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  • FIRST POST
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 15th Mar 17, 6:42 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    Private car sale....now being taken to small claims court
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 6:42 PM
    Private car sale....now being taken to small claims court 15th Mar 17 at 6:42 PM
    I recently sold a car privately (my partner is a Mechanic and we sold a car that was roadworthy but they are now saying it wasn't after 2 days)
    The buyer wavered the right to have it inspected
    She had a test drive
    Asked a few questions
    The car was describes exactly how was it was on that day.
    She knocked down the price I accepted £1800 for a 2008 vauxhall Zafira.
    She then drove 30 miles home all fine.
    After 2 days it had problems of which we were unaware of.
    We recieved a letter had we didn't exchange number.
    My partner called her and was told a reputable garage had redeemed the car unroadworthy and something wrong with injectors. A very brief explanation of the problem was given and she wanted all her money back as it would cost £1500 to repair.
    My partner asked for a garage report she didn't have one and refused to give him the name of the garage that looked at the car, so he could ring them and find out exactly what was wrong with the car. She refused.
    He suggested a second opinion from a mobile mechanic she said she had no money.
    He tried to help but was given no real explanation so he couldn't do anything. As a private seller he didn't even have to.ring the buyer really, but we sold the car in genuine good faith and it's really unfortunate for the buyer that faults have occurred 2 days after the sale.
    The car had MOT till November 2017
    It had just been for recalls checks done by a vauxhall garage and was driven by them and us prior to sale.

    We.have recieved small claims court proceedings
    We have defended the claim and sent off evidence of advert and vauxhall recall check sheet.
    Also.my partner rang vauxhall and asked how much would it be to fix the vague alledged problems with.'injectors' they said no more than £800 for all four. And it is very unlikely that all 4 would need replacing at the same time.
    Does she stand to.win if she hasn't got a engineer report from.the garage?
    It's really beginning to worry us as we sold the car in good faith.
    Anyone got previous experience in dealing with this sort of case?
Page 1
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 15th Mar 17, 7:14 PM
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    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:14 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:14 PM
    She'll have to present her evidence with her claim, you'll see the report then (if it really exists). Chances are she'll cave in if you present a good defence - if she doesn't then you'll have a better-than-average chance of winning the claim.

    And that's the basis of small claims ... whose argument proves more believable, on the balance of probabilities.
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    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 15th Mar 17, 7:32 PM
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    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:32 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:32 PM
    Does a faulty injector make a car 'unroadworthy' anyway? Sounds like a chancer to me who will crumble if you stand up to her.
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 15th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
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    ThumbRemote
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
    Which begs the question as to why she's doing this? Has she changed her mind on the car and just wants a refund? Or is there genuinely some sort of issue?
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
    Thank you for the replys.
    She had written in the letter that the car filled with smoke....which can be caused by a leaking fuel injector. This wouldnt cost a lot at all to sort...especially not £1500!!!!!
    I do think something has happened to the car and it sounds like the above. She has either been quoted wrongly by a garage, or some friend has had a look!! Or she just doesn't want to pay to get it fixed and thought she would try us for a full refund.
    It's difficult as she brought up that my partner was a Mechanic and he should know ( my mistake of telling her this but as we were selling in good faith it didn't occur to me hide that fact) as she is trying to hold it against us. He is a Mechanic but he does not have a crystal ball.
    I have said in the defence that when buying privately it is a risk as there is no warranty as with dealers! But she got a deal really as she knocked me down by £200. So surely this money could go towards fixing the car?
    Her children were in the car when it started to fill with smoke at the time so she wrote she was disgusted that I let her drive off in car that could do this.
    As a mother my self i understand she would have been worried. But shes trying a little sympathy story of how could i let her have the car if it was unroadworthy. I have driven my children around in the car prior to the sale and it was obviously fine.
    As some of you had said it will hopefully just go on the facts and evidence shown.
    • CoolHotCold
    • By CoolHotCold 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
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    CoolHotCold
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
    I've seen a few of these incidents, where a person buys a car with little to no inspection, takes it away and then contacts the seller a few days later saying such and such is wrong with it and they need X to repair at a garage otherwise they're going to sue the seller.

    Seems like a good scam, intimidate/emotionally blackmail the seller into knocking even more off the car without evidence of such a fault. I guess repeat offenders probably resell the car close to what they purchased it for and profit from the made up charges.


    If it was a private sale, caveat emperor applies. Unless it was deliberately misleading or mis-advertised then the seller is 99% home free.

    See

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2552601

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5185951

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5152494

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4494511

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4415919

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4439815
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 15th Mar 17, 9:18 PM
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    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:18 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:18 PM
    Thank you for the replys.
    She had written in the letter that the car filled with smoke....which can be caused by a leaking fuel injector. This wouldnt cost a lot at all to sort...especially not £1500!!!!!
    I do think something has happened to the car and it sounds like the above. She has either been quoted wrongly by a garage, or some friend has had a look!! Or she just doesn't want to pay to get it fixed and thought she would try us for a full refund.
    It's difficult as she brought up that my partner was a Mechanic and he should know ( my mistake of telling her this but as we were selling in good faith it didn't occur to me hide that fact) as she is trying to hold it against us. He is a Mechanic but he does not have a crystal ball.
    I have said in the defence that when buying privately it is a risk as there is no warranty as with dealers! But she got a deal really as she knocked me down by £200. So surely this money could go towards fixing the car?
    Her children were in the car when it started to fill with smoke at the time so she wrote she was disgusted that I let her drive off in car that could do this.
    As a mother my self i understand she would have been worried. But shes trying a little sympathy story of how could i let her have the car if it was unroadworthy. I have driven my children around in the car prior to the sale and it was obviously fine.
    As some of you had said it will hopefully just go on the facts and evidence shown.
    Originally posted by Leannerobson2002
    Don't use the argument I have highlighted in bold. It is not valid. If you agreed to a discounted price you cannot use that discount to offset any future problems.

    Does the customer wish to hand back the car for a full refund? If so I am not sure it is a scam. Had they been looking for a discount I would think it sounded very much like a scam.

    It any event try to gather as much evidence to support your case as you can.

    Did you have the car for a long time? If so keep evidence of that in case the customer tries to allege your husband was acting as a trader.
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 15th Mar 17, 10:00 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:00 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:00 PM
    No, I wouldn't use that as an argument it was just for myself to justify why she said she had no money to pay for a second opinion on the car, that was all.
    I'm sure it's not a scam and that something has happened. We just can't understand why she couldn't give my husband the engineer report (if there is one) or the name and number of the garage she allegedly went to. We could have come to some of sort agreement or way of understanding the problem with car.
    Instead she's just taking us to court!
    It doesn't make sense as court costs money!
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 15th Mar 17, 10:01 PM
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    hollydays
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:01 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:01 PM
    How long have you had the car ?
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 15th Mar 17, 10:05 PM
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    DCFC79
    No, I wouldn't use that as an argument it was just for myself to justify why she said she had no money to pay for a second opinion on the car, that was all.
    I'm sure it's not a scam and that something has happened. We just can't understand why she couldn't give my husband the engineer report (if there is one) or the name and number of the garage she allegedly went to. We could have come to some of sort agreement or way of understanding the problem with car.
    Instead she's just taking us to court!
    It doesn't make sense as court costs money!
    Originally posted by Leannerobson2002
    Maybe said report doesn't exist and she was hoping you would bend over and giver her the money back.

    Sounds fishy to me,
    Je Suis Charlie
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 15th Mar 17, 10:18 PM
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    iammumtoone
    What did you say when you told her your partner was a mechanic? did you use this as a selling point? or just drop into general conversation?

    Unless you said your partner was a mechanic had just serviced the car himself and was prepared to guarantee it I don't see what he does for a living is going to be relevant.

    I would get your own written quotes for what she said was wrong with it and submit these just in case worst case you lose, you don't want to be liable for her inflated quotes. I don't think you will lose but better to be well prepared.
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    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 15th Mar 17, 10:55 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    We had only had the zafira 6 months, we bought it from our neighbours but decided we didn't need a 7 seater after all.
    They asked a question about the timing chain and I said hang on I'll just ring him, he's a Mechanic so he will know. (That we as all I said about him) He answered the question that a new one had been put on...they were happy with the answer.
    I have the letter she sent with the vague engine diagnosis so will definitely take that with us.
    Bearing in mind she drove 30 miles home the fault occurred 2 days later, so unless the injector fault hadn't made itself identifiable before the sale then how we would know?
    It's just the whole court thing...maybe she won't turn up!!!
    Does that ever happen??
    I know she can't retract the claim now (she would still have to pay costs) so she might as well keep it going I suppose, in case she thinks we may give her the money back!
    It's been directed to our local court and we are just waiting for a date....unless the case doesn't make it to court as her statement was very badly written with no evidence or facts. Whereas my defence had a detailed description of events, photocopy of vauxhall recall checks and copy MOT and also a copy of the advert used on gumtree. I'm. Hoping that'd enough really.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 15th Mar 17, 11:04 PM
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    worried jim
    Just tell her you'll happily see her in court and to cease all correspondence. The polite foxtrot oscar.
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    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Mar 17, 11:18 PM
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    unholyangel
    I'd really try and get from her exactly what the fault is because not everything will make a car unroadworthy and thats really the only claim she can make if the car matches its description.

    This page might help you with regards to ascertaining whether it was roadworthy or not: http://swercots-partners.org.uk/sites/default/files/rta_guidance%20for%20Businesses.pdf

    And perhaps also this to give some indication of what may be considered as dangerous (and therefore, unroadworthy):
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/498457/Categorisation-of-defects.pdf
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    • boo_star
    • By boo_star 16th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
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    boo_star
    I'd really try and get from her exactly what the fault is because not everything will make a car unroadworthy and thats really the only claim she can make if the car matches its description.

    This page might help you with regards to ascertaining whether it was roadworthy or not: http://swercots-partners.org.uk/sites/default/files/rta_guidance%20for%20Businesses.pdf

    And perhaps also this to give some indication of what may be considered as dangerous (and therefore, unroadworthy):
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/498457/Categorisation-of-defects.pdf
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Why bother?

    OP has tried to get it verified and hit a brick wall. The buyer will hit a similar brick wall if the case is put in front of a judge.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 16th Mar 17, 9:42 AM
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    pmduk


    If it was a private sale, caveat emperor applies.
    Originally posted by CoolHotCold
    Nit picking, but, The phrase is actually "caveat emptor". Briefly it means "Let the buyer beware" a non-trade seller cannot be expected to know the product as well as a trade seller.
    Last edited by pmduk; 16-03-2017 at 9:49 AM.
    • bris
    • By bris 16th Mar 17, 9:58 AM
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    bris
    Being a mechanic I can see the buyer thinking there may be a history of these "private car sales".


    Something maybe telling her it's more than just a private sale. If there is a history of sales then it's not a private sale but a trade sale, that's a whole different ball game.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Mar 17, 11:13 AM
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    steampowered
    The requirement that the car must be "satisfactory quality" only applies where the seller is a business.

    As this was a private sale, the law does not make any promise about the quality of the car. You should only be held responsible for any promises or assurance you gave the buyer. No matter how unroadworthy the car was.

    However if you told the buyer that the car was roadworthy and it was not, then the buyer would have a claim.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Mar 17, 12:23 PM
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    unholyangel
    The requirement that the car must be "satisfactory quality" only applies where the seller is a business.

    As this was a private sale, the law does not make any promise about the quality of the car. You should only be held responsible for any promises or assurance you gave the buyer. No matter how unroadworthy the car was.

    However if you told the buyer that the car was roadworthy and it was not, then the buyer would have a claim.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    That is incorrect I'm afraid. If you sell, offer to sell or expose for sale a vehicle that is unroadworthy, you are guilty of an offence unless you can prove (as a private seller....traders have additional obligations) that you sold it to be exported from the UK or that you had reasonable cause to believe it wouldnt be used on UK roads/wouldnt be used until brought into a lawful condition.

    Its very much a case of assumed to be roadworthy unless stated otherwise.


    However as I have said, only certain things make a car unroadworthy - such as the brakes, steering, tyres etc.
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    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 16th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
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    DoaM
    Isn't the benchmark basically ... if it would have failed an MOT it would be unroadworthy?

    This still doesn't make a private seller liable though, unless they knew the car was unroadworthy at the time of sale, failed to inform the buyer and allowed the buyer to drive the vehicle away. If the seller didn't know, or couldn't have reasonably known, that the car was unroadworthy then no offence has been committed by the seller.
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