When you purchase a car or vehicle from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that it should be of satisfactory quality.
This means it should be in the condition expected of a car of its age and the price you paid, and in the case of a used vehicle, this includes it having all relevant documents supplied.
Fit for purpose?
The vehicle should be the same as any sample or model that you were shown, match the sellers description and be fit for any purpose made known to the trader for example, if you asked for a car that can tow a trailer, but the connection doesn’t work properly, you could argue that the car is not fit for purpose.
You have no legal right to reject a car purely because you have changed your mind, and cosmetic issues or minor faults that can be easily repaired are not enough to trigger your right to reject the vehicle.
Although, these sorts of issues could be dealt with using your warranty, if you have one.
If it’s been 30 days or less
If it has been 30 days or less since you bought the vehicle and you don’t believe it was of satisfactory quality at the time of purchase, then you could be entitled to return it to the trader for a full refund, known as your ‘short term right to reject’.
You may have to prove that the vehicle wasn’t of satisfactory quality at the time of sale.
You should be refunded within 14 days of the vehicle being returned to the trader and this should be by the same method that you paid, for example if this was in cash then you should normally expect a cash refund.
If it’s been more than 30 days
For issues after the first 30 days, you can also ask the trader to repair the vehicle or provide you with a like-for-like replacement – they should do this within a reasonable period and without causing you significant inconvenience.
If it is not possible for the trader to repair or replace the vehicle, you can decide to keep it and ask for a discount or return it to the trader for a refund.
If you ask the trader for a repair or replacement within the first 6 months of purchasing the vehicle, then it falls to the trader to prove it was not faulty when they sold it to you – after this 6-month period it falls to you to prove otherwise.
You should highlight the fact that there was potentially an issue with the brakes when you purchased the vehicle. You may need to seek assessment from another professional as evidence of this.
You are only required to give the trader one opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle. If a repair by the trader fails, or you discover that the replacement vehicle is also faulty then you can decide whether to give the trader another opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle or whether to return it for a refund, known as your ‘final right to reject’.
You should be refunded within 14 days of the vehicle being returned to the trader by the same method that you paid.
consumeradvice.scot provide free, practical, and impartial advice and information to Scottish citizens on a range of consumer-related topics, including your next steps if the car dealership does not address your concerns.
For more information, you can visit www.consumeradvice.scot or call 0808 164 6000 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).