Rejecting a used car, my rights?

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Astra Model: Sri nav 136 cdti
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Re: Rejecting a used car, my rights?

Post by Kuro » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:27 pm

DROGE wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:57 pm
I've rejected a car before - and got my full purchase price back. And that was a 13 year old MINI from an independent (small) used car dealer!

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you can reject a car if it is "not fit for purpose". You have a stroner case if your claim is within 30 days of purchasing the car. The Act does protect used car purchases for up to 6 years! but clearly, proving that it was not fit for purpose when you bought it, 6 years into ownership is not likely to lead to a positive claim.

You have to prove how it is not fit for purpose - mine was very clear cut - complete failure of the ABS system the day after I picked it up - leading to warning lights all over the dash but more importantly, very eratic and weak braking performance. First steps for me were to report the problem back to the dealer. They were originally fairly responsive (but rather unempathetic) about this and took the car back to "fix" at a local garage. 10 days later I still had no car. The important thing is to document EVERYTHING! Calls made to the seller with your complaints, copies of letters sent, copies of replies, dates, everything.

I sent a letter to the dealer saying that due to the failed ABS (the car was supplied with a new MOT the day I collected it!), the car was clearly not fit for purpose due to the serious safetly implications. I quoted the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and stated that I required a full refund. One thing that helped me was that the car was not with me at the time (being with them for "repair"), making it hard for them to force me to take it back! If I still had the car, then rejecting it and getting them to take the car and key from me could have been more difficult. I sent a photocopy of the Act with my letter. A lot of this is just proving that you're serious and will not be backing down.

I even threatened to contact my bank about a chargeback (despite the fact that I paid with a debit card, not a credit card, and a chargeback would have been all but impossible!). After 2 days of "looking into things" the dealer refunded the £1750 I had paid in full. Job done.

Your challenges might be:-
  • Proving that the failure of the infotainment systems makes the car not fit for purpose. (Although my case was safety-related, "fit for purpose" need not only relate to safety aspects. The downside is, the value of features are not considered within the act. So the fact that the infotainment systems costs £2000, will not be any advantage over if it were £50. You could perhaps argue that the NAV 900 is a "key interface between the car and the driver, and many of the car's features can only be accessed via it.
  • Proving that it was not fit for purpose within a reasonable amount of time after you purchased it.
The act is really interested in offering protection where a product is not fit for purpose when supplied. There is that initial 30 day timeframe, and the final 6 year time frame, but making a convincing case quite far into ownership can be very difficult.

As a final point, if a used car has been purchased using a credit card, your consumer rights are very, very, strong. This is because the Consumer Rights Act states that both the car supplier and the credit card provider ("financer") are jointly liable. In these cases, the problem is best dealt with by the credit card company - as they're likely to simply agree a chargeback and then take the money back from the dealer. I don't think many people tend to buy cars on credit cards though. Despite the fact that it is the best position to be in when complaining about problems with any car (new or used).

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
Very informative reply, thanks.

The system has now continued to behave itself over the last couple of days and therein lies the problem, it's an intermittent fault. I'm probably going to cancel the garage appointment next week as technically there is now nothing wrong at this moment in time. In the meantime I've started looking around at a potential replacement

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Re: Rejecting a used car, my rights?

Post by 1900sr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:34 am

DROGE wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:57 pm
I've rejected a car before - and got my full purchase price back. And that was a 13 year old MINI from an independent (small) used car dealer!

You were entitled to a full refund as you'd not really had any use of the car as it failed within the first 30 days of ownership.

This might be of interest ... h-your-car
1.0i Turbo SRi, Power Red.

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