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I’ve bought a car or vehicle that’s faulty

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 (in the case of a used vehicle), this would include it having all relevant documents such as the log book and the service history or MOT documents.

The vehicle should also be the same as any sample or model that you were shown, match the sellers description and be fit for any purpose that you made known to the trader for example, if you asked for a car that can tow a boat, but the connection doesn’t work properly then you could argue that the car is not fit for purpose.

Within the first 30 days

If it’s been 30 days or less since you bought the vehicle and you don’t believe the it was of satisfactory quality at the time, then you could be entitled to return it to the trader for a full refund, this is called your short term right to reject. You may have to prove that the vehicle wasn’t of satisfactory quality at them 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 you paid in cash then you should normally expect a cash refund.  

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 of time and without causing you any significant inconvenience. If it’s not possible for the trader to repair or replace the vehicle, then 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, the it falls to the trader to prove they it was not faulty when sold to you after this 6-month period it falls to the you to prove otherwise.

Can I ask for a refund?

You’re 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 replacement the vehicle or whether to return it for a refund, this is called your final right to reject.  

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.  

It’s important to note that if you’ve had the vehicle for more than 30 days then the trader may be entitled to offer only a partial refund to account for any use and wear and tear.  

What if part exchanged my old vehicle?

Then you are entitled to get it back and if the trader has already sold it on then your entitled to the amount they valued it at when you originally entered the agreement.

What if the car is on a Hire Purchase or PCP agreement?

The finance company bought the car from the dealership on your behalf. This means that your rights above are against the finance company not the dealership also until you’ve paid the finance in full the legal owner of the car is the finance company.

What should I do next?

If you haven’t already done so then you should try to speak with the trader about your problem to see if you can to come to an agreement. You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint. It’s best to send this by signed for mail which will allow you to check that it’s been received, alternatively you could send an email with a read receipt. You should also give the trader a reasonable timescale to reply.

Last updated: 29 March 2019

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