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  • FIRST POST
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 8th Mar 17, 11:08 PM
    • 46Posts
    • 26Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    Bought a lemon from private seller!
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 17, 11:08 PM
    Bought a lemon from private seller! 8th Mar 17 at 11:08 PM
    Hi folks, long one and I know I've been stupid but here goes...

    Last week I bought a used car from a private seller. It had low mileage, a full year's MoT, plenty of receipts and looked great for its age. It was advertised as immaculate and during an email chat with the seller (through Auto Trader's email system) it was described as faultless and in showroom condition. On inspection and test drive it appeared to be and so I bought it after some haggling.

    After purchase, within a few hours the brake lights had failed (a common problem but only around £20 to fix the relevant switch) and an occasional burning smell started coming through the vents. Within a few days the gearbox started rattling at idle.

    I got it to a mechanic today who said that it needed a new clutch and power steering rack and from what he could see, major faults with both these systems had been covered up in order for it to pass an MoT and be sold. He described the power steering situation in particular as dangerous and a long-term issue caused by pipe corrosion. I've to take it in early next week for a diagnostic and costings etc.

    I called the seller who denied all knowledge and claimed it wasn't his problem, but said that "out of courtesy" he'd be willing to talk next week when I have prices. As he already blocked me from one phone number during a previous discussion I have my doubts about this.

    I plan on also taking it to an official VW dealer on Friday to see if they agree with the diagnosis that faults had been clearly covered up. Should this be the case, do I have a leg to stand on legally? The car was advertised as faultless and I have correspondence from the seller affirming this.

    I know I'm probably shafted but any advice would be great!
Page 3
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 10th Mar 17, 1:11 PM
    • 730 Posts
    • 568 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    Yes, you may not. Or you may, depending on what they specify on the prohibition.

    For a prohibition resulting from an appeal test (rather than a roadside check) it would be normal for the prohibition to be lifted once the specific defect was repaired and inspected, which wouldn't require a full test.

    As per the guidance notes linked, a full test would only normally be required to clear it if there were likely to be further defects that couldn't be detected at the time. Which is unlikely when the prohibition results from a full appeal inspection - it would suggest the inspector was less than confident in his own inspection!

    In any event, even if a full test was specified to lift the prohibition, the old test is still valid - you couldn't be charged with driving without an MOT even before the prohibition was lifted.
    Originally posted by Joe Horner
    That would be the least of your worries if caught.
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 10th Mar 17, 6:17 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 1,236 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    For a £1500 car you have to expect faults, and realise you are always going to be buying another persons problems.

    However, I can understand you being rather annoyed he claimed to be private seller. Maybe you can send a letter about intended court action, then if he calls say you will take a few hundred quid to make it dissapear.
    • boatman
    • By boatman 11th Mar 17, 4:46 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 2,495 Thanks
    boatman
    For a £1500 car you have to expect faults, and realise you are always going to be buying another persons problems.
    Originally posted by parking_question_chap
    It's one thing buying a car with faults, it's another when they lie about faults it's very difficult to see/check, a/c for example that just been topped up and works but will stop in a couple of weeks because of the seals. I'm not sure you should expect faults, but certainly put aside some money and be ready to replace wear and tear bits.
    Last edited by boatman; 11-03-2017 at 4:47 PM. Reason: gg
    • JP1978
    • By JP1978 12th Mar 17, 12:14 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 248 Thanks
    JP1978
    "Hi there, im ringing up about the car you have for sale"
    If answer = "which car" then seller = trader.

    Just FYI if anyone else reading this ever buys via a private sale.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 12th Mar 17, 8:48 PM
    • 15,393 Posts
    • 21,016 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    I would be going down the blackmail route!

    Let him know that you have full proof he is a dealer, and unless he gives you a full refund within 7 days, then you will be reporting him to the tax people etc...
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 15th Mar 17, 5:04 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    Update: Called the guy up and revealed I knew he was a trade seller. He offered to refund my money if I return the car. Might still be some complications as I'm not sure how comfortable I am driving a faulty car to him (it's about 70 miles away) but fingers crossed it gets sorted.

    I'm still down a couple of hundred quid for insurance plus a repair I needed to get done on it, which serves me right!
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th Mar 17, 5:12 PM
    • 15,826 Posts
    • 9,121 Thanks
    motorguy
    Update: Called the guy up and revealed I knew he was a trade seller. He offered to refund my money if I return the car. Might still be some complications as I'm not sure how comfortable I am driving a faulty car to him (it's about 70 miles away) but fingers crossed it gets sorted.

    I'm still down a couple of hundred quid for insurance plus a repair I needed to get done on it, which serves me right!
    Originally posted by gonthemicrobe
    Yes, thats the right outcome. Sadly you'll have to chalk the couple of hundred up to experience, but it could have been a lot worse.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 15th Mar 17, 5:20 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    If it stops me getting into such a situation in future it's £200 well spent!

    Getting the car to him might still complicate things. Garage advised not to drive it without topping up on gearbox oil. Gears still shifted fine last time I drove the car so not sure if they're just after the £45 to drain and top up. Not something I want to risk though.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Mar 17, 5:28 PM
    • 15,775 Posts
    • 14,075 Thanks
    AdrianC
    If your breakdown cover won't help, then find somebody to transport it through Shiply or the like.
    • missile
    • By missile 15th Mar 17, 5:38 PM
    • 9,025 Posts
    • 4,398 Thanks
    missile
    Glad to hear you have negotiated a refund.

    After I got said refund, I would still report him to Trading Standards.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 15th Mar 17, 9:36 PM
    • 12,242 Posts
    • 10,778 Thanks
    jimjames
    If buying ANY diesel car second hand, learn the mileage DMF will fail and you can set your watch by it usually and if it has no receipt for a new DMF then budget for one if the car is approaching the failure point.
    Not many make 120,000 before they rattle themselves away.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    I'm not sure that's correct from my experience. Both cars done recently, one had 150k and didn't need replacement, other was 170k and had some wear but not excessive. Both were done at the same time as clutch.

    Last week I bought a used car from a private seller. It had low mileage, a full year's MoT, plenty of receipts and looked great for its age.
    Originally posted by gonthemicrobe
    Glad you're sorted now but hopefully this may be of use for the future. I know there are some exceptions but I would only consider someone to be a private seller if it's their name and it's their address on the V5. Selling "because my wife didn't like it" doesn't cut it with me I'm afraid.
    Last edited by jimjames; 15-03-2017 at 9:40 PM.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 16th Mar 17, 7:40 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    Right so going to meet the seller tomorrow to hand over. Legally what should I do to be extra careful and keep me in the right?

    I'm only giving him section 10 of the V5, which I've already explained. He's asked I sign a receipt to say I've returned it and also that I hand back my original receipt. Not keen on either of these, especially the second one which is a no-no.

    For security with the money I'll get him to do a bank transfer then hand over the keys once the money is in, should only take a few minutes with Faster Payments. Anything else to be wary of?
    • missile
    • By missile 16th Mar 17, 9:16 PM
    • 9,025 Posts
    • 4,398 Thanks
    missile
    Follow the instructions on the V5 and complete as you would if selling car to him.
    Why do you want to keep the receipt? If it is important to you, make a photocopy of the receipt then give him original.
    I would be happy to accept cash or a BACS transfer.
    Good luck
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 22nd Mar 17, 11:35 AM
    • 6,098 Posts
    • 5,527 Thanks
    Herzlos
    How did you get on?
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 22nd Mar 17, 3:17 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    All sorted now, returned the car and got the full refund. The stress and £200 I spent on insurance and repairs can be a lesson learned.

    Car broke down on way to return it to the trader but he came out to get it. Almost had to laugh at the whole situation, but just glad to be rid of the vehicle.
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 23rd Mar 17, 9:45 AM
    • 6,098 Posts
    • 5,527 Thanks
    Herzlos
    Good stuff. I wonder if it's back on Autotrader yet?
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 23rd Mar 17, 11:44 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    I had a look out of curiosity but it's not showing anywhere. It will pop up eventually though, no doubt with a few quid extra on the price to cover the repairs that have been done.

    PS the advice on here was fantastic thanks. Had it not been for the forum I wouldn't have worked out the seller was a secret trader and wouldn't have had much of a leg to stand on!
    Last edited by gonthemicrobe; 23-03-2017 at 12:04 PM.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 23rd Mar 17, 1:15 PM
    • 3,599 Posts
    • 3,638 Thanks
    DoaM
    How did he give you the refund? Cash? BACS?

    In regards to an earlier post about DMF reliability ... someone I know has a Mark V Golf which has a DMF. It's still on its original clutch and currently has 170k miles on it. (He's had it from new, and he was expecting the clutch to only last 70k but it's already 100k past that).
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 23rd Mar 17, 2:07 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    He offered either option but ended up going with him to the bank to withdraw cash then put it into my account. Was all fairly amicable in the end.
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