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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Of all the issues we discuss here at The Car Expert, the topic that generates the largest number of questions is rejecting a car that is faulty or is not as advertised.

Based on the hundreds of questions we’ve received, we have written this comprehensive article to provide direct answers to your questions and explain the processes as clearly as possible.

In this article, we cover the following areas for rejecting a car:

The Consumer Rights Act

In October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaced the old Sale of Goods Act for consumer retail sales in the UK.

The Act does cover new and used cars bought from a trader for consumer (private) use. A trader can be either a franchised dealer or an independent garage.

The Act does not cover vehicles bought by private sale, vehicles bought at an auction or vehicles bought for business use.

There are clearly-defined rights for rejcting a car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Can you reject your car for any fault you find?

   

The Consumer Rights Act provides both buyers and sellers with clearer guidance about a customer’s rights than the old Sale of Goods Act. In particular, it covers how a customer can reject a car that is faulty or not fit for purpose.

However, it’s important to remember that motor cars are complicated machines. They have hundreds of thousands of components working under a variety of hostile conditions. Not every fault in a vehicle is going to mean you can simply give the car back and expect a full refund. This particularly applies to used cars, which have already been used and abused by someone else before you.

In short, a car with a fault is not necessarily a faulty car.

Understandably, a dealer will want to inspect your car for themselves before agreeing to refund your money, rather than simply taking your word for it.

A customer rejecting a car can be very expensive for a car dealer. They have to buy the car back from you at the original price and fix whatever the problem is, before selling it on again for probably less money. As a result, the dealer is likely to dispute your rejection unless you can make a clear and confident case.

If the dealership refuses to accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action to reject the vehicle. This means engaging a solicitor and potentially taking the dealer to court. It will be expensive, and there is no guarantee you will win.

If you do have valid grounds to reject your vehicle (see the next page for more details), then your specific rights will depend on how long you have owned the car.

The Consumer Rights Act allows for three options:

  • Your short-term right to reject, which lasts for 30 days after taking delivery of your car
  • Your final right to reject, which covers you for six months from purchase
  • Your final right to reject after the first six months

Short-term right to reject – the first 30 days

If your new or used car has a significant fault that was present when you bought it (as opposed to developing afterwards), you can reject the car within the first 30 days and get a full refund.

You do not have to accept a repair or replacement vehicle (although you can if you want to).

If you have part-exchanged your previous car on the new one, you will not get it back. Instead, you will be entitled to the full invoice price of the car (including road tax, VAT, etc).

You are entitled to a full refund by the same method in which you paid for the car.  The dealer cannot charge for usage, wear and tear, collection of the vehicle or anything else.

It is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle, unless your sales contract includes a clause obliging you to return the car. You only have to make sure the car is available to collect.

Be reasonable about this and work with the dealer if you want to get your money back with minimal fuss. Make their lives difficult and you can be sure they will return the favour…

Final right to reject – the first six months

If you have had the car for more than 30 days but less than six months, you have to give the selling dealer one attempt to fix the fault before moving to reject the vehicle. If the repair has not fixed the fault, you can reject the vehicle.

If you part-exchanged your old car on the new one, you will not get it back. Instead, you will get a cash value for the new car. However, unlike the short-term right to reject, it may not be the full value.

In this instance, the dealer is able to claim a reduction in the value of the vehicle. This is based on the mileage covered and time elapsed. There is no guidance on how much they can charge you, so be prepared to negotiate this with the dealer. If it goes to court, the judge will decide.

As above, it is the dealer’s obligation to collect the vehicle under the Act. You cannot be charged for return costs or be forced to return the vehicle yourself.

Rejecting a car after six months

You are legally entitled to pursue a rejection after the first six months, but the law swings from being in your favour to being in the dealer’s favour.

The onus on you is now to prove that the fault was present when you bought the car, and that is difficult when you have had the car for a reasonable length of time and probably covered thousands of miles in that period.

In practice, this is difficult unless you have some solid proof that the fault was there at time of purchase – which is not easy. Trying to prove that a fault was present at time of purchase rather than occurring the day afterwards is very difficult when you’re several months down the line.

Rejecting a car should not be your first move

If you discover a fault with a car you’ve just bought, don’t automatically move to reject it. The fault may be relatively easy to fix. You’ll save a lot of time and hassle compared to trying to reject the vehicle.

Despite the Act providing a clear right to reject a faulty car, it isn’t as simple as going back to the dealer and walking out with a nice fat cheque. The dealer will want to conduct their own assessment of the vehicle. They may well not agree with your contention that the vehicle should be rejected.

If they refuse to accept your rejection, you will need to take some form of action to pursue the matter. Some dealers are signed up to a voluntary Ombudsman’s code, which allows for independent mediation. But usually you will need to take legal action against the dealer. You will probably also need to get written reports from another garage to back up your claim.

When you are rejecting a car, the dealer has to buy it back from you for the same price you paid for it. You have to sign the registration forms back over. If you have finance on the vehicle, that has to be cancelled as well.

A car purchase can be complicated to unwind, and you might not get your money back for several weeks.

The dealer may offer to repair the fault and potentially even offer you some form of compensation as well. This may be a better result than pursuing a rejection. It may save you a lot of hassle as well, since you won’t have to go through the process of buying another car.

Next page: What are the grounds for rejecting a car?


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

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1281 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Stuart, your website has been extremely informative, however I had a few more questions regarding my personal case.

    I bought a £60,000 17-plate Range Rover Sport in November 2017. On 13th February 2018, a sign came up on my car saying “incorrect diesel fluid detected.” On 15th February I took the car into my local Land Rover dealership, who initially said it will take 45 minutes to fix. I waited while they were fixing it and after an hour I was told this issue is going to take longer to fix and was advised I shouldn’t drive the car home and leave it with them.

    For the past 22 days, my car has been sitting in the garage and I have been calling both the repairing dealership and the dealership I bought the car from every day to get an update as to when the car will be fixed. They told me they’ve never seen a fault like this before. They have changed many different parts but have still not found the cause of the fault. I’ve spoken to head office and they told me “we only support the dealer when it comes to rejecting a vehicle.”

    On 5th March I emailed the dealership I bought the car from to formally reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act. Today when I spoke to them they told me they won’t be able to accept the rejection since they need a second attempt to fix the vehicle.

    Is this the case? Do I need to take legal action? If I have made the decision I definitely want to reject the vehicle what are my rights as a customer? How long do I have to give them to try to fix the car?

    Any advice would be extremely appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Hi Akshay. You are outside the first 30 days of your ownership but still within the first six months. Therefore, once you formally advise the dealership that you wish to reject the car, they are entitled to one chance to fix the fault. Any work they have done beforehand, even if it is to try and fix the same fault, does not count towards this one chance.

  2. Thanks for getting back so fast. The owner of the dealership is totally crazy and has already said see you in court. I assume because 9 times out of 10 people can’t afford to take it that far or can’t be bothered. Legally he doesn’t have a leg to stand on but it would still take me probably 6 months to get the money out of him at court. Seems like the law doesn’t really support your average person against illegitimate businesses like this. I don’t know many people that could afford to get a second car to be able to get to work whilst still paying to store one that doesn’t work for 6 months. Paying for legal fees on top of that is definitely a stretch too far. Doesn’t seem fair.

  3. Hi Stuart,

    I bought an ’03 Range Rover with 110,000 miles on it last week on Wednesday. Within an hour of driving it away from the dealer the transmission overheated and went into limp mode which means 4th gear only. This happens every time the car runs for more than 15 mins (the test drive was about 10 mins…).

    I called the dealer immediately and told them what had happened. They told me it was fine to keep driving it (I was driving to my own wedding) and that we’d sort it out this week. I also logged the issue with the AA warranty that was supplied with the car.

    I’ve requested a full refund and the dealer is saying he isn’t obliged to provide one and so will not. Is legal action my only recourse?

    Any advice would be great!

    • Assuming that you’re a consumer buying a car in your own name for your own private use, then you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act and can claim a full refund on a faulty car within 30 days. If the car goes into limp mode within 15 minutes of driving it, I’d say it’s probably a valid claim to reject the car.

      You need to formally reject the car in writing, and make sure you quote the Consumer Rights Act to make it very clear that you know your legal rights. It’s also best if you send it via recorded delivery so you have proof that the dealership has received it. A verbal rejection is useless as the dealer can dispute it later on.

      If the dealer refuses to play along and is not signed up to The Motos Ombudsman scheme (and most dodgy traders are not), then you will have to bring – or at least threaten – legal action.

  4. Hi, we bought a used 2003 pick up from a trader on ebay, he described himself as dealing in buying, selling and importing 4×4’s and pick ups. We bought it relying on the description in the ad and from his verbal description on the phone and text’s. The MOT had run out the day before we saw the ad. We were not able to view the car for a few days but the fella told us that if the pick up did not sell that day he was going to get it MOT’d but that the price would go up by £400. We agreed to buy it and get it delivered the next day. It was delivered the next day and we paid cash. The day after this we took it for an MOT (the station is literally a few meters up the road from our house. It passed the MOT. That same day after taxing and insuring it we took it out for a drive. As soon as we had picked up enough speed to change into 5th gear we realised that it would not go in to 5th gear try as we might it would not go in. It was making a terrible grinding, crunching noise when trying to get it in to 5th but also in other gears as well. We took it straight home. We had a mechanic come to look at it and he said that the gear box had gone and would need replacing. I immediately emailed the seller but he said that it was sold as seen and he was denying being a trader (I have lots of evidence that he is a trader) he said that he was a roofing contractor not a vehicle trader.
    I know that this vehicle should be fit for purpose and as described but as he did not mention the gear box in the add can I still say that it is not fit for purpose?
    Here are some of the claims he made about the vehicle:

    Excellent condition inside and out (which it was)
    Low mileage 73,000 (it was actually 78,000)
    Great body work (advisory on MOT for some welding)
    A 2 grand mint pick up that will be good for another 15 years (not)
    You won’t find a cleaner more reliable ranger (not)
    And wait for it ” we export hilux and rangers and this one is far too nice to let and Asian or African have it” (lost for words on this one)
    He advertises to buy pick ups and 4×4 saying he is an English buyer offering a professional friendly service.

    He told me that there is no way I’m having my money back as if the gear box has the fault I say it has that it would not have passed it’s MOT. I pointed out that the MOT station is only a few meters away and that you don’t get beyond 2nd gear to get there. I also pointed out that the gear box is not tested on MOT and they would not have tried to put it in to 5th gear so it would not have been picked up.

    I would be very interested to hear peoples opinions as to whether or not I have a valid case to pursue this through the courts.
    Thanks

    • Hi Gemma. If he sells more than four vehicles a year, he’s a trader. If he is advertising as a trader, he’s a trader.

      I’d say you have a very good case to pursue him through legal action, but I’d always recommend speaking to a lawyer rather than trying to do it on your own. Make sure you keep and continue to gather as much physical evidence as possible, particularly other advertisements that show proof he is a trader.

  5. Hi I’ve had my car 8 month with no faults..the last mot had no advisory at all..im have problems with ball joint issues..for this to happen surely it would have been spotted on last mot if it is now se ere.also my radio and cd player keeps cutting out and not working have I got grounds to reject this car.what would you suggest my next course of action should be..my car is on finance from a local dealer.thanks ..

    • Hi Robert. You’ve had the car for eight months now, so rejecting it under the Consumer Rights Act is not likely to be easy – especially when it’s a used car.

      The radio/CD player issue is also not likely to get you anywhere, as it doesn’t exactly render the whole car faulty.

      These things can and do develop over time. An MOT inspection is a basic roadworthiness test, not a detailed inspection of every aspect of the vehicle.

  6. Hi I am new to this forum and new to car Trade business. Hope I can get some help here. I have sold Ford Focus 1.8 TDCI 2005 Diesel with 143K mileage on it and 11 months MOT. Sold for £700 on 25/02/2018. Buyer has inspected and test drove it. He was happy to buy this car. There was no knocks and bang, no engine oil leak, no electrical faults. I have given him a receipt stating that the vehicle is sold as SEEN, Tried and Approved without Guarantee. Buyer has contacted me on week later (03/03/2018) saying that rear suspension (shock) snapped off. And the buyer wanted full refund. When I sold everything was working fine. This shock could be snapped off due to buyer driving habit. As a Trader do I have to give him full refund? Please help. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Jami. As a trader, you are bound by the Consumer Rights Act (assuming that your customer was a private consumer buying a car for their personal use; the Act does not apply to business-use vehicles).

      The Act trumps any “sold as soon”, “no guarantee” or other clauses you may put on your receipt – you can’t waive a customer’s legal rights.

      As to whether the customer’s complaint justifies rejecting the car, there’s no clear definition of what constitutes a faulty car. I would suggest you chat to a legal firm that specialises in assisting motor traders, like Lawgistics.

  7. Hi Stuart. I have just bought a used BMW X3 five days ago. On the drive home (40 miles) we experienced very little heat from the heater and the engine temperature gauge never moved from the cold point. The car also has a violent shake above 40mph under acceleration (this would not have been noticeable on test drive as would not have been able to go above 30 due to speed limits in area) it used an excessive amount of fuel on this journey.

    The car is in good condition generally and advertised as “excellent” it has a good history of servicing and a new MOT put on just before collection. We stopped at a local garage on the way home and when plugged in it had various fault codes and DPF warning unable to regenerate due to temperature. We informed the garage by phone the following day and he point blank refused anything was wrong with the car. He wants us to have a report done to show faults and he will only agree to replace the thermostat in the car with an eBay part but wants me to pay for fitting. I am unsure this is even the issue.

    I have lost any faith in him and the car and wish to reject it as it is almost undrivable over 40 mph. It’s a real shame as it is in good condition but I don’t trust him to do anything to the car and he will not do anything about the judder as it’s “not his problem”.

    What are my next steps? Can I simply reject it since it is before the 30 days and if so do I have to take it to small claims? Thanks in advance and what a great website. Jay

    • Hi Jay. Yes, it sounds like you should be entitled to reject the car if it is effectively undrivable at more than 40mph.

      When formally rejecting the car, it is important to do so in writing and to make sure you reference the fact that you are exercising your right to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You should also include the report done by the local garage as evidence.

      If he refuses to accept your rejection (which is his right, since you could be making all this up), then you would be obliged to seek a resolution with The Motor Ombudsman if his business is registered with it (although it almost certainly won’t be) or contact a lawyer to bring legal action against him and enforce your rights.

    • Hi Nick. Basically, no. You have no consumer rights with a private sale, so all you can do is try to bring some civil action against the seller. However, your prospects of success are likely to be very low.

  8. HI Stuart,
    I wonder if you could give me some advice.
    I purchased a second-hand Ford Mondeo on finance on the 30th of January this year
    Just 2 weeks after driving off the malfunction. came on warning us of an engine malfunction.
    I called the dealer (Carshop) and they told me to take the car in for a repair.
    They had the car for a week.
    Once I collected the car it came back with exactly the same problem.
    There was no explanation as to what went wrong or what was done.
    I went back to the carshop today 25/2 with a letter making a complaint and demanding a replacement.
    Am I entitled to reject the car, the 30 days are running out and I am scared they won’t fix the car or give us a replacement within that timeframe?
    They seem to be stalling us as they now said they cant look at the car for another week.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP IN ADVANCE.
    Regards
    Eunice

    • Hi Eunice. Your 30 days does not include any days that the dealer has the car for repairs. So if you have the car for seven days and then it’s back at the dealer for 60 days, you have still only owned the car for seven days for the purposes of rejecting it under the Consumer Rights Act. This is specifically so that dealers can’t delay work or responding to rejections until after the deadline has passed.

      You can also discount any days from when you have booked the car in to be looked at and when it actually goes in. So again, if you have the car for seven days and book it in for a repair, but they can’t look at it for another 12 days, those 12 days don’t count towards your 30 days either.

  9. Dear Stuart,
    I bought a nearly new SEAT (6000 miles on the clock) last year from a main SEAT dealer and have recently seen a patch of paint missing from the front bumper. No scratch, no dent but looks like the paint has just “fallen away”. I mentioned it to my local dealer (not who I bought it from) who said that it’s been previously repaired. I’ve been quoted 350 to get it resprayed. I’m annoyed that I have to pay that as was not aware that it had had any such repair at the point of sale-it’s on PCP. Can I get the dealer who sold it to me to sort it? Since I had not been made aware? I’m worried about the PCP implications…
    Neil

    • Hi Neil. A dealer is not obliged to tell you of any cosmetic repairs that have been done on a car before you bought it, however you do have the right to expect that any repairs would be done to a satisfactory standard. As the car is still under its new car warranty, you have reasonable grounds to go back to the original dealer and ask for a fix to ensure that the paintwork complies with the manufacturer’s standards.

      The problem is likely to be that you have had the car for some time now, and you will need to show that the paintwork was repaired before you bought the car. The dealer could easily turn around and claim that you must have damaged the car yourself, and that another paint shop has done a dodgy job rather than them.

  10. Hi Stuart, I have bought an 8-month-old Vauxhall Astra from a car supermarket 2 weeks ago, I mentioned on a test drive that there was a knocking on the front of the vehicle (sounds suspension related) they said they would check at PDI, and in fairness it seemed to have gone during my 60 mile drive home. However the next day it was back with a vengeance. I contacted the supermarket 3 days later and asked how to deal with the issue, and they told me to take it to my local main dealer as it was under manufacturers warranty. I have done that, and they had it 4 days replaced suspension components under warranty, but it hasn’t resolved the knocking. They now want it back in to strip an engine mount, and rebuild. My question is, if the engine mount issue doesn’t resolve the problem, do you think I would have reason to reject the car on the supplying supermarket under not acceptable quality? So far I’ve had it 2 weeks, and it’s spent 5 days in the dealers, sorting an issue that they seeming can’t pinpoint……. other than the knocking the car drives ok, but it is really annoying, and I have not got time to have it in the dealers constantly while they stab in the dark trying to resolve the problem

    • Hi Phil. You’ll probably need to get a better idea of what’s causing the knocking if you want to reject the vehicle, as on its own “a knocking sound” probably isn’t enough to declare the whole car faulty.

  11. Dear Stuart, thank you for kind replies. Could you please give me light on one more thing? How likely could I win if I take them to court? Because I was stupid enough not to make independent investigation or at least call RAC when the burning smell happened and now don’t know how to prove it. They are very clever and collected the car next day after my complaint, kept it for 17 days and what I think is repaired. They didn’t reply my e mails, don’t put anything in writing and just doing everything on the phone. All they said on the phone were unconvincing (saying smell is the burning out of new pipes common in new cars, acknowledging verbally about gear problems occasionally but ever inconsistent in what they say, then on final day said to me that gear 2 is still dodgy, then said to finance company that gear only needs adjusting and now gear is fine. I argued the VWfinance that no he said it still is and finance lady said she spoke with him 20mins ago, now it is adjusted, we cannot accept the rejection based on the fact that gear needs adjusting. I asked so why is there a smell and she said he explained that there is nothing wrong. They are going round and round with plain lies). Sorry for the long letter. My point is how should I prove my side of experience and how should I know if it has been repaired without my knowledge? Please correct me if I am wrong, I am thinking I couldn’t win in ombudsman or court if I cannot prove the above.

    My wife is terrified to use that car again because that’s mainly for school run and kids activities/clubs and I don’t know if it would be safe given that burning smell experience. Seems that we have to let the car sit on the driveway and will have to hire a car.

    • You would need to discuss your case with a lawyer so they could properly assess your chances off success in formal legal action. They will look at all of the available evidence and communications between you and the seller, and advise you accordingly.

      Any days that the dealer has your car don’t count towards your 30 days or six months. This is specifically so they can’t hold the car until your rights have expired.

      In the first 30 days, it is up to you to prove that a fault was there from new. That means getting independent reports to back up your claims.

  12. Dear Stewart, update on above brand new golf with burning smell and gear problem issue, I have just talked with finance company. They didn’t accept the rejection. They said the dealer’s investigation found no fault regarding the smell issue and only gear needed adjusting. Dealer told on the phone this morning that gear 2 is still dodgy but finance company said dealer told them that it is adjusted now. They are not putting anything in writing. They said they will send me a letter offering £500 for inconvenience but not accepting rejection. VW finance said I can part exchange the car with dealer if I want . I said why should I take the depreciation when I only had the car for 2 days. I told her that I will go up to financial Ombudsman Service. Please advise me if I should get independent investigation on car ( quite pointless now as they had it for 17 days) and where. And any advice on what I should do next step will be very much appreciated.

  13. Dear Stuart, I would be grateful if you could give me kind advice again. I wrote to finance company that I reject the car under consumer act and sent with special delivery post , a copy to dealer. 14 days now and Not heard from finance company. Dealer had the car for investigation for now 16days. This morning dealer called and told me that they are coming to collect their courtesy car because insurance ran out in that car and they will drop us the rejected car back because they couldn’t find the fault regarding the burning smell. Said gear 2 is still dodgy but couldn’t locate any fault. I don’t quite believe it because it had been with them for 16 days and we won’t know if it might have undergone repair. I said we are not taking the rejected car back but they are forceful and seems that they will be coming to take their courtesy car and leave the rejected car today. They don’t put anything in writing. Didn’t give me e mail address either. I called finance company just now asking what I should do if dealer dropped the car against our will. They said case handler for my case is not here and that they cannot advise. I asked a call back but seems hopeless. Should I be taking the car back while waiting for rejection process? I don’t dare to drive it since they can’t locate the fault and given that burning smell experience. Regarding the courtesy car, I have no option but to give it back since it’s their car. My dilemma is what to do if they left the rejected car against our will. Will it affect the rejection process?

    • Ultimately it’s still your car, so if the dealership is refusing to accept your rejection then it is within its rights to return your car and collect its courtesy car. You are still responsible for the car, which means caring for it, taxing it and insuring it until you officially return the car to the dealership as part of a rejection.

      If the finance company and/or dealer refuse to accept your rejection under the Consumer Rights Act, it’s now up to you to progress the matter. If the dealer is signed up to The Motor Ombudsman programme, you can pursue them through that. If not, and as usually ends up being the case, you will need to start legal proceedings to have your case heard.

  14. Hi Stuart,

    I’m looking for some advice.

    In June 2016, I purchased a Vauxhall Corsa from Evans Halshaw on a PCP agreement.
    In July 2016, faults began to appear.
    Since purchasing the Corsa, 19 months ago,it has been back to the dealership/service centre twice, and is currently in for the third time with the same recurring fault, in amongst various other faults – which they have also failed to rectify permanently.

    The main, most dangerous fault, is occurring 6 monthly and the service centre technicians are unsure of what exactly is causing the fault so in the previous two services they have simply cleared the fault codes and reset the CPU.

    My question is, if they cannot fix the fault to a satisfactory standard – so that the car does not have to go back on a 6 monthly basis – what are my options?

    • Hi Shannon. If your car is still under warranty, that is the best course to pursue repairs. You have had the car for getting on towards two years, so the Consumer Rights Act is not likely to work in your favour unless you have some very good legal assistance.

      You might be better off taking the car to a different garage, as the current one can’t seem to fix the problem.

  15. Chris sorry to hear your having same issues. I bought the car on finance.
    Reading horrible stories about the garages dodging customers I must admit my garage is not that bad. They did take the car in with no questions when it broke and offered me loan car even though it was a really crappy Kia initially. They later replaced it with a bit more economical Renault.

    I was not happy with the way they portrayed the situation when I emailed them after car broke down for the second time. They shook off any liability and completely ignored any of my consumer rights.
    Also it’s the legth it’s taking them to fix the fault because they are doing this through the RAC warranty I have purchased with the car. They are saying ut’s Complex and it’s being done in specialist garage. But 3.5 months….

  16. hi i bought a car from a garage 27 days ago 2 days ago my clucth and fly wheel failed. im very confused what to do i had to drop my car at another garage as i am 300 miles away from the place i bought it what can i claim for the garage i bought it from

    • Hi Shannon. You can reject the car within the first 30 days and you do not have to accept a repair. After 30 days, but within six months, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem.

  17. Adding to my previous comment, when it comes to 6 months for rejecting the car, does the time the car been in repair with the dealer count? Because I had the car for 5 months before it broke down, brought it to the dealer where it was being fixed for 12 weeks, had it back for one day and back again with same fault for another 2 weeks. Am I still within 6 months period to reject if I choose so? Thanks

    • going through the same thing at the mo. to my knowledge you have 30 day right to reject. after that you have a 6 month “final right to reject” where the dealer has to prove the issues weren’t there when sold.

      when your car is in the garage time effectively “stops” so the 6 month time period extends to however much time your car was in the garage for. from the sounds of it the dealer is trying to pull a fast one, by keeping your car in there he’s trying to pass the 6 month mark.

      was it bought on finance?

  18. Great website, much-needed info in plain words. I bought Dodge Journey 2009 reg. from local dealer. The car came with RAC warranty and 24 months parts and labour cover. After 5 months automatic gear box broke down. I got the car towed to the garage I bought it from and was provided with a courtesy car. This was on the 7th of November 2017. After some chasing, I eventually got the car back on the 25 of January 2018. Later in the evening the very same day malfunction indicator lights came up and the reverse gear wouldn’t work. I emailed the garage about the situation and said even though I appreciate their help, this is taking a bit too long, I have my business advertising on the car, I bought big car for a reason, I offered to take replacement of another similar spec car they were selling. The garage boss was not in when I returned and i had no choice but to leave Dodge again and take another courtesy car.
    I called Citizens advise and checked Consumer Rights Act where it says that, rephrased “consumer has the right to a price reduction and the final right to reject: (a)after one repair or one replacement, the goods do not conform to the contract; (c)the consumer has required the trader to repair or replace the goods, but the trader failed to do so within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer.
    The garage boss replied my email and argued that I have no grounds to request a refund as the gear box job is very complicated which also fell over Christmas period (not quite so, 6 weeks to Christmas). He also suggested that according to new legislation after having used the car for 5 months I would need to prove the fault was there at the time of sale. His general stance was: I should be happy they ‘re taking care of my car and I won’t have to pay for it as I’m lucky to have purchased the warranty, also they don’t have to do any of this. At one point they suggested statutory rights only apply for first 3 months for used vehicles.
    14 weeks on, i’m still in courtesy car, I haven’t received any paperwork or confirmation of what has been done on my car. I involved the bank that provided finance and currently wait for their advise of what to answer to the garage owner.
    Question: is the fact they had one go at repair enough to argue and get my money back? Is it true I need to prove the fault was at the time of purchase? What is reasonable time to repair gear box?
    I don’t feel I want to take discount or replacement as I have no trust in this dealership any more…

    • Thanks Stuart, I bought a car as a private person with finance on my own name, I use it for private use and business, not only for business. Would consumer rights still not apply?

    • I’m not a lawyer, so you should definitely get some professional legal advice. However, my understanding is that as soon as you use the car for any kinds of business purposes, you lose your rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

  19. I purchased a brand new 67 plate Dacia Sandero in September last year on pcp finance. I collected the car 30th September 2017 and after driving away noticed that the steering was pulling to the left as if the tracking was out. I took the car straight back to th garage only to be told that they could not sort it out straight away and that I would need to take it back the following week. I was disappointed but agreed to do this. The problem was fixed and I drive the car away.

    After a couple of months I smelt strong burning oil in the car and this happened on a couple of journeys. I took the car in to be inspected on 30th Jan 2018 and was told that they needed to keep the car as there was a bad oil leak. The cam had not been screwed down during manufacture and therefore had oil spilling out everywhere ( I don’t know much about engines but this sounded quite bad and not something I expected from a brand new car). I was given a courtesy car to drive away and told I could keep as long as I needed. After 1 week I received a phone call from the garage advising me they needed their car back so I had to drive back and then be driven to Enterprise to collect a hire car ( taking me nearly 2 hours out of my way after work to do this). I am now driving the hire car and I have been without my car for nearly 3 weeks now and still no mention of when the part should arrive or the when the repair should be done.

    I have told the general manager that I want to reject the car and he said it’s not his problem and that I need to contact the manufacturer directly, which I have done. The manufacturer initially was very helpful and agreed to explore that avenue but now seems to be back tracking. Can I reject this car as I have on,y had it 4. Months, I have lost complete confidence in this car as the engine was not even screwed down and this is the second problem I have had since I purchased the car?

    Grateful for your help

    • Hi Lisa. The general manager at the dealership is incorrect/lying. Your right to reject the vehicle is with the dealership and finance company, not the car manufacturer.

      You need to inform the finance company that you wish to reject the vehicle, and they will basically authorise you to deal with the dealership. The dealer will be entitled to one chance to fix the problem after you formally advise that you intend to reject the car (any work prior doesn’t count). If they can fix it, you lose your right to reject. If they can’t fix it, you can reject the vehicle.

      This applies up until six months after you purchased the vehicle. However, the dealer will be able to recoup a percentage of the refund for usage/wear and tear. There is no guidance for how much they can charge for this, so it’s simply a matter of negotiation.

  20. well got the report back from the garage. he said it’s not head gasket failure but is definitely something else, ie piston rings etc. he did mention that the engine has been taken apart previously as the fixing bolts were of a different kind, not factory fitted as they were all different types of bolt. spoken to the finance company but I’m becoming a little dubious that I’m not going to be able to return the car.

    with regards to him lying about the mileage is there anything I can do about that to back up my case?

    • If you haven’t brought the mileage discrepancy up before now, I doubt that it will help. He would be able to argue that it was an innocent mistake when transcribing details from the car’s inspection form (and it’s not difficult to mistake a 5 for an 8 if the handwriting isn’t perfect). That’s the sort of thing you should have been raising before purchasing the car.

  21. hi Stuart, spoke the the finance company as they wanted to know the full details. Told them everything and that I was rejecting the car under the consumer rights act and he said that he’s happy to put it through as a rejection. however he said he needs proof that the head gasket has gone and that it’s my responsibility to pay for it. it’s only cost my £25 so it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind but is he right in saying that it’s up to me to fund the diagnostic? and would I be able to claim it back on the warranty?

    • Ultimately, if you are rejecting the car as faulty, it’s reasonable that you have some evidence to back up your claim. That can be as simple as a report from a garage to confirm that the head gasket has failed.

      There is no provision in the Act for recovering expenses over and above the original price of the car.

  22. This is a really helpful website. I bought my son his first car from a 2nd hand car dealer in Birmingham. The car was HPI clear and had 47500 miles on the clock. The bodywork was a little knocked about in places but the engine seemed smooth – I paid £875 for the car and £60 to have it delivered to my home address. The 1st attempt to start the car after delivery failed – the battery was flat and not the right battery for the car. I rang the garage and agreed I would buy a new one and that they would reimburse me. (They never did). After a couple of weeks use my son reported that the handbrake felt funny and asked me to take a look. It seemed fine to me working as intended. The next morning, the car refused to move – one of the rear wheels had seized solid. The dealers lack of help over the battery issue gave me no confidence that the dealer was going to help with this situation either so I called them on the 15th day of ownership and asked them to collect the car and issue a refund. They eventually collected the car on the 4th Feb (the 22nd day of ownership) after messing me about for a few more days and then, after another 7 days and many many calls chasing them, the dealer is still putting up a fight. I now felt I had no option other than to go legal. In my final call to them today they reluctantly agreed to pay me a refund on Monday less a fee for fair use. Assuming this actually happens, my question is regarding the fair use fee – is this allowed and how much could this fee be?

    • Hi Jon. If you are rejecting within the first 30 days under the Consumer Rights Act, there is no provision for fair use – as long as the car is in similar condition to when you bought it, you are entitled to a full refund.

      After 30 days (but within the first six months), the dealer is entitled to retain some of the refund to allow for usage/wear and tear. There is no explanation in the legislation for how this is to be calculated, so it’s purely a matter of negotiation between you and the dealership.

    • Update: The dealer refunded £750 of my original £875 taking £125 for ‘Fair Use’ – It will cost me more to chase this £125 than its worth and they know it. Turns out this dealer was actually a ‘stealer’. :(

  23. hi,
    recently bought an MG6 from an independent dealer.its a 2011 plate with 58000 miles on the clock. (purchased via finance) within a week of having the car I had to top the coolant up twice. also getting white smoke/ steam from the exhaust. car also had a rough idle. Rang the dealer amd told him the car had all the signs of HGF. He took it back in (a 15 mile drive from my house) and had the car for a few days. He rang me when the car was fixed and said that his mechanic had compression tested the engine and it wasn’t head gasket failure, but there was a minor leak on the coolant system that only showed when engine was pressured. He assured me that the rough idle had been sorted. fast forward a couple of weeks and I’ve just had the coolant warning light come on again. exhaust is still blowing out white steam and still has a rough idle. I rang the dealer up again but told him this time I wanted to keep the car local so he rang round a few garages in my area. when he rang me back (I’ve recorded all conversations between myself and the dealer) he openly admitted it sounded like head gasket failure, which he assured me firstly that it wasn’t. the mileage was also incorrect when I picked up the car. on the advert for the vehicle he stated the mileage was 55000 and on my order form it was stated as that too. on inspection of my mot certificate (dated the exact same as the car advert) and looking at the mileage on the dash it is recorded at 58000 miles. I’ve contacted the finance company and told them the car isn’t fit for purpose and would like to give it back as it will have been the garage twice in the space of a month. they’ve said they have to log a complaint and will get back to me in 2-3 working days? is this normal or are delay tactics being used? what are my rights going forward from this point?

    • Hi Chris. You need to be very clear when having conversations with the dealer or finance company. Saying that you “would like to give it back” is too vague. You need to say that you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. That is your legal protection and they are obliged to respect it, or at least formally respond to it.

  24. Hi Stuart, dealer called following my second email quoting the consumer right act 2015, but not acknowledging my rejection. He is saying round and round in conversation about how the investigations are being made and to bear with them. I feel that he is stalling the time to pass 14 days where I can end the contract with finance company. He doesn’t acknowledge anything in writing either. I still have one key and courtesy car. What should I do next because this is going no where. He plainly lied that the smell is new car smell (where it was smelling in the whole car park. ) he acknowledged the gear difficulty (verbally though) and said they are going to check gearbox. I now understand that they will plainly lie to me and avoid rejection. What should I do next? Should I go and drop the remaining key with a copy of rejection e mail I st t? Should I tell the finance company to cancel my agreement? (Will I be liable for the car if I cancel from my side?) should I cancel the direct debit?

    • You need to reject the car to the finance company. As long as you do that within 30 days, you will be entitled all of your deposit and any monthly payments back once the rejection has been successfully processed.

      You need to be very clear and firm with the dealer – you have rejected the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you are not interested in investigations, and you want written acceptance of your rejection. Given that the dealer appears to be avoiding this, you may need to get legal advice.

  25. Hi Stuart

    What are my rights if a dealership has rejected my rejection based on the fact that I signed the sales order form but I haven’t actually signed the form and the sales rep has forged my signature on it?

    • Hi Adam. That’s an interesting approach from the dealer, because they are admitting that their staff have forged sales contracts. If anything, they should be very keen to accept your rejection and have the illegal contract resolved.

      There’s presumably nothing to stop you approaching Trading Standards to complain that the dealer has forged your signature, to which the dealer appears to have agreed. Very strange.

  26. Hi I bought a car 9 months ago through a garage on finance but the day I went to collect the car it had a wiper motor fault they said they will fix this as a gesture of good will ( I have since found out that they tried to claim through my rac cover) then my clutch went and had to get a tow home 149 miles from my house. Now my wipers have stopped working again what are my rights to take the car back?

    • Hi Debby. You are outside the six-month window where the law works in your favour, so you will have to have pretty solid evidence that the wiper motor fault you have now is the same fault as when you picked up the car. Just because the wipers are not working doesn’t mean it’s the same fault – it could be something else somewhere, even something as simple as a fuse.

      You’ll probably also need to consult a solicitor, as the law favours the dealer after the first six months.

  27. Hi, I am so glad I found this website and I hope you could help. We bought a brand new Volkswagen on 29/01/18. We put 20% deposit in. On driving off the brand new car, I felt that gears (especially 2 and 4 ) are difficult to get into. Car smells something. But I thought this is new car smell and different feel of a new car. But gear feels not right (we have been driving manuals for over 10 years), so thought I would mention when they make follow up call on day 3.

    But on day 2, after my wife parked the car in school car park which is at the top of slope, the car smelt strongly and she was very frightened because she thought it was going to catch fire. She called me and I went there immediately. It smelt so much, I thought about calling breakdown cover, but I am worried about letting the third party (AA) touch the car rather than dealer because it is only 2 days old. So I didn’t call breakdown cover and brought it back home myself.

    We called the dealer the next day (day 3 after purchase), he said nothing to worry about, and said bring in to check if we want but service department will say the same. in confusion, i made an appointment with service department, but then cancelled it because I it is not right for a car to act this way in 2 days old. My wife has been driving manuals for over 9 years to same car park and never had problems. This car must had a problem with gearbox since day 1. My wife is too frightened by the experience. so i sent an e mail to them, explaining the problem and asked to collect the car and to supply us with another car to buy. they didn’t acknowledged in writing, instead, they made a call just advising us that they are coming to collect the car. they arrived same day and took the car but refused to take the second key and documents and said it is only to investigate. they left us a courtesy car for 7 days.

    On day 4, I sent another e mail, stating that we will not accept this car after repair and we are rejecting it because it is not fit for purpose. We proposed to buy a new car with same description, rather than refund. No written acknowledgement and e mail to manager bounced back. But I sent it to sales person and copied to financial service customer service. Finance company replied the e mail and gave a reference number. Then duty manager made a courtesy call but no information on what they are doing and the timeline. Just asking if we are okay with courtesy car (which we appreciate) but we are worried if we end up with the repaired car. We couldn’t accept a repaired car as we bought brand new and my wife do not dare to get on that car anymore.

    We haven’t heard anything since then. Our preferred solution is to let us buy a new car with same deal. What rights do we have and what steps should we take please? Thank you very much in advance.

    • If you are successful in rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you will be entitled to a full refund rather than another vehicle. That will mean getting your deposit back (plus the value of any part-exchange vehicle) and your finance agreement being cancelled with the refund of any monies already paid to the finance company.

      If you are going down this path, you need to be very clear with both the dealer and the finance company that you are rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as that guarantees you various rights and forces them to acknowledge your rejection.

      If you want to negotiate another vehicle instead of a refund, you are going outside the Consumer Rights Act and therefore not subject to the protections of the Act.

    • Thanks for the kind reply. I thought i was giving them a way out with another vehicle purchase but didn’t realize that affects my rights. I will send another e mail saying I am rejecting the vehicle under consumer rights act 2015 and that is to full refund of what I cost. I will also include that only after getting a refund for this vehicle, i will enter into a new contract with them for a suitable vehicle. Will this approach cover me for protection under the act?. My another question is do I need to call finance company and ask to cancel the agreement or wait until they cancel it for me? should I be paying the first monthly payment which will due next week? The car is with dealer now and I have their courtesy car.

  28. Hi, I bought a car 22months ago and during this period I had to take the car back for repair 8 times, the last time costing nearly 4k, I have also finally discovered that the car was a recall in 2013 and due to that I would never had bought this car if I had known, I am not trying to get an agreement with the finance company for them to take the car back free of charge as I can give it back anyway now but would have to pay 4k for that.
    what can I do as the good information wasn’t given to me when I got the vehicule? what are my rights?

    • Hi Giles. You’ve had the car for nearly two years, so unless you can show that you were mis-sold the vehicle then you don’t have any special ‘rights’.

      Recalls are very common, and most manufacturers will have to deal with a few of them per year. As long as the recall work was done correctly, I’m not aware of any requirement for the dealership to disclose that the vehicle was subject to a recall.

  29. Hi i hope you can help.
    I bought a car from a trader last week. He was very honest from the start and told me that the clutch had gone so i asked him to repair the clutch which he did. I went to pick up the car and examined the vehicle everything seemed fine.. I paid £595 for the vehicle and £190 for the new clutch.
    I drove the car for about 30 miles and the car would not go into gear. I struggled to get home.
    I spoke to the dealer and demanded a full refund. He said there was a 3 month warranty on the car and i could take it to be repaired. I refused this so he said he would refund me £595 for the car but not the £190 as he had paid for a new clutch. I refused this and took it to an independent garage and they found other faults with the car as well. I spoke to the trader to inform him and he said i needed to take the car to the named garage as it has a 3 month warranty. He then offered me the full refund but wanted to examine the car first and would arrange for it to be picked up. I refused as i want some proof he will refund the full amount. I told him i would take him to court under the new Act. He said to go ahead and take him to court as i have been unreasonable.
    What should i do?
    Thank you

  30. Hi Stuart, I took a PCP out on a brand new Vauxhall Astra in April 2016. In late January 2017 the engine failed and new pistons / cylinders were required for the car.

    Strangely, the engine failed again in January of this year, and, after speaking to Vauxhall who phoned the dealer for update, it seems it’s the same issue as the previous year as the exact same parts have been ordered. This is also coupled with the car being brought in for an early service due to oil warnings only 4 days before it broke down (it passed the service).

    I’m now in a position with no trust in this model of car and no confidence in this not happening again and possibly endangering my young family.

    Do I have grounds for refusal based on this being a recurring fault on a brand new car? And would this refusal be through the finance company or the dealer? Vauxhall initially advised to speak to the dealership sales team. Thanks, James

    • Hi James. The Consumer Rights Act works in your favour for the first six months only, and you’ve had the car nearly two years. It’s not impossible to reject the car now, but the odds will be rather more against you.

      The “dealership sales team” will be only too happy to help you out, but obviously that will mean trying to negotiate you out of your current car (which will probably still have negative equity) into a new car…

  31. Hi Stuart, hoping you can help! I bought a used Fiat 500 in November, 13000 miles on the clock, handed over £6700 and got a 6 month warranty. It’s a Mazda dealership but they sell all makes. Yesterday I turned it on and the entire dashboard has gone, nothing lights up at all so I can’t see how much fuel is left, the mileage, speed, no trip computer etc. I took it straight to them as I wanted to know whether this fault is potentially dangerous given it’s used for me and my two year old! They said no, they will book it in for “sometime” next week and call me. I asked if someone could look at it quickly to tell me it is safe and they said no, too busy, lots of mechanics off with flu. So came home and started googling but didn’t get far. Within 2 hours they rung back saying they had looked into it and could I bring it straight back and they will give me a loan car. They said it needs a complete new dash and need to send it away so wanted to give me a loan car “to be on the safe side”. I did more research and have found that this fault is rare but when it doesn’t happen and is repaired, it can continue to be a problem in the future. The majority of people who had this fault rejected the car after two or three failed attempts at fixing it and they urge people to be extra cautious accepting the car back if it has this problem. Went in this morning and they’ve confirmed it’s covered by the warranty. I raised my concerns and asked what happens if the fault comes back once the warranty expires and was told “oh that would be a problem only the director can decide”. So I’m very wary. Can I reject the car despite them fixing it given it’s such a serious fault? I’ve lost faith and was scared stupid driving it this morning. Thank you in advance

    • Hi Sallyanne. You are outside your first 30 days but still within six months, so if you formally reject the car then the dealer will be entitled to one chance at fixing the problem. If they fix it, you lose your right to reject.

      Once your warranty expires, you’re usually on your own. That’s why warranties (and the Consumer Rights Act) have time limits.

  32. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a second hand car from a garage 2 days ago, since then I have had a number of issues, Gears are not engaging properly, fluid leaking from the car, burnt smell and smoke from the bonet, coolant warning light and tyre pressure warning light. I have driven the car a total of 30 miles since owning it. I have contacted the dealer and they have suggested taking to a garage over the road to check the problems. Is the garage i bought the car from responsible for fix costs? Also im not confident said garage will perform the necessary repairs, do I have grounds for just requesting a refund based on right to return? and finally if i have to take legal action can my costs be claimed back if i win?

    • Hi Mark. Yes, within the first 30 days you are within your rights to demand a refund rather than a repair.

      If you end up having to take legal action and it got as far as a courtroom, it would be up to the judge to decide if costs were payable (assuming you won, of course).

  33. HI I BOUGHT A CAR FROM A SMALL DEALER WHEN DRIVING UP THE ROAD THE CAR WENT INTO LIMP MOD I PHONED HIM AND HE TOLD ME TO SWITCH OFF THE CAR AND START IT AGAIN I DID THIS AND THE CAR WAS OK .THE NEXT DAY I TOOK IT OUT FOR A DRIVE AND IT DID IT AGAIN AND THIS TIME THE ENGINE MANAGEMENT LIGHT CAME ON ,I GOT THE CODE OFF THE CAR ANT ITS A TURBO BOOT FAULT I PHOND HIME TO TELL HIM AND HE TOLD ME TO PUT IT INTO A GARAGE FOR DIAGNOSTIC CHECK £41 I DID THIS AND HE SAID THE SAME .HE WANTED TO FLUSH THE TURBO WHITCH 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 DOES NOT WORK AND WHEN IT DOES ONLY LAST A MONTH THEN I SAID I WANT MY MONNEY BACK AND I WOULD BE DOWN IN 4 DAYS. THE CAR ONLY WOULD GO INTO LIMP MODE IF U DO 70MPH THEN YOU SWITCH OFF AND ON AND ITS OK AGAIN DROVE IT BACH 110 MILES AND HE WENT FOR TEST DRIVE BUT ONLY DID 39MPH AND SAID THE THE DIAGNOSTIC WAS WRONG HE NEW BEST I SAID I WILL TAKE IT OUT AND BRING IT BACK IN LIME MODE WHITCH I DID .WHEN I GOT BACK HE WOULD NOT DRIVE THE CAR AND WE GOT INTO A ARGUMENT AND HE DROVE AWAY I HAD NOT CHOSE BUT TO DRIVE HOME AFTER 50 MILES DRIVING 65 IT WENT INTO LIMP MODE AND WOULD NOT COME OUT OF IT THINK TURBO HAS GONE ALLTOGEATHER NOW I HAVE A CAR I CAN NOT USE HE DOES NOT ANSWER CALLS OR EMAIL ME AND I NEED A CAR ON THE BUS AT THE MOMENT THANKS

    • Hi Stewart. You need to formally reject the car (in writing), rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, if he does not respond or accept your rejection, you will need to take legal action against him.

  34. Hi Stuart, just under a week ago I purchased a 2nd hand car from a trader. Unfortunately today something caught my eye that I hadn’t noticed before. The front bumper appears to have been resprayed near the number plate and front grill and the clear lacquer is ever so slightly starting to flake. I have also noticed that there is some over spray on the grill. Given that the car is only 18 months old, cost £20k and this damage wasn’t declared do I have any legal protection under the consumer rights act? The trader also charged me a £99 fee for a “pre delivery check” and the poor repair wasn’t mentioned at any time. Any advise is appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Hi Steve. No, as far as I can see, you don’t have any rights under the Consumer Rights Act. What are you hoping for? A minor cosmetic flaw does not constitute a faulty car.

  35. Hi there am new on here and need help asap. I got a Vauxhall Astra on finance through startline motors V12 sports and classics.

    Car started idling after week of finance. I’ve spoken to dealers and had to take 5days off work to be resolved due to had to leave he car with them they couldnt find the fault tried to communicate with the dealer but no luck called citizen advice which i had to put up in writing to the finance as i didnt have anything to do with dealer its the finance so complain is opened and made the video of the fault took the car to the dealer and left it for 4days to get it fixed otherwise i mentioned i would reject the car then after 2 days the issue is the same i do work 2 jobs and dont have much of time to go back and forwards as ive been doing so after two days they came back they cant find the fault to come and collect the car so i collected the car and came the next day and showed them the fault which they admited it issue is there and they came up they fidnt notice it now the finance that i have complaint to them they require further evidence which on diagnostics doesnt show the actual fault so the car has been at the dealer for nearly 7weeks which i lost faith in it and no longer wanted as well got another that that i am happy with and called today 29/1/18 the finance adviced me they fixed the issue they are happy for me to collect the car which i wrote them rejection if vehicle as well notice before action any help woule be apriciated

    • Hi Kristijan. If you rejected the vehicle after the first 30 days, then the dealer is allowed one attempt to fix the problem before you can push for the rejection to be accepted (and any work they have done previously does not count towards this).

      From what you have described, you did not actually reject the car until more than seven weeks after taking delivery. If you had rejected it within the first 30 days, you would not have to agree to a repair.

  36. HI, I purchased a car from a Vauxhall dealership at end of April 2017. 2 weeks later the car overheated and basically blew up on the motorway due to suddenly overheating, towed back to Vauxhall and told car had several leaks, Vauxhall out in new engine.
    Roughly September 2017 I get a letter from Ford saying my model car has a fault with degas hose so I take it to ford and have it changed, December 2017 my car heaters stop working, I take it to ford they tell me the radiator was leaking water and they repaired it. Putting a new radiator in. 4 weeks later my heating goes again, I’m booked to ford on 9 feb 2018 to have it repaired again!
    Today I’m at work as I use my car for work, the car makes a sound I’ve heard before I let car cool down open bonnet to see that coolant is running low, I refill it although it was only filled roughly 4 months previous, local mechanic who was passing says you’ve got a leak! I now have lost all faith in my car, how do I go about rejecting it as problems really started to arise once 2 weeks of buying in cash, it’s under warranty but every time I have it repaired it’s going back awhile later for same issues. I’ve lost all faith and I need my car for work. What do or can I do?
    Thanks

    • Hi Dee. If you are using your car for work purposes then you are not covered by the Consumer Rights Act, which only covers private purchases for personal use. Therefore, you are most likely going to have to persevere with warranty claims or get a lawyer to try and find any avenue to get you out of the car.

  37. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a Fiat 500 1.2Ltr Semi-Automatic last week on PCP. Since I got it, the gear change on the semi-automatic has been jerky making it difficult to control for quick starts (i.e. at a roundabout), hard to accelerate quick enough to engage safely on the motorway and most importantly very hard to/rarely possible to climb a moderate to steep hill without losing power completely and rolling back.

    Obviously, none of this was disclosed at point on sale. The car has just been fixed for a wiring issue that caused national recall and I accepted that. But not being able to climb a hill in Semi-Automatic is a key fault because it makes the car dangerous to drive. I cannot switch it into manual and drive it that way up a hill because I only own an automatic licence and cannot legally drive a manual car/in manual mode. Hence there is no workaround and genuine places in the UK/everyday life where I will not be able to get a long running start to a hill.

    Does this count as a fault? Can I return the car based on the loss engine power in Semi-Automatic.

    Thank you,

    Nefy

    • Hi Nefy. You would need to be confident that this is a fault with the car rather than simply a particular characteristic of that engine with that gearbox. From what you have described it sounds like a fault (a car should never lose so much power that it starts rolling backwards under normal driving), but you should drive another similar model with the same engine and gearbox to see if there is a noticeable difference.

      Most semi-automatic gearboxes are quite jerky, and you need to drive them almost like a manual to get best results – lifting off the accelerator as it is changing gear and only accelerating again once it has engaged the next gear. But driving it in automatic mode shouldn’t affect its ability to climb a hill.

  38. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a 2014 Audi A4 Avant at a cost of 18000 in October 2017 from a franchised Honda dealer in stockpot. It needed a service so i took it to my local indy in London the following month and 400 miles since purchase. They noticed that there as an oil leek. I informed the sales person from stockpot Honda and they fobbed me off saying that it was probably a spill and their 100 point health check including any fluid leeks which it had passed wold have flagged it up. After escalating the issue to the general manager he said pursue the 3 month RAC warranty. RAC required a diagnosis to make a claim which i had to pay for. RAC would only cover half the quoted work which was reseal of sump and replacement sensor. The dealership didn’t want to cover the rest of the quoted works and wanted to see if the sump and oil sensor fixed the leak. Well it didn’t fix it and there is still an oil leek. I reported this back to the dealer and in fairness to them they have paid for another diagnosis from the local indy which we are in the process of doing. The Dealer said that want to see if they can get RAC to cover the cost of further works even though the RAC warranty ran out in January (3months only) maybe they have a greater sway with RAC as they do a lot of business with them. They did say that failng that they would cover the cost of repair.

    The dealer does not want to put anything in writing so i have a lot of one way emails to them followed by a call from them!

    The local Indy has also had dealings with the dealer who have paid for the second diagnosis so there is a slight omission to a problem by paying for an investigation.

    Anyway im aware that my 6 months are quickly running out, if i have started the process prior to 6 months does my right to reject stop after six months if the case is ongoing?

    Do the repairs from RAC that the dealer asked me to pursue count as an attempt from the dealer to repair?

    The dealer is represented by the motoring ombudsman, so when should i go to them? should i wait for this next round first?

    Do i want to reject the car? or should i push for some form of compensation via the ombudsman as the car was not sold as described as i don’t think its fair and reasonable for a car of this age and mileage and cost to have such an oil leak.

    thanks in advance

    matt

    • Hi Matthew. Based on the above, you haven’t started the process to reject the car. That starts when you formally (ie – in writing) advise the dealer that you intend to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act. You should do this within six months while the law is on your side. After six months, the law tends to favour the seller over the buyer.

      After you advise that you intend to reject the car, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem. Anything that has been done before that doesn’t count (unless they admit that they’ve tried and they decline the opportunity to try again). If they fix the problem, you lose the right to reject. If they can’t fix it, you are entitled to proceed with your rejection.

      If the dealer does not accept your rejection, then you can proceed to the Ombudsman. If the dealer does accept your rejection, they are entitled to reduce your refund based on your usage of the car. There is no formula for this, so it is entirely negotiable between you and the dealer. There is no provision in the Act for any compensation, only a refund of the car’s selling price (minus the allowable reduction mentioned).

  39. Hi Stuart,

    On the back of your response, I didn’t add that I attempted to contact the seller on numerous occasions and he is ignoring my calls and text messages.

    What is my next step, would it be going to court or?

    Many thanks for your help

    • Yes, if he’s not responding then you will need to take action against him, and that normally involves a lawyer. However, any kind of formal action against him is going to cost more than the £95 still outstanding and there’s no guarantee that (even if you get the £95 back) you will get your costs back.

  40. Hi stuart

    I recieved a Nissan X-Trail brand new from LeasePlan on the 3rd oct 2017, after 50 miles the engine light came on and since 16th Oct the car has been into the local Nissan dealers (Bristol Street Motors Chesterfield…) 6-7 times. It is there at the moment and has been there for 7 weeks!
    It’s been reset a couple of times had 2 boost sensors fitted, a new turbo on the 10th and since then has been sat in their car park, it took them 3 weeks to fit the turbo after it had been delivered. I have spoken to the dealer several times, when they actually answered the phone or got back to me, Nissan Assist who seem to get treated same as me, and LeasePlan who just get updates from Nissan assist, it’s really p******g me off. I asked LeasePlan if I could either have a replacement car or cancel my contract and they say I have to let the garage fix it??? see above!!! Is there any way I can get out of this contract, lost confidence with car, Nissan, and LeasePlan. Fobbed off by everyone.

    • EDIT: Updated information

      Hi Andrew. Because you don’t own the vehicle, you have to tackle the leasing company with regard to rejecting the vehicle, rather than the dealer. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a leasing company to keeping batting you away and referring you back to the dealer to have problems fixed under warranty.

      Have you formally written to LeasePlan to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act? If not, this needs to be your next step.

      You will have to keep hassling LeasePlan to try and get this resolved. If you submit a formal rejection of the vehicle and they reject it, you will have to bring action against them to try and force them to accept the rejection, which usually means calling a lawyer. If they are just messing you about and not officially refusing to accept a formal rejection of the vehicle, you can file an official complaint with the company’s complaints department.

  41. Hi Stuart,

    I have recently rejected a car, wrote a letter and the whole process.

    However an issue has arose as the seller only refunded me £1800 when I paid £1895, he claims that its due to his time and cost of repairs (not made by me but they were already there when he sold the car to me).

    What should I do or need to do to get the remaining £95 as im sure he has no right not to send me that money.

    Look forward to your response.

    Many Thanks,

    Sam

    • Hi Sam. If the car was rejected in the first 30 days, there are no provisions in the legislation for the dealer to claim any part of the refund back for his time and expenses. If it was after the first 30 days, the dealer is entitled to make a deduction for wear and tear associated with the car.

      It’s entirely possible that he has no right to withhold that money and is simply assuming that you won’t bother to fight him over it.

  42. Hi again,
    I have just told the dealer I wish to reject the car for a full refund on the basis the car is not fit for purpose, they have said I need to write to them requesting this and they have 21 days for their solicitors to respond. Is this correct? They are leaving me with an undriveable car for this period. If I choose to take them to Court do I start the ball rolling now or do I have to wait until their solicitors have contacted me? Thanks again for your help

    • Yes, you need to formally advise the dealership that you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which means putting it in writing. Email is acceptable (should be directed to the general manager or dealer principal), recorded delivery snail mail is better.

      As for what happens after that, there is nothing in the Act that specifies how long they have to respond. Obviously, it is reasonable for the dealership to want to look at the car for themselves to decide whether they agree with your assertion that it’s faulty, rather than just taking your word for it. You can only really take them to court if they refuse to grant your request to reject the car, or refuse to respond to your letter of rejection.

  43. Hi I bought a Vauxhall Astra VXR in finance on August 8th 2017 2nd hand from the local dealership then on the 3rd January 2018 it started juddering and the traction control light came on along with the engine light, I sent it back to the dealership who replaced the crankshaft sensor but the problem was still the same and they said it has to go to a Vauxhall specialist they are now telling me the ECU needs replacing can I tell them I no longer want this car? What about the finance?

    • Hi Dave. You are outside the initial 30-day period, so if you notify the dealer that you wish to reject the car, they have one chance to fix the problem before you can finally reject the vehicle.

      You will need to contact your finance company first, as it’s ultimately their car. They will usually want you to reject the car to the dealership, who will then have to refund the finance company.

      If your rejection is successful, you won’t get a full refund as the seller is entitled to deduct for use. This is negotiable, so you don’t have to agree with their calculations (which will obviously be in their favour).

  44. Hi,
    We bought a Volvo XC90 from a Volvo dealer. 36 hrs later the engine emission filter was on. I have taken it back to the dealer within 30 days and it needs a whole new diesel particulate filter unit. This part should last for 100,000 miles. They have offered to do this but on reading it should not fail this early and it could signal engine faults upstream. We are not happy to take the car back. Are we entitled to a full refund?

    • Hi Martha. I am assuming you have bought a used car, rather than a new one. It would certainly be unusual for a particulate filter to fail within 36 hours from new.

      The particulate filter is a wear-and-tear item, so it is unlikely to be sufficient grounds to reject a used car. If the filter is replaced at no cost (as it should be), the car should run perfectly well afterwards. What has probably happened is that the previous owner has not done sufficient driving to clear the filter, so it has clogged up and now needs replacement.

  45. Thank you for your answer Stuart,

    I wrote them a rejection letter on 27th day of my 30 days, 10th of January, i got the royal mail receipt and copy of the letter, i was in my 30 days right when i rejected the car.
    They tried to fixed the car once already but the problem never solved, plus i found a empty can of engine leak stopper and PCO Licence badge on back of the car, so they put that liquid to hide that knocking temporary and this has been used as a private hire car before which they never mentioned to me, they are not registered to ombudsman service, Where can i get a legal advice or help? Thank you

  46. Hi Stuart, we feel we have been mis sold our new car, Land Rover Discovery Sport, we purchased it six months ago, since then we have had the warning light on three times, first two times I was told to drive for 20 mins at min 40 Miles per hour, which I did, the car was taken back by Land Rover which they had for 4 days and fitted a new part, the problem has happened again (being a sooted up exhaust) the car has gone back to the garage but this time we have been charged as we were told the car had not been driven enough, so the fault was ours.
    We feel very cross as we part exchanged a Ssangyong which had very low mileage and spoke to the salesman that we only used it for small journeys, we were not informed that this vehicle would not be suitable for us ( so feel it was mis-sold ) the Discovery is coming back tomorrow and I feel I don’t want to drive it as I know the problem will occur again. What would you advise? Thank you. Liz

    • Hi Liz. I gather that you are referring to the Diesel Particulate Filter warning light. It’s unfortunately a fairly common problem associated with modern diesel engines – there is a filter in the exhaust that catches the worst of the black, sooty, carcinogenic smoke that all diesel engines produce. Once the filter heats up enough (which happens eventually as the engine and exhaust system will gradually heat up as you drive), the particles are all burned off.

      Because you are not doing any longer journeys and the engine is not actually working very hard, the system is not heating up adequately and therefore the filter is becoming clogged with black soot. And like any filter that gets clogged, it causes whatever’s coming through it to block and back up.

      The advice to drive for 20 minutes at 40mph is basically to give the engine and exhaust system enough time to properly heat up so the soot can all be burned off properly and clean the filter (the manufacturers refer to this as ‘regeneration’). However, if you don’t do that when the warning light first comes on, it will eventually fill up and driving the car won’t fix it, so the car has to go back to the garage.

      Rejecting a car on the grounds of mis-selling is always difficult unless you have a very clear paper trail that shows you have been misled. Given that nearly all recommendations and advice provided by salespeople are verbal, it becomes a “he said, she said” kind of argument. The dealership can argue that everything was properly explained to you but you wanted the car anyway, and what proof do you have to counter that?

      I would suggest you should consult a solicitor specialising in consumer law, who may be able to help you show that the car is manifestly inadequate for your needs (based on your driving circumstances, a new diesel engine sounds entirely wrong for you) and may be able to get the dealer or Land Rover to exchange the car for a petrol model instead.

  47. Hi Stuart, I purchased a used car 12 days ago from a dealer. Test drove it a week prior it ran perfectly. Paid a deposit and agreed that they would fit a new cambelt and water pump. Paid for and collected the car a week later. Noticed on driving the car home that the engine wasn’t running quite right, buried my head in the sand for a couple of days not wanting to admit to myself there was a problem but it only got worse so on day 5 called them up and they have taken it back this week to repair (It has several codes showing relating to the fuel system and engine pressure we know as a friend ran diagnostics). I believe either something may possibly have happened at the garage when doing the work that has caused this or it is really bad luck that something has just gone wrong with the car between test driving and picking it up. I don’t have confidence that they will repair it satisfactorily (just a hunch) but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. I just want to prepare myself to potentially ask for a refund if the problem isn’t fixed – am I within my rights to do so please? I traded my (very low value) car in against this where would I stand with that? Sorry I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    Thanks
    Harriet

    • Hi Harriet. It will depend on what you mean by “the engine wasn’t running quite right”, and what the cause of that problem is. If the car is genuinely faulty, then you are within your right to reject it. Definitely best to do so sooner rather than later, as the longer you leave it the harder it will get.

      If you are able to reject the car, you are entitled to a full refund of the purchase price (as long as you do so within 30 days). Assuming the dealer is unlikely to still have your part-exchange vehicle, you will get a cash refund on the overall price. So if (for example) the car cost £10K and you paid £8K in cash plus had a part-exchange worth £2K, you will get a £10K refund.

  48. Hi Stuart. Thanks for your response. I thought the dealership was trying to pull the wool over our eyes regarding this and it’s good to have your solid advice. We don’t give up that easily and if they want to drag it on then so be it, we have another vehicle so are not at any inconvenience in that regard, just the sheer frustration of dealing with them. We are speaking with a solicitor tomorrow to decide how to take things forward.

  49. Hi Stuart
    Ordered a new Jeep Renegade on 4th October and took delivery at 1.30 pm on 17 December. Drove the vehicle home (less than 5 miles) and parked up on the drive and locked car up for the day. Woken at 4.00 am to the alarm going off. Could not disable the alarm and in fact the key got stuck in the ignition device and all the dials were going ballistic and alarm still sounding. It took one and a half hours for the alarm to stop. When we tried to start the car, nothing happened, but the alarm went off again. Contacted the dealership who advised us to contact Jeep Recovery. They came out within an hour and the Assistant advised the battery was flat. He advised something had drained it and he would need to charge the battery in order to carry out tests. He did this but said there was nothing he could find that was draining the battery. He contacted the dealership to advise and they asked for the vehicle to be returned for diagnostic testing. Jeep recovery took the vehicle to the dealership and after about an hour they rang to advise that the problem was an internal failure of The Body Control Module. I’ve been advised that this is the main computer on the vehicle and is responsible for all the internal/external electrics. They said they were ordering a replacement but as this has to come from the manufacturer in Italy it could take 7-10 days. The vehicle has been with them ever since.

    We heard nothing from the dealership and on the 28th December officially advised them by e-mail of our wish to invoke our short term right to reject under The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and requested a full refund. They acknowledged our communication but did not accept the rejection stating it was their “solution” to replace the Body Control Module under the terms and conditions of the manufacturer’s warranty. We wrote again stating that we did not wish a repair to be carried out and understood from the Act that we did not have to accept a repair in place of a refund as the fault had occurred within the first 30 days (in actual fact it was 15 hours).

    We have been contacted by Jeep in Italy to see if they could negotiate some form of financial incentive for us to take the vehicle back (although no amount was actually quoted) but we understand that if we do this and the fault, or another fault, occurs, then we have lost the right to reject.

    On 8 January received a further call from Jeep advising that the replacement Body Control Module was now with the dealership and they again asked if we would consider keeping the vehicle for a financial incentive. We have made it very clear to both Jeep and the dealership that we do not want to keep the vehicle and want a refund. On the same day I received a very curt e-mail from the dealership saying they were looking to get approval for a refund from Jeep but that they needed to liaise with them and find out exactly when the fault occurred – whether before the alarm went off and what the reason was for the alarm going off!! This is three weeks after we had been advised what the fault was.

    15th January and heard nothing further from the dealership. Looking to take some legal advice but in the meantime would appreciate your comments as to whether or not we can claim a refund and if so, how long we should give the dealership to sort this out.

    • Hi Pauline. Under the Consumer Rights Act, you are rejecting the car to the dealership, not the manufacturer. Whether the manufacturer refunds the dealer for any loss is not your problem.

      It is not surprising that they are trying to drag things out. It doesn’t affect your rights to a refund if they drag it beyond the 30 days, but they know that customers tend to give up and accept a lesser offer just to resolve the situation and get on with their lives. Accepting your rejection will cost the dealer and/or manufacturer many thousands of pounds (plus they then have to sell the car to someone else as a used car), so it’s not surprising that they are trying to offer you alternatives that avoid this expense for them.

  50. Hi Stuart, great article. Was hoping for a little of your sound advice?

    I purchased a used Mercedes from a local used car dealership, with only 33k miles. I had it 4 weeks and it broke down, after only driving 600 miles in it. RAC came, scanned it and said no fuel pressure. It got towed back to the dealership at my expense and they said they will look at it. None of the staff there seem very happy to have it back and treated me like a nuisance when I arrived – great. They haven’t given me a time scale on when they will look at it, it’s been there 4 days.

    What are my rights here, do they get one attempt at fixing it before I can refuse it and request my money back?
    Are they liable to pay the costs of towing the car back?
    How long should I give them before putting pressure on?

    • Under the Consumer Rights Act, after the first 30 days but inside the first six months, the dealer is entitled to one attempt to fix the problem. However, step one in this process is you formally rejecting the car – which means in writing, citing the Consumer Rights Act 2015. After you have formally communicated this to the dealer, they are entitled to their one chance. Any work that takes place before you reject the car does not count.

  51. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a 2012 Honda insight 50000 miles on clock, from a private dealer on 13th of December, i paid £6770, after a week i got sound from engine and then low oil light, went to local garage and there was very little oil left on the engine, they top it up and after 6 days engine knocking start again and low oil light on again, so car clearly burning oil, i went to main Honda dealer and they said that car needs a engine rebuilt which will cost £4000! i called the dealer and they said i have to go one of their garage, i went there and their garage heard the knocking, but they said its a piping, nothing from engine, i went straight to the Honda again and they said sound is coming from straight from the top of the engine! engine definitely needs to removed and rebuilt! i went to dealer where i get the car, explained them what Honda said, the accused that Honda is lying and they tried to send me to another garage for another check! i refused that because i lost faith on them and send them a rejection letter on 27th day, its clear that engine problem was there before i bought the car, i already use nearly 14 liters of oil in 2.5 weeks, so whats my chance to get my money back? thank you

    • Hi Dogan. You are now outside your initial 30 days, so if you formally reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act now, the dealer will be entitled to one chance to fix the problem. If they can fix it, you lose the right to reject the car. The fact that the problem was first detected within a week does not matter because you did not reject the car at the time.

      You will need to provide a written report from the Honda dealership that sets out their findings to present to the dealer who sold you the car. The dealer is not obliged to accept your argument, so if they don’t agree then you will have to take action to try and enforce your rejection.

  52. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a new Peugeot 3008 from a main dealer and took delivery in September 2017. The car was fine for a couple of weeks but then (1) the car would not recognise all of the contacts on my phone list and the voice recognition worked only spasmodically, (2) the sat nav regularly showed the car driving in areas when it was somewhere else (e.g. instead of turning left at a junction as the car did it might show the car travelling straight ahead across fields, and (3) the driver’s seat massage function worked only occasionally. The car has been back to the dealers on four occasions to rectify these problems, but on the last visit despite being told that they had all been fixed, only the phone issue had been. I understand your comments about the right to reject the car within 6 months, but how much more opportunity should I give the dealers to sort things before I do? The car was purchased with cash and a part exchange. Clearly, if I do reject it I can’t expect to get my old car back and the cash paid (but I would if I could!), but what can I expect? I would be happy to accept a replacement car to the same spec, but this one has a lot of factory fitted extras and a replacement would not be ready until the six months had expired. If I reject on time, can I keep driving the existing car until its replacement arrives?
    Thanks, Marc

    • Hi Marc. From a procedural point of view, if you reject in six months then you are entitled to a cash refund of the purchase price of the vehicle – minus an allowance for wear and tear. There is no legal definition of how that is calculated, so the dealer will attempt to charge a large amount and you will have to negotiate something more reasonable. The Consumer Rights Act does not provide for a replacement vehicle or any other settlement – you can negotiate this, but you are stepping outside the Act and negotiating your own agreement with the dealer and/or manufacturer.

      If you do formally reject the car under the Act, you have to give the dealer one more chance to fix the faults. The work that has already been done does not count for the purposes of rejecting the vehicle. This is how the Act has been interpreted in the cases that have made it as far as a courtroom to date. If you do formally reject the vehicle, you should stop driving it immediately if at all possible.

      The three faults you have listed are annoyances, but they don’t really constitute the whole car being faulty. It is still perfectly drivable and retains all of its safety features, therefore you may struggle to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. You are probably better served continuing to push for the faults to be fixed under your new car warranty.

  53. Hi Stuart, thank you for coming back to me, would it be best to speak to the finance company first before telling the dealer? Many thanks Lucy

  54. Hi Stuart, i brought brand new Nissan Juke 28th July 2017 on PCP finance, its been back in the dealer for a number of faults, there is a current fault that the vehicle will hesitate and has no power puling away from junction, i took the car on the 1st November 2017 and was told there had been an software update done but I still have the problem. This problem as nearly caused me to have a number of accidents. The vehicle is booked in on 25th January to be looked at again. Do i have the right to reject this car? Also where do i stand that the car will be 6 months old on the 28th January 2018? As the problem has been noted which in the 6 month period would i still be able to reject the car after this date? Many Thanks Lucy

    • Hi Lucy. You have to formally advise the dealership within six months that you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. That date won’t be exactly 28 January, as you can add any days that the dealer has had the car for repairs onto your six month (so, for example, if they had the car for a total of two days, your six-month date would be extended to 30 January).

      You can’t reject it later on on the basis that you originally told the dealer about it within the six-month period but then kept driving it (well, you can, but the law is definitely not in your favour if you do).

  55. Hi Stuart,
    I hope you can help me please.
    I bought a Fiat 500 last year (November 2016). It was brand new and within a month it needed a new gear box because the car kept playing up. It took Fiat 4 weeks to get a part and to be repaired. Then in October my car broke down. I was at a roundabout went to go and my car did not move and then would not start. I still do not have my car, I have been waiting for a part for them to replace it but have been told that the first part they tried did not work and then another fault happened which was not related to the original fault they have now tried a second part and is apparently now working but I went to collect it today and they did not do the service they had promised so it is still at the garage. What can I do? I’m worried it is going to break down again. Please help. I have spoken to Fiat and the finance company and all they are offering is compensation.

  56. Hi Stuart,

    I am hoping you could give me some advice!

    On Dec 3, 2017, I purchased a used Ford Fiesta from Cargiant. When I drove it home for the first time, I could feel that the alignment of the car wasn’t correct. As I was aware that service of the car is due I decided to get it checked and serviced at the same time. I don’t use car to go to work so second time I used it was on the following sunday, but I got stuck in the snow and my friend who was in his car behind mine had to help me get home. So I quickly booked a service for the next week and got it checked at a nearby garage on Dec 14.

    When I went to pick up the serviced car on the same day, I was extremely shocked to see the service report and to hear comments of the garage owner on the condition of the car. In his exact words, “the car is not fit to drive”. He then mentioned a number of things that lead him to make this conclusion, like:- Steering pulls to the right, Wheel alignment is not correct, Wheel rim is bent, Wheel arch liner is insecure, Tyre Repair Kit Sealant Expired on December 04, 2017. Also, the kit provided was not even for the correct car model.

    I was utterly disappointed. Then spoke to their after sales service personnel and made him aware of the condition of the car, for which he suggested me to get the car back to their workshop so that it can be repaired. I requested them to pick it up as i was scared to drive it again, but they refused, so I had to drop it off myself at their garage on 19 Dec and it has been with them since then. They tell me that they have ordered a number of parts and are waiting for them to arrive. It has been 3 weeks since then and we are facing a lot of inconvenience (not being able to use car during holiday season) and uber expenses because of not having our car, etc. Please note we are a young family with a 2 year old baby and in these days he got sick twice, and we had to uber every time for our doctor visits wait for whilst carrying our unwell baby.

    I think Car Giant has clearly sold me a car which is unfit to be on the road and of unsatisfactory quality. So I have lost all the confidence in this car and wish to reject it now. From reading CRA 2015, I understand that I am still under my Short term right to reject period and eligible to reject the car. But before I do that I would like to understand whether I can claim more than just what i paid for buying the car such as – insurance cost, road tax, service cost, uber and other expenses I had to incur because of my car being kept by car giant for repair? if yes, then could you please guide me if this is covered by law and where.

    Thanks in anticipation for your advice!

    Warm regards,
    Suneha

    • Hi Suneha. The Consumer Rights Act entitles you to a full refund for the value of the car. You can’t claim any other expenses or compensation under the Act.

      You can always try to get reimbursement for expenses from the dealer, but this is separate to the Act and is simply a matter of negotiation.

  57. Thanks for the advice Stuart. I really appreciate your confirmation that I am within my rights to do so. The after sales manager just got back to me by phone and has said that the General Manager is not accepting my rejection of the vehicle. I again stated my case and have said that I will now contact Audi UK and the Motor Industry Ombusdman and will involve my lawyer. Following the conversation I emailed him back the following “Dear XXXX, Further to your telephone call earlier this afternoon I would appreciate it if you could respond with the following details:
    A clear explanation of your grounds for not accepting my rejection of the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, Chapter 2, Subsection 9, Point 3.C. “freedom from minor defects”.
    The name and contact details for the Dealer Principal for Glasgow Audi.
    Contact details for Audi UK Complaints Department.
    I look forward to hearing from you in due course.”
    I will probably now focus on Audi UK to take forward the case. Out of interest am I still able to use the vehicle while this drags on? I need a vehicle for work and have been limiting my use of this one to avoid any issues but all my money is tied up in the vehicle and so I can’t afford to but another especially not knowing what the outcome will be. Thanks again for your advice. Best Wishes, Stuart.

    • As a rule, if you are rejecting the car because it is faulty, you should avoid driving it if at all possible. Otherwise you are just undermining your own position.

  58. Hi Stuart, I was hoping you could give me some advice regarding a new Audi Q7 which I picked up from the Audi dealership on the 28th November 2017. A couple of days after picking the vehicle up I noticed there were faults with the electronic MMI Infotainment system. The DAB radio wasn’t working, there were input problems with the trackpad and the internet system was problematic.
    The car had to go back in 2 weeks later for some accessories to be fitted and when I was booking it in with service I asked them to look at these faults. Communication has been terrible all along and when they had the vehicle in the first time they identified that there was a fault with the MMI system but couldn’t fix it and said it would have to go back in for several days to rectify it. In the interim, the vehicle was in for a further day for the other accessory to be fitted and the Q5 courtesy car I was given had various faults with it.
    The service I received from the Service dept. has been deplorable. I made a formal complaint to the aftersales manager on the 20th December and he said he would look into it. He phoned the following day to apologise for the service I had received and offered a first service free of charge which I have in writing. I said I would consider it however by this stage I have lost faith in the brand, the vehicle and the dealers ability to get the most basic things right and anything more serious down the line if it should occur. I therefore rejected the vehicle by email and recorded delivery letter on 21st December 2017, within the 30 days.
    The aftersales manager has spoken to me several times since trying to convince me to change my mind but I have said I won’t. They want me to meet with them to convince me to change my mind and explain to me how things will improve with the service dept. and how they will rectify the faults.He appears to be dragging his heals and says that VW Finance have to agree to the rejection, however I have spoken to VW Finance and they say it is between the dealership and the customer. They said that the dealership has to issue them with a nil cost invoice and that this will satisfy them.
    The aftersales manager has said now that he has to meet with the sales manager and the business manager to discuss it but that they would still like to meet with me to change my mind about rejection. I am not going to do this as I have already made up my mind and have given them a chance already to fix the vehicle which I was not obliged to do.
    Can you give me any advice on how I can progress things along. I have now asked on 3 separate occasions for a timetable for them to pick up the vehicle and issue a full refund for £10,500 deposit which I paid for the vehicle. I don’t know if this helps but I did pay £500 of the deposit by credit card. (The original purchase price was around £52,500). Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Regards, Stuart.

    • Hi Stuart. Don’t waste your time dealing with the aftersales manager as rejecting the vehicle has nothing to do with him. You will need to correspond with the sales manager or general manager/dealer principal, as they will be the ones who will approve or reject your claim.

      Stalling and trying to talk you out of it is standard practice – they hope you will give up and go away. The reason for this is very simple; it will cost the dealership many thousands of pounds to accept your rejection, especially if they can’t claw anything back from Audi head office.

      You need to hold firm to your written rejection of the vehicle from 21 December, and confirm that you are exercising your right under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to reject the car within 30 days without accepting a repair. I would suggest written communication with the dealer principal (email is fine) – make sure you find out his/her name and email address, rather than a general Dear Sir/Madam email or letter that they can accidentally lose to drag things out further. CC Audi head office customer complaints, VW Finance and even Trading Standards. Be very clear that (as you have previously advised, and preferably attached) you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 because of [reasons], and that you refuse to accept a repair as is your legal right.

  59. Hello Stuart, I have bought a car on 14 November 2017 from a car finance company, 1,7 years old. The car is still under warranty but after 7 days of driving the car breakdown. I have called Nissan warranty and they’ve sent the warranty guys at my home, deleted all the errors and advised me that if it’s happening again to call Nissan because the ECU is faulty.
    After their visit I didn’t drive the car for the next 6 days and the 7th day I drive it for 25 miles and died again. I manage after 2 days to have a recovery lorry to pick it send by Nissan. After another 6 days Nissan dealer repair shop manage to give me an answer about my car. They’ve told me that the car breakdown because of the ECU unit, they’ve replaced but the car is not working. They’ve even told me that the car was repaired before and the fault that is causing the ECU to die is being caused by the wrong positioning of the earth cables. They’ve told me as well that one of the bolt that is supplying the ground points as been cut down and now the earth cables are connected in one point.
    Because of this modification to the car manufacture the dealer they want now to close my warranty and to not repair my car.
    After 2 weeks of calls I have found out from Nissan by email that warranty repairs that the car was already had previous under warranty was for the same issues on another 2 different Nissan dealers. Surprise. it seems that Nissan didn’t fix it properly and worst they even damaged on the inside hopping that it will last until the warranty will expire.
    Since the issues was already here when I bought the car and the car finance company is telling me to speak with Nissan to tell them to give me another new car because this one either you replace all the electrical system to it(but it will have to weld another bolt on the car and that will give exclusion to my warranty because is going to bring modification to my car and the warranty will go on exclusions) or to give me another new car because is their fault and they knew about it when they sold it to the car finance company.
    And finally I’m not going to fill safe in car that will have modification on it because someone from Nissan previously my ownership didn’t bother to repair it properly.
    Can you advise what is the best thing to do in my case?

    • Hi Dragos. It sounds like the issue is probably serious enough to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act.

      You would need to formally advise the finance company that you wish to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. They will have one chance to fix the car (as you have owned it for more than 30 days) – if they fix the problem, then you are no longer entitled to reject the vehicle. If they can’t fix it or the problem persists, you can reject the vehicle.

      It is difficult to judge Nissan’s liability with regard to the warranty and previous repairs unless you can show that the faulty repairs were made by a Nissan dealer (which seems unlikely – the dealers will usually follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter). You would need to get some legal advice to trawl through all the documentation, and that will obviously cost you money.

    • Hello Stuart, after many phone calls and emails the decision that Nissan took is that the car will be repaired under the goodwill gesture and not under the warranty. The Car finance company that i bought the car now they’ve offered me to pay all my expenses that i had in the last 2 months and another insurance that will cover the other faults that will come from the same fault that Nissan will not cover from this point on.
      Nissan stated that the car it will be under the warranty , after they will fix the car , for the rest of the parts but not for the parts that caused this fault.
      Can you please advise what to do further because i think the company that sold my car is trying to not take the car back or to replace it.
      Thank you

    • If you’re still not happy with what the dealer has offered, you will need to speak to a lawyer to handle your case for you. There is clearly more going on here than you have described, so it will be best for a lawyer to go through your case step by step to try and get the resolution you are looking for.

  60. Hi
    i bought a vehicle in sept 2016 that has been used as a taxi it was bought full up on finance wth 100k mile warranty a Ford Tourneo Custom 170ps titanium the vehicle was faultless until 75k miles when a noise became apparent from the engine between certain rpms 1500-2200 cruising speed, the vehicle was in and out of the dealers for 3 months which various fixes didn’t fix the problem then at 104k miles it died and was recovered to the dealer.
    10 weeks on they say the engine is at fault and need to replace it after inspection which took 9 weeks to do!! and i have not been told the outcome of, they expect me now to pay 25% of the bill and they will pay 75% as a goodwill gesture even thought the problem has been evident from 75k miles and was documented by them but as it was over 100k miles when it gave up its not fully covered by the manufacturers warranty.
    Now they tell me they don’t know how long it will take to get an engine as they are on backorder with no date as there is so many orders for them.(does that not say they have problems with said engine) this is a working vehicle that i have now been without for 10 weeks plus 20 days previous due to them trying to solve the problem, i don’t know and neither do ford how much longer i am going to be without this vehicle, i have no onward transport provided by them and am still paying the finance for something i do no have the use of what can i do?
    Just to note the vehicle is fully serviced and Ford are happy with the service history as it was carried out by an authorised service agent.

    • Hi Matt. If the vehicle is being used for work purposes, rather than a personal use vehicle, you are not covered by the Consumer Rights Act.

      You are likely to struggle to get a better offer than 75% goodwill payment, given that you have put 30,000 miles on the vehicle since reporting that it had a problem, unless there is a recognised issue with this engine.

    • Hi Stuart
      ford are not saying there is a recognised problem but with 60 engines on back order i’d say there was a problem when this engine has only been in production for 16 months and is only fitted to 2% of the vehicles in question still no date as to when they may have an engine and im now starting to lose business because of this, is there nothing i can do at all

  61. Hi there Stuart,

    I bought a car (2 years old, 6,000 miles on the clock) about 2 weeks ago. A few days ago, it lost all of its oil over a short period of time (e.g. an hour). I took the car to a BMW dealership near where I live (because I bought it from a dealer that it 200+ miles away, and it was still under the 3 year manufacturers warranty). The BMW dealership has looked at it and diagnosed that the plug that holds the oil in has come out, they say that it could not be manufacturing fault (I think implying that someone may have removed it), whereas the dealer I bought it from are pushing for it to be seen as a manufacturing fault.

    The BMW dealership is telling me that the engine could be seriously damaged (therefore big cost). They and of course the dealer I bought it from is being awkward because they don’t want to pick up the bill for it.

    Do I have grounds here, to say to the dealer that I want to hand the car back for a full refund?

    Thanks you for any advice you could give,

    • To lose that much oil that quickly certainly sounds like the sump plug has come out – or there’s a very big hole somewhere. It’s almost certainly an error by the mechanic who changed the oil, and it happens from time to time.

      If you haven’t driven the car any significant distance since the oil came out, the engine is probably not damaged, although it’s possible that it could be. Most likely, a new plug and a refill of oil should see the car back to normal. If that’s the case, you won’t have grounds to reject the car (it’s a simple and easily-fixed issue that does not make the entire car faulty). If there are engine problems afterwards, that would suggest that damage has been done and you would have stronger grounds to reject the vehicle.

  62. Hi Stuart
    i bought a used Nissan Qashqai on the 7th December from a Vauxhall dealership. Two days later (9th) the Saturday morning the vehicle wouldn’t start due to a faulty starter motor.
    The car was unused all week until the Saturday 16th when i was able to return it with them while they investigated and replaced the faulty starter motor. The car was with the dealership until i collected it Saturday 23rd. During the following week we discovered the passenger rear electric window doesn’t operate correctly, the window goes down but when lifting back up the glass tilts over and jams up.
    Then on the Saturday 30th i noticed both rear tail lights were illuminated all the time, several hours after the car was locked up. This isn’t parking lights or coming/leaving home convenience function i had to disconnect the battery overnight so it wouldn’t discharge it. On the same day the engine management warning light came on.
    I contacted the dealers the next day saying i was bringing the car back and on the journey back the electronic stability program warning lights came on as well. I am very unhappy with the amount of faults i have experienced in such a small time frame of use.
    I feel the vehicle isn’t fit for purpose and of substandard quality, i have no trust in this car anymore. I am not prepared for an accept as repair and feel i have the right to reject this car in the 30 day right to reject part of the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. Initially the sales manager tried to fob me off by saying they needed a chance to fix the so-called teething problems but i refused to accept a 2nd repair as all these further problems arose.
    What are your thoughts? Kind regards, rick murphy

    • Hi Rick. The ESC warning light is quite possibly a direct result of the battery being disconnected – it can cause all sorts of gremlins on a modern car if the battery is cut off or goes flat. If the engine management light also came on after the battery was disconnected, that could also be the same thing.

      The combination of those two warning lights, and rear lights that will not switch off, is probably sufficient grounds to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act. That doesn’t mean that the dealer will accept your rejection, so you may have to fight them over it.

  63. Hi Stuart, I really appreciate your response.
    Do you suggest I still write to him even though he said he’s going to give me a refund?
    He said he has been to the bank today and they processed but I am past believing him and it feels like he is just buying time to go over the 30 day policy.
    So do you suggest I write to him as that means I have provided something in writing within the 30 day time limit which means he will have to refund me?

    Many Thanks again.

  64. Hi Stuart,
    I purchased a car: Vauxhall Corsa 2007, 64k miles on the 13th of December, I was buying my first car and therefore uneducated fully in what to look out for when buying a car, but I did the usual checks that I have found on the internet.
    I put a deposit down on the 13th of £200 however I did not test drive the car until the day of full purchase on the 17th of December, the car seemed really good in terms of body work and everything else hence why I put a deposit down and was happy to buy.
    On the morning of the purchase the seller handed me an MOT certificate which a few days after buying a car I realised was from last year not the latest one. Anyway everything seemed rushed and he was very keen to sell the car, I managed to take it for a test drive which was about 3-4 minutes and he was constantly talking to me so I was unable to hear things such as the engine.
    I agreed to purchase and bank transferred the money. I then drove off and heard a weird high pitched whirling noise from the bonnet, so as soon as I got home I rang the seller and asked him to repair it and other faults that I found like central locking didn’t work as well as the rear indicator, I also called that night demanding a full refund as I wasn’t happy and mentioned that I know my rights within trading standards to which he said that he doesn’t do refunds (nowhere does he say that on documentation) and that trading standards are on his side too.
    He was happy to pick it up the next day (Monday) to get all the faults fixed and told me they would be fixed the same day. This never happened and excuses began such as the garage is waiting for a part, he will get it to me next day and that continued till Saturday when he rang me and apologised for messing me about and that he’d be happy to refund me. He was supposed to refund me on the morning of 24th of December however he claims that the bank called him to say that money will not be in my account until 27th due to holidays, which I partly don’t believe because reading up on it bank transfers operate normally during holidays.
    So my question to you is what actions should I take if the money isn’t in my account on the 27th? How do I go about things and just general advice?

    Im looking forward to your response!

    Many Thanks,

    Sam.

    • I have text messages between myself and the dealer which presents that he has had the opportunity to fix it, and it also talks about the refund, I also have a invoice from the dealer which communicates the vehicle purchased, the cost and the seller information so in terms of evidence that is what I have.
      Surely there is no way the dealer can keep the car and the money?
      is it possible for me to lose the money? I paid £1895.

    • UPDATE: Its the 27th and no money has been refunded into my account and he isn’t picking up his phone.

    • Hi Sam. The Consumer Rights Act trumps his personal policy on refunds, so that’s irrelevant. If you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you need to do so in writing and specifically spell it out that you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 because [reason].

      If he has agreed to refund your money, then great. You will probably need to keep hassling him until the funds land in your account, which basically means becoming the most annoying and persistent person in the world (although always polite) until you get your money back.

  65. Hi Stuart, we need some advice please. We bought a second hand car from a dealership last weekend. After 2 days we noticed the coolant light coming on, we kept topping it up, took it to a garage, they inspected it. They found the head gasket has blown (block test fluid went green) and there’s a hole somewhere along the exhaust system as you can hear it blowing. We contacted the dealer and are now awaiting him to arrange for it to be collected for inspection by his own mechanics. However, we’ve told him in writing that we want to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act 30 day period, but he’s insisting that when we first talked to him on the phone about it we agreed to letting him repair it instead. Which we did not. Yet he’s still insisting that’s what we agreed. Where do we stand with this? Can he force us to accept a repair based on his opinion that we verbally agreed to a repair? Surely not. We agreed to him collecting and inspecting it, that’s all. We know that within the 30 day right to reject you don’t have to accept a repair, but what if he’s insisting (lying) that we verbally accepted a repair? Or is that irrelevant when we’ve told him we want to reject in writing? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    • Hi Al. It doesn’t really matter what may have been said over the phone; the Consumer Rights Act allows you to reject the car within the first 30 days if the car has a significant fault, and you don’t have to accept a repair.

      You will need to formally reject the car (ie – in writing) under the Consumer Rights Act. He may try to fight you over it, but the first step is to formally reject the car and then stick to your guns.

  66. Hi Stuart
    I bought a 4yr old 16k mileage vehicle 10 weeks ago, had it into the local garage last week and they noticed brake pipes squashed together and flat against underside of vehicle which is dented, strut top needed replacing and the vehicle has extensive bodywork damage.
    Traders advert received it as “excellent condition-as new”.
    They’ve offered to exchange vehicle but for an extra £2k.
    They initially advised me to take it back to them (an hour’s drive) but it wasn’t fit to be on the road so I got it fixed here instead.
    Surely bodywork damage as extensive would have been noted by anyone doing service/MOT (both of which were done on the day before I bought it)?
    What can I do now as I have no faith that the car will withstand any potential future bump and I believe I was mislead.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Katie. A dealer is not obliged to declare damage or repairs unless the car has been written off and repaired (formerly known as Category C or D write-offs, now Category S or N). However, if the car was so damaged as to be unroadworthy, then the dealer should have had any damage repaired before selling it.

      You say that the car had “extensive bodywork damage”. This is surely something you should have noticed before taking possession of the vehicle. The problem you now have is that the dealer can turn around and say that you must have caused the damage some time in the last ten weeks, and use this as an excuse not to repair the vehicle.

  67. Hi Stuart,
    Great article, I have a BMW on PCP that was purchased in March 2016, within 6 months I had the rear lights replaced due to water ingress, between then and now it has been back a further 4 times for water ingress in the rear lights, once for a replacement head-unit, and now it needs a new rear differential as the seals on the output shaft intersections have perished.
    Clearly the car is over a year old now so where do I stand on rejecting?

    • Hi Tom. You’ll probably struggle to be able to reject it under the Consumer Right Act now that you have had it for nearly two years. In short, the law is on your side for the first six months and then on the seller’s side after that, so it is likely to be difficult.

      If it’s a new car or still under its new car warranty, you should be complaining to BMW head office and trying to pursue a replacement vehicle or compensation of some sort through them. If it is out of warranty, you’re probably on your own.

  68. hello stuart. today i bought a Ford Mondeo 2013 2.0TCDi auto with 30k miles. I drove it home about 50 miles and when 10 miles from home on the motorway the transmission malfunction warning light appeared. it seemed i was stuck in gear and when reaching my exit coming to a halt at the roundabout the gearbox had trouble downshifting. then up in pulling away it seemed to get stuck going from 1st to 2nd making the car behind car almost hit me getting a toot and the hand shuffle. I managed to get the car home as only 2 miles from the junction with the car every time needing 3000 revs to go into 2nd then no drive for a bit while the rev counter going between 1000 and 3000 a few times seemingly not in drive before begrudgingly settling in second. once home i called the dealer saying i want to reject the car but the dealer only offered to take the car back for their mechanic to take a look at it. I did go out again to drive the car around the block and the warning light has gone so might be an intermittent problem. what I don’t want is the intermittent problem to reappear after my 30 days have passed so I’m not interested in their mechanic looking at it so can I indeed reject this car as faulty and also dangerous?

    • Hi Paul. I would have thought that transmission failure would be grounds to reject the vehicle, although if it’s intermittent then it may be a bit of a challenge to prove that it’s a genuine problem.

      You need to formally inform the dealer (ie – in writing) that you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you simply tell them verbally that you “want to reject the car”, they will simply find ways to wriggle out and you have no written proof of your rejection.

  69. Hi, thanks for the advice. The dvla have told me to send the green part of V5 together with V62 and a letter explaining what’s happened and they will issue a new V5 and refund the tax ASAP. However, we are still awaiting the refund from the garage for the car. they have said I need to contact dvla for tax refund but are now asking for the v5. They can’t have it both ways I suppose.

  70. Hello Stuart, I bought a car new and have a problem with squeaks, rustles a faulty infotainment system, rattling doors because the car cannot take the factory upgraded speaker and a crushed wire – all manufacturing faults. The dealer & manufacturer have agreed to buy the car back, however they say that because the mileage I’ve done over the past 10 weeks is above average then I will have to take a small hit on the car. also I had to pay to have the car delivered to me from Scotland to Norfolk, so I will lost that money PLUS I will have to pay to send the car back to them – is this all correct? also I paid nearly £1,000 for a paint treatment after buying the car and they told me that was my choice and that loss is not their responsibility. Of course, all of these problems and the consequences come down to the fact that VW build a bad car but I have to share the financial pain with them? can I proceed with the deal, get most of my money back and then pursue this further? Please let me have your thoughts on this. Alan

    • Hi Alan. If you are rejecting a car under the Consumer Rights Act after the first 30 days, the dealer is entitled to make a deduction based on your usage and any wear and tear. There is nothing in the Act to advise how much this should be, so it’s all a matter of negotiation between you and the dealership. They are not obliged to refund any delivery costs or costs you have incurred after buying the car, but you are welcome to negotiate whatever you can get from them.

    • Thanks Stuart, do you think I would have a case to take them to the small claims court bearing in mind what you’ve said about them not being obliged to refund me for any costs, i.e. a replacement car will now be 3-6 months to build & that means expense for me in hiring a car during this time. It’s so frustrating that I sold a car in order to take delivery of the new one (and as you do lost a lot of money in doing so), the manufacturer/dealer can’t/won’t fix the problems – which is wholly their choice – and in a few days I will be without a car. they see this as returning me to the position I was in before I took delivery of this car but far from it.

    • The dealer cannot be liable for any expenses you have made in order to purchase their car or anything you have spent afterwards, as that is outside the scope of their responsibilities. All they can be expected to cover is the cost of the car itself.

      Given that it was a new car, I’m surprised that they are not offering a loan car to cover you until another one arrives as an incentive to get you to order another car. Obviously, if you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act, you are not obliged to order another vehicle and can spend your refund on any car you like elsewhere.

  71. Hi There

    I purchased a 2014 SEAT Leon Sports Tourer from a dealer in Middlesborough. This is a main dealer.

    I was given a 3-month warranty on this vehicle.

    I have had multiple issues with this vehicle, faulty tail-lights, bodywork repairs due to car being damaged before collection. However, 1 problem is causing more issues than the rest.

    The car has LED headlights and the Self Levelling system has failed, meaning it just points immediately at the floor so I can barely see a thing at night. The dealership has quoted this repair at £1,700 but is refusing to repair it due to the cost. I’ve had the car for 8 weeks, I reported it after 6 weeks (this is the third fault to have developed).

    They want to buy the car back but are telling me it has de-valued £1,000 in 8 weeks. Where do I stand? I can’t afford to lose £1,000 due to a faulty car. I also can’t afford to pay £1,700 to get this fixed myself. Can I make them fix it legally? This is technically making the car unsafe to drive at night, which is one of the reasons I bought it!

    • Hi Charlie. If you reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, the dealer is entitled to make a deduction for wear and tear arising from your usage. There is nothing in law about how much they can charge for this, so it’s all a matter of negotiation between you and the dealership.

  72. Hi, I would be grateful of some advice. My 17 year old son bought his first car on 30th November 2017. 4 days later the engine management light kept coming on. We got in touch with the used car dealer where we purchased the car from and after numerous conversations they agreed to take the car back and issue a full refund. They informed us that the V5 had not been sent off. They collected the car on Friday 8th December and we therefore cancelled the insurance. We are still waiting a refund (apparently it’s in hand!) I phoned the dvla and have taken advice re: claiming the tax back. I have now received a message from the garage asking for the V5c document back. But if I send that to the garage how do I get the tax back from the DVLA. Can anyone advise me where I stand and what is the best thing to do?

    • Hi Ray. The dealer may be trying to cancel the registration so that it does not enter the DVLA system and therefore would still be considered a new car. That’s not your problem if you are rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

      If you send the V5C back to the DVLA and inform them that you have sold the car back to the dealership, you should receive a refund of 11 months of road tax. However, if the dealer is refunding you the cost of the full year’s road tax as part of the overall refund then you are better off giving them the V5C back.

  73. Hello Stuart,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    As far as I understand it (according to Citizens Advice) that as this is the second repair, I’m entitled to reject the car.
    The first issue was resolved within the 30 days, the second fault was outside the 30 days but I’m not prepared to accept it.

    Is this information correct?

    Thanks again,

    • Based on what has been happening in cases concerning the Consumer Rights Act that have actually gone to court, that is not how the courts have been interpreting the law – and bear in mind that traders will usually employ specialist legal firms who deal with this every day.

      Any work that is undertaken before you reject the car does not count towards the “once chance to repair” (even if it is the same problem) as it is not part of the provision of the Act. The Act requires that you formally indicate your intention to reject the vehicle, and then the trader has the right to attempt to fix the problem. The trader may agree that the problem can’t be fixed if they have already had a go prior to you wanting to reject the car, but it is more likely that they will want to use their legal right to have another go.

      Citizens Advice advice, like our advice or anyone else’s, is not formal legal advice and is only based on the information that you have provided. If you want the best indication of whether you have a realistic chance of rejecting the car, you will need to consult a solicitor. They will go through every aspect of your situation, analyse all the correspondence between you and the trader, and explore the records and invoices of what work has been done. They will also examine the case from the trader’s point of view, rather than just accepting your side of the story. Then they will be able to provide you with a very good recommendation of whether it is worth proceeding.

  74. Hello Stuart,
    I hope you can shed some light on this for me :)

    Bought a car in October and the day after I got it, a huge oil leak was seen. I reported this but took the dealer almost 2 weeks to fix. We had to minimise the use as it was dripping onto other components – the dealers mechanic said we could use it but with oil going everywhere, I can’t see that’s healthy! However they did fix it and it’s not returned.

    Fast forward to this week and Monday the clutch release valve (or what I think is that) had gone. Contacted the garage Monday and they said it will be picked up and back, fixed on Friday. After several calls and chases, the car is still on my drive. Broken as I type this.

    I gave them the chance to repair it but now I just want my money back as this is the second fault on the car and I’ve lost all faith in the dealer and the car.
    I’ve written to them rejecting the car – have I got grounds? What is my next step?
    The car was £4200 – 08 plate

    Many thanks in advance.

    • You are past your first 30 days, so once you formally inform the dealer that you wish to reject the car, they are entitled to one attempt to fix the problem. If they are able to do this, and it sounds like it could be quite simple, then you lose the right to reject the car.

      The fact that they are being slow to sort the problem and poor with communication doesn’t alter your or their rights.

  75. Hi Stuart
    I went to a showroom to look at a car (Peugeot 3008) last weekend. On leaving the show room I decided I would like the car and placed £500 holding deposit down over the phone via debit card. The dealer has since contacted me to tell me the car should be ready this weekend if they get the flywheel fixed/replaced in time. This fault I was unaware of when I placed the deposit on the car, can I refuse to go ahead with the purchase and claim my deposit back? The car has completed only 47k miles on a 2011 plate.
    Kind regards
    Bob

    • Hi Bob. Assuming the flywheel is replaced satisfactorily, there is no reason the car won’t be perfectly serviceable and there is no reason to cancel the order. Presumably, you didn’t test drive the vehicle or you would have been aware of this then.

      The dealer is not obliged to declare any repairs (unless you specifically ask, in which case they are obviously not allowed to lie to you). Had the dealer replaced the flywheel before you first walked in, you would be none the wiser.

      You can certainly cancel your order and ask the dealer to refund your deposit, but if they refuse to do so then you don’t have strong grounds for demanding it back.

  76. Hi Stuart,
    Hopefully you can offer me some advice.
    I bought a brand new Ford Edge in August. I was told I had to sign the finance agreement 2 days before collection. Upon collection there was a very obvious defect on the wing.To cut a long story short, the dealer had it in their body shop 5 times, I am not happy with the colour match, but the dealer now says that it is the best they can do and is within acceptable tolerance and they cannot help me further.
    So my question is, what is acceptable? bear in mind the car was faulty from day 1, it isn’t like I have damaged the car and needed it repairing. I just want it in showroom condition. (Not too much to ask for a new car)
    Is there an independent expert process for verifying colour match?
    Thanks in advance
    Derek

    • Hi Derek. Dealers can (and do) carry out minor paint repairs on brand new cars all the time – there are more than 2.5 million new cars registered in the UK each year, so if 1% of those suffer some sort of damage prior to delivery then that’s 25,000 cars a year or nearly 70 a day! If it’s only minor cosmetic damage, they don’t even have to declare it to the customer.

      Your best chance for rectifying the problem will lie with Ford UK head office, rather than trying to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. The car is not faulty (it still works perfectly well in every way), so a judge is unlikely to find in your favour if it went as far as a courtroom. Your best line is probably that you do not accept that Ford and its dealership have provided a car that meets acceptable standards and you want it properly sorted out or replaced.

      Matching paint is a nightmare and there is every chance that it will never be perfect no matter how many attempts the body shop makes. They are presumably likely to offer you some form of compensation for your inconvenience and annoyance.

  77. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a new electric car from a dealership on PCP in February. 4.5 months later the 12v battery died after I had a 2 week work trip, and the car was not in use. A dealership took a week to fix it, stating there was an unusual fast drain on it. (Without the 12v battery the actual electric car main battery will not work).
    After my next 2 week work trip the same thing happened. As the dealership were evidently unable to fix the initial fault which occurred within 6 months of purchase from new, I rejected the vehicle, and informed the dealership and the finance company. I allowed the car to be taken to a dealer so they could diagnose the problem. They fixed the problem (apparently, though it’ll take 2 weeks of not using it to discover if that’s the case), but only *after* I’d rejected the car. I made them a counter offer – that I would accept the vehicle in return for 2 years’ free battery hire, but that I would reserve the right to reject, as it would not be possible to determine if their latest attempt at fixing it until the car was left standing for 2 weeks, again (something that will happen next month).
    The dealership made a counter offer of £200 in vouchers that I could spend with them, which I declined.
    The finance company are now saying that they will not support my rejection of the vehicle, as they believe it to now be without any faults (though, of course, this is (a) not yet certain and (b) the repair happened after I rejected the car for being unfit for purpose). I suggested to the finance company that they encourage the dealership to make an improved offer of compensation, or my rejection stands, and that the next stage would be the Ombudsman.
    I also informed my credit card company, as the deposit was paid by Visa, so I may have some recourse, there.
    Am I fighting a legally sound argument, here?
    Thanks,
    Lee.

    • Hi Lee. The time frame you have indicated is not clear. You are required to reject the vehicle within six months of purchase (not including any time that the seller has had the car in their possession for repairs), regardless of when the fault first occurred. So, for example, you can’t have a fault within the first six months but only reject the vehicle after a year.

      After the first 30 days (but within the first six months), the seller is entitled to a single opportunity to fix the vehicle after you formally declare your intention to reject it. Any work done on the car prior to this cannot be counted towards this, only work done after you have formally notified the dealer that you wish to reject the car. If they can fix the car, you lose your right to reject it.

  78. Hi Stuart. I don’t know whether you are able to help me with this. I bought a 2015 VW Polo from an Evans Halshaw (EH) Garage in S Wales on 13/09/17. I had an AA inspection but the mechanic only drove the car for 1 mile (should be 5miles) and therefore didn’t spot a problem with the steering. He noticed that the aircon was faulty though. EH agreed to get the aircon fixed. They also said they would sort the steering (car pulling to left) which I reported 2 weeks after the purchase.
    The car has been in the garage now four times in total and nothing has been sorted. In fact the car came away with. dent during it’s 3rd trip to the garage!
    EH have TRIED to fix the issues and have spent considerable money replacing ball joints and arms and tracked the car twice. The air con apparently needs a condenser so waiting for that now. However, in the meantime, the manager has stated that as regards the steering there is nothing more that can be done. He even argued that the car is just following the natural campus of the road. I got a mechanical engineer friend to drive the car for 20 miles who came to the conclusion that the car is drifting to the left and was wondering whether this car, which is NOT known to drift, had an accident damage. I looked into this myself and found slight misalignment of the panels on the boot and left door and the inside of the left pumper was out of line. It seemed a bit too much of a coincidence that the car is steering to the left!
    I am now writing to EH to request a refund because they have said that they won’t do anything anymore in regards to the steering because in their view it’s not an issue. What should I do? Should I get an independent inspection done? Even though the car is driving well I do not want to keep it if it is found that it has indeed accident damage. Many thanks fin advance for your thoughts. Pat

    • Hi Pat. A dealership is not obliged to disclose accident damage unless the car has been declared a write-off by an insurance company and subsequently repaired (used to be known as Category C or D write-offs, now changed to Categories S & N). Damage below this level does not need to be declared, although obviously they can’t lie if you directly ask the question “Has this car been involved in an accident?”. Of course, you’d need to have both the question and answer in writing to prove anything…

      If you formally reject the car now, the dealership will be entitled to one more chance to fix the problem. Or, as seems more likely, they will reject your rejection and claim that there’s nothing wrong with the car. Having an independent third-party report on the problem would be helpful, but it’s still no guarantee that the seller will agree to your rejection.

  79. Hi Stuart.

    I purchased a 64-reg Nissan Qashqai with 13k miles on the 22nd of November from available car. Test drive was fine although only having around 5 minutes. When driving home I noticed an issue with the turbo hitting a flat spot at around 2k rpm. As soon as I returned home I informed available car of this and they told me it was probably because it has been sat around for a few weeks. As much as I didn’t want to believe this I agreed to accept that as an excuse. Coming home from work the next day to find the car still with the same issue amongst other that have come to light including noisy suspension bush and faulty stereo unit that they have been made aware of. They are willing to repair the car but I wish to reject it before repairs are made. Where do I stand with doing so and should inform my finance company of this?

    • Hi Adam. Firstly, if the car was purchased on a secured finance agreement (eg – a PCP or HP) then yes, you have to notify the finance company as it’s effectively their car, not yours.

      As to whether you have grounds to reject the vehicle, it’s difficult to say. The stereo and noisy suspension bush are unlikely to be valid reasons, so it will come down to whether the dealer and finance company accept that this “flat spot” is a significant fault.

  80. Hi Stuart,

    Six days ago I purchased an approved used MINI for c£14k. The car is just over two years old and has done 4,000 miles.

    On the first day of ownership I noticed the car was pulling to the right. If you slowly pull away and loosely hold the wheel you can see it physically turn to the right.

    I returned the car and the garage said the wheels needed aligning. They carried this out and returned it to me claiming the problem was fixed. As soon as I drove the car the problem was clearly still there.

    I returned it the following day and having checked the alignment again, rotated the wheels, checked the brakes aren’t binding, and inspecting the suspension / steering the dealership do not know what the problem is. They claim never to have seen a problem like this before and have had to refer it to MINI HQ. The car is booked in again for three days next week, but I have lost faith in the car and I am seriously considering rejecting it. Would you say I have grounds to do so?

    Look forward to hearing your views.

    Craig.

  81. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a new can on 3rd of June and the clutch failed on the 2nd of November. After 2 days the dealership is saying I am liable for a £2000 bill after they repaired the car without my consent, I am moving to reject the car as I believe they have to bear the costs for repair under the act, as otherwise it is not “of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free from any defect”.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind Regards
    Daniel

    • Hi Daniel. A clutch is a wear and tear item, so it’s never an open-and-shut case on whether it’s an acceptable basis to reject a car. Obviously a clutch on a new car should last more than five months, but you will need to show that there was a clear design/manufacturing/installation fault rather than any damage that you have caused. If it’s a new car, normally something like this would be resolved under warranty, so if the dealer is expecting you to pay for the repair then it implies that it is not covered by warranty – and is therefore not a fault with the vehicle.

      You can’t reject the car because the dealer repaired it without your consent, but you can certainly argue with them as to whether you should be expected to pay for work they went and did without your agreement.

  82. Hi Stuart we acquired a brand new Land Rover Evoque on the 31st March via a lease agreement, which was delivered with a number of issues (we do have photographs) such as black marks on the interior, muck throughout, an issues with the navigation screen, dents and scratches in the leather and rear of the front seats, which we also had confirmed by a local dealership. After much to-ing and fro-ing the car was collected by the original dealership early May and we were issued a courtesy vehicle. We lodged a complaint with the finance company within the 30 days which was upheld but we also agreed to give the dealership the opportunity to rectify. After almost 3 months the car was returned and some of the issues were still there. We then developed a mechanical fault and due to the poor service and hassle we were experiencing with the original dealer we took it to the local dealership. They rectified the mechanical issues but noticed that some of the original faults were still existing. Although they offered to help we then complained to the chief executives office mid-October. After 4 weeks this got no where so we asked the finance company to see if we could reject the vehicle as we felt we had given the dealership ample opportunity to rectify. There has been terrible communication throughout, having to be chased by ourselves constantly and for this whole time we have obviously continued to pay for the vehicle. Should we agree to let the dealership try and rectify the issues again what should we be expecting in terms of compensation? This has been a nightmare and nothing but hassle for 7 months with phonecalls, emails etc all having to be managed around work time and which is just stressful. However we don’t know what we should be expecting but feel we have been paying for a brand new Land Rover which we are yet to get the experience of. We have avoided legal advice but are concerned that this has been drawn out to limit our consumer rights?

    • Any time where you didn’t have the car isn’t counted towards your ownership duration for the purposes of the Consumer Rights Act. So if you took delivery of the car eight months ago but it spent five months back at the dealership, you have only had it for three months for the purposes of rejecting the car.

      Once you formally reject the car, the seller will have one chance to fix the problem. Work done prior to your rejection will not count. If the dealer is not responsive, contact Land Rover head office – this may help get things moving. Alternatively, get a lawyer to help as being served a legal notice tends to get their attention.

  83. Hi Stuart
    I bought a 2010 MINI cooper s 48.000 miles on 27 Oct. After a few days the oil pressure light came on and it started making some grinding and sucking noises and backfiring. Dealer took it back and got a MINI specialist garage to take a look (it was sold on basis of oil level checked and the engine had burned this and my top up within a week/150 miles). Problem suggested was replacement rocker cover – costing dealer £460. Returned to me and again after a few days same issue – oil level depleted. warning light on and grinding noises. Back to dealer again etc. this time they say they have now changed oil and a dodgy filter, and are road testing before I get it back. I am concerned that more serious damage has been done to the engine – rings etc – I’m no expert but I do know that excessive oil consumption – it’s likely damage has already been done. Also seeing the V5 it appears the previous owner had it for only 2 months … and there have been 5 previous owners Hmmm.

    Dealer has been helpful with feedback and provided courtesy cars. On the 25 Nov I emailed them and asked for options they can offer me eg replacing with alternative of same value, and told them I am unconfident about having the car back. Do you think I have a case for rejection and refund under the 30 day rule? I am due to speak to them again tomorrow, and hear results of road test and hear their offer (or not). Things are amicable so far but I have made my point about future confidence in the vehicle on several occasions now.

    • Hi Jill. If the car comes back to you and is fixed, you won’t have a case to reject it. The Consumer Rights Act gives you the right to reject instead of accepting a repair in the first 30 days, but you can’t have the car repaired and then reject it anyway. If you can negotiate a replacement vehicle or refund with the dealer then great, but the Consumer Rights Act is unlikely to help you if the car has been adequately fixed.

      The ownership history is something that you should have raised prior to purchase, rather than a month afterwards, if you had concerns about the number of owners.

  84. Hi Stuart.

    Excellent article and just as excellent replies to problems.
    I acquired an Audi 10 reg 3weeks ago from a dealer. Drives really well. However on the way back from the dealer the engine management light came on and I noticed the heater didn’t work so I couldn’t demist my car amidst a few other issues(turns out water pump has gone, heater unit completely broke). All cars came with warrenty for 3 month which is advertised on his website. I later found from the warrenty company he has not registered the car with them. After getting a quote from a local garage the dealer asked for the car back as he could repair it cheaper. (Completely understandable). I was told it would take a week but trying to get updates is hard. It has been nearly 2 weeks now and he has had the car longer than I have.

    I am fed up with chasing after it and I am left at the moment without a car and 6k out of pocket. I want to know as he has the car if I can just turn round and reject it as I have heard nothing from him as to when it will be ready.

    I love the car and actually want it but if he is going to play silly beggars then I don’t want that.

    How would you advise approaching this and if he has actually repaired the car am I still in my rights to reject?

    Any help would be great.y appreciated before I look for legal advise.

    Thanks

    Ben

    • Hi Ben. To reject the car, it must be faulty. If he has already fixed it, it is not faulty and therefore you do not have any grounds to reject it.

      You can certainly try to formally reject the car, and if it has not been fixed then you probably have a reasonable case. What is more likely is that the car will suddenly be fixed very, very quickly…

  85. Hi Stuart, thanks for the article, very informative. I’d appreciate your thoughts on my situation. I purchased a Renault on 8th November from a main dealer in South Wales some 2.5 hours from home. When cleaning it on the 19th November I noticed bubbling paint and rust in 3 small areas on the tailgate.
    I emailed Renault UK head office to report the issue and after much confusion contacted the dealer on 23rd November to discuss. They have asked me to take the car to my local Renault dealer to allow them to assess the problem and submit a warranty application to Renault UK. I have done this and my local dealer commented that all the paint is original and there is a problem. However, claims can take 4-5 weeks to process and are often not successful.
    So my question is, do I have grounds to reject the car and should I do this whilst still in the initial 30 day period? I am concerned that as time passes my position gets weaker and if the warranty application is unsuccessful I could be in with a large bill to rectify the rust/paint. The car is 3 years old with 33k miles. In my mind rusting on a car of this age is not of satisfactory quality and will develop further as time progresses. Thanks

    • Hi David. Your first port of call is always to go back to the selling dealer. Contacting head office is usually a last resort if you can’t resolve the problem with the dealer.

      I doubt that small amounts of rust on a non-structural part of a used car would be valid reasons to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act. You are probably better off chasing the issue through the car’s body/corrosion warranty, which on most cars is about six years, to get it fixed.

  86. Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for your response. It is just so frustrating when you are paying so much for a vehicle and it is not what you expected. Unfortunately, the length of time is no fault of ours as we thought it was repaired- if we knew it wasn’t we would have dealt with it back in April. It is going in next week and we are going to be stern with BMW about looking into it. We are also going to go speak to the sales team and see if they will contemplate us trading it for something else. I doubt it but fingers crossed.

  87. Hi Stuart. I bought a car for 6.5k in full. I bought it from a Kia dealership so assumed everything would be above board. I did a check when I went home as I realised I had one left so thought I may as well use it. The experian check said finance had been recorded. If there is still finance on the car, can I get a full refund? I’m so worried!! I didn’t think I’d have to worry about this stuff if I went to a legit dealership. Thank you

    • Hi Karen. The most likely answer is that the finance is the dealer’s own finance rather than the previous owner’s. Dealers generally do not own their cars outright (they carry dozens or even hundreds of cars at any one time), so they are all under finance from a specialist finance company. It can take time for the finance company to notify Experian et al that the finance has been settled, which is probably why the vehicle is still showing finance recorded against it. So it’s probably nothing to worry about.
      You should definitely contact the dealership and get it confirmed, then hassle them to sort it out. Of course, if the finance is related to the previous owner, you want to be getting your money back ASAP. But that is very unlikely.

    • Thanks so much for your speedy reply Stuart. This was very helpful, you were spot on. I rang them and they said they that it was their finance but it would take a couple of days to clear on the online systems. Pheeeww!

  88. Hi Stuart,

    I took delivery of a lease car, Alfa Romeo Giulia, in late May 2017. I noticed water in the passenger front footwell in late October. I took it to the dealership, pretty much the following week, after we noticed water visibly leaking down into the footwell from where appeared to be behind the glovebox.

    I had a call from the dealership the same day, they said they could see evidence of the leak, but could not ‘recreate’ it. I had a call the second day, they had spoken to Alfa in Italy, and had received some advice about what the leak was (or could be, I guess). On the third day, I received a call saying that the leak had been fixed, that the car was drying out, and the problem was resolved.

    After having the car back for a couple of days, it was evident that it was still leaking, from the same place. Immediately being concerned about the nature of the fault, and how fixable it was, I received advice from consumer rights that I had grounds to reject the vehicle. I have corresponded with the finance company, who sent me back to the dealership to validate that the car was still leaking.

    The dealership said they have seen evidence of a leak, but are insisting that the initial fix has worked, and therefore the cause of the leak is now unknown, or different to the first time. The lease company have relayed this information back to me. Visually we have seen water coming from the exact same place. The car is getting less safe to drive, as condensation is appearing on the inside of the windscreen.

    What do you advise on the way forward, I have rejected the car, but do I get stuck in this kind of loop where responsibility is not accepted? I am concerned about being carless for a long time while it gets resolved.

    Thanks for any advice

    • Hi Richard. Ultimately, if you have formally rejected the vehicle but the dealer refuses to accept your rejection, you are forced to take action. That may be in the form of dispute resolution via the Motor Ombudsman (if the dealer is signed up to the MO, as it’s not compulsory), or you call a lawyer.

  89. Many thanks for your response.

    Yes the car turned 3 years old in September, which is when I bought it.

    My main concern is if they fix the diff, and it goes again as I’m told is common when fixed, where would I stand as it would be outside the 3 month warranty?

    Thanks again.

    • Depends on whether they offer any warranty on the repair work. Or you go out and buy your own used car warranty from one of the aftermarket providers on the interweb.

      A three-month warranty means that you’re covered for three months. After that, you’re on your own.

  90. HI.

    8 weeks ago I purchased a Mercedes A45 AMG, and on day 1 noticed a knocking noise coming from the rear.

    I contacted the garage and informed them. They told me this was normal and is actually “tyre skipping” and offered to replace all 4 tyres. I refused this as they would only pay for budget tyres, there were performance tyres on there originally. Anyway, I did some research and found that this probably wasn’t the tyre skipping issue and more like the rear diff. I told the garage this and they did not believe it, so I paid Mercedes £141 for a diagnostic, and yes, the diff has failed.

    The garage won’t pay dealer prices to have this replaced, but instead want the car back to assess the problem themselves. They do not trust Mercedes. Now my concern is they mentioned fixing the diff. I want the diff replaced, not fixed as I’m aware that diffs that are fixed are not going to last as long as a replacement.

    Can I insist on the diff being replaced, or do I have to accept a repair.

    What happens if this fails in a few months again when my warranty is up?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Philip-Lee. By the sound of it, you bought the car used and not from a Mercedes-Benz dealer. And I assume the car is no longer under its three-year new car warranty, otherwise any Mercedes-Benz dealer (regardless of where you bought it) could throw a new diff in it if it was broken and covered under warranty.

      On a used car, you generally don’t have the right to expect a new-for-old replacement on any parts, unless your warranty guarantees it (check your warranty booklet). A dealer is also not obliged to throw away a fixable part just because you want a new one.

  91. Hi Stuart,

    Thank you so much for the reply, I really appreciate your advise. When I spoke to the citizens advise they said was BMW made aware of this within 6 months of owning the vehicle(which they were). They would have this on record. The problems obviously was slightly delayed as it happens mainly when the weather is cold. This is no fault of our own. Citizens Advice said as long as BMW were made aware within 6 months the burden of proof lay on them? They were made aware on the day of pick up as well as soon after. Is this correct? The vehicle went in for repair in April regarding this issue which is within the 6 months.

    The screen is the screen on the dashboard. I know you mention that it is not a fundamental part of the safety of the vehicle but it was a key feature as to why we bought the vehicle. The car is used to travel to and from work and needs to be used to make business calls. If the system fails we cannot even use the hands free. Citizens advice advised this would be grounds to reject as the vehicle is not of satisfactory standards. We are paying an awful lot of money for a vehicle that is faulty and has been since they day we got it. We were unaware that one could reject a vehicle and the reason why it has taken a year is we have just been through summer so the system looked as if it had been repaired by BMW. Now it has started to get cold we have realised it certainly has not been repaired.

    We actually bought it from a main dealer and it has taken this long to get a courtesy car unfortunately. Apparently they are unbelievably busy. It is so bad they actually had to use taxi;s to collect my boyfriend from work and drop him off at home once. The lady at BMW servicing even said is there no way you can come back and speak to the dealership about getting rid of the vehicle cause this car sounds like its jinxed. ;)

    Any further advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    • Bear in mind that Citizens Advice has no legal standing – and for that matter, neither does anything I tell you, nor anyone else other than the judge ruling on your case. From my understanding, it’s not enough that you notified the dealer of the issue in the first six months of ownership, but you must have rejected the vehicle in writing within six months.
      The six-month period does not include any time they have had the car (so for example, if they had it for a month then you effectively have seven months to reject the car). Under the Consumer Rights Act, the rejection process only starts when you formally notify the dealer that you wish to reject the car, which I understand you have not yet done so you are well beyond your favourable six-month window. The dealer then has one chance after that to fix the car – anything they have done before doesn’t count.
      As I said previously, you really need to get professional legal assistance if you want to try and reject the car now. They will be able to run through your case point by point and work out the best strategy to try and achieve the best possible result. As much as you think it’s a simple case with a clear burden of responsibility, it almost never works out to be that simple.

  92. Hi Stuart,

    I was wondering if you could advise on our current situation. My boyfriend purchased a BMW 420d back on the 27th November 2016. The day my boyfriend picked the vehicle upon inspection him and his mother noticed the computer system was not working on the vehicle. He addressed it with the sales rep who could not get it on. The screen was completely blank not allowing any of the features to work. The sales representative then made them both wait in the showroom whilst he got an engineer to look at it. He managed to get it working and said we should have no further problems.

    Shortly after having the vehicle we noticed whenever it was cold the system was constantly failing. It would not come on at all and we couldn’t use any of the features. He spoke to BMW a number of times regarding this and they had no idea of the fault. It took us until April 2017 when we were able to get a courtesy vehicle from BMW so the car could go in for repairs. BMW had to contact their head office as they had never heard of this fault before. Apparently, HO told them how to repair it and they informed us it was resolved. The vehicle went in for servicing and my boyfriend mentioned another fault he found and they could not repair it at the time. We have had to wait another 2 months for a courtesy car so this can be fixed.

    Since then, with the weather getting cold the computer system has started failing AGAIN! I am extremely frustrated as we have spent so much time contacting BMW regarding this and given them an opportunity to repair it and we are still having problems. In one week I could not use the system on 4 separate days! I was fuming we are paying a lot of money for this vehicle and it is constantly causing us problems and stress. I rang citizen advice and they mentioned that it was a breach of the consumer rights act and we could use our final right to reject the vehicle. I am happy to fight this as I have completely lost faith in the car and BMW. Do you think we have a valid case? I am drafting a letter to BMW as I a writing this to get the ball rolling. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do not understand the legal implications and the extra costs involved so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks.

    • Hi Kirsty. You have had the car for more than six months, so the final right to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act is more difficult now than it would have been within the first six months. It’s not impossible, but in a nutshell, the law favours you in the first six months and the dealer after that. If you want to pursue rejecting the vehicle, I would strongly recommend seeking professional legal advice and assistance as you are far more likely to succeed with expert legal help than on your own.

      When you describe the car’s “computer system”, are you referring to the screen on top of the dashboard that displays navigation/radio information and other details? Or the small screen in front of the driver between the speedometer and rev counter? The stereo/nav screen is less important as it doesn’t display any critical information or warnings, whereas the screen in front of the driver does. Rejecting a car because the stereo and satnav are not working is a difficult task, as they are not primary functions of the car doing its job (ie – getting you safely from A to B).

      Did you buy the car second-hand from an independent (or non-BMW) garage, or new/used from a BMW dealership? If you bought the car from BMW, I’m surprised that it would take the dealer weeks or months to rustle up a courtesy car. On the other hand, if you bought it elsewhere it’s not at all surprising.

      If the car is still under its new car warranty, you should keep chasing the BMW dealer and head office for a proper fix to the problem. If it’s out of warranty, then you’re probably out of luck. Rejecting the car is likely to be difficult after a year of ownership, even with documented history of the problem, as you have continued to drive the car for the whole year. Rejecting a car generally requires you to stop driving it because the car itself is faulty and therefore unsafe/unroadworthy.

  93. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a 65-plate Mercedes SLK on Sat 4th Nov. My dream car, I bought it outright with my whole life saving. It was dark when I drove away with it, but the next day in the light I noticed a big deep scratch on the windscreen about 6-7cm long. I emailed them straight away, but as it was a Sunday I didn’t expect a reply back that day. Then it rained and I discovered the roof was also leaking. I continued to email and call the company Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri with absolutely zero outcome until I emailed complaints to ask for my money back and I got called. So on Fri (now 10th Nov) I was made to think that I had to allow them to the chance to repair the car, which I now know I am not obligated to accept a repair or a replacement car. They picked the car up on Monday 13th and left me a courtesy car. Currently, they have replaced the front windscreen, and the car is in a Mercedes garage for the leak, which was meant to be 5 days. Last night the car dealership called to say the car will not be ready until the end of next week. I feel like I have been bullied, they have all my money and they have my car. I forked out a serious amount of money for a car that was definitely not as described, and is now sitting in a garage being repaired. If the car was advertised and “has a big crack on the dront windscreen and the roof is leaking” I would have NEVER have bought it. Can you please tell me if I have a case to return this car for a full refund please? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Jacqueline. I don’t think you would be able to reject the car on the basis of a windscreen scratch/crack, as it’s easily repairable and doesn’t render the whole car faulty. As for the roof leak, it would depend on the cause of the problem and how easily it can be fixed. If it’s a relatively simple fix (eg – replacing a failed rubber seal or similar) then you won’t be able to reject the vehicle. If it’s a major fault that is causing the leak (eg – the car had been damaged in an accident and the whole roof mechanism is out of alignment), it could be cause to reject the car. You would need to speak to the dealership fixing the vehicle to understand what the problem is and why it’s taking so long (it could be as simple as waiting for the right parts to arrive).

  94. Hi Stuart
    My friend bought a used Nissan Qashqai from Arnold Clark as a part exchange. She had £1500 negative equity. She found a number of problems in first 10 days after purchase which she decided to reject the car. We called to the finance company and explained the problem and they booked inspection which confirmed the faults of the car. After so many argument Arnold Clark accepted the rejection but she needs to pay the balance and also they offered the repair free of charge. However, none of them are beneficial as by rejecting the car she will lose money and car both and on the other hand she doesn’t trust this car even if fixed. The question is how we can ask them to exchange the car (replaced) by another one and also claiming for compensation since she did not have the car for about a month now.

    • Hi Leila. Under the Consumer Rights Act, when you reject a car within the first 30 days you are entitled to a full refund for the price of the vehicle. In the case of a finance agreement, that means a refund of your deposit and any monthly payments already made. However your friend is still liable for the negative equity, which may cancel out any refund due (or still leave her with more money to pay). The Act also makes no judgments about compensation, so the dealer is not legally obliged to provide any.

      If she wants a repair or a replacement car, this is outside the boundaries of the Consumer Rights Act and so is entirely a matter of negotiation between her and the dealer.

    • Arnold Clark accepted the replace or rejection and my friend is going to replace it with the other similar car. Thank you for advising me Stuart.

  95. Thank you for your response.

    It was only after driving it more i noticed it more and more( albeit by the 4th day) I had only driven it about 50 miles by then and they had been short journeys. I was more focused on other engine noises etc

    I have had a quick google for a seating specialist but only seems to bring child seat solutions. Is there a company that you are aware of that fixes car seats and i may contact them to get a quote

    Thanks
    P

    • Try searching for “automotive seat specialists” or something similar and you should find plenty. If you search for anything related to “car seat”, the top results will always be related to child seats.

  96. Hi

    Useful Article

    I purchased a Toyota Verso from a dealer and the driver seat is dipping to the point where I feel myself lean into the driver door when turning left. There is no support in the right buttock compare to the left side. I have raised this issue with the dealer and they came back saying upon a visual inspection (they did not even take the seat out!) it is wear and tear and nothing can be done. I have had the car for just over 2 weeks (one week it has been with the dealership) and I do not accept a car that is 4 years old and has 30,000 miles on the clock to have this wear and tear in the driver seat like this. My pregnant wife is scared of driving the car as this puts pressure on her lower back which is not advisable when pregnant. I am getting nowhere and have had countless anxious and sleepless night because of this. Can I reject the car as the dealership is refusing to rectify?

    • Hi PJ. I don’t think you’ll get anywhere unless you can show that there is some kind of damage to the seat that is not wear and tear. Even then, it may not be considered enough to classify the whole car as faulty.

      If you ultimately took it to court, a judge would quite reasonably ask why you didn’t notice this before buying the car, as it’s presumably not something that suddenly developed after purchase and would have been evident on a test drive.

      You are probably best advised to take the car to a seating specialist to get it fixed. You can argue with the dealer about who should pay for it, but it will probably be you.

  97. Hi stuart.

    I bought a car on Sunday. It was a pre-Reg. I travelled 200 miles to collect it, and part exchange mine. On arrival the new car with 27 miles on the clock was parked down a side street with little natural daylight. It all looked fine, test drive went fine.
    We signed the papers and did the deal. Drove 200 miles back home, parked up outside my home under a street lamp and noticed scratchy paintwork, like it had been polished with an abrasive cloth in a couple of areas.

    The next morning I contacted the garage and advised the problem. They said that they couldn’t swap it or give me money back as it’s now registered to me. Instead they will pick the car up, keep it for a week to sort out the paint and bring it back. I’m not happy with buying a new car with 27 miles and it now will have 400 additional miles on there to sort out this paint issue. It doesn’t feel new anymore.
    Do I have any rights here?

    • Hi Louise. You will struggle to reject a car for minor scratches in the paintwork. It has quite probably been caused by valeters using dirty cloths or sponges, dragging grit across your paintwork. Annoying, but not a faulty car.

      It’s not a new car, it’s a pre-registered car, which is a used car. And because you drove it 200 miles home, the dealership could easily argue that you could have had the car washed once you got home, and that caused the damage.

      Your best bet is to try and leverage some form of compensation from the dealership, in the form of a free tank of fuel or one of their fancy, overpriced car care kits.

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