for me to take the vehicle back for them to have a look, they had the vehicle for a short time and I believe balanced the wheels which seemed to make the vehicle feel a little better but still not 100%. When setting off the car would shake to the left or right and the shaking when braking was getting worse, I got my father-in-law to have a look at the vehicle as he has worked on a few cars in his time and he has said that the wishbones have no rubber seal around them as they have perished and there is a lot of play, the vehicle clunks when turning the steering wheel. I asked the dealer to take the vehicle back and to thoroughly check it over, rectifying this fault and anything else that was present on the car already. The dealer got very annoyed with me and said they had already spent a lot of money on the vehicle and asked if I just wanted my money back, to which I initially refused saying I just wanted the car putting right and felt that I had been more than patient and accommodating with everything that had gone on previously. He did agree to look over the vehicle but said there was nothing wrong with it and that I was just being picky and expecting a new car.

    It was at this point that I agreed to return the vehicle for a full refund and also for the £400 back that I had contributed to the service (which should have been completed prior to selling the vehicle as it was overdue) the steering rack and everything else were needed to legally pass the cars MOT. I also want the £180 back for the warranty that I brought. The dealer is telling me he will only refund me the price of the car and that I won’t be getting back my £400 contribution for the service or a refund on the warranty. Is there anything I can do about this? Am I entitled to a refund for the extra items?



    • Hi Jon. The Consumer Rights Act only refers to a refund of the vehicle price, which doesn’t account for road tax or any other expenses. So technically, they don’t have to refund you for the service contribution or the warranty (which you should be able to cancel with the warranty provider for at least a partial refund).

      The dealer should not have let you take the car away without taxing it, as it would not have been taxed or insured when you drove it home. They absolutely should not be offering trade plates as some kind of solution to the vehicle failing an MOT. You could bring this up and threaten to report them to Trading Standards if they don’t refund you for your additional expenses, but there is no guarantee they would agree – indeed, they may dig their heels in further and contest your rejection altogether.

      If the case ended up in court, the judge would work through your issues one by one, and there is no guarantee you would win in the end. Even if you did, there is certainly no guarantee that you would be awarded the extra £580 for warranty and service costs, let alone your court costs and legal fees. You may well be best placed to take the refund for the vehicle and then report them to Trading Standards for their poor behaviour. It won’t help you recover the additional costs, but it might stop them repeating the behaviour to other customers.

    • Stuart,

      Many thanks for the reply, I was thinking that was my best option, to receive the refund for the vehicle and then pursue the additional costs separately. Would it be worthwhile having the vehicle MOT’d again today to see whether or not it would pass, I believe with the steering issue it would fail. Would that add any weight then to any legal case / trading standards involvement to show that just over a week from the last MOT being a pass with no advisory items that it now fails?

      I looked and the warranty states that I only have 7 days to cancel it, I noticed that the mileage of the vehicle was recorded wrong on the warranty paperwork and the dealer ticked to say it was free from defects when at that time it actually had a failed MOT with defects known to them so would that void the warranty altogether, it also stated that the vehicle was serviced up to date in line with the manufacturers guidelines which again at that time it wasn’t. Also we split the cost of the warranty and I paid the dealer so would the warranty company be in a position to refund me anyway? The only reason that I contributed towards the service was to ensure that the vehicle had the major work done as required for the age and mileage because the dealer was only offering to do a basic oil and filter change for me.



    • I don’t know if you have any strong legal grounds for reclaiming the additional money, so it would be more a case of negotiation. I am surprised the warranty documentation only allows 7 days for cancellation; it should be at least 14. It’s possibly out of date paperwork.

      Any MOT inspection will be recorded, so if the vehicle does pass a test today then you are weakening your own case. Even if it failed, the dealer would potentially argue that you must have tampered with the vehicle since it was passed by an independent MOT station only one week previously. I don’t know that it would help you overall.

    • Stuart,

      Even 14 days wouldn’t be enough because although I only picked the car up on the 13/12/16 I originally paid for the car and had the warranty started from 25/11/16, I had the car for 1 day and then returned it for the work to be done, that is what frustrates me even more that although legally I have paid for the car on the 25/11/16 I didn’t get to drive it properly until the 13/12/16.



  42. Hi Stuart,

    Is there any time limit over how long the dealer can take to fix/remedy a fault? I bought a brand new A45 AMG, 1500 miles in and 2 months after purchasing and it has a gearbox problem. They have advised that a whole replacement gearbox and transmission is required and I can no longer drive it until it’s fixed. It’s been 2 weeks so far and they can’t tell me how long it’s going to be until the parts arrive to fix it.

    So is there any time limit you can hold them to that if they don’t meet would mean you could legally reject?


    • Hi Adam. I’m not sure is there is a specific limit. If you are not getting any suitable response for the dealer, I suggest you contact Mercedes-Benz UK and complain about the situation.

      To be fair, replacing an entire engine and gearbox is a massive expense (probably around £10,000 or more), so the manufacturer will have very demanding expectations before agreeing to source a replacement. And AMG engines aren’t exactly kept in stock, so presumably a new one has to be ordered and built specifically for your car. It’s a serious undertaking, especially since AMG still promises that all engines are hand-built by one person which is much slower than grabbing a spare one off a production line.

    • Thanks Stuart, but it’s gearbox and transmission, not engine. It’s been a month now and it’s still not completed and the car is sitting at the garage.

      I paid £45k cash for the car and I’m really worried that this work showing on the digital service history will only serve to accelerate the already massive depreciation on these cars.

      This seems entirely unfair since all I’ve done is hand over the cash and have now been without use of my car or an equivalent replacement for over a month, a third of the time I’ve owned it!

      I wondered if I had any legal grounds to demand a full refund as I’m still no closer to knowing if and when it might be fixed. I feel totally conned and helpless.

      Thanks for your help,


    • By the way I have already contacted MB UK and the AMG specific service line to no avail, no one can tell me when it’s going to be fixed.

  43. I agreed to buy a used car from a dealer and paid a small deposit. Nearly five weeks later the v5c still hasn’t turned up (personalised plate change) and the dealer is suggesting I apply for a new one. As I haven’t yet paid for the car and won’t buy it without the v5c can I cancel the sale?

    • Hi Nigel. I don’t think that DVLA inefficiency is an acceptable reason for cancelling a vehicle purchase. Unless there is a specified delivery date on the contract which the dealer is unable to meet, you would still be expected to take delivery of the car.

      Personalised plate changes are incredibly and painfully slow. The DVLA is truly the most useless organisation on the face of the planet.

  44. Hi Stuart,
    I wonder if you can advise me? My son bought a 2002 Mini from an independent dealer some 3 months ago. He loves it and it’s fine. However, he has just had it serviced for the first time since his ownership, and it was found to have had water in the power steering and oil somewhere else ( forgive me, I’ve just forgotten where, but the oil should have been in the power steering and the water somewhere else). He’s had to pay around £400 to have it sorted, no harm appears to have been done, but I feel the supplying garage should pay for this. He alternates between the north and south of the country, bought the car in Blackburn, and had the service in Cornwall, hence why it was not serviced at the supplying dealer. Does he have any legal rights if a softly softly approach to the supplying garage is rejected?
    Many thanks
    Nigel Toulson

    • Hi Nigel. Without knowing the full details, it sounds difficult to establish whether there was a fault with the car when it was sold. Given that it’s a 14-year old car (with presumably some considerable mileage) and it has been performing without problems, it would be difficult to pursue the dealer for a £400 repair cost now.

  45. I cant find this covered anywhere I bought a import from a local garage ,I have health problems so I wanted something with more comfort and the car to be higher up as I have nerve damage, spine problems, I looked in the showroom and there was this lovely car its a replica Bentley like the 1950s, went back another day and took it for a test drive, when I got into the car with the salesman I noticed the management light was on also it wouldn’t idle.
    Test drive good got back to the garage and I said to them I have the car has long as you can get me part when I need them they said yes they also told me take it to a garage they use for repairs and they would sort out the idling and the management light, they rang me when it was ready had the car back and within days light back on not idling they took the car back and they said they bring it to me when its ready they did but I must have been back and four 3 times they also wanted to charge me.
    Went back to the garage I bought the car off and its not been friendly so I looked up garages that could do the job they said there was something wrong with a agr valve ? this garage is about 10 miles from me. They rang me told me its ready and they had to repair valve couldn’t get the part.
    So I get there go to the office bill me for something around 180 pound as I’m walking to the car they decide to tell me they had a bit of a accident, on the motorway one side of my wind deflectors blew off, funny they for wind its the full length of the front window to the back and its broken in three places, they are also tinted to go with the car I said what you going to do about this. they said sorry, in a temper I drove home.
    Phoned the garage that sold me the car they were turning me round they little finger, when I needed the part I asked the salesman he said go on the net and get it I said that’s not getting me parts, around this time I’m having a breakdown. This all happened within my 6 months , Well ive had the car a year and a half 3 months ago the air con packed up no one can do the job this also means I have no heating, demister all over winter so if its frozen or heavy rain I cant use the car.
    Talked to the garage who sold me the car yesterday he told me to take it back to the garage they use for repairs, phoned the garage girl answers tells me they don’t work for him no more and the mechanic who work on my car has left or been sacked.
    My management light still comes on and George the owner of the garage who sold me the car, when I told him many times about the management light says don’t worry just drive it, it will be alright. So im still waiting for someone to do the air con and my light is still on.
    The garage is under no scheme, I really don’t know what to do I’ve also paid out around 600 or more I have some receipts some I paid cash. This replica Bentley is a Nissan something on log book but the car is called Mitsuoka Galue 11 1999 auto and everything in the car is Japanese but I can cope with that.
    So please Help. Garages have got it made they get away with murder.
    It’s a 15 year old car that looks like a lovely old Bentley but is a 15 year old Nissan that I part-ex my Merc Convertible and the rest cash total 8 Thousand pound plus extra valium off my Dr .
    This garage has had me running around for months and ive had a mini stroke a couple of weeks ago, Heart Attack, Kidney failure, spine problem, nerve damage and my Dr really has notice since the car my health is suffering and is willing to put it in writing . when on a bit I know. Thanks Byron.

    • Hi Byron. If you have had the car for a year and a half, you don’t have protection from the Consumer Rights Act to reject the car.
      Unfortunately, buying an imported and modified car like the Mitsuoka Galue means you have no idea of the vehicle history prior to it arriving in the UK. Getting parts for a 1990s Nissan Cedric saloon (which is what the car is underneath the faux-Bentley bodywork) will be very difficult in Japan these days, let alone in the UK where it was never sold in the first place. The Mitsuoka alterations are just ugly fibreglass body bits stuck or bolted onto the Nissan chassis underneath, so I’m not surprised bits have been flying off on motorways.
      Buying a 17-year old car which has been unofficially imported at some point and was never sold here is always going to be a very risky investment, but that’s not necessarily the dealer’s fault. You have basically bought a dog of a car.
      The dealership may have failed its obligations with the idling problem if you had a valid used car warranty, but this would have been for a maximum of three months. After that, any problems are yours and not theirs.
      I don’t see how you have any redress against the dealer or the other garage unless they are lying to you. By now, all they want is for you to go away. If you want to pursue either of them, you will need to engage the services of a solicitor and try to find some valid grounds, but that could be an expensive and futile chase. You may be better off to simply cut your losses and sell this awful car.

  46. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a 2014 Ford grand c max from a ford dealership in London for 10400, i paid 5500 in cash and am currently paying the remaining via there in house finance service. The car had done 32000 miles and had just had its 2nd year service the day before i collected.

    I live in Cornwall but traveled to London to buy this as the cars seems to be cheaper the further up country they are. Obviously this means I’ve been using my local ford dealer for my issues.

    Anyway long story short, within 2 weeks i noticed the car was losing engine coolant, i contacted the ford dealer i purchased the car from who advised I get my local Ford dealer to check it out since its still under manufacturing warranty.

    The car has now been to my local ford dealer 4 times over last 3 months about the same problem and is booked in again next week as on the weekend while trying to take my son to hospital i lost hot air and engine temp gauge all over the place and yet again out of engine coolant!

    Ive really lost faith in the car now and while i know i wont get a full refund i wondered if im within my right to request my car is replaced with another car of similar specs?

    Kind regards


  47. Hi there, I wonder if you can help me with my case, it’s as follows;

    I am writing to you for some help and advice. The story begins with me purchasing a vehicle. The vehicle was purchased on 29/10/2016. On the day of purchase I raised a couple of issues with the car. After the car was taken away by a local garage that the firm seems to have a contract with I was assured multiple times there was nothing wrong, just a flat battery causing the starting issues.

    I was willing to agree since the car did look unused for quite a while. However already on the, quite long, trip home there was problems, it was making noises and the engine warning light came on. I called them the next day to again raise this issue, so they suggested I take it to an independent shop to get it checked out. This was something I planned and I did, after a day I was contacted by the garage to let me know that I can pick the car up. Upon that I was made aware of a loose bolt that hold the engine and a loose cable. They suggested that the car be take to a special dealer dealing with hose particular cars. So I phoned up the dealer in question (SLMotorcars) again and let them know of this, as well as over email. They then booked it in a specialized dealer for me and the car was taken there on Wednesday the 9th on November morning, and was released on that following Thursday. Upon picking the car up I was let know that there was work done however the problems went further than that.

    I received a video from the head mechanic that was looking at the car on the day explaining that from what he found out the engine had either been changed or messed around with by an amateur and a bad job was done, to the point where the engine was so loose that it could come undone and fall out at anytime. you can imagine how shocked I was that this car was even road legal and that nothing had happened on the 150 + mile journey home.

    After contacting them again and letting them know that this was the case I asked them if they would be willing to cover all the costs of making the car safe, the answer was no, to which I responded that I would like a refund of the product and that they collect it from me as I am not willing to make that trip again for fear that the car cannot make it. Since then I have not had a correspondence back from them.

    I would like to exercise my right of the ‘The Consumer Rights Act 2015’ and I need your help and guidance of how it is best to do this.

    • Hi Elian. You need to write to the dealership and formally reject the vehicle. The dealer is entitled to one chance to repair the car before rejection, since you are outside the original 30 days of ownership but within six months. If the dealer repairs the car but it does not fix the fault, you are then entitled to proceed with rejecting the vehicle.

      If the dealer refuses to accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action to force the issue. This will usually mean hiring a solicitor to represent you.

  48. Hi There
    I purchased a car and after 14 days the head gasket went on it? I have had some repair work done but I want to return the car to the dealer?
    Is this possible after having some repair work done which was not authorised by the dealer?

    • Hi Zakir. It depends on why you chose to take the car elsewhere instead of back to the dealer. It is reasonable for a dealer to expect that if you have a problem with your newly-purchased car, you bring it back for them to look at rather than taking it elsewhere. However, that is not always practical (eg – you may live a long way away from the dealer, or it may have been an emergency that required immediate repair).

      There is nothing in the Consumer Rights Act which says you can’t have it repaired elsewhere, but it does make it harder to argue your case with the dealer (or a judge, if it gets to court). The dealer is also unlikely to reimburse you for your costs to the other workshop.

  49. Hi Stuart.

    The carpet was hidden under the mats – we didn’t check under the mats – schoolboy error I know – the car was advertised as excellent condition ( with no specific reference to the carpets). If we had looked under the mats and seen this we wouldn’t have bought the car.

    So you mean there no comeback to the dealership – the car has a 3 month warranty but I assume that is useless.
    So no come back on the 30 day law to reject the car?

    Would we have any recourse under the credit card we used to buy it with ?

    • As annoying as the issue may be, I don’t think that the dealer, the credit card company or the courts would say that it constitutes a significant fault with the vehicle. A significant fault has to be something which stops the car from doing its job, and some torn carpeting underneath the floor mats would almost certainly not meet that criteria.

  50. Hi we bought a 3 year old car from Evans Halshaw three weeks ago. tonight my wife found the carpet is all ripped and dameged with the foam missing leaving numerous holes in the flooring under the drivers side floor mat. Should the dealership repair this for us – or should we have spotted this when we bought the car?

    • Hi Sena. Unless you are suggesting that the carpet wasn’t like that when you first saw the car, or the carpets were advertised as being excellent condition, you don’t really have any right to ask the dealer to repair it. It’s a used car and the original owner wasn’t necessarily kind to it.

  51. Hi Stuart
    I hope you can shed some light. I purchased a 2006 Mini Cooper S in July 2016 with 93K miles for £3750. The Dealer put it through MOT and all was well. The car suddenly stopped working we had it towed to a garage for them to look at it. It turns out the housing for the timing chain has slipped and bent all 16 Valves and will cost £1200 for parts and unsure of labor costs on top. I contacted the dealer to advise and he told me I was 2 weeks outside of my 3 month warranty and he wont consider looking at it. i have sent him a letter asking him to consider the cost of repair or take the car back. It has only been driven minimal miles during the 3 month period and i replaced 2 front Tyre’s shortly after purchase and also repaired the horn – other than that the car seemed sound. My question is should he have advised us that the timing housing belt etc should be considered due to the cars mileage. I have an appointment with a solicitor to see what if anything can be done. I’m at a loss as i cant afford repairs and to be honest I cant warrant spending more than the car is worth on repairs. Thanks in advance for any help you can advise.

    • Hi Ruth. With a car that age and mileage, it will be difficult to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. You need to show that the car was faulty when sold, and cases that have gone to court since the new Act came into force have seen considerable lenience applied to used cars with high mileage.
      I would have thought you would only really have a solid case if you can show that the dealer failed to show you the service records, or they were not provided with the car. If you had all the records, a judge (and lawyers for the dealer) are likely to suggest that you should have taken action to make sure the timing chain was serviced.
      The solicitor may be able to explore your situation in more depth and provide an angle to argue your case, so hopefully something will come of that.

  52. Hi Stuart, I purchase a vehicle a week ago, on my return home it was evident I could not park it on my steep drive, the handbrake being totally ineffective even when placed in gear the car was creaking and groaning, so have resigned myself to the fact I will have to try and always park on the flat with the car in gear (for extra peace of mind) I contacted an independent Volvo garage for a price for repair, it was explained to me it is a common fault on this particular model, the price for repair would be £450, I was aware the car already needed a tyre (at a cost of £120) but was not prepared for a bill of £450, considering I have just paid £12,000 for the car I am left fuming, the car has only recently passed its MOT, 2 weeks ago, not sure how because the handbrake is ineffective even on slight gradients, I have informed the car dealership who have asked me to return the car for inspection by their “Brake Specialist” but lets face reality we all know how car dealers operate if they can get away without footing the bill they will, tomorrow I am taking the vehicle to my own garage for inspection I would rather trust an independent to a garage associated to a car dealership (especially it its the same garage that issued the MOT) the MOT advisories mention both front and rear discs were corroded, there is also another advisory on the MOT which will cost £130 to fix, my question is if my garage tells me the handbrake efficiency would not pass an MOT am I within my rights to return the vehicle for a full refund ? I really can’t be bothered with arguments between garage mechanics and dealers, to cut to the chase I have paid £12,000 for a vehicle that I have no confidence in parking on any type of gradient

    • Hi Phil. You will need proof that the handbrake is ineffective if you want to go through the rejection process. The selling dealer is entitled to inspect the car (which they absolutely will) before agreeing to any rejection.
      It may be that they agree with you and offer to repair the car for free. That may be a better and easier option than going through the hassle of rejecting the vehicle.

  53. Hi I bought a car which was 5 years old from a dealer. After 3 weeks I noticed all the back seats were wet. I looked in the boot and it was saturated. In the boot well easy 6 inches of water so their was a serious leak somewhere. I took the car back to the dealer where they said they would look at it. The next day I told them I wasn’t happy as I have to carry my children in the back. There was mould growing. Anyway they said I can’t have a refund but they would look at it. I said ok but want it in writing that if it happened again I can bring it back and so they agreed. Before I was due to collect it i asked them for the agreed condition in writing and they refused. Once again I told them and wrote to them that I wished to reject the car. They wrote some nasty emails to me and refused saying they will leave my car on public road as they had no space in their yard. This all happened within the 30 days of purchase. I know ow this is not a mechanical fault but it’s still not satisfactory as I need the back seats for my children. What can I do? Am I entitled to a refund for this serious leak?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Mark. This does sound like a significant fault, as it is clearly affecting the car’s ability to do its job. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the dealer will play along and happily refund your money, as you have found. You will need to take legal action to successfully reject the car and get your money back. You can ask for some advice at, which is an excellent consumer legal advice site, but you will almost certainly need to employ your own solicitor.

  54. Hi ive juat bought a 53 plate fiat punto as a cheap run around for £500 within 6 days the power steering has failed, engine management light has come on… and engine is leaking oil, contacted the garage (small garage selling about 5 cars at a time) he just said tough, my receipt clearly states all cars sold as seen no warrenty, exchange or refund… i said Ill ring trading standards he just laughed… worst of it is, it passed an MOT the day before and has numerous niggles that werent even advisories like faulty wipers, seat bot reclining… garage is no help at all…. what could I do?

    • Hi Ben. I’m fairly sure that his receipt doesn’t invalidate the law regarding the Consumer Rights Act. However, your chances of getting a rejection are probably going to be slim. The dealer clearly has no intention of co-operating, so trying to force the issue is likely to cost more than the car is worth, with no guarantee of success. In cases that have gone to court since the new Act came into law, the judges have been quite favourable to used car dealers – especially on older, high-mileage vehicles.
      Any car costing only £500 from a dealer (who has to make a profit margin on the sale, meaning they paid basically nothing for it) is going to be a lottery.

  55. My son in law bought a 2011 Peugeot from a dealer, it cost £3295.
    Within 12 days the clutch cable snapped while driving & this resulted in a minor accident.
    The insurance company deducted excess & the remaining policy cost & awarded him £1556

    As this fault occurred within 12 days of purchase, can he raise any case against the dealer?

    It’s so unfair that he’s list his car & half its cost within 2 weeks!

    After the accident the dealer towed the car to their garage, so surely this implies they knew they had some responsibility.

    • Hi Cher. To deal with the last point first, the dealer agreeing to tow the car to their garage does not imply any responsibility. It would need to go back to them to be inspected as part of any claim under the Consumer Rights Act anyway, so it did your son-in-law a favour, rather than him having it towed home and then towed off to the dealer later on.

      With regard to the failure itself, it would depend on the nature of the failure and whether the cable was faulty when sold or caused by the driver after the sale. This may be difficult to show if there is other accident damage. My best advice would be to seek some legal assistance to help you argue your case.

  56. Hi Stuart
    We bought a 2015 used car on the 16th November. The following day we did a trip of roughly 40 miles and found a problem with the heating in the car. Although the heater worked fine in the foot well, along the passenger door side of the car was freezing cold. The cold also seemed to be coming up through the seat and resulted in an icy back and leg. Also after around 20 miles the car developed a vibration/buzzing on the dashboard that persisted the whole journey. We rang the dealership and then took the car in for them to look at on Tuesday 22nd. They rang later that day and said they could find nothing wrong with it. Can you advice as to if we have any Consumer Rights please.


    • Hi Sue. If you want to reject the vehicle, you will need evidence of a fault to back up your claim. The dealer has said that they dispute your claim that the vehicle is faulty, so you will need to find an independent party (ie – another garage) to provide a written report that the heater is faulty. This will need to be at your expense – you can negotiate the cost being refunded as part of the rejection, but there is no obligation for the dealer to repay it.

  57. Hi Stuart

    My partner bought a car from a garage about 6 months ago. The car came with a private registration plate as did the V5 document. Whilst out driving he was followed and then approached by the “owner” of this private plate… where does he stand with this? Who’s responsibility is it and who owns the plate?


    • Hi Lisa. If the vehicle was part-exchanged with the number plate included, there is nothing the former owner can do about it. The car was sold with that number plate and therefore it belongs to the new owner (your partner). If the former owner did not intend for the car to be sold on with the number plate, it is up to him to take that up with the dealer he sold it to. Not your problem.

  58. Hi,
    Here is an interesting one. I bought a car from a dealer for £14,500. When I got home I discovered the spare wheel was missing and the spare wheel carrier had been cut.

    I spoke to last owner and they confirmed this happened two years ago and was never sorted.

    The dealer is being really bad about it so I’m thinking small claims court but am I right in thinking as the spare wheel was a basic part of the car and the carrier a part of the body they are liable for this as they didn’t tell me?

    • Hi Lee. It would depend on whether the car was advertised as including a spare wheel or whether anything was ever discussed (presumably not, or else you wouldn’t have only discovered it once you got home). If it’s a used car, you can’t assume that it is still in its original factory specification, and if it came from an independent garage then it’s possible the dealer never even looked to see if it had a spare wheel.

    • So are dealers able to sell a vehicle which has had a part cut off and deny knowledge and get away with it? I thought if something was missing that came as standard there is an expectation for that part to be there unless notified otherwise?

    • If it is a used car, there is no obligation for it to be sold in its original condition with original equipment. You would only have a valid claim if the car was advertised with a particular feature that it didn’t have.

  59. Hi Stuart

    1 month ago i have bought a Vauxhall Corsa 2012 from Stoneacre.
    I used the car for 1.5 week and i have noticed some faults that i didnt on the test drive as it took 10-15 mins, for the past two weeks the car is a the service at the dealer and i have a feeling i keep getting told lies. every time i ring (as i never get a call of them even tho they promise to ring me) i get told that it will take another couple of days… and each time i ring there is a new problem with the car, so im not happy about that as I will be taking the car for a euro trip this christmas and I dont think i would trust this car now… They cant provide me with a courtesy car as i dont have my licence long enough.So basiclly i’m paying for something that i dont have….
    Can i return the car to them ? (Hire purchase)


  60. Hi Stuart. I bought a car 2 months ago from a dealer and within a couple of weeks the engine light came on. I took it to my local trusted garage (not dealer) who said that there were something like 15 engine codes being stored. He reset them and said to come back if it came back on so he could diagnose the fault. A few days later the light came back on and we took it back. The car needed a new EGR valve which the garage sorted for £200.
    About 2 weeks ago the engine light came on again and the car started juddering. We took it back to our local garage who said that there was a major fault with the engine (cylinder 1 lacked any compression) and that it would probably cost at least £800 to try to fix it although couldn’t guarantee it would work. We took it back to the dealer who initially said he could fix it although now has contacted us to say that it isn’t fixable. Dealer has offered to give us “some money back but obviously not all”.
    Retrospectively we should have gone back to the dealer at first hint of a fault but I am not sure where we stand now? Also, understand the onus of proof is on the dealer to prove the fault wasn’t there at purchase but in practice is there an argument that the fault was there even if the engine light wasn’t on at time of purchase (although not convinced wasn’t recently reset by dealer!).

    • Hi Tim. If you are rejecting the vehicle outside the first 30 days, the dealer is entitled to deduct an amount for usage/wear and tear. There is no legal directive as to how much this is, so it is completely negotiable.

      Make sure you have written reports/diagnosis from the third-party garage of the nature of the faults to back up your case if there is any dispute. You may want to seek legal assistance if the dealer is trying to deduct an unreasonable amount from the refund amount.

  61. Hi Stuart
    i bought a car less than 2 weeks ago and paid with bank transfer.Although it still drives it seems that the clutch could be failing i have just looked at the receipt and it has “vehicle has been tried and tested by customer. sold with all known and unknown faults ” stamped on it . i didn’t notice any problems when i took it for a test drive but i have only covered 300 miles most of them on the motorway . Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Stu. Their stamp on the receipt is meaningless, as far as I am aware. Any “known faults” which have been discussed prior to sale should be listed on the vehicle sale contract. And they can’t dismiss the Consumer Rights Act for any “unknown faults” by putting a stamp on a receipt.

  62. Hi Stuart, I am just thinking about buying a Mercedes C Class from a dealer who has said that they will deliver it to me for £400. I am happy with this as I do not have the time to go down there and collect it my self. They have comprehensively described the condition of the car to me over the phone as well as sending me some close up pictures of areas that they described as “few stone chips” etc. I am happy with what I have seen and heard from them. They require a £500 holding deposit which is refundable if the car is not as described when they deliver it to me but they said the £400 delivery is not refundable. Is this correct?

    • Hi Jonathan. As long as they have stated that clearly (which they have), they are allowed to charge you for delivery/return and refuse to refund that fee if you change your mind.

      Your £500 deposit on the vehicle is refundable as it is being purchased off-premises.

  63. Hi Stuart
    I have just found out that my rejection for my faulty vehicle has been upheld after months of back and forth. they have agreed to settle the finance agreement and refund my deposit. However they are not willing to refund me the monthly payments that I have been paying for my vehicle since June. My vehicle has been with the dealership since July. The reason they have given is because they had provided me with a courtesy car. This courtesy does not even match the specification of the vehicle that I purchased. furthermore I had to argue with the dealership to provide me with a courtesy whilst my vehicle was with them for repairs. I even told the dealership to take the courtesy car back after the first attempt of repair as it was not practical for me being a manual and a much smaller car. They refused to take the courtesy car back and suggested that I should keep it in case more problems arise with my vehicle.
    Are they allowed to do this? This whole situation has left me very upset and frustrated. I have spent my entire maternity leave arguing with this company about a car that I purchased brand new in good faith to find that not only is it not road worthy but also not safe for me to be driving my family around in. The manufacturer themselves have confirmed that the gearbox needs replacing. Furthermore I have not breeched my financial contract in any way and have continued to make monthly payments for a vehicle I don’t even have which accumulates to over £1200. I want to completely come out of this agreement and have all my money refunded. Please advise me further. Thanks

    • Hi Afshan. The dealer is entitled to deduct for damage, wear and tear. The Consumer Rights Act makes no provision for courtesy cars or anything else, so it is likely to come down to an argument as to whether it is fair for the dealer to deduct for the use of a loan car. You will need to engage legal assistance if you want to fight the dealer over it.

  64. Hi Stuart,
    It is regarding the papermark on the windscreen while it was kept in the warehouse.
    The dealer failed to clean the mark and they have advised to contact Nissan for a windscreen replacement.
    I contacted Nissan but the Nissan said that this is due to a external factor and it is not a manufacturing fault (no windscreen replacement is available).
    Therefore they have concluded that if the dealership fail to clean there is nothing that they can do.

    What are my consumer rights in this case?
    Your advice is highly appreciated.

    • With regards to the Consumer Rights Act, your grievance is with the dealer. If Nissan UK has concluded that there was no fault with the car when it was officially handed over to the dealership, there is no prospect of warranty cover for the windscreen. That means you will need to pursue the dealer to replace the windscreen at their cost.

    • I think you would be hard pressed convincing a judge that the whole vehicle is faulty and worthy of rejection; I would have though that the most likely outcome in a court would be for the judge to order the dealer to replace the windscreen at their cost (I am amazed that no-one is able to clean this glass properly).

  65. Hi Stuart,
    we bought a car two months ago from a dealer, and he informed us that there was a noise in the engine which was inaudible to us (we are no car experts..).

    The dealer stated in the invoice: “Advertised and sold with a known problem. Ticking/knocking noise from engine, 0/5/R Door fault”.

    When he drove the car with us, he did say about the noise, but said he did not know why it was making this noise. He said the car could well last a year and that we could bring it back after a year and exchange it for a better one at some discount.

    We were of the understanding that such noise was a minor problem and that the car would last at least a year.

    However after two months the noise became audible and took it to a local mechanic, who said the engine is faulty and will need to be replaced a t a cost of £1500. We called the dealer and he said he did tell us about the noise and that if it breaks down is not his problem.

    Is this classed as “not as described” because he did not give us the full information and did not say it was likely to break down? Or is there really nothing we can do about it because he mentioned the noise, and it was our own ignorance not to guess it would break down quickly?

    More over, we have written a negative review about poor customer service and he has been texting and calling theatening us with taking legal action against us if we do not remove that review.

    Do we have the right to ask him to repair the engine at his cost?

    Thank you so much for your help

    • Hi Adri. In terms of arguing the meaning of what has been written, you would need to engage a legal specialist to assist. From a lay-person view, I wouldn’t think your chances are very good. If the contract stated that the car was “advertised and sold with a known problem”, then that’s what you’ve signed up for. The verbal discussion around that problem is largely irrelevant (and not provable).

      The customer review issue is entirely unrelated. If you are being threatened, you can and should contact the police. He can only really complain or take legal action if you have written an objectively false or libellous review. If you want to post the link to the review, we can look and see whether anything you have written seems unfair or libellous.

  66. Hi.
    Bought a car brand new on PCP exactly a year ago today. It has been back 5 times to the dealership since then. First problem was within the first 2 weeks when it rained and realised there was a leak in the roof. Took it back 6 months down the line due to intermittently flashing warning signs in the dashboard. The engine and traction signs in amber. The warning lights came back 2 weeks after the car was returned to me every time it went in. They had the car for 6 weeks in August – September because they had to “take the engine apart” to fix the problem. Car was losing power as well as the flashing lights when I took it in August. I thought that was the end of it. Lights came on again in October and when I contacted them they said they’d have another look when it goes in for the annual service. It lost power again last week and I had smoke coming inside the car from the engine. The engine sign was solid red this time and stop the engine sign also came on with all sort of noises. Terrifying! Stopped the car and was recovered to the nearest Vauxhall dealership. My safety has been compromised twice with the power loss in awkward situations, once going up a hill and the other on an A- road. I’ve lost 3 days of work in the last 1 year because of the car problems. It’s just problem after problem.

    I wrote to the dealership and their head office to reject the car as it’s not fit for purpose. The sales consultant who sold the car to me has arranged a meeting with me this weekend. An ideal resolution would be an exchange for a new car as I don’t have trust in that car anymore. Given that I’ve had the car for 1 year, what are my chances of successfully rejecting the car? Your advice is highly appreciated


    • Hi Will. You won’t be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act unless the dealership has had the car for more than six months of the last year (probably unlikely). However, if you involve Vauxhall’s head office as well as the dealer, and make sure you are speaking directly to someone more superior than the sales executive (who has no authority to offer you anything, and will simply be trying to sell you another car), then your chances are going to be better.

      Ideally, you should have rejected the car while you were still within the first six months of ownership, as your rights are much stronger. Although your car is still under warranty, there is no clear legal provision to reject the car after a year. What the dealer is likely to offer is a discount on another new or used car, probably offering to buy your car back at more than market value and possibly settling your finance agreement. The sales executive is likely to have been authorised a level of discount to offer you on another new car, but it almost certainly won’t be a simple exchange of your current car for a new one.

      For more information, have a read of our article on handling a dispute with a car dealer.

  67. Hi. I purchased a used car just under 6 months ago. I noticed a whirring noise when in 3rd and 4th gear but thought nothing of it. It has gradually got worse since I had a mechanic friend have a quick look and he suspects a gearbox fault. Would this be covered?

    • Hi Ben. It depends what is causing the noise, and whether it is something that is likely to have been present when you bought the car. The Act does not cover faults which have developed after the sale, and if you have had the car for nearly six month already, it makes it difficult to prove.

  68. Bought a 2 and a half year old Nissan Note a week and a half ago with only 13500 miles on the clock. I have noticed that there is a considerable creaking noise when going over speed bumps and some rattling and have brought that to the attention of the dealer who have booked it in to do an investigation. However they have informed us that they will charge for the investigation and any repairs necessary. I would not think that it would be reasonable to expect suspension problems on a car with such low mileage. Since buying the vehicle there has also been a very noticeable candy type smell which has not gone away. I have read since that this could be a sign of a coolant leak. Would you say that it would be a reasonable expectation to expect the dealer to cover the cost of any repairs and, if these prove to be significant issues would a return with full refund be a reasonable expectation?

    • Hi Graeme. If you bought the car from a Nissan dealer, the selling dealer would usually agree to investigate without charging when you have only had it a few days. Also, the car is likely to still be under its new car warranty. If it turned out that the problem was not warranty-related or it was your own fault (ie – you damaged the suspension by going too fast over a speed bump), they would then charge you.

      If, however, you bought the car from an independent garage then they are almost always going to insist on charging for any investigation. Should it turn out that the car has a problem that would be covered under warranty or the Consumer Rights Act, that charge would be refunded.

      Until you know what the actual faults are, it is impossible to know whether they would be considered significant under the Consumer Rights Act.

  69. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a car from a second hand car dealer in April 2016. There was a fault with parking brake identified before I purchased the car and the second hand car dealer had it fixed. I was not happy with the performance of the parking brake and reported it within 30 days of buying the car. He recommended and paid for it to go to his local service garage for repair. I took it back a number of times, still unhappy with the performance. He then recommended taking it to a main dealership for repair. They have repaired the car but the parking brake cable has failed (snapped) 3 times. I have lost patience now and the citizens advice bureau (CAB) recommended I use the Consumer Rights Act to reject the car, even though it is 7 months after I purchased the car. The second hand car dealer is refusing my request and says that my issue should be with the main dealer who undertook the repair, even though the second hand car dealer paid for and was invoiced for the repair.

    Is the CAB advice correct?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Seanius. If you are moving to reject the car, it goes back to the selling dealer. It is entirely irrelevant who they authorised to attempt to repair the fault.

      The Consumer Rights Act only covers you for the first six months of ownership, but this does not include time where the car was in for repairs or booked and waiting for its appointment. So if the car has been at the dealership (or its nominated garage) for more than a month, or if you have booked an appointment but have had to wait because the dealer was busy, you could well still be inside the six-month window.

  70. Hi stuart the car is a Vauxhall vectors 07 automatic its done 82000 miles it cost us 2,800 is that considered old I suppose it is.The dealer has just rang and said it’s fixed so fingers crossed
    Thanks for replying and your comments


  71. My husband just bought a car from a second hand dealer he did an MOT and the brakes failed so he had it all done
    Then he said I need to get the electric windows fixed . So he took it his garage and they seemed to be working fine but my husband had only tried them from the driver’s side switch. So he part exchanged his car paid up and drive home seemingly happy. The next day when we went out in it I tried the passenger side window and it didn’t work neither do the back windows they all only work on the driver’s switch my husband rang the guy and asked for his money back but he said he couldn’t have it back he would take it back to his garage again to get it fixed properly. He has now had it two days and still not fixed.he also said as it is a minor fault he couldn’t get his money back we have a three month warranty. Where do we stand on this issue please.
    Thank you

    • Hi Cathy. If we are talking about a reasonably old car with plenty of miles, you are less likely to be able to successfully reject the car because some of the electric windows don’t work. If it is a near-new car, it’s a much more reasonable concern.

      There is no clear guidance as to what constitutes a significant fault on a used car. On cases brought to court so far, judges appear to have made significant allowances for age and mileage.

  72. Hi Stuart
    A fault in my car became apparent within a few days of buying it from a SEAT main dealer. It’s used, but only 11 months old. The fault is intermittent though. I think it’s possibly the clutch slipping. The engine speed suddenly increases while accelerating. The rev counter needle goes well into red. The happened last Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. It didn’t occur later on Thursday or on Friday. I was so shocked to have a fault within the first week of ownership I decided to reject the car. But, I wonder how a court would deal with a case where the dealer hadn’t even observed the fault.

    • Hi Ian. Intermittent faults are difficult, because the dealer may have gone through all the correct procedures and nothing was evident.

      Without knowing what the actual fault it, it is hard to judge whether it is likely to be considered a reasonable basis for rejecting the car.

  73. Hi Stuart,
    I purchased a VW polo from the car people of Sheffield on 28/06/2016 and although I had noticed the car did not start first time on a handful of occasions I thought this was due to the clutch not being depressed fully initially as removing the key and trying again it would start. At the beginning of October I noticed the problem was significantly worse and becoming more frequent. I took my car to a garage I use regularly to see if it was something simple like the battery. They diagnosed a few potential faults starter motor, clutch sensor but were not confident to fit parts as they could not state a definite cause. I contacted the car people who said they would have the car in for repair at my cost as it was outside of their 90 day warranty. I was also advised by the garage that it would be better to take it to a VW main dealership as they had access to more information on wiring diagrams etc which they thought could be the problem. I chose to take it to the dealer for diagnostic and informed the car people I was taking it there. The customer service manager at the car people said as the fault was intermittent and unclear that the dealership was the best place for it. After one week the VW dealer said they thought it was the starter motor and replaced this at a cost of £440 which I paid, within 2 hours of collection the car faulted again and would not start. I took it back to the dealers who are now still another week later struggling to diagnose the fault. They will refund me the £440 and give me the car back on Wednesday as they without starting to strip the car down (at my cost) can not diagnose the fault. The car people will only offer to take the car in for free diagnostic and a repair at my cost. I also must get the vehicle back to them which will involve costs of recovery if it won’t start. Having had guidance from citizens advice as it is within the first 6 months I have a right to reject the car, and should be offered a repair, replacement or refund. The car people are refusing to acknowledge this stating simply the fault was not present at the time of purchase and occurred outside their 90 day warranty. Citizens advice said I should also be entitled to an independent diagnosis at the car people’s cost to ensure the findings are unbiased and they should bear the cost of collecting the vehicle, which they will not accept. I am struggling to decide on the next course of action, once I return the vehicle to the car people I will no longer have a loan car unless I accept a repair being carried out at my expense by the car people in this case they will offer a loan vehicle. I am wondering if due to their refusal to acknowledge any rights under the consumer rights act whether to arrange return of the car and send a letter stating my rejection and request for a replacement as I understand it then they can choose to offer a repair, does this still have to be at my cost. The car is only 3 years and six months old with low mileage, I have only owned the car 4 months and 10 days and travelled 2000 miles since purchase. I have no protection as I obtained a personal loan and paid by debit card and a trade in valued at £4100 I paid nearly £11000 and am stuck paying a loan for a car I can not use. Please please help, citizens advice are good but they do not tell you what to do when the dealer refuses to act in accordance with the consumer rights act. I do not feel given my length of ownership I should be in this position facing extreme costs to get the vehicle roadworthy also now I am so angry at the car people and have a loss of confidence in the car with two reputable garages unable to fix it, I really think I’d prefer to reject it.

    Thank you in advance, Emma

    • Hi Emma. If the dealer does not want to acknowledge a rejection under the Consumer Rights Act, you basically have to take legal action against them to reject the car.

      Intermittent faults are always difficult to prove, as the car may genuinely perform faultlessly when it is taken into the dealership for inspection. The dealership is also entitled to expect you to pay for diagnostics and repairs that fall outside your warranty unless you are rejecting the vehicle, so you need to be clear in your communications with them: either you are following the Consumer Rights Act to pursue a rejection or you are trying to get the problem fixed with the intention of keeping the car.

      In terms of your entitlement to an independent diagnosis at the dealer’s cost, that is not written or implied in the Act. If you successfully reject the car, you can reasonably ask for those costs to be reimbursed, but you don’t have the right to demand tha the dealer pay for an independent inspection elsewhere – that’s your responsibility as part of you proving a fault with the car.

      The dealer does not have to accept another garage’s failure to fix the problem – it must be the selling dealer (or their nominated agent) who is unable to fix the vehicle before you can reject it.

    • Hi Stuart,
      Sorry I’ve posted twice as couldn’t see this initially.
      Therefore from your response I am going to arrange for the vehicle to be took back to the car people and hand in with the keys a formal letter of rejection giving my reasons why.

      What will be the next course of action if they refuse it?

    • Once you file your letter of rejection, it is the dealer’s responsibility to collect the car at their cost (unless there was anything in the contract which says otherwise). You don’t need to deliver it to them.

      If they refuse to accept your rejection (which is their right, of course), then your next step is either to work through the government’s new Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme or take legal action against the dealer.

    • I understand I can choose to reject for replacement instead of repair but ultimately this is their choice as to the best solution economically, what are my rights to a loan vehicle providing in either case and a reasonable length of time to wait for resolution. Or do I formally have to reject the car for a refund and then negotiate? I wish to reject the car and that is final but they have a right to repair it as its past 30 days. Thanks

    • Correct; the dealer is entitled to one chance to repair the fault if you make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act. If that repair does not fix the problem, you can proceed to rejecting the vehicle under the Act.

  74. One thing not mentioned in the article is if a person obtains finance through a intermediate broker.

    If this happens, the finance company matched to the application is likely to consider the broker as the dealer and not the end dealership who physically delivers the car. In the event of a fault, the purchaser NEEDS to go to the finance company and not to the dealership.

    We have been stung with this with a Zafira B that we have discovered after 8 months has a long-standing head gasket issue. As we used our own garage to examine the car, we lost all rights under CRA to pursue a rejection.

    • Hi Brian. It will depend on how the finance and the vehicle purchase has been arranged. The broker does not usually sell the vehicle, so they can’t be held responsible for its condition. And there is absolutely nothing to stop you having another garage examine your vehicle to help you pursue your right to reject. You mentioned that you discovered a problem after eight months; this is what is likely to be stopping you from pursuing your right to reject the vehicle, as the Consumer Rights Act only covers faults within six months of purchase.
      Yes, you will need to involve your finance company, as the vehicle belongs to them and not you. But ultimately the rejection has to go back to the selling dealer, not the broker.

  75. Bought a new car via Nissan finance and the car experience some hesistation or flat spot on pullway when you are accelerating at around 40mph. In order to protect my purchase I have specifically asked the saleman about the gearbox and he said that the car drives very smoothly and he demonstated this using a sketch with a straight line. Definitely not as described and this hesistation is uncomfortable when you drive.

    The car was booked for a ECM software update but this did not help at all. Then the dealership booked an extended test drive by a field engineering which recorded the driving with a debugger tool.

    Although, initially they said it maybe a fault now they are saying that after the extended road test there is no fault with the car and this is probably a characteristic of the new gearbox.

    I tried to reject the car “as not as described” but they are not accepting my rejection letter. Also their excuse is because I have test drove the actual vehicle and they have done everything that it was expected in this situation.

    Do I lose my rights “as not as described” because I have tested drive the car before purchase.
    Does this give the right salesman to describe and sketch the gearbox as smooth without consequences?
    Is that anything else that I can do when Nissan denies that they is a clear fault with the vehicle although there some driving hesitation around 40 mph?


    • Hi Peter. You can’t use a salesman’s verbal description or an informal sketch as an excuse to reject a vehicle. You would need written proof in a verifiable format (eg – an email from the company account, or a letter on company letterhead), otherwise it is simply deniable. Rejecting a car for not being as described or advertised would only apply to official and/or verifiable descriptions of a vehicle’s specification or qualities (eg – a car was advertised as being fitted with a particular feature, but when it was delivered that feature was not present). This does not sounds provable in your case.

      To determine whether your vehicle is faulty for the purposes of the Act, you would need to compare its performance with another identical vehicle. If both cars perform in the same way, it’s not likely to be a fault but simply a characteristic of the vehicle.

      If you are not happy with the dealer’s actions, you can escalate the matter to Nissan GB, as the dealer is probably an independently-owned franchise licenced to sell Nissans. Nissan GB provides the warranty for the vehicle and is your next step if you want to take the dispute further.

    • I have also another two cosmetic problems.
      When I have collected the car they were few scratches in the bumper which the dealer admitted responsibility without challenge and offer to repair for free.

      Another cosmetic is that the there is a significant mark at the windscreen. It is seems that it was a paper mark attached to the windscreen when it was kept in the warehouse.
      Although I have cleaned the windscreen with vinegar and soda water and other chemicals , the mark is still very obvious during the day when the glass gets foggy. See the attach pic after intensive cleaning it.

      Can you reject a car for cosmetic reasons within the first 30 days?
      Do I have to accept the cleaning of the windscreen or in the case the windscreen is damaged replace it ?

    • Any cosmetic problems would have to be significant and expensive to fix to be used as justification to reject the vehicle under the Act. If you now go back and try to reject the car because of a couple of scratches or poor window cleaning, the dealer is likely to assume that you are just looking for excuses and is more likely to dig their heels in as a result.

  76. Hi Matthew. I recently bought a brand new Vauxhall van from main dealer. I very soon found out that there is an intermittent electrical problem. Sometimes the windscreen wipers can’t be switched off but more worryingly fairly often you can’t turn them on without stopping the vehicle, turning off the ignition then starting up again. It was returned to the dealer who said they couldn’t find a fault but at my insistence they have got it again now, have changed the BCM but it hasn’t resolved the fault. It would fail an MOT in this condition if it was over 3years old but it is only 3 months old and the fault was reported within in the 1 month time frame. They now have my van, I have their courtesy car while they try to repair the fault but what are my options?

    • Hi Ian. If they have tried and failed to repair the fault, you should be able to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act. It doesn’t mean that the dealer will go along with it, but you’d have to cross that bridge when you come to it.

      For more LCV news and advice, visit our sister site The Van Expert.

    • But what if the garage were not able to find the fault. As Ian said it is intermittent. If the garage did not find the fault how can you reject the car as the finance company will just say no fault exists?

    • Hi David. In any case where the dealer refuses to accept the rejection (regardless of the reason), you will need to take action against them. This ultimately means going to court if no agreement can be reached.

      The finance company will not necessarily take the dealer’s side against you. If there is a fault with the car, it is in the finance company’s interest to reject it too, so they can get their money back.

  77. Hello Stuart,

    I purchased a car on finance around 2 months ago. On the test drive it had a scraping noise at low speeds which the salesman assured me was just wearing itself in as it had been standing for awhile.

    So i went ahead with the purchase but the noise did not lessen. Fast forward two months and i’ve had it back to them 2 or 3 times to get this fixed, in which time they have replaced a cracked wheel, the two front brake discs, all break pads and done a break service. The noise has lessened but is still there.

    They are now trying to charge me for any further work and i have payed for curtesy cars too when it goes in. Now i feel like i’m at the point of putting up with the sound or pressing for a refund or paying for a second opinion elsewhere and they dont seem to have fixed the problem that was there when i took the test drive.

    Really unsure of my options at the moment. Other than the scraping sound at low speeds, the car itself drives and handles fine.

    • Hi Matthew. Obviously a scraping sound is not normal (or good), but whether it is sufficient to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act will depend on what the problem is. You did make the point that the car drives and handles fine, which will make it difficult (especially if it is a used car). If it is a new car, your chances of rejecting the vehicle will be higher as a new car should have no problems.

  78. hi , we brought a car end of july 2016 had few problems with particulate filter, it did go into be cleaned but the light has re appeared after only 3 weeks. We werent informed about this filter until the issue was brought up by us the consumer and when buying the car we told them it was only for short journeys nothing was mentioned. It is now causing money issues and isnt fit for purpose due to having to have it cleaned every so often. Are we entitled to swap for a like for like car at the same dealer

    • Hi Nat. If you don’t have any evidence of what you advised the dealer, it is very difficult to prove that you have been mis-sold the vehicle. They could (and would) claim that you never said any such thing. If you bought a new car, you may have some luck going to the manufacturer to complain about the dealer’s selling practices, but even then it’s unlikely you will a vehicle swapped at no cost to you.

      It may be that you don’t have to vary your driving patterns much to avoid the diesel particulate filter light coming on. Have a read of our article about diesel cars and city driving.

  79. Hi Stuart,

    I recently purchased a used Peugeot 308 from an independent dealer, within 4 months the car developed an engine problem and was sent back to the dealer to fix (obviously unhelpfully, had to pay to have it towed to him 200 miles on my expense and was with him for three weeks before any communication at all on what was happening with my car!). I was advised by two local garages near to me that the car needed a new engine. The dealer reckons the car is now ‘fixed’ no new engine needed and is available to collect. I am looking to pick it up soon, but before I do I have asked for a confirmation of work carried out so that I have a history of what has been done to the car – to which he got VERY RUDE and angry with me, explained I am not entitled to that, it’s unheard of that anyone would even provide this type of information and then hung up on! I am a novice when nit comes to cars, especially my rights as a consumer. Before I reply back and try and negotiate further, am I entitled to this information or not? Hope you can help me, thanks Donna

    • Hi Donna. Sounds like he’s a bit of a dodgy trader, unfortunately. No self-respecting dealer or workshop would have a problem giving you a complete breakdown of the work they have performed on YOUR car, regardless of whether it was a warranty claim or being paid for.

      Legally, I’m not sure what information you are entitled to. I would suggest visiting and asking the excellent legal experts they have there.

  80. Hi Stuart,

    I brought a brand new Audi A6 on 2nd October, 2016, The car developed problems on 9th, Burning smell and the engine fan ran 3 times at different occasions on the same day even after switching off the engine, There was a warning light in the dashboard and the start/stop system reported an error and stopped working. Contacted the dealer, they responded quickly and arranged for a collection on 13th and gave me a courtesy car, its been a week now and they are yet to fix the problem and return my vehicle. They accepted that they found the issue, but not sure how to fix it and waiting for audi to get back to them. Will i be able to reject the car and request for a refund, my worry is the reoccurance of the same problem after couple days when i will be out of the 30 day window. Please advise.


    • Hi Shiva. Firstly, the 30-day clock stops whenever the dealer has the car (including any days you are waiting for an appointment), so that gets added onto your original 30 days.

      In terms of whether you can reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, it will depend on the nature of the faults. Being a new car, the tolerance level for any faults is significantly lower than on a used car.

  81. Hi Stuart

    we bought a 6 month old Land Rover 2 weeks ago (9k miles) from a LR dealer in Scotland and had it delivered to our home in Northern Ireland. I paid for the transport home at about £400. As soon as it was delivered I checked over the car and seen it had a number of issues. The boot lid would not close properly, there was rattles in the rear quarter, there was rattles from the front suspension and importantly, the front drive CV boot was busted and had been for some time.

    My understanding is that the failed CV joint boot would fail an MOT, therefore my car is un-roadworthy even though only being 6 months old. The seller dealer said it would all be fixed under warranty so we booked it into our local LR dealer today but the outcome of that is that they didn’t do anything to the car as they said they checked the boot lid and seen that the rear of the car had some work done and the heat shield behind the bumper was bent, suggesting some form of damage and repair. They said the rear bumper and boot lid was clearly off and had work done. As a result, they could not fix under warranty as it wasn’t a warranty issue. They also said it needed a new drive shaft and CV joint boot etc.

    I’ve great history of emails, photos and videos of the car as a result of these issues. Notifying the selling dealer and they have apologised etc. Today I emailed the original dealer asking for a full refund and also to reimburse me my cost of transporting the car home to me – £400. I also said they should come and pick the car up at their cost and take back to Scotland.

    What is your view on the refund and also the £400 I had to incur to take the car home? They were aware of this when they sold me the car.


    • Hi Ronan. The Consumer Rights Act doesn’t make specific provision for refunding your delivery costs, but you can certainly make a claim for it as part of the rejection and see if they agree to pay it. The dealer is obliged to collect the vehicle; your only obligation is to make sure you are fair in accommodating them in collecting it.

  82. Hello Stuart , I recently purchased a second hand audi – after having the car for 8 days numerous warning lights have come on and have noticed a very distinct rattle coming from the engine , after taking to a garage it has 7 different fault codes and I have been advised not to drive it, I am in the process of asking for a full refund from the garage which they are currently declining. I am proceeding in writing – is there anything I should be aware of here?

  83. Hi , i bought a 2009 megane from a main dealer, i toon the car for a test drive before i bought it, and noticed the brakes squealing. They informed me they will change them.. week later i pick the car up. All seems fine, then brakes start to squeal again. I call the dealer the next morning and they said they are new pads, will take time to wear them in. Time passed ans still the same. They collected the car from my home and had it 1 week, they said they changed to pads again with genuine pads (this annoyed me) why didnt they put genuine pads on 1st time.. ? The brakes still squeal!! They collect car again, and now have changed the front discs, but still no fix… i have told them its not just when braking, its driving through town you can hear them! I have it all in writing by email from day 1. I have the car on finance though, and im sick and fed up of having a loan car and being messed about. What can I do.?

    Thanks Shane

    • Hi Shane. You will need to contact the finance company and inform them that you wish to reject the car. They should be able to advise you of whatever they need (since it’s their car, not yours). You can then formally write to the dealership to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

  84. Hello Stuart,
    I bought a 2004 Ford Mondeo recently from a dealer, less than a month, it has two problems that I didn’t know about when I bought it and neither the seller said anything about. Firs one its the clutch, it makes a grinding noise when shifting gears, and the engine makes a loud noise when it’s idle, both sound a lot worst after the car runs a while, I didn’t hear them when I checked the car. And the second problem is that the engine cuts off at more than 70mph, when I checked the car didn’t run with more than 30 so didn’t see it.
    Do you think it’s reasonable to ask them for a refund?

    • Faults on a 12-year old car are difficult to claim under the Consumer Rights Act, as presumably the car has considerable mileage on the clock. Faults have to be significant for age and mileage.

      A dealer could argue that the clutch and gearbox are OK, and that it is your gear shifting technique that is causing it to grind. A ‘loud noise’ is fairly non-specific, so impossible to say whether or not it’s relevant. The engine cutting out at 70mph would be relevant, as it would be considered a fundamental requirement of the vehicle to be able to achieve the national speed limit.

  85. The car we’ve just bought proved to have a damaged rear brake ( no pads and disc scouring and our mechanic says it’s dangerous to drive). At the time they told us the squeak on the brake was due to rust through standing about and would improve once we drove it. Where do we stand?

    • Hi Ann. Brakes are a wear and tear item, which makes it difficult to reject a used car under the Consumer Rights Act.

      If you have a written report from a qualified mechanic (or, preferably, two reports) that the pads are worn down and the discs are scoured, then you can go back to the original dealer and argue that they should be repaired.

  86. Hello Stuart,

    I bought a car four days ago from a dealer. Its VW FOX 2011 car. I test drove the car with a friend of mine and we found it ok overall. The recent MOT done in june (dealer) did not show any warnings. The dealer informed that he will giving three months warranty. After four days (i had driven 70-80 miles) I noticed a clicking sound from the rear tyres. I took it to VW dealership and had visual inspection done. To my suprise they have pointed out more faulty items:

    1. Engine oil sump leak 2. Front shock absorber damper leakage. 3. Rear bumper stop completely split. 4. Undertray liner tray being broken.

    I feel the front shock absorber and rear bumper are serious but the dealer is refusing to accept it. Also he is saying they are all wear and tear items, so no warrantly.

    In this situation what are the options I have? Do I have the right to reject the car?

    • Hi Santosh. Of those items, I would have thought the only one which could potentially be worthy or rejection may be the sump leak. But it would depend on how much it’s leaking and whether you could prove the fault was present when you bought the car. All of those faults are likely to have been caused by driver damage (potholes, speed humps, unsealed roads, etc.), so you would need to prove that it couldn’t have been you that cause the damage. That will be difficult.

  87. Hi I have purchased a second hand car from Arnold Clark and there is faults being found 20 days after purchase it has been in for repair twice and fault still there then car went to another dealer who then found another 2 faults wi the car , I requested to reject car and I’m being told that there is no fault found so I can’t reject car but I have in writing from another of there dealers saying there is a fault where do I stand for rejecting vehicle

    • Hi Jaime. The dealer is not obliged to agree with you that the car has a significant fault. If they do not accept your rejection, you will need to either progress through what is called Alternative Dispute Resolution or bring legal action against the dealer.

      I have heard far more complaints about Arnold Clark than any other dealer group, so they clearly don’t appear to have a good reputation for looking after their customers.

  88. Hy Stuart purchased 15plate on 6 oct less than40 hrs and 40 miles later engine management light on and strong smell of burning oil . It also on start up once went from 0to6rpm and back . Anyhow took it back and there going to look at it and if they not capable will send car to main dealer . What I’m worried about is if I have no car forseable future I can’t work . Now this will have implications on home life . Car is on finance . I’ve spent a extra £400 to insure and tax . If I reject car how quick do these things take is it worth phoning finance company . Thanks

    • Hi Dean. It’s tricky and there is no definitely answer as to how long it will all take. The dealer will obviously want to inspect the vehicle before accepting or rejecting your claim to reject the vehicle. They may need to get advice from the main dealer. Even if they do accept your rejection without question, it could take take weeks for the whole thing to be resolved. You will definitely need to speak to your finance company, as they car belongs to them and not you and they will need to agree to the rejection.

  89. Hi Stuart,
    I am having terrible luck trying to return a car I bought from a small trader. The car broke 6 weeks after buying it and I have been told by the official manufacturer who I took the car to that the engine is probably seized. The car was sold with a 6month warrantee that covers up to £1k. The problem is that the warrantee company want to know the exact cost of the repair before approving it.
    Taking the engine out for inspection is over 1k by Bmw, the manufacturer. If is seized obviously it would cost several ££££. Even taking it to independent garages will cost around £500 for them to take the engine out and tell me what is wrong with it. The dealer doesn’t want to pay for any of this and says that as I have a warrantee I need to go through it.
    Do I buy the bullet and pay for the diagnosis myself and hope that the repair is covered by the warrantee?
    Thank you

    • Hi Charles. Under the Consumer Rights Act, you can take the car back to the dealer and insist on a repair. If the dealer is unable to fix the fault (or presumably if they refuse to), you can proceed to reject the car and get a refund.

      If you are not wanting to reject the car, then you will have to go through the warranty procedure. Used car warranties generally work this way; it’s not the same as a manufacturer new car warranty, where you just drop the car off at the service centre and pick it up when it’s fixed. It’s one of the downsides of buying a used car.

  90. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a 6 year old car from a dealer 10 days ago and wasn’t given the MOT certificate, instead the dealer printed off the dvla check that shows it had an MOT issued in August.
    Now the service light has come on, which I thought was suspicious after just over a week and I looked into how to get a copy of the MOT and was able to get the MOT history online which showed advisories for worn & pitted brake pads and discs. I’ve booked a free brake check at kwikfit tomorrow but I would like to know whether the dealer should have told me about the advisories? And what my rights would be regarding getting them to pay for any work needed on the brakes?

    • Hi Tina. A dealer is not obliged to fix advisory points on an MOT inspection, only the points where a car fails. The brakes may be legal for months or years to come, depending on your driving requirements and habits. The purpose of an advisory is to warn you of expenses coming up in the future, but the time before those expenses need to be actioned will always be variable. The car was legal, which means the dealer’s duty of care was done.

      Unfortunately it comes down to ‘buyer beware’. If the dealer couldn’t provide a current MOT certificate, you should not have bought the car until it was provided or until you had checked it yourself. That way you could have decided whether you wanted to pursue the purchase or negotiate a discount or repair as part of the purchase. Same applies to servicing dates. You should have been able to see the service history or check the car’s onboard servicing information to know when it was going to need its next service.

  91. Hi Stuart, I had a car which still had negative equity of £2200 on it. I decided to part exchange it for a new car. I paid a £300 deposit for the new car and the dealership gave me £1200 for the car and put the negative equity on my new car finance deal. All was great with the new car for 6 days then my new cars dash light up like it was Christmas, firstly engine warning light, then urea emissions light then the service warning light. I immediately took the car back to the dealer service department to get the sorted. After 5 days I was requested to return and pick up my car, all was will when I arrived it was a quick change over. The salesman explained that the lights were all out and they fixed the issue which was due to a emergency recall problem with these cars. So I was happy with that and headed home after traveling 30 minutes in the car on my way home the same lights come on again and I decided right there that after11 days and only driving my car for a total of 6 days that I no longer wanted to buy the car and wanted a refund due to this same issue happening again for the second time. I dropped the car off with the dealership even after they made it hard for me by trying not to accept the keys from me. After going home and cancelling my finance agreement with the finance company within my 14 working days I awaited the dealerships response. They finally have got back to me offering me the same model of car with 4k more miles on it for the same price, I refused. Then they offered me the chance to buy a more expensive car which was out of my monthly budget and again I refused. I explained that I wanted to cancel the deal end of story. They are now telling me that because they have sold my car I traded in and that they have paid the negative equity that I am liable to pay them the negative equity in a lump sum of £700 (£1000 – my £300 deposit) if I wish to cancel the deal. I feel that I am the loser in this situation as I do not have the money to do so. So I have lost out on the new car I wanted, lost out on my old car i.e (I only part exchanged for this low price due to thinking I would be getting a fully working car in return). So no new or old car and having to pay £700 before the deal is cancelled. Is there any legal route with this because surely they should not be allowed seen as It was there car that was faulty?

    • Hi David. Yes, they would appear to be correct.

      You financed an additional £700 over and above the cost of the car to clear your negative equity. By rejecting the car, the dealer is required to refund the money owed to the finance company – which is the cost of the car + £700. So they get their car back, but they are £700 short. Therefore you owe them £700.

      The Consumer Rights Act can’t make the dealer buy your old car back again and return it to you. Once you sign it over, it’s gone and whatever financial details you have in place to sell it to the dealer (your negative equity) are all about clearing the finance on that car, not your new one. The Act allows you to cancel the new car purchase as that car was faulty; it can’t undo you selling the dealer your old car.

      Most finance companies won’t allow financing negative equity anyway, as it can cause financial problems for both borrower and lender down the track.

  92. Hello Stuart,

    I am in big trouble and I am at the point of setting fire to the car I bought (not quite, but I’m desperate).

    On 13th of September, I bought a Peugeot 207 1.6 HDI with 1950£, which included a 50£ discount because the front tyres were bad. Before I signed the papers, the dealer told me that the car has a full-service history and he changed the turbo with a refurbished one because the old one was faulty.
    We’ve paid for the car and since 29th the car worked fine. But on that morning my wife started the engine and got “Low-pressure Oil” and “STOP” warning lights and the engine had a strange noise. I told her to use a taxi for the day and leave the car on the drive.
    On the same morning, I’ve called the dealer and he told me to get the car to his place and his mechanic will check the car. When I told him that the car is not drivable and the car has a 6-month warranty, he stated that the car has no warranty because he gave me a 50£ discount. The conversation got too long for me and no solution to my problem. I’ve told him that I’ll be waiting for his call with a way to fix my car.
    Because he didn’t call back I’ve called him back today and tried one more time, but this time I told him about Consumer Rights Act and that I want a full refund for the car because I can’t use it. The discussion didn’t go well; he told me that he’ll come to take the car to his garage and mechanic, but will charge me for the labour, and many things like that. All his solutions were costly for me and I refused all of them.
    What can I do now?
    Reading the forums, I found out that the engine is almost dead and all attempts to repair it will not succeed.
    I’ve fitted new front tyres on the car and the old ones went to AA Tyres…:( In case I get a full refund, will I lose the money for the front tyres??
    Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Costi. You will need to check your contract to see if there is anything where you agree to waive your warranty in return for a £50 discount. The dealer can’t force you to sign away your rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

      Your chances of successfully rejecting the car will depend on what the fault is, and whether it is significant. If it turns out to be a simple fix, you can’t reject the car. Your car’s problem may be identical to others in the forum, or it could be a different problem – cars are highly complex machines and different faults can appear the same from the outside.

      If you are able to reject the car, you won’t be able to claim a refund for the money spent on the tyres.

  93. I’ve had my McLaren for five months – it’s four years old. From the first week of owning it, it needed to go back under warranty for suspension problems. Then it was noticed that there were paint issues, which again were covered under the warranty so the car went back once more (for quite a long period of time). Three weeks ago the car developed yet another problem (an engine management light came on) so under warranty was sent back to McLaren for investigation – after 17 days with them, they are suggesting that the wiring loom could be the cause and needs to be changed – firstly they need to get this authorised so have advised me that the warranty company intend to visit in a couple of days to ‘check’ before they will authorise any work. This work could take up to a month if not longer. Seeing as they’ve already had my car for nearly three weeks, this will result in McLaren having my car more time than I’ve had it!!!
    Do you think I’m entitled to reject the car under this 6 month act? Ive been unable to use this car for its intended purpose. Ive not been able to use the car – due to the faults for half the time I’ve owned it. And that’s forgetting the fact that it’s costing me in road tax, insurance and obviously there’s depreciation on the car as well as the length of warranty diminishing with every day they have it. Out of interest, the warranty costs £3500 per year.

    • Hi Tony. The law makes no provision for road tax, insurance or depreciation. If you are rejecting the car within six months, this is something you would need to negotiate with the dealer when they are trying to claim for your use during that time.

      As to whether you are likely to be able to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, it could depend on whether the dealer can fix the wiring loom fault. If their replacement/repair is successful, you can’t reject the car. If it fails, you can push to reject. Without knowing how significant the suspension problems were, and whether they were fixed, I wouldn’t know if that would constitute a valid fault for rejecting the vehicle. Paintwork faults are unlikely to be justification for rejection, however.

  94. Hi Stuart.
    I sold a car recently and have been told by the buyer that after 14 days of driving the car has developed a problem and needs a new clutch. I genuinely did not know of any problem with the clutch or anything else when I sold it. I gave a receipt stating sold as seen without warranty non given or implied. I an very saddened that the car developed a problem 2 weeks after selling it and would like your advice from the other side of the fence so to speak.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Tony. As I understand it, the Consumer Rights Act trumps your statement about no warranty given. I would suggest visiting, which is an excellent legal site for traders.

      Without knowing any detail of the case, a clutch failure is likely to constitute a significant fault and would be covered by the Consumer Rights Act. The question is likely to be whether it was caused by the new owner, whether it spontaneously occurred in the last two weeks or whether it was likely to have been caused by a pre-existing problem.

  95. Hi Stuart
    I purchased a car on 16/09/2016. I test drove the car, checked the MOT certificate and all was fine. This was purchased from a small garage that mainly fitted tyres etc but always have a few cars for sale as well. His reviews were fine so I was not worried. The log book came through the post and now after checking I have discovered that the car is classed as Cat C since Oct 2014. I am really annoyed that he did not inform me. It looks like the car was repaired & VIC then back on the road by Dec 2014. I will be calling him as there are a few things (not major) that need sorting out but I would appreciate knowing where I stand legally. Thanks

    • Hi Mark. If you are buying a car from a trader, they are obliged to declare if a car is a Cat C insurance write-off – and usually it will be automatically flagged if it is advertised on a site like Auto Trader .

      If you have the advertising material (print-out from website, etc) which does not disclose that the car is a Cat C, then you should be entitled to reject the car. It may have been an innocent mistake, but it’s still not your problem and the vehicle was mis-sold. A Cat C vehicle would be worth significantly less than an equivalent vehicle which has not been involved in a high-value accident.

  96. Hi,
    A brand new car which we bought in January was experiencing faults and has been in the Ford dealership since July 19th waiting on a part from Germany. This part arrived twice damaged, the 3rd time arrived ok but have had an email today saying that the part fitted has no fixed the issue. I have contacted the CEO of Ford UK who has made the correspondence a lot better. I have no faith in this car now. Is there a way that I can reject this car. Thanks

    • Hi Keith. You will need to check your calendar on this. You said that you bought the car in January but that it has been at the dealership since 19 July. If that is less than six months (remember, you can subtract any days that the car was at the dealership during that time), you should be able to reject the vehicle. You have written confirmation from the dealer to say that they have tried to fix the issue and failed, so you should be entitled to a refund (minus allowance for time and mileage while you had the car).

      If you are outside the official six-month period, you will have to kick and scream, and hope that they will agree to a refund to make you go away. There is no legal obligation to do so, and they could simply string you along with replacement parts and courtesy cars under warranty. Have a read of our article about resolving an argument with a dealership.

    • Hi, having tried to reject the car yesterday the car dealership were quite short with us and told us because the car is on finance that we have to call them which we did. Is this correct. The finance say that it will cost us nearly 4000 pound to end the finance agreement. Any help will be appreciated.

    • Hi Keith. Yes, you will need to work with the finance company, as the vehicle belongs to them not you. If the vehicle qualifies for rejection under the Consumer Rights Act, the dealer will refund the finance company (minus any allowances for use over the period) and anything left over should be refunded to you.

      You will need to be clear that you are not looking for an early settlement of the agreement, but to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

  97. Hi Stuart I bought a used vehicle last month and after two weeks I noticed it does not have a tyre pressure monitor but the online advert stated hat it does. I have requested a full refund under my consumer rights as the car has been missold to me as it is not as described. The dealer has advised it was a innocent mistake as the specifications are done automatically on the adverts. But I am still able to get a full refund here? Thanks

    • Hi Simon. It’s not really your problem whether it was an innocent mistake, negligence or done deliberately. The dealer is still responsible for the content of their advertising.

      If the car was advertised with a given feature which it does not actually have, you should be entitled to return it for a full refund. That doesn’t mean that dealer will play along nicely, but their excuse is irrelevant. They can seek compensation from the classified company if they want to.

  98. This is a tricky one – I have an 18 year old friend who bought a brand new Ford Fiesta in May 2016 on HP.

    She drove it for just 1 month – in hindsight she feels was shoe-horned into the deal & was given 30 days free insurance by the dealer to get her on her way quickly.

    The car has been parked up since June (all payments have been made) but no one would insure her at the end the 30 days free insurance period.

    Yes .. she should have looked into insurance BEFORE signing up (Naïve 18 yr old girl) but I would have thought a new car franchise would have a duty of care to qualify her/ask questions to ensure the car was right for her?

    • Hi Stephen. No, I would argue that it’s not the dealer’s responsibility to make sure she has valid insurance cover. That’s entirely her responsibility.

      The dealer’s duty of care would only extend to the suitability of the car and her ability to afford the monthly payments, based on what she tells them about her circumstances. Checking the cost (or even availability) of insurance is something any car buyer should do before buying a car. And in any case, maybe they did ask her if she had checked out insurance prices – you only have her side of the story.

  99. Hi Stuart,

    I placed an order for a new car back in May on Pcp. There was a communication error between the dealer and the factory and the wrong car was built so they rejected that car when it arrived and ordered a new one. That was in July. It’s now the end of September and I’ve still not got my car. Can I cancel the order and get my deposit back? I’ve been waiting more than 4 months!
    Hope you can help.

    • Hi Amy. Your sales contract should have a delivery date on it, and the terms and conditions of your contract should state something along the lines that if the car is not delivered within 28 days of the indicated delivery date, the contract can be declared void.

      The dealer will naturally try to convince/threaten you to wait for the car, as they don’t want to lose the sale. However, if you are clear about exercising your contractual rights, there’s not much they can do.

    • Hi Natalie. If you bought the car from a franchised dealer, you can contact the manufacturer’s head office (all UK brands’ contact details are listed on our car manufacturers page). You can also have a read of our article about resolving a dispute with a dealership.

      If you are getting no response, you will have to take legal action against the dealership, which means engaging a solicitor. This is a pain and an expense, and unfortunately dealers know that disgruntled customers are more likely to just go away than spend money on a lawyer.

    • Hi
      We’ve purchased a new Fiat 500s on 02/01/2017. Payment was cash in full. Both salesman informed us it had Sat Nav with Uconnect and also it mirrors your phone with Uconnect. After days of trying to get it to this, hand book and internet searches, we phoned the salesman who informed us the tech guy would call and show us how to do it. I had to call back a week later, the tech guy called the same day to talk us through but never worked, I suggested to bring the car in and he could physically show me. On the 16/01/2017 We took the car there and the tech guy sat in the vehicle pressed a few buttons then told us what we knew, the vehicle had know sat nav. We left the vehicle with the salesman and asked to sort this problem.

      A few days later we emailed the salesman if he had fixed the problem, he said ‘it didn’t have sat nav and doesn’t know where the confusion come from, I like the private plate it makes the car look great…..??? Immeidetlty we called the DP but was put through to the Sales Manager, we explained the dilemma. He informed us he would investigate. It’s now been a week with no communication.

      We don’t won’t a discount or a different car. We will only demand a refund if the car does not come with Sat Nav, an important tool for our driving needs. Could you please inform us were we stand. Thank you.

    • Hi Christopher. Unless you have anything in writing which proves that the salesmen advised you that the car had satnav, there’s not really a lot you can do. They will swear on their grandmothers’ graves that they never said such a thing, and that you are clearly mistaken – so unless you have it in writing, you have no proof.

      At best, you can write letters of complaint to the dealer principal, to Fiat UK and to Trading Standards to tell your side of the story, but the best you can hope for is that the dealer makes some kind of financial goodwill gesture (and I have no idea how much it would cost to retrofit the nav unit).

    • Ibought the car cargain that car mechanically faulty. They tlae more then 20 to sort out but failed. I reject the car finance company and cargain they are cooperate us.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.