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Sold Car Privately - Buyer Unhappy - Wants to return - Help

edited 28 February 2015 at 11:34PM in Motoring
327 replies 85.9K views
wackojackoukwackojackouk Forumite
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edited 28 February 2015 at 11:34PM in Motoring
Hi guys

I sold my car privately about a week ago. Lady was happy with the car although did find it difficult to put in reverse but managed to do it.

I did mention it could be difficult if you weren't used to it but I've never had any problems or got stuck and showed her how to do it easily enough. It's even had a new dual mass flywheel and clutch since I've owned it and drives beautifully.

I had a call later that day when she couldn't put it in reverse and when she finally did she got it home ok. A friend next door took a look and said she had knocked out the gear linkage and it was common on VW's (he know's VW's apparantly). She then said she did this stalling in fourth apparantly and he would fix it on Saturday.

Not hear anything else so thought everything was good.

Anyway I got a call today with her sounding upset saying she want's a refund as her mechanic had taken a look and said the gear selector (i presume the cable) is worn to excess and there is something leaking down there and smells of diesel.

He told her talking of over £700-800 at least to look it and not sure if that will put it right and she just wants to bring it back.

I'm not sure if this is the whole story or not but documents have been sent off, she's taxed it etc so technically I don't own it.

The other option is her dad would persue it through a small claims court etc.

I'm worried as I didn't know anything about any issues. It's always been serviced and repaired when anything went wrong with it and I was driving fine up until last Friday.

Of course I don't want the car back as I've just spent 9k on a newer car so don't have the finances really but I don't want to be rude and I consider myself to be nice and try to be helpful where I can.

Can anyone offer some further advice as I'm pretty concerned what could happen going forward.

Thanks

WJUK

EDIT - I said VW above. It's a Ford Galaxy which has the 1.9TDI VW engine in it.
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Replies

  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Hi guys

    I sold my car privately about a week ago. Lady was happy with the car although did find it difficult to put in reverse but managed to do it.

    I did mention it could be difficult if you weren't used to it but I've never had any problems or got stuck and showed her how to do it easily enough. It's even had a new dual mass flywheel and clutch since I've owned it and drives beautifully.

    I had a call later that day when she couldn't put it in reverse and when she finally did she got it home ok. A friend next door took a look and said she had knocked out the gear linkage and it was common on VW's (he know's VW's apparantly). She then said she did this stalling in fourth apparantly and he would fix it on Saturday.

    Not hear anything else so thought everything was good.

    Anyway I got a call today with her sounding upset saying she want's a refund as her mechanic had taken a look and said the gear selector (i presume the cable) is worn to excess and there is something leaking down there and smells of diesel.

    He told her talking of over £700-800 at least to look it and not sure if that will put it right and she just wants to bring it back.

    I'm not sure if this is the whole story or not but documents have been sent off, she's taxed it etc so technically I don't own it.

    The other option is her dad would persue it through a small claims court etc.

    I'm worried as I didn't know anything about any issues. It's always been serviced and repaired when anything went wrong with it and I was driving fine up until last Friday.

    Of course I don't want the car back as I've just spent 9k on a newer car so don't have the finances really but I don't want to be rude and I consider myself to be nice and try to be helpful where I can.

    Can anyone offer some further advice as I'm pretty concerned what could happen going forward.

    Thanks

    WJUK



    When you sold it, did you print off a sales contract/receipt that included words to the effect of "no warranty, sold as seen and tested", etc.? If so, she definitely doesn't have a leg to stand on.


    Even if not, private sales come with few legal rights for the buyer unless they can demonstrate that you sold a car that was not roadworthy.


    AA description of legal rights here:


    http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/car-buyers-guide/cbg_legalrights.html
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    dunroving wrote: »
    When you sold it, did you print off a sales contract/receipt that included words to the effect of "no warranty, sold as seen and tested", etc.? If so, she definitely doesn't have a leg to stand on.


    Even if not, private sales come with few legal rights for the buyer unless they can demonstrate that you sold a car that was not roadworthy.


    AA description of legal rights here:


    http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/car-buyers-guide/cbg_legalrights.html

    Also, don't advertise it as excellent and other buzz words if the item is not so.
  • MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    The legal term is know as caveat emptor, the car is now her car.
    At what point would she expect you not to be responsible for the repair bills ?
    6 Days ? 6 months ? 6 years ?
    She examined the car and was satisfied with what she was buying.
    I would politely tell her she bought a second hand car privately that came with no warranty, if she thinks she can sue you will see her at court.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Just out of interest, how old was the car, how many miles, and how much did you sell it for? The older, more used, and cheaper a car is, the less a buyer can complain about problems. To an extent, you assume when you buy a used car you are buying problems that might occur in a year or might occur tomorrow.


    I sold my 10-year old car a couple of weeks back. Needed to keep it for 2 weeks and the buyer was happy for me to keep it (I think his son, who was buying the car, needed a bit of time to pull the money together).


    Buyer's deposit receipt stated that in 2 weeks (when they came to pick it up) if the car had any obvious faults it didn't have at first inspection, they could either decide not to buy or negotiate a lower price. They also had the right to take for another test drive.


    A few days before we were due to exchange money/car, the headlight went. I didn't even notice - a neighbour told me (main bulb gone, not the whole unit). The car had passed the MOT a few days earlier. With a blown bulb, the car was not "roadworthy" (would have failed an MOT), so I paid to replace the bulb. If I hadn't noticed it and the buyer called me the next day (or even a few days later), I would probably have sent a few quid to cover it, just out of courtesy and for reasons of karma.


    If some unexpected problem had arisen that was clearly something I couldn't have anticipated I would have had no qualms about saying "Sorry it happened but I didn't know, and the sales invoice said sold as seen, etc."
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Private sale, so caveat emptor so long as it's not misdescribed. It sounds as if you made her aware of a known issue, so no comeback.

    Attempts at this kind of post-sale discount are getting far too common. Just don't reply to her messages. In the extremely unlikely event she actually does try to put a claim in against you, your defence is that it was a private sale, and not misdescribed. That is the end of it.

    There's no need to panic if you didn't put a particular form of wording on the receipt - it makes no difference.
  • MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    Using any type of contract places the seller at a disadvantage.
    The safest contract is a shake of hands, your car now, bye.
    Contracts can be challenged as unfair or disadvantageous to one party and you open yourself up to hundreds of case laws arguments.
    Sold as seen, private sale, shake on it bye.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Hi guys

    I sold my car privately about a week ago. Lady was happy with the car although did find it difficult to put in reverse but managed to do it.

    I did mention it could be difficult if you weren't used to it but I've never had any problems or got stuck and showed her how to do it easily enough. It's even had a new dual mass flywheel and clutch since I've owned it and drives beautifully.

    I had a call later that day when she couldn't put it in reverse and when she finally did she got it home ok. A friend next door took a look and said she had knocked out the gear linkage and it was common on VW's (he know's VW's apparantly). She then said she did this stalling in fourth apparantly and he would fix it on Saturday.

    Not hear anything else so thought everything was good.

    Anyway I got a call today with her sounding upset saying she want's a refund as her mechanic had taken a look and said the gear selector (i presume the cable) is worn to excess and there is something leaking down there and smells of diesel.

    He told her talking of over £700-800 at least to look it and not sure if that will put it right and she just wants to bring it back.

    I'm not sure if this is the whole story or not but documents have been sent off, she's taxed it etc so technically I don't own it.

    The other option is her dad would persue it through a small claims court etc.

    I'm worried as I didn't know anything about any issues. It's always been serviced and repaired when anything went wrong with it and I was driving fine up until last Friday.

    Of course I don't want the car back as I've just spent 9k on a newer car so don't have the finances really but I don't want to be rude and I consider myself to be nice and try to be helpful where I can.

    Can anyone offer some further advice as I'm pretty concerned what could happen going forward.

    Thanks

    WJUK



    Just spotted the "her dad" bit. This is a real bugbear of mine with adults whose parents are going to do this and do that. Surely her dad can't pursue anything - he didn't buy the car?


    Sounds like her neighbour, her dad and her mechanic are all plonkers, and have got her all worked up. Neighbour thinks he is an expert, mechanic can see an opportunity to make some money and dad, well he is probably just feeling protective and needing to beat his chest a little.
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • wackojackoukwackojackouk Forumite
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    Thanks for your reply guys

    The car was 2003 with 87k on the clock so 12 years old - I sold it for just over £2200. If anything went wrong with it, my mechanic had it and fixed it for me regardless of cost.

    I did give a hand written receipt with the reg number, my name and address with the words sold as seen with our signatures on it - I don't have a copy though.

    As above I did mention that reverse could be difficult if you were not used to it but I never had issues myself or got stuck or anything otherwise it would have gone to the garage.

    Indeed I was driving it the day before with my three children in it. If I thought there was an issue they certainly wouldn't be in the car.

    I rang my mechanic and he said the same thing you guys have all said but I'm still concerned.

    I did say I would call her back later but I'm wondering if it would be more wise to text and use some of the text you guys supplied.

    Thanks

    WJUK
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Using any type of contract places the seller at a disadvantage.
    The safest contract is a shake of hands, your car now, bye.
    Contracts can be challenged as unfair or disadvantageous to one party and you open yourself up to hundreds of case laws arguments.
    Sold as seen, private sale, shake on it bye.



    I disagree on this. Worded correctly, a contract can document the terms on which it was sold in a way that protects the seller, surely? Particularly because the buyer often brings someone with them whereas the seller is often by themselves, it also avoids any situation where the buyer and his/her "witness" gang up to say the seller said this or that?
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    If those terms unfairly disadvantage the buyer then they have comeback, selling via contract is a whole different world to selling privately to another private individual.
    Unless you are qualified and experienced in contract law and the experienced bit is having sound knowledge of case law examples why even contemplate entering the voids of a contracted sale.
    There is far more privileged to the seller for a buyer to have even less to pull at.
    As for "witnesses" this is know as hear say evidence and worthless.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
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