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Used car warranty – the law and your rights

If you are buying a used car, it can be confusing as to what to expect in terms of a used car warranty and what your rights are when something goes wrong.

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If you are looking at buying a second-hand car, there can be considerable confusion as to what to expect in terms of a used car warranty and what your rights are when something goes wrong.

At one end of the spectrum, you will have cars advertised as still being covered by their new car warranty, while at the other end you will see cars being advertised and sold with no warranty given at all. In between is a bewildering variety of used car warranty offers which have different meanings and consequences for car buyers.

In this article, we will look at the different types of warranty offered on a used car and what protection you can expect – even if the car is sold without any used car warranty at all.

Used car warranty – tow truck

Your statutory rights on any used car

Many buyers confuse warranties with their legal rights, but they are two different things. Any used car purchase by a private individual from a trader is covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which gives you recourse to reject the car if it is not as described or is faulty. You are also covered by the Road Traffic Act 1988, which says that it is an offence for a trader to sell an unroadworthy vehicle (unless the buyer knows that the vehicle is unroadworthy and has no intention of driving it on the road in its present state).

It does not matter whether the car you are buying is priced at £500, £50,000 or £500,000; if you are private individual buying a car from a trader then you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act. These rights also cannot be waived in return for a discount or any other offer.

Although there is no specific legal description, a faulty used car is generally considered to be a car which is not roadworthy and/or is not safe. Secondary issues, like a broken stereo or paintwork problems, are generally not acceptable reasons to reject a car under the Consumer Rights Act. However, the wording of the legislation is not very clear, so ultimately it can come down to who makes a better case in court.

If you are arguing with a trader over a rejection and end up taking your case to court, the judge will take things like age and mileage into account when considering whether a fault is considered significant enough to reject the vehicle, so a ten-year-old car with 100,000 miles on the clock will be given considerably more leeway than a three-year-old car that has done 20,000 miles.

The key thing to remember if you are considering rejecting a used car is that:

“A car with a fault is not necessarily a faulty car” (The Car Expert, 2017)

Warranty on a used car

A warranty is a form of additional insurance cover against certain faults, over and above your statutory rights. It does not override or replace your rights under the Consumer Rights Act, but it covers a wider range of faults which would not be acceptable reasons for rejecting the car altogether.

There are a few different types of warranty which may apply to the used car you are buying, and it is important to know which applies to you.

New car warranty

A fairly new used car (less than three years old) will almost certainly still be covered by whatever is left of the manufacturer’s new car warranty. This is the best kind of warranty, as it is usually fairly painless to make a claim via a franchised main dealer. The car has to be serviced on time, every time, for the manufacturer’s warranty to be valid, but you don’t have to have the car serviced by a franchised dealer thanks to EU law. After Brexit, who knows?

Most manufacturers offer a three-year warranty on their new cars, but some offer more. Many also offer extended warranties at extra cost, but be aware that these may not offer the same terms and benefits as the original warranty.

Approved used car warranty
Approved used car warranty - Toyota

Main dealers of big brands will also usually have an “approved used car warranty” of some sort, usually for 12 months. These are often branded as a manufacturer warranty, but are mostly managed and underwritten by a third party insurer on behalf of the manufacturer or dealer.

Often this type of warranty has an attached requirement that the car has to be serviced by either the selling dealer or another franchised dealer for the warranty to be valid. This is enforceable, unlike the new car warranty, as the warranty is not actually provided by the manufacturer.

Aftermarket used car warranty

The majority of used car traders will offer some form of warranty on their cars, but the value of these warranties vary massively. Some are branded products offered in conjunction with a breakdown provider (like the AA or RAC), but again they are actually managed and underwritten by a specialist insurance company.

The term offered may be a week, a month, a few months or a year, and there will be very specific areas which are excluded from the warranty cover. There may be a specific process for claiming on the warranty; some will require you to get authorisation from the warranty company before proceeding, while others may require you to pay for any work up-front and then reimburse you afterwards if your claim is approved. There will also be a cap on how much money the warranty will contribute towards a repair, which may not cover the total cost of having your car fixed.

It is very important to read the fine print on any warranty, but especially so on an aftermarket product as the terms and conditions will vary significantly on different warranties. Much better to know how it works and what is covered before you have a problem then when you are standing in a garage arguing over who’s paying for your car’s repairs.

Older/higher-mileage/cheaper cars tend to be offered with warranties that cover significantly less than those offered on newer/more expensive cars, so beware.

No warranty at all?

It is not illegal for a trader to sell a car without a warranty, and this is fairly common on very cheap used cars (less than a couple of thousand pounds).

Unlike your statutory rights, a dealer can offer you a discount in return for waiving the warranty. However, you should be very wary of any dealer who makes this offer, as it is making you financially responsible for any fault which occurs in the car but is not significant enough to warrant rejection.

The dealer’s argument is usually that if you bought the same car privately then there would be no warranty provided, and it makes it impossible for a dealer to trade profitably on a cheap car if they have to provide an expensive warranty on a cheap car. By taking off the warranty, they can pass on the savings to you. Only accept this if you are feeling very brave.

Ask questions about the warranty being offered

When buying any car from a trader, it is important to ask about the used car warranty being offered and exactly what it covers. Don’t accept being brushed off or being told that you’ll be given a booklet when you pick up the car. Get proper answers and ask for a copy of that booklet before you agree to buy the car.

Beware of a trader who writes “no warranty” on a sales contract without any prior explanation. If a warranty is not offered, you need to make sure you find out about it before reading it on the contract. Although it’s not illegal, it is sneaky and it’s usually a sign that the dealer hasn’t been completely up-front with you about the vehicle’s condition.

There are other tricks a dodgy trader will try, such as writing “spares or repairs” or “trade only” somewhere on the sales agreement, and you need to be on your guard for such behaviour.

With any other of buying a used car, it is your obligation as a buyer to make sure you ask questions about anything you are told, and don’t simply take the salesman’s word at face value. Once you sign a contract, you are legally committed and it doesn’t matter what you’ve been told verbally. So make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for on a used car warranty or it may not be worth the paper it’s written on.

This article was originally written in April 2017, and was updated in April 2019.

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

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  1. Hi I bought a car 2006 Audi A6 quattro 3.0 diesel, I’ve had it 7 weeks looks like I have an injector out which isn’t covered by the warranty the garage gave me 1 month and then 2 months extended with auto trust

  2. Hi Stuart
    I purchased care from trade seller. Service book indicates that next service is due in Feb 2019 however when i checked DVLA records it was showing that car service is due on July 2018. Can i return my car on this based on that?

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Lucasz. The DVLA records only cover MOT inspection history, not the car’s service records. They’re two different things.

      The DVLA has no interest in (and keeps no records on) when or where you get your car serviced; their only concern is that the car passes its annual MOT roadworthiness inspection.

  3. Hi Stuart,
    I bought car less than 3 years old from a large used car retailer in west London, at the point of sale it was encouraged I bought a comprehensive warranty because I don’t believe they offered any warranty themselves. After 8 months the car broke down on the motorway on a long journey. The seller has backed up the warranty company that the fault is not covered by the warranty and as the sellers of the policy and car, offer no assistance or resolution even when I suggested a compromise on the cost of repair which was significant, I have not even covered 3,000 miles since my purchase. Several garages have supported me in that the fault is not normal. I feel let down. What’s your advice.

    • Hi David. Any used car warranty is an insurance policy, and it will have specific exclusions and limitations on its coverage. Ultimately, if the fault in question is not covered by the warranty then the warranty company will never cover you.

      From the dealer’s point of view, you’re outside the six months allowed by the Consumer Rights Act, so it’s up to you to prove that the fault was there when you bought the car. After eight months of ownership, that’s very difficult to do. Unless you have compelling evidence and probably a good lawyer, they’re likely to reject any requests for financial assistance.

  4. My done brought an Audi A3 2013 with 35000 on the clock from none main dealer 2017 ,it came with 12 month warranty and he paid extra £400 So it included other parts should they go wrong

    The dealer said it had full history from new but is an electronic log book. the last MOT he explained was last done at Audi

    The car cost £13500 .Just under 12 months the turbo went causing catastrophic damage, new DPF, NEW TURBO, NEW INTERCOOLER and Possible engine damage.

    The dealer says as it’s over 6000 miles done it’s not covered. The warranty they signed shows 8000 but it was scribbled over on the copy by the dealer and changed to 6000 when it was signed

    The garage it is in says it looks like no service was done for well over a year, Audi say that from new it shows no service history.

    Is there still a chance to claim for not sold as advertised and not fit for purpose

    • Hi Daren. In terms of being not as advertised, you would have to show that the car was advertised with a service history – which means you need to still have a copy of the advert with it clearly stated.

      With regards to the mileage of 6,000 vs. 8,000, you’d need to get a legal professional to look at it and advise whether their scribble is actually acceptable. It may be that they can’t change it to 6,000 and are just hoping to get away with it.

      Arguing that a car is not fit for purpose is difficult, especially if you are outside the six-month provision of the Consumer Rights Act and have already covered more than 6,000 miles since you bought the car – the dealer will argue that the engine failures were your fault and occurred after you bought the car, and were not present at point of sale. You will find it difficult to prove otherwise, and it’s up to you to prove it.

  5. Hi Stuart I brought a Range Rover sport July 2017 on hp .i had a lot of problems with the car and garage in the1st month we we’re going to return under the 30days but was convinced to let the dealer have a chance to fix the problems first. Long story short they did indeed fix all we asked for eventually and also as a good will gesture upped our 18mth warranty to 36mths from gold cover to platinum and we were told the £1000 limit would be upped to £5000 because of this
    They changed it to 36mths but never changed limit ,many emails later I eventually received the policy (3mths later)
    Which said it was 36mths still said the limit was £1000 I rang and the dealer & they said they would change it ASAP
    Fast forward 8mths my cars got a fault that’s going to cost £2500 and warranty won’t pay more than £1000 even though I’ve got platinum cover the limit had not been changed as promised
    Spoke to garage and the manager who I dealt with has now left surprise surprise,they are saying because I hadn’t got a reply in writing (they did it all verbally)from them agreeing that they were upping the limit that I’ve got no rights ,even though my emails clearly show that I was requesting them to do this as they had promised ,and that everything else that was requested in my email (8 items) had been forfilled including the warranty being upgraded & extended except the limit
    Any help on what to do next would be appreciated thanks

  6. Hi Stuart, my mum bought a 2004 plate VW Polo at the begining of March with a one month warranty. Since then the central locking system stopped working in the 2nd week, went back to be repaired. Then she broke down on the motorway which was because the air filters and oil hadn’t been changed. She got this repaired at her local garage which cost her 70 pounds. It clearly hadn’t had a full service prior to being sold but did pass its MOT. Given shes only had the car 6 weeks is this enough to return to the dealer as get her money back. Thanks

  7. I purchased a minibus last July was told 3 months warranty , didn’t start driving it until the second month and in that month the service light and engine management light came on took it back to dealer who then said it needed a new filter so they did that then light again told it was a pipe took it back again then told service , now filter again I have taken this van back about 30 times I’ve still not had it a year until July , now I’ve been told it’s the filter again and I should had purchased a petrol not a diesel even though I told them what I was using the minibus for ? Light has been on since aug 2017 is there anything I can do ?

    • Hi Natalie. If you’re using your minibus for business use, you won’t be covered under the Consumer Rights Act, so you don’t have the same protections as if you’re buying a car for personal use.

      The first thing I would suggest is taking the vehicle to a different garage to see if they diagnose the problem differently. What sort of filter are they telling you is the problem? Your vehicle will have several filters, mainly a fuel filter, an oil filter, an air filter, and probably a diesel particulate filter in the exhaust system as well.

  8. Hi Stuart,
    That’s a fair point. I do really want to keep the car, mainly because if it works properly, it does everything I need it to and more.
    Unfortunately, it’s been a nightmare to get things sorted and as they fix one thing it either goes again or something else comes up, hence why I’ve had it for so little time.
    About 12 years ago I bought a car that ended up with problem after problem and almost had to cancel my honeymoon because of how much it cost to put right and I’m really concerned that this could end up being similar (minus the honeymoon obviously).
    If anything else does come up, is it simply a case of the dealer simply keeps putting them right (assuming that they’re small things) until my 30 days are up and then it’s on me?
    Many thanks again and I do really want the car, I’m just terrified of it turning into another money pit.

    • Rejecting the car under the Consumer Rights Act is generally only possible if you have something that stops the car from doing its primary job (ie – getting you from A to B). A number of small problems is not equivalent to one large problem, as annoying as they may be. Those are the sort of things that a warranty would cover (if you have one). The Consumer Rights Act is supposed to be a last-resort option rather than a first-resort option.

  9. Hi Stuart,
    Just noticed today that brakes are spongy having had trouble stopping quickly enough (at 30mph) and noticed a hissing sound when brake pedal is pressed.
    I’m taking it into a separate garage to get it checked tomorrow. If they find anything wrong, can i reject the car on those grounds? I’m worried if I keep it, I’m just going to find one thing after another.
    I’ve been in possession of the car a total of 17 days, although only 5 of those were before faults started cropping up.
    Many thanks again.

    • You need a valid reason to show that the whole car can be considered faulty. It has to be a legitimate problem with the car that stops it from doing it’s primary job and can’t easily be remedied.

      It’s hard to tell whether these are genuine concerns or if you are just looking for excuses to try and get out of a car that you no longer want. If you don’t have solid grounds to reject a car, the dealer and eventually a court would probably see it the same way.

  10. Hello I just bought a car 31 days ago, just before I left the dealership the management lights came on and the dealer sent me to a garage near them to have it diagnosed and it came out Egr fault turn it off asked me to drive around if it comes back let them know, it came back on my way home again about an hour as I’m about 2hours drive from the dealership, so the dealer told me to take it to my garage have it diagnosed and let him know the cost and they will pay for it if reasonable, which I made them aware today but just today the car overheated which is a different problem altogether my mechanic added coolant and told me to drive and if it happens again I should let him know. incase is a major problem is the dealership responsible to fixing that aswell? There was no talk about warranty when I bought the car apart from an AA 1 year recovery which I never got the email to set up,,I have asked them to send them to me again today so I can set it up. The car was purchase on high purchase finance.

    • Hi Bishop. If there was no warranty mentioned with the car when you bought it, it’s very likely that none was provided.

      You are still covered by the Consumer Rights Act, which allows you to reject a faulty and works in your favour for the first six months of your ownership. For more information, read our guide to rejecting a faulty car.

  11. Thanks Stuart,
    That’s pretty much what I thought and pretty much what the dealer have said.
    They’ve said they’ll try and fix the stereo issue, but if they can’t I’m assuming it’s just bad luck and I’ll have to deal with it?

    • I would guess it’s pretty likely that they should be able to fix the stereo, but if they can’t then yes, you’ll probably have to deal with it yourself if it’s not covered by any warranty.

  12. Hi there,
    I bought a Mazda CX-5 from a secondhand car dealership on 3rd February and since then have only had the use of the car for about 9-10 days, as there was a fault with the heating.
    The dealers have made a solid effort to get it fixed, but been let down by the Mazda garage they contracted the work out to and it kept going back and forth between the two of them.
    After further delays to the repair, I said that I wanted my money back, rather than waiting even longer and they said that as they’d just paid another £900 to fix it, the least I could do was wait and see if the problem was fixed. I agreed, but said that if any further problems appeared, then I wanted my money back.
    I collected the car today and the stereo, which worked with my phone initially, now no longer does. Doing long journeys and being able to listen to podcasts and audiobooks is a key requirement for me, so in my mind, this is now a deal breaker and I’ve asked them for a refund.
    It’s not a safety issue, but I definitely wouldn’t have bought the car without the ability to connect my phone.
    What are my rights here? The car was obviously bought longer than the 30 day period, but out of 10 weeks, I’ve only had it for just over a week. Does that make a difference?
    Many thanks for your advice on this

    • Hi Jeremy. Your ownership ‘clock’ stops whenever the dealer has the car, so if you have only had the vehicle in your possession for ten days, you are still within your 30-day right to reject without accepting a repair.

      However, it may not be quite that simple. If your heating has been fixed, that’s no longer grounds for rejection. You are basically asking to reject the car because it won’t pair with your phone, and that’s unlikely to be considered valid grounds to reject the vehicle (it doesn’t stop the vehicle from performing its primary function of getting you from A to B).

      If your phone connects to the car via Bluetooth, it can probably be remedied by deleting the phone details from your car and vice versa, then trying to pair them again. It may take a few goes for it to reset. If it’s a physical connection, that may take a bit more investigation – the dealer may have pulled a plug while they had the stereo out to fix the heater. Either way, it should be easily fixable and is not going to be grounds to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act.

  13. Hi there, I bought a car on the 25.03.2018, on finance. After just a short while the engine start making a strange noise. I have spoken to many mechanics and they say that it can be either the injectors or something else. I have spoken to the dealer and they say to take to a service to find out the exact problem, but they did not gave me in writing that I can take to an other service to check. All the mechanics refused to take apart the engine. After that the dealer said to take it back which is really far for me. question is if I take the car back ,obviously will loose a lot of time and money, do I have any right to claim back any money? As I will have to rent a car as I do my leaving with the car.
    Any advise?


    • Hi Otto. Generally no, you can’t claim compensation for expenses, loss of earnings or other indirect costs. All you can claim are the direct costs, unless your warranty says otherwise.

  14. Absolutely brilliant advise and help.
    I wonder if I could be cheeky and seek some advise. I brought a car 17th February 09 plate £2495. Had it a week and had a diesel smell in car. This was a leaky injector. Car was taken to garage and fixed. The car was then jerking and not starting very well. Car was taken back and repaired given 4 new glow plugs. I tried sending it back to them but they won’t accept refund. Car still has a leaky injector and now has to go back. Car still jerks and has a tin sound when driving. Any advise

  15. Did you manage to get your car sorted? I have a very similar problem. 04 audi a4. Diesel pump & engine control. Been quotes over 4k by audi!

  16. Hi, I am looking to buy a second-hand van, and will be looking at one tomorrow. It will only be £1295.00, but can I still ask if there is a warranty from the dealer. Another dealer was telling me that all dealers have to offer a 6-month warranty on used cars now, which is why there are not so many cheaper ones about. I am a self-employed electrician, not strictly a business (as in not a Ltd company), am I still covered by consumer rights? The van will be for personal use and for my work, it is a Vauxhall Combo.

    • Dealers do not have to offer a six-month warranty on used vehicles. I suspect that whoever told you that was thinking of the Consumer Rights Act, which is not the same as a warranty.

      if you are buying the car as a private individual for personal use only (no business use whatsoever), then you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act. As soon as you use the vehicle for business purposes, you are no longer a consumer under the definition of the Act.

  17. Hi, we’re looking at buying a used car (a VW) that in theory should have manufacturer warranty until December of this year. At the last minute, the car supermarket has told us that the car did not have its first service until 5,000 miles after it should and therefore some of the warranty may be void. They only offer a standard 3-month warranty so essentially 6 months we may not be covered. I’m probably answering my own question as I write this but what advice do you have? The garage is not willing to offer anything further.

    • Hi Jo. You’d need to check with Volkswagen to see what their official position would be, but if the supermarket is warning you that the new car warranty will be voided then it’s probably because they know from prior experience.

      So assume that it would have a three-month aftermarket warranty that’s nowhere near as comprehensive as a manufacturer new car warranty. If that means you no longer want the car, there will be others.

  18. Hi there, I bought a car for £12,000 a few months ago, and paid for 6 months warranty after making sure it covered everything I would be worried about (including clutch). The other day, a clutch issue occurred that could potentially cost up to around £4,000 to fix.

    After checking the warranty paperwork, I now see that is has a claim limit of £1,000. However, the piece of paper that states this has the saleman’s signature, but the space for my signature is empty. I’m also sure I would not have paid the amount I paid for the warranty had I known the claim limit was £1,000. What are my rights here?

    • Hi Charlie. You’ll need to get some professional legal advice if you’re going to question the legitimacy of your warranty, as that’s beyond the scope of what we can help with.

  19. Hello! Bought a car from a dealer 4 months ago. The warranty was only 3 months. During that time needed somethings done and the dealer fixed them (although still waiting for a piece ) . In the last month the car broke down twice ( low oil pressure) and I can’t drive the car at all!! Obviously the dealer is saying they won’t do anything due the warranty already finished.. Is there anything I can do?

  20. Hi, hi i bought a used MG ZT privately in January. The car had a full main dealer service history and had recentlyhad a new clutch and DMF and slave cylinder in October fitted by the local MG franchised dealer. The cluch is now failing and on closer inspection of the cars history, it’s had 5 clutchs in 100,000 miles! all ‘repaird’ at the main dealer. A clutch should last more than 20k miles, and the current one hasnt even lasted a couple of thousand miles. The work should be under warrenty for the previous owner, but do i have a case as the new owner?

    • Hi Rebecca. If the car has chewed through five clutches in 100,000 miles then it’s likely to be caused by something else. It could be driving style, or a problem with the gearbox that connects to the clutch.

      Unless the warranty for the previous work transfers with ownership (and you’ll have to look into it, as sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t), then you’re on your own having bought the car privately. If you don’t have any warranty cover and it’s up to you to foot the bill to get it fixed, I’d be getting the garage to look for other causes. If they just replace the clutch again, you are likely to go through the same saga in a few thousand miles.

  21. hi stuart could you help me i have a problem with a rattle coming from the dashboard of my Nissan Note 2014. which has been in twice under warranty. now the warranty is finished the rattle has come back how do I stand on this william scotland

    • Hi William. Warranty work is usually linked to the original warranty, although there may be a minimum warranty period on any work done by the workshop. You will have to check your warranty details or speak to the dealership (or speak to another Nissan dealer if you don’t want to tip your dealer off that you are likely to be claiming).

      If you don’t have any warranty cover, then it’s up to you to pay for any repairs.

  22. Hi All,
    I bought the car from the dealer on 11th December 2017 for £850. On the recipe dealer wrote car bought as seen.
    Two weeks later car started to overheat. I contacted the dealer and he refused to help me. He told me that he is not giving any warranty for cars under £1000. I sent him 3 recorded delivery letters asking for help he did not replay to any of them.
    I took the car to the independent gauge and they told me that it was the head gasket. It needs the replacement. This is very expensive. What else can I do?

  23. I am a Republic of Ireland resident. I purchased a 3-year-old Nissan Leaf in March 2017 from a main Nissan Dealer. Part of the deal was a 1 year extended warranty and I was told it covered me in Ireland. I even received a renewal letter in January from the warranty company offering me another year of warranty for £450. My car failed the NCT (MOT) due to a fault covered by warranty. I contacted the dealer who confirmed the warranty could be used. I then contacted the warranty company who confirmed the warranty was valid and could be used. I updated my registration plate to the Irish ones and had a validation certificate sent to me.

    My local dealer inspected the car and contacted the warranty company regarding payment if work commenced and the warranty company claimed the warranty was void because I am not resident in the UK. They knew this all along and the warranty was first registered to my Irish address. When I phoned the warranty company, the claims specialist made the excuse that his colleague was unaware that I was not a UK resident, but I made this clear a number of times. They also refused to allow me use the warranty in Northern Ireland.

    The sales rep believed the warranty was valid for me and his manager confirmed this only yesterday, but said I would need to go to Northern Ireland to use the warranty. The warranty company are listed on the Motor Ombudsman website and seem to be the main warranty company used by Nissan GB. The warranty expires in a week and the warranty company has not given written confirmation that they have voided my warranty under their geographical terms and conditions. I made a complaint to the ombudsman. I think the warranty should be honoured. Is there anything else I can/should do?

    • Hi Gearóid. Used car warranties are different to new car warranties, so the T&Cs will be different – essentially they are insurance policies provided by a specialist warranty provider and underwritten by an insurance company. If it was a new car, your warranty would be valid anywhere in the EU so this wouldn’t be an issue.

      If you have not done so already, you will need to immediately (before your warranty expires) formally complain to the dealership who sold you the car as well as the warranty provider, and note the date when you first contacted them after your car failed its NCT. This should ensure the issue is formally on record with an accompanying date, so that they can’t brush it off as a new issue raised after your warranty expires next week. Resolution of the issue via the ombudsman is unlikely to be very quick, so you need to ensure that the dates are very clear.

    • Thanks for your reply Stuart. I have been emailing the warranty company and the Nissan dealer. The dealer has not responded since I made an official complaint. My argument was that I was sold a product I could not use (not fit for purpose). The warranty company has since emailed me back to say they have now refunded the payment to the dealer for the policy. I’m not exactly sure how to take this news. They have essentially admitted that I was incorrectly sold a product and blamed their system for not being sophisticated enough to pick up on a republic of Ireland address. They have not provided me with the amount refunded.

      I intend to update my complaint with the motor ombudsman. Any other recommendations? Should I still include the warranty company in the complaint? I am not satisfied that they have simply refunded the amount they received and washed their hands of the problem which will no doubt cost more to repair than they have refunded.

    • The only thing I can really recommend is to speak to a lawyer to represent you properly and get what you feel you are owed. That’s the only way you can be sure you’ll get someone to properly act on your behalf against the dealer, warranty company and manufacturer.

  24. We bought a car 3 weeks ago with 3 months warranty. Within 2 weeks we had to change the battery because initially we thought it had died because I had left the lights on while it was parked outside in the snow. When AA came they said it needed replacing because it had never been changed.
    4 days later car stopped entirely. Runs for 50 metres and stops again.
    Not even Done 100 miles!
    Dealer only picked it up yesterday and said that it needs a part replacing for the gearbox. He is getting a reconditioned one on Monday.
    I’m furious because of all the stress and inconveniences. I am having to do school run and nursery, college for myself on the buses. Completely messed up whole family’s routine.
    I think I should just get a refund, luckily I bought it on a credit card.

    • Hi Majeda. If the car can be considered faulty as a whole, then you are entitled to reject it under the Consumer Rights Act. If the fix is a simple one and not serious enough to render the whole car faulty, then you don’t have the right to reject it. The dealer is also not obliged to offer you anything in the way of compensation for disrupting your family routine, as how you use the car is beyond their control.

      With a used car, it’s never entirely simple. You may feel that the car is faulty, but the reality is that used cars are always susceptible to issues that you wouldn’t expect on a new car – that’s why they’re a lot cheaper than a new car.

      For more information, have a read of our guide to rejecting a faulty car.

  25. Hi Stuart, I bought a used BMW X6 for £25k almost 6 months ago. It came with a 6-month warranty, which will expire this Friday. It has developed an electrical fault (a light comes on saying increased battery discharge). A mechanic said it could possibly be a fault with the alternator, but I would need a diagnostic check. I tried to phone the warranty provider first, but there is no reply, and their website no longer exists. I phoned the dealer, who said he would contact the person he deals with for warranties and get back to me, but he hasn’t yet returned my call. I’m worried that if I can’t get hold of anyone, the warranty will expire before I can claim under it. It only has 4 days left. I will keep trying to contact them, but I wondered if I have any legal rights if they are impossible to contact? I would be very grateful for you advice! Thanks, Dawn.

    • Hi Dawn. I would suggest putting your issue in writing and note that you have been unable to contact the warranty provider on the number provided.

      Assuming that you have the paperwork to say you have a warranty, you have the right to expect the warranty to be valid. However, if the warranty company no longer exists and the dealer is unwilling to assist, you’ll probably need to speak to a solicitor to determine what legal rights you may have to pursue coverage for any repairs.

  26. Bought a car on 14th Feb from used car garage, 3 months warranty but limit £500. Noticed driving it home oily smell through vents but it had a new motor and full service at garage we bought it off prior to our purchase. I thought maybe they had left oil behind when doing oil change so figured a few days later that the smell would go. I then discovered spots of oil on drive a few days after purchase so booked it in on 26th to have it checked. My local garage confirmed the turbo seals are leaking, the garage supposedly claimed that a full mechanical check is done on every vehicle but unsure how they would of missed this? What rights do I have as Still waiting a week later for warranty company to advise if it is covered, can I reject car?

    • Hi Stephanie. Your consumer right to reject a faulty car is completely separate to any warranty that is provided by the seller. If the car is faulty (rather than just an easily-repaired problem that doesn’t materially affect the overall vehicle), then you are entitled to reject it under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. For more information, have a read of our guide to rejecting a faulty car.

  27. My husband brought a car end of October 2017. Hpi check said 1 owner and hpi clear and since owning it and having the car professionally cleaned and coated it has come to light that the car may have previously been in an accident and the v5 shows as 2 owners. Is there anything we can do? It’s a 13k 4 year old car brought from a sytner car group so would expect to feel somewhat assured and safe buying from them!!

    • Hi Becci. Just because the car has been in an accident doesn’t mean that the dealer is obliged to disclose it or that it will appear on an HPI check. They are only forced to declare damage if the car has been written off by an insurer and repaired (which is legal if the damage is below a certain level).

      So really, the issue is the fact that the car has had two owners rather than one as indicated on the HPI check. In practical terms, this shouldn’t affect the quality of the vehicle. However, HPI does have a guarantee on the accuracy of its information, which you can read about on their website.

  28. Hi Stuart

    Could you pleasr advise, i bought a car on finance from evans halshaw, within 5 months the engine started making a very loud noise, dealer initially refused to have a look, then eventually took the car in and said the fan belt and pulley failed, both need replaced at a cost of £206, and is not covered om our warranty, they told us the the consumer credit act only applies to major faults.

    The car has been at the dealer for 2 weeks now and the finance company told us it will take another 8 weeks for them to get a case worker to investigate, so that will be 10 weeks paying finance, insurance and having to use taxis and buses meanwhile.

    Who should have to pay for this since it’s within 6 months ? can we pay to have this fixed and then claim back through a small claims as we need the car back asap for work etc.


  29. On 5th February I bought a 2015 Hyundai i40 estate from a dealership. I paid £9,750 for it and was told it had the remainder of the Hyundai 5 year warranty on it. This was also stated on the sales invoice.
    When we returned home and looked in the service record book, we found that there was no record of the first obligatory service. There was a stamp, and only that, for the second one only. I realised that this would invalidate the warranty and took it up with the dealership who fobbed me off many times, first of all telling me it would all be fine.
    After much to-ing and fro-ing with the dealership, the very helpful people at Hyundai UK contacted them for me and spelled out, word for word, the terms of their warranty, proving that it was no longer valid. I am finally about to be granted a phone call with the branch manager tomorrow but am not sure what the best option would be.
    Rejecting the car isn’t really practical as we have brought it over to France where we live (which doesn’t affect the warranty – I checked with Hyundai) and we would prefer to be provided with a new warranty, equivalent to what we would have had. Failing that, a refund of some sort will have to be made but I am not sure how much would be reasonable to ask for. Any thoughts very welcome. Thank you

    • Hi Stephanie. There’s not really anything equivalent to a new car warranty, so anything that the dealer could provide would be inferior.

      The Consumer Rights Act doesn’t provide for negotiation in terms of an alternative warranty or a partial refund. Your legal protection is the ability to reject the entire car for being mis-sold, and get a full refund. Anything you negotiate with the dealership is outside the provisions of the Act.

  30. Only had car 5 months the warranty was 3 months sent it to garage twice to be sorted under warranty car ran fine for a couple of weeks then back into limp mode for same reason

  31. I have brought a car for 5900 65 thousand on the clock it been in limp mode 8 times now also the lights been playing up but warranty has now ran out can I still get them to sort it out

  32. Hi Stuart,

    Hoping you might be able to advise! I really needed a car so I bought one a little over a month ago. Straight away, the central locking didn’t work. Shortly after the gearbox started making crunching noise very occasionally (I think it was an existing fault to be honest. It only happens occasionally). Now, the engine light has come on and the car is juddering. Obviously this was an urgent fault, so I’ve brought it to the garage – they’ve said it’s potentially a £500 repair job.

    I phoned the garage I bought it from to try and get some help (about the urgent fault only). They couldn’t have been less helpful – they even refused to acknowledge that they sold me the car at first, slightly aggressively I may add! This confirms in my mind that they knew it was a shame dodgy. They’ve said as it’s outwith the 28 days, there’s nothing they can do. The car is under a third party warrantee but it doesn’t look like it’s a fault they cover.

    Because of my job, I really need a car. I’m afraid that if I now fork out for the repair, this will invalidate any rights I have to complain. Also, I’m afraid that if I now bring up the other two faults (which I decided, on account of really needing a car that I could live with temporarily, and would fix after a few pay days time!) they will of course say that why didn’t I bring the car in sooner?

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I should of course have brought the car back straight away, but like I said, with ny need for a vehicle I decided not to. Foolish on my part I know!

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  33. I have brought a car 8th Jan 2018. The car has engine light sometimes and was shaking when I press the gas. so the car rolled down on the hill. We brought it back to dealer 30th Jau. They said they could not find a problem so they brought it to main dealer. We waited for the phone call until 8th Feb. They said they could not find a problem. What can I do?

    • You will need to get a workshop to diagnose the problem before you can take any action. This may cost you money, but if two garages so far have said that they can’t find a problem, you need to have evidence to counter that.
      Or just ask Jesus to fix it.

  34. Hi I bought a car from the car people in april and it had 3 months warranty it is a 5 year finance at £223 a month and within the first few weeks i had to fetch the car back as the main head lights wouldnt turn on the battery kept dying and the electrics wasnt working, i took it in had to book a day off work and they took almopst 3 hours to fix it a few weeks later i had the same problem and my warranty was due to run out so i messaged to book in, as i work monday-sunday its difficult for me to get in and my warranty had ran out by the time i could get the car back in so i left it but now almost 5 timnes a week my car battery will die i wouldnt if i had any rights as i have been having the same problem from the first few weeks of buying the car and it had only done 13,000 miles when i had it sold and its a new car Volkswagen Polo R Line

    • Hi Hollie. You are now outside the six-month window where the law tends to be on your side for rejecting a car, so it makes that quite a bit more difficult. You can try and take action to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act, but you’ll probably need to get the help of a lawyer.

      Clearly, the garage you are using doesn’t know how to fix the problem. Since you’re no longer under warranty, I would suggest going to a Volkswagen dealer or independent Volkswagen specialist to get it fixed properly.

  35. Hello, i purchased a 2nd hand car last week. The next next day it wouldn’t start, the dealer came and looked said it was the immobilizer as I’d had it unlocked too long! The next day wouldn’t start again, he said it was fuel unable to get to the engine. 5 days later wouldn’t start again and engine light is on. I’ve now said I want him to take it in for his mechanics to take a look. He isn’t accepting any responsibility and states that it had a very safe previous owner and no issues with the car. I’m very unhappy at how unreliable it is. What are my rights please?

  36. I bought a 2008 GMC Acadia on Sept. 27th 2017. On the Bill of Sale from the dealer it states”12 Month Warranty” Now after I bought it he says it’s only covers transmission engine and admissions! How does this work? Thanks Betty

    • Hi Betty. This is a UK site and you appear to be in the USA. We can’t offer any advice or information about what the relevant federal and state laws may be in your area. I can say with great confidence, however, that your president is a moron and an embarrassment to what used to be a great country.

  37. I bought a car for £2,700 on the 28 th October 2017 and picked the car up on the 2nd November. On the 2nd January 2018 the car broke down so had it recovered through my insurance back home. The following day I had it taken to my local garrage to be told my timing chain was stretched and needed replacing at a cost of Approximately £700. The day it was due to be ready i got a call from the garage to say my ECU was full of water and corroded and needed replacing at a cost of approximately £1,100. As I purchased the car on the 28th October the 3 month warranty has expired but is there anything i can do as these are very costly repairs which I cannot afford?

  38. Thanks Stuart. I think the problem for me is that it is a grey area and the two clauses are in some way conflicting therefore confusing. It says that it is not a form of insurance but it is an “extended guarantee” if that makes any difference? If imagine by law then they would have to prove the change to the car is the reason for the warranty claim before the warranty is void? I’ve read that confusing terms and conditions go in my favour too if they are not so clear cut? Thanks again

    • Ultimately, any warranty or guarantee is a form of insurance policy – if it goes wrong and the fault falls under the warranty, you are covered. No different than if your car is stolen and your car insurer covers you for the cost of a replacement.

      I still suggest you contact the warranty company rather than assuming/hoping that a grey area of the wording may work in your favour. Finding out you’re not covered afterwards is not as good as finding out beforehand…

  39. Hi Stuart, I purchased an approved used Ford Fiesta from Bristol Street Motors (A Ford main dealer) over a four year period, It had 18 months remaining of the Ford warranty then the extended warranty I purchased from them, known as the Motor Assured Warranty kicks in for the remaining two and a half years. I am looking to to change the exhaust (please don’t judge me) which I know for a fact would not void the Ford warranty providing that modification did not cause the issue which the warranty claim is for. However, I am worried that this change to the exhaust would void my extended warranty as it states in the fine print that any modifications from the manufacturers specifications would do so? However, It also states under the excluded Items which are covered under the extended warranty include “parts that wear out as a normal consequence of use and which would normally be expected to be replaced periodically; brake pads and discs, brake shoes and drums, clutch friction facings, and the exhaust system.” Therefore, can I safely assume that a change to the exhaust would not void the warranty as it is an excluded covered item anyway? I might also add that the dealership originally tried to sell me a similar fiesta with a modified bumper and exhaust, and would have sold me the extended warranty with that also? I spoke to “Motor Assured” and they added that what voids the warranty is what is modified from point of sale? Contrary to what is in the contract about what is different to manufacturers specification? I would really appreciate your advice to prevent me wasting my time and money. Thanks.

    • Hi Daniel. The manufacturer’s new car warranty and the extended used car warranty are two different covers, so they will have different T&Cs and are underwritten by two different companies.

      You should speak directly to the provider of the Motor Assured warranty (their details should be in the paperwork you were given when you bought the vehicle) and ask them about the various clauses within their policy.

      Excluded items (like a new exhaust system) may still void your attempts to claim on your warranty if the warranty company can show that your new exhaust caused the problem that you are claiming for (say, it heated up more than the original version and caused damage).

  40. Hi Stuart i bought car from small garage 3 months ago with 1 month warranty for engine and gearbox only.2 weeks later gearbox problem occur. Got in touch with dealer he told me to change oil. So i did change oil bit few days later problem got back.then he said to plug it in for diagnostic. Did that. Told him what codes came up. He said it’s conductor plate (which it was) and should get it fixed for 150pounds. Took it to gearbox specialist last week ( as normal repair garages wouldn’t touch it as it’s 7 speed automatic). Paid 810£ to get it fixed. In that period of time i was still in touch with he said i paid too much for it. Labour should cost 50£ according to him (dropping oil pan , draining oil, dig into conductor plate, take solenoids off etc.). He said he can pay maximum 300£ as a contribution. My question is : should he paid full amount for repair as it was pinpointed within warranty period. And i feel like he was brushing me off all time

    • Hi Karol. By the sound of it, he’s definitely been giving you the runaround. If the dealer is providing the warranty himself, rather than using a specialist warranty company, you are probably going to need to bring some kind of legal action against him to get any compensation.

  41. Hi Stuart,

    I purchased a 64 plate Seat Ibiza from a SEAT dealer in December 2016, still under warranty until September 2017. Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago on new years eve my cars EPC light came on and went into limp mode. I had it recovered to a local garage who diagnosed it with a permanent fault on the turbo, they recommended it should go to a SEAT dealer due to the part being anti-tampering.
    Being 12 weeks out of warranty and the cars mileage only 24000 ( excellent condition, full service history) and after researching the fault it appears a very common one on the VAG group of cars. A colleague had a similar problem with a SEAT Leon, she recommended I rang SEAT head office. I was given a customer number and told to take it to my local dealer. They diagnosed a problem with the turbo actuator, SEAT will pay for the part if I pay for labour which would be £150.
    I was satisfied with this, as I appreciate it is out of warranty although it must be a manufacturing fault with these engines. They then inform be there is a backorder for this part and cannot give me a date for it to be delivered. Meanwhile I am left without a car as mine is rendered useless for the foreseeable future, as an NHS nurse working shifts this is an impossible situation. The dealership and head office has been unhelpful so far, will not supply a courtesy car as car is out of warranty. They even suggested to take it elsewhere and for me pay for a universal part.
    From what I can see on forums it appears this a very common fault, and believe SEAT know this but are reluctant to admit it. Whilst left paying monthly payments on a car i can not use due to no fault of my own I feel very angry and frustrated. I would like to know what my rights are regarding this situation and how I proceed?

    • Hi Jessica. If it’s out of warranty then you’re largely on your own. That’s why warranties have expiry dates, otherwise you could claim repairs forever.

      Unless there is clear evidence of the manufacturer cheating or breaking the rules (like Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal), there’s rarely assistance on offer once your warranty has expired. If there is any kind of goodwill programme available to assist with costs, SEAT owners’ forums will have information about it so you can find out whether you’d be eligible.

  42. Hi I purchased a car 6 week ago and the receipt was given with 3 mnth warranty and 12 mnth aa. I came across a fault and grandad the door handle b4 the car was unlockwd and it was open on further inspection the front won’t lock and the back door don’t open. I reported this to the garage and they said I can take it anywhere under warranty but then said they have lost all paperwork and said they will pay a contribution to cost. I explained I wanted the warranty company and they told me who they use. I phoned and they said im not registered. The garage don’t offer courtesy car and want me to go and drop my car off with them but they won’t tell me garage were sending it. I asked them to forward me warranty and aa and they said they can’t find any paperwork and the owner is on holiday. Do I have to send it in to them to budge up or can I request it go to an approved garage near me. I still don’t think I should pay anything and they haven’t specified how much there going to contribute to fees. What can I do

    • Hi Michelle. You are absolutely right to insist that you get confirmation that the warranty and AA breakdown cover have been set up; unfortunately, it is too common that these things are promised and never delivered in the hope that they’ll never be needed and the customer will never notice…

      Once the warranty is in place, you are obliged to follow the warranty procedures as set by the warranty company. This may affect who can do the repair and how the payment process works (eg – do you have to pay for the fix and then get refunded, or does the warranty company pay the garage directly?).

  43. Hi I brought an ex demo Ford Ranger 66 plate from Ford Ringway in Leeds last May 17. It was fine for the first 6 months but since then has had 5 breakdowns and call outs to the AA. Each time it goes back to Ford they “fix it” with explanations like loose connection and it’s works for a week but then same problems just stops working often when driving which is extremely dangerous. It has gone back again tonight and I am at my wits end as costing me time And money. Is there any way I can get. A refund as lost confidence in ford And the car. It has only done 9000 miles …. thank you in antisipation perry

    • Hi Perry. The Consumer Rights Act is favourable for the first six months, and then after that it tends to work in favour of the dealer. That doesn’t mean you can’t reject the car and get a full refund now, but it does make it considerably more difficult.

      You can always try a different Ford dealership if you are not happy with the level of service being provided by your current one, and I would also suggest you complain directly to Ford’s UK head office about the vehicle and/or the dealer to see if they can offer you a refund or a different car. However, anything along those lines will be a negotiated process rather than a rejection via the Consumer Rights Act.

  44. Bought Mk4 Renault Clio end of October 2017 with 3 month warranty included. My wife noticed cold air blowing into passenger footwell no matter if heat on full or not. Never noticed myself as driver side works fine but did think car took long time to warm up. Even after 20 mins hot air blowing into driver side and cold into passenger side. ALSO when release steering wheel car noticably pulls to the right. Finally even though I only drive on urban roads I am only getting 26 mpg as opposed to 44+ which is expected. Rang warranty company who said that the dealer would be in touch same day. That was 10 days ago and no response from emails or calls. Warranty covers full value of car £6990. Have I grounds for rejecting it?

    • Hi Ken. The only issue there that is likely to be grounds for rejecting the vehicle is likely to be the steering problem – and that may be easily resolvable with a proper wheel alignment.

      The heater issue is a warranty matter rather than grounds for rejecting the car in my own opinion. Fuel economy is a no-win argument, so I wouldn’t bother.

  45. Hi,

    I bought a car on the 1st of November and today it went into limp mode and said to check the VSC. The car is valued at £3,000 and had 90,000 miles on it. Do I have a leg to stand on with not knowing if I have warranty or not? I have read about a six month period when buying a car from a dealership that potential issues like this could fall under a ruling where they have to pay to repair or accept a return.

    • Hi Jamie. You are thinking of the Consumer Rights Act, which is not the same as a warranty. Have a read of our article about rejecting a faulty car for more information.

      As for whether the fault is serious enough to reject the vehicle, it will depend on what has caused it to go into limp mode. The car itself has to be considered faulty, and if it’s a simple fix then it won’t be sufficient grounds to reject it.

  46. Hi bought a new car only to find that the previous owner bought it at a dealership who kept hold of the service books and spare keys. Is it illegal for a garage to keep these back when selling the car as it could be vulnerable to theft?

    • Hi James. As far I as I’m aware, it’s not illegal. Presumably there was some kind of issue and the dealer wouldn’t release the spare keys and service books until some money was paid. And then, presumably, the owner never got around to collecting the keys and books once it had been resolved.

      Depending on how long ago this happened, the chances of the dealership still having these around is slim to none.

  47. Hi Stuart,
    I have bought a VW Polo.1.2 petrol 55 plate for £1,400 on 29th November. I did a test drive and it seemed fine but showed few faults to the seller. The car was shaking and he told us that there is a fuse or coil which needs to be changed. I showed it to mechanic and the computer said that cylinder 1 misfires. I did service and changed the coil but still the engine light is on. It does not run properly and gives less mileage. I spoke to the seller many times and he is saying my mechanic is not a good one. I have showed to another mechanic but its the same issue and the engine is not making the required compression. I want to reject the car but he has refused. Can you please advice. Thanks,

    • Hi Atif. You need to formally reject the car, in writing, under the Consumer Rights Act. You have 30 days to do this without having to accept a repair. After 30 days, the seller is entitled to one shot at repairing the fault before accepting your rejection.

      If the seller refuses to accept your rejection, you will need to take further action to enforce your rights. This usually means getting a lawyer involved.

  48. Hello I brought a car on the 16th November. I have had the car break down on the motorway. The car was sold with 3 months warranty which is on the invoice. I have asked for the details of the warranty as need to get the repairs done, he then said the car has no warranty as when they submitted it the warranty declined. I now have a £400 bill. What can I do please

  49. Hi my husband bought a used car from a trader with a 30 day warranty on the way back home the front screen demister didn’t work this was approx 60 miles from where we live, so the next day i called the company who said it will need to be booked at a garage of their choice. We drove back there and while there the mechanic said it needs a new fan motor which has to be ordered and so will need the car for a day so we left leaving the car with mechanic. next day the mechanic called to say car will be ready for that afternoon and that the work has been done. When we got there the mechanic said we did not put a new part it’s the same one just tried to get the old one working as the trader has said they don’t want to spend any money on the new part required .we checked and it was exactly the same as we left it! He just said that is the best we can do as it’s just a used car. When we got back home I called the trader who wouldn’t admit it hasn’t been fixed, I told him the front screen demister doesn’t clear the screen it’s still the same. He just kept saying my mechanic is the best and have been using them for a number of years and that he said it’s been fixed. Can you tell me what rights we have? What can we do? We still have until the 25th of December 17 until the warranty expires.

    • Hi Samina. If the dealer says that the problem has been fixed but you disagree, you will have to show some kind of evidence. You should take the car to an independent garage for a second opinion (this will have to be at your expense). If that garage is prepared to provide a written report to say that the fault still exists, you can go back to the seller with some confidence.

      Used car warranties are often provided by a specialist warranty company, rather than by the dealership itself, so you should check to see who is actually providing the warranty. It may be that you can go directly to the warranty provider rather than back to the dealership.

  50. Had a car on finance with one mth warranty less than 3 months , 2 week in it had a fault place we got the car from fixed it again now a fault again car wont start are they still required to fix or not please help

  51. Hi Stuart,
    We just bought a used car from a trader on the 3rd of December. It is a Fiat Punto 2006, 53,000miles for £1,450. The car seemed OK and we drove it home almost 180 miles carefully it did not show any particular problems – the trader said it stayed without being used for 3/4 weeks.
    My husband used the car to go every day to work but on Thursday the 7th of December (after 4 days) the car broke down on the motorway, the engine overheated and steam was coming out under the hood. As the car has a low mileage we didn’t buy a breakdown cover so the rescue team picked the car and left it to the nearest garage.
    We called the trader who was not happy to hear us and all he said was that he didn’t provide us with any warranty and we were covered just on the day we bought it, fact that I know is not true as under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 he has to give us a refund as the car had some previous cheap engine repairs which have been observed by the mechanic, repairs that we were not made aware of when we purchased the car. The problem is that we paid him cash and we have tried to track down the dealer which apparently doesn’t exist and all the contact number from AutoTrader are switched off. There is any chance to find the guys and get rid of the broken car? What should we do?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Veronica. There is a difference between a warranty (which you don’t have) and the Consumer Rights Act. You can’t assume that “he has to give you a refund”, as it will depend on whether the car is considered faulty – and an 11-year-old car would have a considerable allowance for age if it ever made it in front of a judge. The dealer is not obliged to disclose whether the car has had “previous cheap engine repairs”, although he can’t lie if you ask direct questions about the car’s history.

      It sounds like the dealer has tried to make a quick buck selling questionable cars then disappearing, but that doesn’t mean you will have the support of the law in getting your money back.

  52. Bought a 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara dis from a reputable car dealer near me and picked it up 6 weeks go, after they had done their after sales checks. Got 3 months warranty with it. The other week a warning came up on start-up – said service esp system. It was due for a 63k Miles service so thought I would take it to a main dealers to see what the advisory was about. They plugged it into their diagnostics but couldn’t find anything, so carried on servicing my car. They rang me to say the service was a bigger one than they though they and I needed the coolant changing, so they went ahead with that. I went to collect it and drove home. Next day the heater didn’t work at all and it’s was smowing I took it back to the garage and told them. By this time the coolant was pouring out under my car. After a lot negotiating with the staff, they agreed to take the car back in overnight and gave me another courtesy car. They rang up the following day to say that I needed a new pipe at a cost of £71 and that it was just a coincidence that it had broken. I can’t take the car without it being fixed so now I’ve got to pay for that too. Why should I pay for something that has only gone wrong since the garage took my car in for it Service.? Should I pay it on top of what I’ve already paid? They still didn’t find out what the esp was about but said there are two oil leaks underneath and I should take it back where I got it from for those to be fixed.

    • Hi Sue. To separate your two issues – the Suzuki dealer that serviced the car and changed the coolant sounds a bit suspicious. It would certainly be an unusual coincidence that a pipe broke the day after they serviced it; the cynic in me suggests that maybe they forgot to tighten a hose properly and therefore it all leaked out. But it may be that they are telling the truth, as you probably don’t have any evidence to challenge them.

      It’s surprising that the Suzuki dealer can’t find any reason for the ESP warning light. However, ESP (electronic stability programme) is a fairly critical safety system, so you definitely need to go back to the selling dealer to have that looked at.

  53. Hi I have a issue I purchased a Mercedes C Class 2011 on finance in April 2017 since owning the car I have had a number of issues firstly there is a delay on my locks when pressing the open button it takes around 2-3 seconds before the doors are able to open however Mercedes keep claiming that this is just a factory setting and cannot be changed also it has been in for repair work on two occasions both were for the locks and odd noises comeing from the rear of the car on both occasions the issues have not been resolved even after being told my locks have been replaced worst of all 6 weeks ago my car developed a miss fire and broke down on the motorway I rang Mercedes breakdown who have diagnosed it with a faulty injector after replaceing the injector they contacted me and have informed me that one of my pistons were also damaged so my engine had to be removed since it has been removed they have informed me that the engine block is damaged so will need to be replaced under warranty my only issue is I am not happy with it as it just seems to be fault after fault what options do I have I have purchased the car for £12000 and Mercedes have informed me that the warranty work would cost the company in excess off £10000 what can I do to get them to either replace my car like for like or get a refund

    • Hi Mohammed. You are outside your six-month window where the Consumer Rights Act is on your side for rejecting the car, so your best bet is to make sure that the company is paying every penny of the engine repair work while the car is under warranty.

      Not sure about the lock issue – that’s certainly not a ‘factory setting’ so there is a problem with it somewhere. However, if the doors are still locking and unlocking then it is unlikely that the Consumer Rights Act would help you on that either.

  54. Hi Stuart,
    I bought a car from a “dealer” in Leicester.The dealership was a plot with over 50 cars but no office which I found a bit odd.
    I bought the car less than 2 months ago and on the second day I noticed it jolts when driving in lower gear.(the car is automatic) I contacted the “boss” straight away and he started saying he’s not the owner,he’s only working there etc.2 months later the car is almost undrivable as it’s got a gear fault.
    I’ve tried to talk to the same owner person but he says he’s not working at the same company etc just trying to fob me off.
    My mom took a loan for this car and she transferred the money to me so i can buy the car.The repair will cost £1800 and I don’t know what i can do to recover my money from this so called “trader”. I have an invoice from a company that doesn’t exist.(I’ve googled it)
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Neil. You’re going to need to get some professional legal help, and probably call the police, on this one. It certainly sounds dodgy, but it will need more thorough investigation.

  55. Hello, I’ve bought a car from trader on 06/11/2017, so tomorrow I will potencially have the last day to report fault to my car (the icon of engine was found to be “covered” by something uder the dashboard glass). I did not sign anything, even an agreement, but I have a receipt which tells me that I have only 2 weeks warranty. Do I still have a legal 30 day period of warranty or should I respect what my receipt says? I can add, that I haven’t been told about the warranty period, so I thouught that it is a standard 30 days one. Today I realized that my receipt says only 14 days. Please give me an answerr as soon as possible. Thank you. Best regards.

    • Hi Paula. There is no such thing as a “standard 30-day warranty” – it’s not even required for a used car to be sold with any warranty.

      However, you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act on the purchase of any new or used car. This gives you 30 days to reject a faulty car (which is not the same thing as a car with a fault) without having to accept a repair, and a total of six months where you can reject the car as long as the dealer has one chance to fix the fault.

      Covering a warning light certainly doesn’t sound good, but it doesn’t automatically mean that the car is faulty.

  56. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve bought an Audi A5 Cabriolet (£16k) from a private garage, 3 month warranty ending 14/12/17. I have had headlight issues, which took me to chase to sort at £120 a bulb. I then had a glow plug light show up, causing the car to go limp with no power. I contacted the garage asap to sort. They plugged it in and said there was no issue. This happened again a fortnight later and I called the garage out to me. They replaced a faulty sensor. They said my warranty allowance was £500 which has now been exceeded. This issue has happened again since then, i have now lost faith in the car. Since then now with bad weather, my roof has a small leak and water drips inside. Today my engine management light came on – i believe to be a fault with dpf (linking to limp issue) of which i rang them straight away (no answer). I will drive to the garage first thing tomorrow to see what the issue is. Please tell me where i stand? I have lost all faith in the car and rely on it heavily for work, its one problem after another with no huge urgency to fix…

    Kind Regards

    • It’s quite possible that your car has had the Dieselgate ‘fix’ applied by Audi. Many owners have reported that this has caused their cars to go into ‘limp home’ mode afterwards. For more information, have a read of our latest article about the Dieselgate saga.
      The headlight and leaking roof are separate issues, obviously not connected to the engine problems.
      The engine problems are probably enough to reject the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act, as you have had the car for less than six months. Have a read of our article about rejecting a faulty car.

  57. Hi I just wanted to ask I bought a used car from a garage just under 3 months ago it has completely died on me have no idea why I will be contact the company tomorrow but I’m expecting an argument, I was told any problems within the 3 months to go back, I paid £2500 for the 4×4 what Can I expect or what’s the best way to tackle it please

  58. Hi Stuart.
    I got an Audi A1 2012 plate in May 2017, 55,000 miles-ish, standard 3 month warranty, on a PCP plan. I have had to take the car back in for repair/issues 4 times since taking it home. The first 2 times were due to the “service due” notification coming on whenever the engine is switched on, despite being assured the service was carried out prior to taking the car, and an engine management light, that apparently was a faulty sensor, which was replaced without issue. I had the car approximately 2 months when the coolant warning light came on. I checked the coolant, which was below minimum, and topped it up immediately. I am a nice person who understands that human error is a thing, so I thought that they had just forgotten to top it up, so did not report it. A month later, the coolant warning light came on again, so I reported it, as this clearly was an issue with the coolant system. Unfortunately, I reported it just a few days outside my warranty expiration date. The car was repaired and I was charged £160 for a hose. It is now 4 weeks since the car was repaired, and the coolant has run out AGAIN! Do I have a leg to stand on here? Or will I be forced to pay for the repair?

    • Hi Natalie. It will depend on what’s causing the coolant loss – most commonly, it’s due to stone damage where a stone has been flicked up from the road and pierced the radiator or a hose to cause a slow leaking of coolant. Obviously, that can happen at any time and is not covered by warranty (in fact, I have had this exact situation this week!).

      On the other hand, if there is a fault with the car that is causing the coolant loss, you should be able to argue that it should still be covered as the fault was reported within the warranty period but has not been fixed.

  59. Hi Stuart,

    The guy from the 2nd garage also says that nothing is wrong with the car. I have to change a tyre and car is ready for driving.

    I definitely want to make this case further.

  60. Hi Stuart,

    Yes Audi A1 and Honda are from the same car dealer.
    The guy in service department rang me up and said that my MOT failed. Hence there is not actual proof as it was phone conversation.

    Reason(s) for failure on MOT
    • Nearside Front Suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
    • Offside Front Suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
    • Nearside Rear Inner Tyre has a cut in excess of the requirements deep enough to reach the ply or cords (4.1.D.1a)
    • Nearside Front Brakes imbalanced across an axle (3.7.B.5b)

    I think I just ask him how much would it cost for me to fix the failures and he came up with figure approx. £600. Also I said ignore a tyre as I can buy it for £50. After all this conversation just went into the shock as I can not afford tomonthsst £650 in the car.

    Moreover I already invested about £300 in the car a couple of moths ago (changed 2 tyres and spring coil).

    My thinking after all this was that I do not need this car if I have to invest such amount of money.
    Also I was in a similar situation about 3 years ago when I change Mazda 3 Takara to Audi A1 which I currently have. It seems to me that they are operating the business in such a manner.

    I have been a customer with this car dealer since 2009. I always serviced and MOTed the cars with this car dealer.
    It just seemed to suspicious that I am keep falling in the same scenario when I am in a 3rd year of the finance contract??? Is it a coincidence I doubted?!

    I arrange to examine the Audi A1 in one more garage tomorrow. If they are too saying that nothing wrong with the car then that is obvious that they deliberately failing the MOT results. I also mentioned to the service guy that I have some occasional tiny squeaky noise when breaking.

    Should I complain verbally or write a letter to general manager?

    In this situation shall I keep both cars or what are my rights.
    I have not touched the HONDA as I said that I have got 14 days to think about my finances. Unfortunately I did sign all the documents.
    If this is a fraud and misleading sale what I am able to do and how I am able to sort out this? I would not been in this situation if the car dealer was genuine and honest.

    • If the car has been put through an MOT inspection then you are within your rights to demand the inspection report. Once you have this, you can compare it to the inspection reports you have from other garages.

      If you are making a complaint, I would suggest a phone call followed up by a letter to the general manager.

  61. Hi Stuart,

    I have got an Audi A1 (2012 plate) on PCP loan and I am in third year of agreement. MOT is due to 6/11/17 so decided to do it a bit earlier just in case there are some issues. 1st and 2nd year MOT passed with no issues. This year they found a couple of issues. I asked how much it would cost me he said approx. £650 which was a massive shock for me. MOT and service always have been done in this service.
    I was stressing about the situation and on Saturday went to the service/showroom and ask if there is a chance that I can change the car to something else. We looked at a couple of options and there was Honda Civic which I liked. Being in stressful situation stupidly without thinking I signed the paperwork for Honda Civic car as I did not want to invest such amount in the A1.
    However, I decided to go to another garage for the 2nd opinion and they said there is nothing wrong with the car and the car passed MOT.

    Now I do not need to change the car as nothing is wrong with it but sales manager is saying that I can not cancel the agreement as I signed and agreed to take HONDA.

    I felt that I have been mislead and this business practice seems to me falsifying.

    Am I legally still able to do something about it?

    • Hi Dagnija. Is the dealer that lied about the servicing/MOT the same dealer where you are buying the Honda? If so, you should be able to complain about their servicing behaviour and that should be enough for them to waive the new sale. You need to be complaining to the dealer principal/general manager, rather than the sale manager or the service manager, since your current position concerns both sales and service.

      It also depends on whether the service department actually told you that the car had failed/would fail an MOT if you didn’t spend the £650 required, or if it was not directly connected.

  62. Hi, I brought a used car form a car supermarket. We highlighted some issues with it after the test drive, and were assured that these would be looked into and repaired before we collected it. On collection, none of these things had been done, but the vehicle was supplied with a 3 month warranty that is provided by the car supermarket. The vehicle is a 2009, with 86000 miles and cost me £6000. I returned the car for it to be ‘looked at’ a week later, and sat there for a couple of hours. They said they had to book the car in at a later date for the work that needed doing. I returned the car on 11th October 2017 (i only collected the car after the initial purchase on 14th September 2017). They still have my car, and i am having to chase them for updates, despite them saying they will call me each time. They have now had to take the car to a main dealer to have the faults rectified as they seem incapable of doing it (2/11/17). How long should i be expected to wait for this work to all be done – it required new rear shocks, the dpf/oil dilution light started flashing and the air con didn’t work. They keep saying that it’s parts that are holding it up. I have been told the shocks have now been done, and they replaced a pipe on the aircon, but have since found out that it needs a new compressor. Obviously the warranty is due to expire on 13th December 2017, and i’ve not had a chance to drive it much since owning it as they’ve had it, so feel that i am at an unfair disadvantage now if it produces any more faults as/when i get it back. The courtesy car they have supplied me with was given to me with two almost flat tyres and completely empty fuel tank, but at least i am mobile.
    Any advise would be appreciated.

    • Hi Grace. Unfortunately, the best advice is that you should have refused to take delivery of the car if the work hadn’t been done…

      Used car supermarkets very rarely do any mechanical work to the used cars they sell, so it’s not surprising that the vehicle went back to a franchised main dealer for fixing. It may be entirely true that the work is being held up by a lack of parts, which may also mean that the supermarket is trying to source used parts rather than new to keep costs down.

      You will need to keep chasing the dealer to push it along. Aftersales is never a priority for car supermarkets, so without constant badgering it will only ever progress at a snail’s pace.

  63. Hi Stuart, my director bought a vehicle through a third party dealer and financed the vehicle in June this year. There have been numerous issues one being we still haven’t received the logbook. They have supplied us with a photocopy from Lex who owned the vehicle at the time but obviously this is of no use to us (car is currently untaxed and being used) I have taken it upon myself to call Lex today who advised me they sent it off to dvla confirming the change of name to this dealer and the v5 slip to the dealer back in June when the sale went through. Obviously we are being fobbed off by the dealer who has lost it but isn’t rushing to sort the problem out. The dealer also sold us a £1500 12 month warranty of which he fobs us off saying we don’t need paperwork or we’ve got a warranty in place and not to worry. I believe this warranty does not exist and the dealer doesn’t have a CCL licence either and has just pocketed this money. Can anyone selling a car sell on warranties ? I don’t think he has one. There has been other issues with the car but as he is an independent car repair garage I feel that he has pocketed the money and just blagging the ‘warranty’. This dealer also did other modifications to this car to a cost of £8000 which were added onto the finance agreement the main one of which was a liquid vehicle wrap which started peeling within 4 weeks of it being done. (He also advertises a 10 year warranty with this product) and to date since giving him a 2 page list of complaints of since July has still not been resolved. There has been other work done on the car and subsequently had to chase for missing locking wheel nut on the vehicle. Where would I stand regarding these issues as we are looking to take this legal and would appreciate any advice you can help with! Thankyou

    • Hi Sam. That’s quite a list of issues, and based on your description it looks like the dealer is rather dodgy.
      Firstly, you can’t be driving a car around if it is not taxed. Ignoring the legality of paying road tax, the simple fact is that if anything bad happens, you won’t be insured.
      Secondly, any dealer can sell a warranty because the dealer is not providing the warranty – they are acting as an agent for the warranty provider. There will be paperwork (you’ll need to know who to call if you ever need to make a claim), and if you don’t have it then it’s fair to assume that you don’t have a warranty.
      You’ll probably need to get professional legal support to get any kind of compensation or to try and reject the vehicle. It doesn’t sound like the dealer is interested in playing fair.

  64. Hi Stuart,

    I recently bought a 55 plate Audi A4 car from a dealer for £2,000. It was very high mileage 170,000 but it was my intention to use it until I ran it into the ground, so to speak. However, after 4 weeks I noticed dense smoke from the exhaust. I got it checked at an independent garage who told me the head gasket was blown. I took back to the dealer who said he would get it sorted, (I was outside the 30-day reject stage).
    He has now had the car for over 5 weeks and is saying that more problems have been found and he wants to make sure that the car is perfect when it comes back to me. This is all well and good but now he is trying to charge me for changing the cam belt, which I never agreed to. I have now been without a car for 5 weeks and after stating my rights to him over the phone (consumer rights act 2015) he started screaming down the phone and then put the phone down on me.
    Am I right in thinking that I do not have to pay for any repairs and that 5 weeks isn’t really a reasonable time to have kept the car?

    • Hi Emma. A trader can’t charge you for work that you haven’t agreed to, that’s clear enough. However, trying to reject a car that has done 170,000 miles as faulty will be very difficult. You are probably better off trying to work with the dealer to resolve the head gasket problem – but stand firm on not paying for any additional work.

  65. Hi I bought a MINI Coupé from the car shop 24th September a few things were wrong: an intermittent fan, the display console switching off constantly and a rubbing sound as it’s steered to the left. The car came with a warranty of 3 months and went back 17th October and I’ve not had it since. They say the diagnostics didn’t show anything but replaced the console however the same still happens as for the other issues they said it’s not happened to them! The cars currently just sat outside there and it’s financed! Am I able to reject it? I’m so fed up and feel this is just the start!

    • Hi Emma. In isolation, none of those three things sound like sufficient grounds to reject the car – unless the display console switching off is killing your speedometer so you can’t see whether you are driving legally. If the car still runs properly (eg – it still steers left, even though it makes a noise when doing so), it’s harder to make a case for rejecting it.

  66. Hi Stuart, the cosmetic appearance of the car is not what I am grumbling about, it’s only a symptom of the car not being as advertised “immaculate”. I have a 17 year old runner with well over 100,000 miles in a better state than this. On the advert – and I specifically asked him to confirm this upon buying it – it states “new brake pads”. I took it to 3 independent garages, including a local Land Rover specialist and they have all agreed the break pads and disks are so worn, they are surprised it passed the MOT even 2,000 miles ago, 2 months ago. Obviously, they were not new and far from it. Despite the LR specialist calling him and explaining the situation re-faulty handbrake and pads and disks, he refuses to aknowledge any responsibility. I wouldn’t want to drive the car back to him as I’d probably lose the brakes before getting there. I’m onto the RAC now as a member and the car being advertised on their website. And Trading Standards.

  67. I purchased a 2013 Audi A6 with 40k miles from a Mainline BMW dealer, with a 12 month warranty just over 10 months ago.
    On the way home from the dealer I experienced a severe clutch judder. The car has been into an Audi dealer for repair for the 5th time now and the fault still hasn’t been fixed. Where do I stand legally if it’s still not repaired at the end of my 12 months warranty period?
    I would really appreciate any advice you can give

    • Hi James. You are outside the six-month window provided by the Consumer Rights Act for rejecting the car under favourable legal terms. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to reject now, but it is considerably more difficult.

      In terms of your warranty, you can argue that the problem was raised several months ago and has not been satisfactorily fixed, therefore you can keep demanding that they take as long as necessary to fix it. It might be a difficult argument to win, though.

  68. Hi Stuart, I bought a 2008 Land Rover Discovery with 84,000 miles for £12,000 from a “reputable” garage up north back in August. Still have the ad claiming the car was immaculate, had been cherished, no expenses spared, etc. The garage offered an RAC check + full servicing + new MOT, including the standard 3 months warranty. A busy mother of 3 under 6, I needed the car urgently so bought it and had it driven down to me for an extra £350 (we live in West Sussex). When I received It, I noticed and notified the seller that I didn’t feel the car was immaculate. A seatbelt was thoroughly chewed on, there was a £1 coin sized impact mended but still visible in the middle of the windshield, the radio was very temperamental and some part of the upholstery had gashes in them.
    A week later, I had to replace the battery at a cost to myself of £160 – “a battery can die any time”, said the seller. Two weeks after that, turns out we also have a faulty bonnet hook. I can’t lock the car as it thinks the bonnet is always open. Two weeks after that still, the coolant light comes on and is apparently due to a faulty sensor so the coolant tank needs changing. Now, 3 days after this, the Electronic Parking Brake screeched loudly at me yesterday and locked the car so it wouldn’t move. The RAC released the EPB manually but it needs sorting as is faulty and cannot be used. Apparently close to £1000 to get done and a result of the car not being maintained properly – the EPB was probably not adjusted. The “check brake pads” warning has also come on today and it turns out the front brake pads are worn down to 3mm and apparently are so worn the discs will probably need changing as well.
    Now, I wouldn’t mind all this happening had I owned the car for more than 6 months but it’s barely been 2 months and I feel this is not the “immaculate”, well cared for car I was sold. Two different garages have said the car doesn’t seem to have been maintained properly. They say I should get the guy to come and pick up the car and give me my money back. I really do feel I’ve been had. What can I do?

    • Hi Gaelle. If you are buying a car at a distance, which you did, then you have a 14-day cooling-off period to cancel and get your money back. However, you are well past that now.

      Under the Consumer Rights Act, you would have to either show that the car was not as advertised, which is difficult when arguing over a subjective point like vehicle condition as opposed to an objective point (like whether it had the satnav that it was advertised with, for example), or that the car has a significant problem that renders the overall vehicle faulty. Upon formally rejecting the vehicle, the dealer would be entitled to one chance to fix the fault. If it’s not fixed, you can then proceed to final rejection.

      Unfortunately, the car is now nine years olf with 84,000 miles on the clock, so a court would be quite lenient with faults based on the age and mileage. It also doesn’t help that the Land Rover Discovery 3 was notoriously unreliable anyway, so a nine-year-old Discovery 3 is always likely to have problems.

  69. Hi. I bought a 64 plate Ford C-Max with 26000 miles in July. About 2 weeks later it started to intermittently make a horrendous horn like sound when setting off in first gear or whilst in reverse. As it is still under Ford warranty I took it back to them to see if they could fix it. They said it was “clutch howl” caused by the previous owner clutch riding ( I could not have caused it in 2 weeks) and to take it back to the dealer I bought it from. I did and they checked it and said that there was an issue with the front brake pads they had replaced before I bought it so they put new ones on. I said it wasn’t the brakes causing the problem but the clutch but they wouldn’t have it. So I drove it home and of course, it made the noise again. I took it back to them and the head mechanic came out for a drive with me and heard the noise and said no, it was definitely a brake issue so they stripped down the back brakes but it still made the noise. They told me to take it back to Ford as they thought it was the ABS. So back to Ford I went who said no, it is still “clutch howl”.
    I tried quoting the consumer rights at the dealer I bought it from but they said as it isn’t a fault they would not replace the clutch. Please can you advise me what to do now? I am still driving around in a car that makes an horrendous noise and could potentially do so for the next 30000 miles or however long a clutch lasts for. The dealership were quite happy to “fix” the car on 2 separate (waste of) days when they thought it was the brakes but now they know the only way to fix the noise is to put in a new clutch they will not help at all. I do not think it is right that I have to put up with this noise. If it had happened to make the noise when I test drove it I would not have bought it. I have been told by the dealership contact centre that their used cars come with a 3 month parts and labour guarantee. Many thanks.

    • Hi Louise. If the car is still under its new car warranty, I’m surprised that a Ford dealer hasn’t been happy to fix it under warranty. If it doesn’t qualify for Ford’s warranty (ie – it’s not a fault with the vehicle), then you are going to have a tough time convincing the selling dealer or a court that the car is faulty and should be rejected.
      If the clutch is still functioning correctly (apart from the noise) and gear selection is unaffected, it probably won’t be considered an acceptable reason to reject the car under the Consumer Rights Act.

  70. Hi, paid a deposit for a car and was sold a warranty. The salesmen said they didn’t have any booklets/ policies as they were being printed. I picked up the car today and the warranty booklet was provided however the exclusions and excess are unacceptable. I want to cancel it and get a refund. What are my rights as I believe I was missold.

  71. bought a Hyundai i30, 59-plate 8 weeks ago, having great difficulty finding a low gear, grinds and sounds terrible. its undrivable at the moment as its become a hazard. I was told I had 3 months’ warranty when I bought it, been back to the garage I got it from to find they are no longer trading under that name, and to ‘check’ the warranty is actually valid, I phoned the number, they have no record of my warranty.
    they did have a quick glance at the car whilst I was there, said the clutch has gone, a mechanic in the neighbourhood doesn’t think so.
    where do I go from here?

    • If the dealership is no longer trading, it’s difficult to pursue. If it’s the same dealership being run by the same people but under a different name, you can probably take some kind of action with the help of a lawyer – but it will probably be difficult and expensive, with no guarantee that you will win or get your costs covered.

  72. Hi, not about a car, but my son purchased a van on the 31st August this year and paid £3k for it from a dealer. It came without warranty. On the 15th day the van would not start. We called the AA and it appears the head gasket has gone. The van is a mechanical write off. Absolutely gutted – £3k for 15 days driving is really heartbreaking for a lad trying to make his way in the world. Tried contacting dealer and they will not return my call.

    • Hi Emma. If the van is used for business purposes (which most of them obviously are) then he won’t be covered by the Consumer Rights Act, which is for personal buyers using the car for personal use only. In that case, you’d have to take legal action against the dealer, which will probably mean engaging a lawyer to help you. That is obviously expensive, and doesn’t guarantee that you will win or get your money back and costs covered.

  73. Hi my other half got a used Vauxhall VXR from a dealer that said the car is under warranty we drove 149 miles to pick up the car when we left we insured the car taxed it so we can drive it home we got to 59 miles into our journey home when the turbo boost starting playing up. We called the dealer straight away he said it could be all the crap kicking up from the fuel tank where it was empty when we picked it up so he said ok I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt so we carried on driving home. We weren’t going fast as it was 50mph average speed check almost the whole way home we got home and my other half wanted to wash the car so he started it up and the noise was dreadful so he call the RAC they came out to us and did a diagnostic test and the turbo boost bypass solenoid valve was faulty and he said the noise sound like the clutch realise bearing he advised not to drive it so it’s sitting outside and hasn’t moved the dealer said we have to wait 14 days for the warranty to be active he also lied on the receipt and said miles were 77000 when it was 78030.
    We called the warranty company who say the warranty hasn’t been set up yet from the dealer. The dealer is telling us to get fixed they will pay part of it but told us to lie to the warranty company about what’s wrong with it so he phoned his finance company who were paying for the car and they have advised him to reject the car but he’s so disheartened it’s horrible to see him like that.

    • Hi Donna. I’d suggest that you’re better off rejecting the car and finding another one elsewhere. The mileage discrepancy is not particularly significant, but you shouldn’t ever be lying to the warranty provider cover a dealer’s problems.

  74. Hi I bought a Vauxhall Movano van 61-plate on the 22nd July 2017. First of all after having it for 3 days the power steering pipe burst and fluid was leaking every where. Rang them up and they said they would email me an address of the garage to take it too. That didn’t happen and I ended up paying for it out of my own pocket. Now then wiper mechanism has gone there for I can’t use the van in case of changes in the weather. Where do I stand with this?

    • Hi Jamie. If it’s a business-use vehicle, then your rights are usually different to a private-use vehicle. Keep chasing the dealer, because often they are just hoping that if they ignore you, you’ll go away.

      You will need to check any warranty documentation you may have, but failing that you may need to get legal help. I’d start by asking for some advice at, which is an excellent free legal advice forum. Other than that, you may need to get a lawyer to assist you.

  75. Hi i bought Vauxhall Zafira tourer 62 plate since i have bought alarm keep going on I bought in April from a main dealership I took the car to them they didn’t find any faults I took it to Bayliss for check they didn’t find any faults then I spoke to Vauxhall they spoke to the dealership manager he said there are no faults he helped the customer manage threatened me if I take things further then he will put all blame on me I made the car faulty I am not getting help from dealership or Vauxhall and my finance company close my file saying I didn’t respond to the letter so I called finance ombudsman they said I need to prove there is a fault with vehicle

    • Hi Raah. You will need to find out exactly what the problem is that is causing the alarm to keep triggering – it’s often a short circuit somewhere in the system. It’s also entirely possible that the alarm was fitted afterwards by an aftermarket outfit, and is causing a problem in the car’s wiring.

      If you feel that the Vauxhall dealer is treating you badly, then you can always call Vauxhall’s head office to make a complaint about the dealership. You can also take it to another dealer for a second opinion.

  76. Hi Stuart
    BMW refuse to provide me with the written copy of the approved used car warranty and are advising me that the work carried out on my car is not under warranty, but how can they say this when there is no written documentation? They will not escalate my complaint and have now said they can help me no further.

    • Hi Mandy. It seems very strange that a BMW dealer will not provide you with a written copy of a BMW warranty. I’d be calling BMW HQ to make complaint, and they should be able to find out what’s going on at the dealership.

  77. Hi Stuart just after abit of advise I brought a car through a dealer on finance now I got 6 months warranty which has ran out I’ve had the car 9 months now only done 900 mile now the oil pump has gone timing chain is loose I don’t think that 900 mile is enough to warrant me being sold a good car what’s your thoughts

    • Hi Robert. It depends on the car’s age and mileage, and whether it was due to have a timing belt replaced or checked. It would be a difficult case to win unless the car is near-new and/or very low mileage.

  78. When buying a car,
    Rule number 1 the salesman is a lying *******
    Rule number 2 the salesman is a lying *******
    Rule number 3 …. I think you get the point

  79. Hi, This is a really helpful website, I am glad I found it. I bought a second hand car 2 weeks ago and I have become aware of some faults. It is a 2006 with 130000 miles. I was told by the dealer that they don’t normally sell high mileage vehicles like this, but because it had been so well looked after they were with this one. Anyway, since owning it I noticed a smell of exhaust fumes in the cabin at various times. I initially didn’t think anything of this because with the kids getting in etc and being in a sheltered position where I park the car I thought it was just being sucked in the vents. Anyway, now that I have driven it for two weeks (not very regularly) there is a definite pattern to the smell. It is on starting and when the car is stationary. I think it is coming from around the turbo as I had a look yesterday and think there may be some soot by it and there is definitely exhaust fumes in the engine bay. 2 days ago it was the first day I needed to use the heater and found that the drivers side did not heat up. Because it has been so hot recently I have only used the aircon and when I picked up the car it was sat in the sun so any air coming through the dashboard would have been heated up anyway. Are these Items that I can legally expect the dealer to fix or can I reject the car. I don’t want to reject the car but the aftermarket warranty has an excess of £250 on the turbo and I don’t think it is fair to have to pay out so soon after buying it. I appreciate that neither of the issues stop me from driving the car but I am worried about breathing in the exhaust fumes. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks

  80. hie, I bought a car from a garage about 6months ago; they came and parked it in the garage, the car hasn’t been used since they left it there. I had agreed with the dealer at the garage that the car would be fixed prior to it being delivered to my house. I was at uni when the car got dropped off so didn’t have a chance to come home to drive it so the battery went flat and the garage came to pick the car up so they can charger the battery. whilst the car was there I told them to complete an MOT, and apparently the car had many faults and had failed the test. the price came up to £375 as they said the handbrake needed readjustments among many things, It changed again to £270, to £130, to £0 in the space of a few hours. I am now reluctant to receive the car and was wondering if I had any grounds to return the car as it was quiet expensive. I had a friend who knows about cars and has stated that there is a hole in the exhaust. what can I do? can I get a refund?

  81. At the end of July, I bought a used Audi A3 2004 with 103,000 miles, from a dealer in the Midlands with a used car warranty, 3 weeks later a warning light came on and it appears there is a major fault with the gearbox. Audi says this will cost in excess of £4k to fix. I reported this fault immediately to the dealer who sold me the car and they say that the fault is a gearbox fault not covered under the supplied warranty and I will have to pay to get it fixed.
    Is the dealer responsible to repair this fault / can I reject the car?

  82. Bought second hand van a month ago and gear box has broken today
    On receipt it says sold to manufacture standard specification and warranty
    Does this mean man we bought it off should be paying for repairs

    • Hi Tracey. If you bought the van as a private individual (not a company) for personal use only (not business use), then you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act and can potentially reject the vehicle.
      Unfortunately, most van buyers are not using their vehicles for purely personal purposes, so the Consumer Rights Act does not apply. In that case, you would need to refer to your warranty documents to see what is covered.

  83. Hi Stuart
    I have just purchased a range rover sport from a dealer and as soon as I parked it on the drive there was a problem with the electric handbrake. It was advertised with a 3 month warranty and the dealer said his garage will fix it but not for another 4 weeks and he claims it’s a £200 refurbishment fix whereas a local garage I have spoken to said it’s a whole new part for £1000. Nervous of getting a bodge job, do I have the right to get it fixed at a garage of my choice?

    • Hi Scott. If you’re claiming the work under warranty, you’ll need to check your warranty paperwork to determine what your rights are.

      As a rule, the party paying for the work usually gets to choose where it’s done.

  84. Hi Stuart, I bought a Vauxhall Zafira B 1.6-litre on an 09 plate.
    It’s drinking oil at a rate Opec might struggle to keep up with, 5 litres so far in just under 2000 miles also the horn doesn’t work, the dealer is saying the oil situation is acceptable and the horn must work as it passed its MOT? ??
    Can I force them to repair it both the horn and oil consumption?

    • Hi Philip. That level of oil loss sounds fairly unacceptable, but it’s a very grey area because oil is a consumable item and it’s now an eight-year-old car, so it could be a difficult argument to win. Firstly, you’d need to know what was causing the oil loss and whether it’s covered under any used car warranty. If it’s not then you’re in a pickle unless you want to go down the path of rejecting the car (where there’s no guarantee of success).

      The horn should be pretty straightforward, but I guess it depends on how long you’ve had this car as to whether you can reasonably argue that it hadn’t failed since you took delivery. It could be something as simple as a blown fuse.

  85. Hi stuart, I’m in the process of buying a used car from Evans halshaw, and the salesman told me they do the best used car warranty on the market, is this a type of claim he can make, and if not, what questions would I ask him? I’m useless with this kind of stuff, thanks

    • Hi David. I don’t know if their used car warranty is any better than anyone else’s, but you can certainly ask him why this is so, and then go online at home and check his claims against other warranty providers.
      A used car warranty is effectively an insurance policy, and like most insurance policies, it can be difficult to match like-for-like when comparing. Their warranty may be the best but also the most expensive, or it may be the best value for money, or it may be the one that gives the salesman a nice commission therefore of course he thinks it’s the best…

  86. I’ve purchased a 5 year warranty on my car, this will go beyond the manufacturers warranty (3 years) – car when purchased was 2 years old. Reading the T&C’s / Service requirements section it states “The vehicle must be subjected to the (company name) LIFELINE service at the supplying (company name) Dealership.” Do these ‘Third party’ warrenties have to comply with New Block Exemption Regulation?

    • Hi Josh. No, a third-party warranty is an aftermarket insurance policy. It’s entirely optional, rather than a compulsory part of a new vehicle (EU law requires a minimum two-year unlimited mileage warranty on a new car). Therefore, if you choose to purchase the product you agree to be bound by the T&Cs that go with it.

  87. I’ve brought a Hyundai i40 year registered June 2015. Brought from Hyundai dealer. I broke down twice and the AA said the battery needs replacing had the car 4 months and it is out of the 2-year manufacturer’s warranty by 1 month. They say I need to pay 430 for a battery and they will give me 20% off. Is this fear or not. It’s only done 27,000 miles.

    • Hi Lee. That sounds expensive for a battery replacement – check around online and with other retailers to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere. Batteries are a wear and tear item, so won’t be covered under warranty – sometimes they will last for years, sometimes only months, depending on how the car has been used (which may have been since you bought it or by the previous owner).

  88. Hi. My sister brought a used car from a dealer. But 1 month down the line it has gearbox issues. I phoned him and he took it back but the day it was returned the problem ‘re occurred.
    Would she have a legally right to give the car bk and get a refund?

  89. Hi,I bought a Suzuki Grand Vitara 58 reg in Oct from a main dealer with 66,000. The vehicle, while I have had it, has covered 7,911 miles and the gearbox is completely us the car is undriveable. The warranty won’t pay for removal and strip down £595 and say there is only a 10 percent chance they will cover the repairs a potential bill of £2,000. Where do I stand legally with this?

    • Hi Simon. Your warranty will cover certain items and exclude other items, and will have processes to make claims under the warranty. It’s not unusual for an aftermarket warranty company to refuse to pay for speculative inspections, so that will probably have to come out of your pocket and hope for a refund if the repair ends up being covered.

  90. My daughter bought her first car at the end of february from a used car dealer with a 30 day warrenty. The car is 2012 and she paid £6000 for it. However its now started grinding and crunching when putting it in 3rd gear. Been told by a garage its most likely the syncro in the gearbox. a massive job and high cost. is she covered in any way?

    • Hi Shaun. It will probably be difficult to reject the car for a synchro issue on a used car, especially when she has had the car for five months. It may be difficult to prove that the fault was not caused by driver error, but you will need to get expert mechanical opinion on the exact fault (rather than the likely fault).

  91. I paid £4500 for a car 3 months ago, whilst driving this home from the garage a throttle light came on the dash I didn’t really think much of this and although I let the garage know about this they did not respond, knowing I had 6 months warranty left I figured any issues I could get them repaired for free anyway.
    It’s now nearing the end of June I have half my warranty left and have finally managed to get a diagnostics done, the error code is P0046 turbo problem, the garage also say the engine management light has been disconnected, they say the car is not fit for purpose.
    The warranty is third party and I don’t think the turbo is covered, this too is a costly problem, with the car still in warranty period are the garage obliged to give me a full refund, I’ve tried contacting the garage for weeks but no response

    • Hi James. Given that you are beyond your first 30 days, the dealer is allowed to have one chance to repair the car before you can reject it under the Consumer Rights Act. Had you acted quicker, you could have rejected it without giving them the opportunity to fix the problem.

      You have also continued to drive the car for three months, despite knowing the warning light was on, and that will make it more difficult to reject the car or make a warranty claim.

  92. Hi Stuart, we just yesterday bought a used car from a trader. It is a Seat Leon, 2006, 103 000miles for £2000 –
    market price. the car seemed ok and we drove it home almost 80 miles carefully it did not show any particular problems – the trader said it stayed without being used for 3 weeks so to be careful with breaks. when we arrived home after 40 -50 min the kids noticed the smoke coming out under the hood. we ran to open it and saw the fire. it took us a couple of minute to put out the fire. it looks the ignition coils got fire and some wiring burn off… we called the trader who was not happy to speak to us saying that if that happened on the road it would be a case but as it happened at home he has no responsibility. Is it true? we have 3 month warranty from him (for £500) but it will hardly cover all the damage. what can we do?

  93. I bought a car for £1300 2 & half month ago. The car is in limp mode with air intake leak fault on intake manifold. The dealer has asked me to pay 50% of the repair bill I have disagreed due to the vehicle being dangerous. I bought it from a large dealer who has 2 sites dealing in prestige cars

    • Hi Colin. If you have a used car warranty, you should refer to that – or call the warranty provider – to see if they would cover the issue.
      If you don’t have a warranty, then the dealer offering to pay 50% of the bill is probably quite good. Plenty of dealers would refuse to pay anything, especially if the car was only valued at £1,300 to start with.

  94. I agreed to by a 2009 vehicle that has been modified and was told by the dealer that the warranty they sold covered modified vehicles and I have this in writing from them. I spoke to the warranty provider today just to double check (stupid me should have done this at the beginning I know!) and they assure me 100% that the warranty would be void. Would the warranty be considered part if the conditions of sale? Could I use that as grounds to withdraw and get my deposit back?

    • Hi Dawn. Yes, you could argue that you have been mis-sold if you do not have the promised warranty. Alternatively, the dealer could provide you with a warranty from another provider instead.

  95. I bought a second hand car in December 2016 couple weeks later the car stalled took it back to dealer he said couldn’t find the problem to bring it back if it happens again then the management light came on so he then had it for nearly a month he said it might be thermostat housing so changed that finely got my car back 3 days after my car stalled again he said to bring it back I then rejected the car I phoned the finance company they said I would have to get a diagnostic test to prove he couldn’t find the fault where do I go from here

    • Hi Elizabeth. You will need to work with the finance company, as ultimately it’s their car rather than yours at this point. If they want a diagnostic test to help proceed with the rejection, you will need to arrange this. I’d speak to them again to find out exactly what they need in detail, to make sure you are not wasting your time and money on something which won’t help your cause.

  96. Hi,

    I bought a used car from a garage, had it 40 days and done about 300 miles and the clutch has gone. When purchasing the car, I questioned a funny sound the clutch was making but was told it needed some lubricant and it’s fine. Test drove a car thought nothing of it because I don’t know much about cars. The garage now is refusing to help as it is not included in their guarantees. Do I have any legal rights as a customer? Many thanks for help

    • Hi Marta. It’s potentially a difficult one, as a clutch is considered a wear & tear item. However, given that you queried the clutch during the sale, you should be able to make a claim for rejecting the vehicle. Your chances of success may not be great, however.

  97. I bought extended warranty for the car i bought in Dec to run once the manufacturer warranty ran out in July. However some idiot hot me which wrote my car off. I went to cancel the policy and was told that i was entitled to nothing back. Spoke to the reputable dealer and told the same. Even though i was told i could cancel by the sales rep at the dealership! Disgusted

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.