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

edited 1 March 2015 at 12:34AM in Motoring
327 replies 87.7K views


  • almillar wrote: »
    She's quoting the Sale of Goods Act -(not fit for purpose) - that doesn't apply to a private individual as a seller, does it?

    Private sales
    When you buy a used vehicle from a private individual, you don't have the same rights as you do when buying from a trader. The legal principle of caveat emptor, or 'buyer beware' operates. You do not have a legal right to expect that the vehicle is of satisfactory quality or fit for its purpose, but there is a legal requirement that it should be 'as described'. For example, if an advertisement says 'low mileage, one previous owner', it must be correct. You should check the vehicle thoroughly before you buy it.*ADV0003-1011.txt
  • edited 10 March 2015 at 8:00PM
    wackojackoukwackojackouk Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 10 March 2015 at 8:00PM
    Hi guys

    Received a letter from Moneyclaim online today with some brief claim details which are actually inaccurate. They are trying to claim for repair costs (even though they never asked about this) plus damages for stress/upset which are more than the value of the vehicle.

    Anyway I'll defend it as I'm 100% sure I have done nothing wrong (nor do CBA / company legal advice line / most of MSE think I have done either).

    One thing I am confused about, what do I do next in your opinion.

    It mentions I can respond online or via the forms. I am not sure what I should do next because I am going to be out of the country on holiday and then for business over the next 6 weeks. (I am away on holiday for two weeks, back for one day and then away for business for another week). I won't be back completely until 18th April.

    I see two options on the form when disagreeing.

    1. Send completed acknowledgement or defence within 14 days
    2. If I send just the first bit, I have to send a defence within 28 days (so an extra 14 days I guess).

    As I'm going to be away for the best part of just under four weeks, I guess it's better to prepare this and reply ASAP.

    Can anyone tell me once I reply, how long it may take for a response as I'm worried I may be about of the country.


  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
    11.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    You need to make it very clear to the court that you'll be out of the country until 18th April. Whilst it is highly unlikely that this case would be heard before then, the last thing you want is to come back to a default judgment against you.
  • Money claim (small claims court) are settled on the balance of probabilities, and there is no presumption of innocence or guilt in either party, it is a question of presenting evidence (not opinion).

    So your case is:

    1) Private sale of a car as advertised (proof - the advert).
    2) All questions answered truthfully (proof - emails from other party).
    3) Belief of the legal position of buyer beware (no need to include law on this well known position).
    4) Note that the claim includes speculative distress and is for more than the car is worth (itemise faults with claim and substantiate).
    5) Unreasonable claims - e.g. insistence on new parts on 12 year old car (pull claim apart).

    Note you can do two different arguments in one response: denying the claim, but also saying that although you do not accept the validity of the claim, the following items are speculative and unreasonable valuations. Arguing about the size of the claim does not invalidate you arguing that the claim is invalid. People sometimes don't want to deal with that aspect as they feel it validates the other party's argument, but the legal world is used to that. That makes sure that in the unlikely event that you did lose, the judge should only evaluate the parts of the claim that are reasonable, not the speculative part, e.g. your maximum liability should be getting the repair done to a satisfactory standard, not to an as new standard.
  • almillaralmillar Forumite
    8.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ^ Boom. Buyer is doing a good job of trying to scare you and going through all the right sources, but has missed out the small detail of telling the truth, and expecting dealership standards of customer care, and liability, from a £2K private sale. Fair play for standing your ground.
  • The Defence is Caveat Emptor as long as you did not use one of those very bad advice "contracts" you see in Autotrader or elsewhere as any kind of contract rules out any caveat emptor defence and drags the case in to contract law status.
    I would file your defence quickly and get the case brought to fruition as quickly as possible.
    Do not accept mediation, unless you plan to pay up.
    Go straight for court, demand £90 in expenses be awarded, file Caveat Emptor, private sale of private motor car by a private individual to a private buyer, correctly described and therfore sold with all faults and imperfections to be expected when buying a low priced elderly second hand car.
    I do Contracts, all day every day.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
    ....I would file your defence quickly and get the case brought to fruition as quickly as possible.
    .....Go straight for court, demand £90 in expenses be awarded, file Caveat Emptor,......
    It's not up to the defendant to get the case brought to court.

    The claimant gets to choose whether or not to pursue the matter after seeing the initial defence, and if the claimant does decide to pursue this then only after there has been a hearing which ends as claim dismissed can the defendant ask the judge for his actual expenses be paid by the claimant. (ie you cannot demand £90 if your expenses to attend your local court total a £2 bus fare)
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    49.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    File your defence and I strongly suspect the buyer will withdraw her claim. Unless she wants to be humiliated in court, as the judge will quickly deduce that her claim has no merit whatsoever, and dismiss it.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • And bear in mind, as the defendant you get choice of court location. :)
  • Thanks guys

    I'm going to get to it shortly. I'm worried about the court thing though as I think I read if I lose I could get a CCJ which will affect my credit rating. We're looking at moving house this year so this could ruin our plans.
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