Can a car dealer ONLY offer to refund and not repair?

mikewestmusician Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
I bought a used car from a franchise dealer 400 miles away from home, less than a month ago. It is a farely rare model and I'm keen to have it repaired rather than refunded.

There have been a multitude of problems with the sale.
I arrived to collect the vehicle and it hadn't been valeted, and there was paintwork damage that the dealer had stated in their initial video would be sorted prior to sale. It wasn't. They also said they would 'fully refurbish' the wheels, which were badly scraped.
 They took it away for 4 hours, touched it up badly and brought it back, badly valeted. What I missed due to the bad valeting was several dents in the bodywork (plus the colour is pretty forgiving). 
Problems with the V5, problems initially with taxing it. I was at the dealer for 7 hours.
At 4:50 on a Friday afternoon with no way home other than with the vehicle I felt somewhat forced to take the vehicle.

Upon getting home it was clear there was something mechanically wrong, with diesel pouring out of the fuel filter when running. Contact the dealer on the Monday, formal complaint regarding the mechanical and physical condition. 

 In their defence, aftersales were responsive and great, agreed to either refund and collect or get the issues repaired. I went for the second option. I arranged for it to be recovered into the local dealer and be sorted. I paid for the work which the seller has recompensated me for.
The repair took three weeks, caused by a botched service where they had sheared several bolts off the fuel filter by overtightening. New whole unit, on backorder.
Got the vehicle back, all working fine, but the dents were now visible after a good valet and it appears that rather than refurbishing the wheels they spray painted over the damage. The paint is now flaking off.

The seller asked for a quote to repair the damage. The quote is £3k to repair several serious dents and refurbish the wheels - what I feel would get the vehicle to the condition it would have been sold.

I still don't have a v5, they took three weeks to file the v62  (?) so I am waiting on that. European trip next week so that is causing a lot of stress.

They have refused the quote, and offered a full refund and return of the vehicle instead.
As previously mentioned this not an option I am keen on. I would like the vehicle repaired. 
My question is - if I refuse the refund, does that mean that they have no obligation to repair? 
I am also asking for some compensation for the trouble, stress and inconvenience of not having the vehicle for three weeks while in repair, the time taken to get the vehicle recovered and arrange repair, picking up from repair etc etc. They're also refusing this. 

I'm considering taking the matter to the ombudsman, but I'm concerned that refusing to give the vehicle back would put me at a disadvantage in terms of getting the money to repair the vehicle.

Anyone had experience in this field, or have any advice?

Many thanks in advance. 🙂


  • Ayr_Rage
    Ayr_Rage Forumite Posts: 521
    500 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 16 August at 9:12AM
    I'd send the lemon back and take the full refund.

    Edit : Let them collect it and take the refund.

    I believe it is refund OR repair at their discretion.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Forumite Posts: 13,229
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    The purpose of any remedy is to put you back in the position before the transaction.
    A full refund will achieve that outcome.

    Given the issues already plus the further substantial repair bill that is now on the table, the Dealer seems to have been very fair - the costs for the first repair are totally sunk costs for the Dealer and now they are offering you the full refund.  This is going to work out very costly for the Dealer.

    If I were you, I'd accept the full refund and be thankful I dodged a bullet.

    What is the car that is so rare and you could only find one 400 miles away?
  • bluelad1927
    bluelad1927 Forumite Posts: 116
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    You saw the car before purchasing, bought it and are now asking for 3k for repair.

    The dealer has the right to offer full refund and and its obvious to me why he's choosing this option
  • droopsnoot
    droopsnoot Forumite Posts: 1,694
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You saw the car before purchasing, bought it and are now asking for 3k for repair.
    I think the OP only saw it via a video from the dealer who was 400 miles away.
  • bluelad1927
    bluelad1927 Forumite Posts: 116
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    You saw the car before purchasing, bought it and are now asking for 3k for repair.
    I think the OP only saw it via a video from the dealer who was 400 miles away.
    From what I read the OP was at the dealers 7hrs on day of collection. That was the time to walk away. Now is the timr to bite their hand off for the full refund.

  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Forumite Posts: 7,279
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    If it has this many obvious issues, it will also have plenty of less obvious issues, take the offer of a full refund, you do not want to be stuck with this car when the next, likely major issue occurs with it. 
  • Stateofart
    Stateofart Forumite Posts: 154
    100 Posts Third Anniversary
    Full refund - bite their hand off.  Wash your hands of this lemon.
  • facade
    facade Forumite Posts: 6,680
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 16 August at 2:51PM
    I'd love to know what this rare car is, but the dealer is never going to sink £3000 into purely cosmetic repairs, and depending on the age of the car and the precise nature of the damage (and given that you had the chance to inspect it before you drove it away) it could be ruled an unreasonable request anyway.

    btw to the dealer "refurbish the wheels" meant "Get the kid who works here at weekends to wave a rattle can at the marks" whereas you thought it meant "send the wheels to a professional shop for stripping, welding & grinding back to as-new condition, followed by etch priming and repainting to factory spec." Always clarify, and get in writing on the order form exactly what remedial work will be undertaken as a condition of sale.

    You can't expect a dealer to do thousands of pounds worth of work on a car, unless you are paying £50K plus for it, they simply don't have the margin to play with.

    Just take the refund and find another.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Forumite Posts: 430
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    As others have said you don't have the choice of repair vs refund (and replace isn't an option).

    Either your expectations are above the dealers or you've a dealer that realises the distance and is using that.

    Was the car part of the manufacturers Approved Used Scheme and did it comply with all the parts of that ? If not have you escalated it with the manufacturer ?

    Was the dealer part of a larger group and have you escalated it within the group ?

    Irrespective your biggest issue was accepting it on the day given the perfection you were expecting - any resolution afterwards will cost time/money/effort you're unlikely to be compensated for. 

    I speak as one with experience of this - I found a rare car/colour/spec combo and bought from a dealer at other end of country. As dealer was part of Stratstone group I escalated within the group and they paid for private valet and then collected/left me a courtesy car/delivered to fix a couple of other issues.

    Only you can tell how much you want this particular car 
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Forumite Posts: 17,025
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper

    Anyone had experience in this field, or have any advice?

    Yes. Next time you try to buy a car 1) buy closer to home, and 2) Inspect it in person before you agree to buy, no matter what the distance.

    Your post has sadly shown exactly what can go wrong with an unseen distance purchase. While it has been a bad experience for you, hopefully others will learn from this
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
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