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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 2
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Mar 17, 1:35 PM
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    unholyangel
    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.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    No.

    (3)For the purposes of subsection (1) above a motor vehicle or trailer is in an unroadworthy condition if—

    (a)it is in such a condition that the use of it on a road in that condition would be unlawful by virtue of any provision made by regulations under section 41 of this Act as respects—

    (i)brakes, steering gear or tyres, or

    (ii)the construction, weight or equipment of vehicles,. . .

    F1(iii). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    [F2(b)it is in such a condition that its use on a road would involve a danger of injury to any person]
    You can fail an MOT if your number plate bulb is out but I can't see how it would involve a danger of injury to anyone.

    ETA: Also I don't believe the offence requires knowledge. The way the act is worded, if you sell/offer to sell/expose for sale an unroadworthy car, you've committed an offence but if YOU can prove you sold it for export/had reasonable cause to believe it wouldn't be driven on the roads etc, then you shall not be convicted of the offence.
    Last edited by unholyangel; 16-03-2017 at 1:39 PM.
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    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 16th Mar 17, 1:49 PM
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    wealdroam
    You can fail an MOT if your number plate bulb is out but I can't see how it would involve a danger of injury to anyone.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Yes, of course that is true, but the suggestion being made is that an unroadworthy vehicle cannot pass a MOT test.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Mar 17, 1:57 PM
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    unholyangel
    Yes, of course that is true, but the suggestion being made is that an unroadworthy vehicle cannot pass a MOT test.
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    An MOT which was carried out immediately before the sale would be useful in helping prove the car was roadworthy when sold. An MOT which was undertaken in November 2016 would not.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 16th Mar 17, 2:02 PM
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    pinkshoes
    All you can do is defend the claim factually.

    1. You used the car for 6 months and never had a problem.
    2. The buyer inspected the car, test drove it and was happy with it. They declined the opportunity to have it checked over by a mechanic.
    3. The buyer refused to show you the garage report showing the issue, nor would they even give you the name of the garage who carried out the alleged diagnosis.
    4. As a gesture of good will, your hubby (a mechanic) was happy to try and help, but as the buyer could provide no evidence of any fault, this was impossible.

    As you bought it off the neighbour, could they provide a statement saying they never had any problems with it?
    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!)
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 16th Mar 17, 2:06 PM
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    Marktheshark
    Can you show the defence you entered ?
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    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 16th Mar 17, 2:12 PM
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    DoaM
    I'm not sure OP is even at the stage of entering a defence? (I hope not ... the 1st step is to acknowledge a claim but not to enter a defence at that time. If any defence is entered at acknowledgement then those are the only defence points that can be used. Acknowledging then gives 28 days total [from data of claim] in which to enter a defence).

    The defence is filed at Witness Statement (WS) time, and then supported by a Skeleton Argument which includes all reference materials pertaining to the WS.
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    • MoneySavingNovice
    • By MoneySavingNovice 16th Mar 17, 4:10 PM
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    MoneySavingNovice
    I'm not sure OP is even at the stage of entering a defence? (I hope not ... the 1st step is to acknowledge a claim but not to enter a defence at that time. If any defence is entered at acknowledgement then those are the only defence points that can be used. Acknowledging then gives 28 days total [from data of claim] in which to enter a defence).

    The defence is filed at Witness Statement (WS) time, and then supported by a Skeleton Argument which includes all reference materials pertaining to the WS.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    This is good advice. At that point that you need to enter a defence and assuming its a private sale, the defence could be Caveat Emptor. Basically this mean 'buyer beware', but you must be able to demonstrate that:-

    1) You accurately describe the second-hand car, for example, your ad must have not said that it was roadworthy if it was not.

    2) You did not misrepresent the second-hand car, that is tell you something about it which isn't true. For example, if asked you did not say that it was roadworthy if it was not.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit
    I've just read other posts in this thread which basically have also given the same advice - sorry for duplicating this information and to the others contributers.
    Last edited by MoneySavingNovice; 19-03-2017 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Duplication of Information
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 16th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
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    wealdroam
    - sorry for duplicating this information...
    Originally posted by MoneySavingNovice
    Yes, you are the second person on this thread to use the term 'Caveat Emperor'.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 16th Mar 17, 4:39 PM
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    DoaM
    I'm guessing it's a speel chooker thing.
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    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 16th Mar 17, 6:06 PM
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    arcon5
    Always the same replies to these sorts of threads - yet in reality it doesn't always work out like that in court!
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Mar 17, 7:58 PM
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    steampowered
    I'm not sure OP is even at the stage of entering a defence? (I hope not ... the 1st step is to acknowledge a claim but not to enter a defence at that time. If any defence is entered at acknowledgement then those are the only defence points that can be used. Acknowledging then gives 28 days total [from data of claim] in which to enter a defence).

    The defence is filed at Witness Statement (WS) time, and then supported by a Skeleton Argument which includes all reference materials pertaining to the WS.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    Hi

    The defence and witness statement are very different documents.

    The defence has to be filed within 28 days as you say. It is supposed to be a short document setting out which allegations are accepted, which are denied and which the claimant is required to prove.

    Witness statements are supposed to be a more detailed description of exactly what evidence the witness is going to give in court. Witness statements come several months after the defence.

    After the defence is filed a case gets allocated to the correct court. Then mediation is arranged (if appropriate). Then the court gives directions. Then a hearing date is booked. In small claims track the normal direction is to file witness statements 7 days before the hearing.

    It isn't necessary to bother with skeleton arguments in small claims track. Not many people do. If you want to have a written skeleton argument, these are usually provided to the court and your opponent 24 hours before the hearing.
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 16th Mar 17, 11:28 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    In defence to the claim that has been alledged by Mrs xxxr. I am disputing her claim that I sold her an unroadworthy car and will not be returning any of the amount she is claming.

    The car in question of been unroadworthy had passed its MOT on the 4.11.2016. I then drove the car back to my home address from York where it was then parked on my driveway. Due to the Vauxhall Zafira type car having potential manufacturer problems I arranged for the Zafira to be taken to my local vauxhall garage for the necessary recall checks.

    On the 14.11.2016 my partner xxxxx drove the car 10 miles to Kirbymoorside. She then left the vehicle which was driven in to Ryedale Garages by the Vauxhall mechanic. It was then given its product recall and passed. The Car was then driven to a pick up point again by the Vauxhall mechanic and collected by Miss xxxx. Who then drove the car with her own children 10 miles back to our house in xxxx. The car drove absolutely fine showing no signs of any problems or concern.

    The car was then parked on our driveway till the 16.01.17. I moved the car to my Parents house four miles away temporarily as i needed to access my garage and the Zafira was parked in front. I will add that the car drove soundly and i had no reason for any concern about the car.

    Two days later we recieved a message about the Zafira. Mrs xxxx contacted my partner by message through the internet selling site Gumtree. The advert she saw is attached to this letter. The advert describes the car exactly as it was at the time of sale. I sold this car in genuine good faith and im sorry to hear that unfortunately the car, since been purchased by Mrs xxxx, has incurred a problem.

    On the 18.01.2017 Mrs xxxxr purchased the Vauxhall Zafira from myself, my partner was the one who the did the sale as I was at work. When Mrs xxxx came to view the car she arrived with her father. She had the option as a private buyer to have the car inspected by a Mechanic, of which we would have been more than happy to wait for, but Mrs xxxx must of decided this was not necessary. She was presented with the log book, MOT certificate (picture of this printed out and attached to this letter) safety recall report (also a copy attached to this letter). Mrs xxxxr and her father asked a few questions about the car;

    Does the car have a timing belt or chain?

    Miss xxxx rang me to find out the answer as she didnt know. I told her it has a chain and it had been replaced. She told Mrs xxxx and her father this. Another question asked was;

    Does the car have an alarm?

    Again Miss xxxx rang me and my answer was that there is a maufacturer fitted standard alarm.

    Miss xxxxn asked if she would like to test drive the car. Mrs xxxxr said yes and she had a test drive with Miss xxxx in the passenger seat. Everything was fine and Mrs xxxx was happy.

    The price was negotiated and then sold for £1800. The log book was signed and money exchanged and the car was then Mrs xxxx. Mrs xxxx drove all 30 miles back to York from Thornton le Dale without any problems as stated in the claim. This suggests the car was definately roadworthy on the day of sale.

    Miss xxxc described the car exactly as it was at the point of sale and we would never have sold a car that could be redeemed unroadworthy. I do not sell cars, this was a one off private sale. Sold in a roadworthy state that had recently passed its MOT and passed a safety recall in a Vauxhall garage. The car had driven perfectly and without problems every time that i had driven it, and had been parked on my drive with no signs of any leaks or possible problems.

    On the 31.01.17 I was sent a letter to my parents address where Mrs xxxxxr had bought the car from. Even though as a private seller I didnt have to respond to the letter, I was naturally concerned and wanted to find out as much information about what had happened and to see if I could help in any way.

    I rang the number and left a message and then i recieved a call back from Mrs xxxx mother. They said the car had been taken to a garage and it was unroadworthy and the injectors were bad and was going to cost £1500 to fix. I asked if they had a report from the garage, the answer was no. I asked which garage, so I could ring for a report. They would not give me the name or number of the garage they had alledegly visted. I then asked if they could get a second opinion the answer was no. They just wanted there money back for a car they had bought and driven fine two days prior. The fact that they couldnt give me a name of the garage or wouldnt get a second opinion gave me great cause of concern and I wondered if what they were stating was actually true. The phone call ended with no resolution and I thought they would be in touch with a report if they wanted to prove the faults that the car had incurred since Mrs xxxx purchased it.

    I decided to ring Vauxhall to ask a few questions about the cost of injectors and labour of the job. They quoted a price of around £800 which is significantly less than the £1500 that Mrs xxxc had stated.

    In Mrs xxxx claim statement, and I quote

    'on taking the car to a garage, they advised all injector was in very bad condition and leaking. They said owner would of known this'

    This does not make any sense;

    1. It is very unlikey that all four injectors would fail at the same time

    2. If it was leaking when they purchased the car they would be petrol on the floor and it would of been smelt and detected straight away.

    All i can presume from the limited information given from Mrs xxxx and her family is that unfortunately after purchase, a fuel pipe has started leaking, this would cause smoke as she has claimed. But I think she must of been wrongly advised and when i spoke to her she refused to get a second opinion.

    From the phone call of which i didnt actually speak to Mrs xxxx and the letter she sent and then obviously the claim statement. Im just shocked that she thinks I should have to give her the money back for a car that was sold in a roadworthy state.

    From personal experience I have bought used cars privately and after purchase faults have occured. It is a risk taken when you dont buy from a dealer and dont have a warranty.

    I feel i have tried to help Mrs xxxx and advise her, as I am a mechanic by trade, but this has all been ignored and now im left with having the stress of this claim against me.

    I do hope she goes to a reputable garage and gets the car fixed at a reasonable price and back to state it was originally sold in.

    I hope this will be the end of the matter.

    Your Sincerely
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 16th Mar 17, 11:30 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    This was the letter of defence I sent in reply to the claim.

    It won't let me upload The advert or pictures.

    Thank you for the information and replys from everyone
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 16th Mar 17, 11:33 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    My partner is definitely not à trader he is a HGV mechanic and actually hates working on cars 😣
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 16th Mar 17, 11:41 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    Isn't the benchmark basically ... if it would have failed an MOT it would be unroadworthy?
    Originally posted by DoaM
    No, a blown head light bulb or wiper not clearing the screen wouldn't make it unroadworthy in relation to the offence.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 16th Mar 17, 11:44 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    My partner is definitely not à trader he is a HGV mechanic and actually hates working on cars 😣
    Originally posted by Leannerobson2002
    Was the V5 in your name?
    • Leannerobson2002
    • By Leannerobson2002 16th Mar 17, 11:46 PM
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    Leannerobson2002
    My partners name yes it was
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th Mar 17, 8:42 AM
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    agrinnall
    Was the V5 in your name?
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    My partners name yes it was
    Originally posted by Leannerobson2002
    Nice bodyswerve. You really can't answer yes when the actual answer to the question asked is no.

    I'm starting to get the idea that this will be more difficult for you to defend than you originally made out - it's now come out that it was your partner's car, and he is a motor mechanic and therefore should have a higher degree of knowledge of actual and potential faults.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 17th Mar 17, 8:45 AM
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    DoaM
    No, a blown head light bulb or wiper not clearing the screen wouldn't make it unroadworthy in relation to the offence.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    You were 10 hours too late making that dig ... someone beat you to it.

    It still doesn't make my statement wrong ... if the faults claimed had been present then the car wouldn't have passed an MOT. Think about it .....
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    • Robbo2305
    • By Robbo2305 17th Mar 17, 8:59 AM
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    Robbo2305
    I said from the start it was our family car he's a Mechanic I just did the sale as he was at work
    Just because he's a Mechanic doesn't make him able to predict faults
    You can buy a brand new car drivers off the fore court and something can happen, the difference is you have a warranty and can obviously bring the car back.
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