Private Car Sale - buyer broke down, feeling threatened


I've seen a few similar posts to this, so I'm sorry if this is a repeat, but we are confused over private selling rights and if we should be worried.

My partner sold his old car privately, fully disclosed all faults in the advert online. He was very genuine about the condition of the car, it had a loud whistle where it needed a new clutch and fly wheel. Had two guys come and view it the same day. They test drove it and spoke to my partner who was very honest about all faults. The car hadn't been driven in a few weeks due to the dodgy clutch. During the test drive, the buyer mentioned something about the brakes and knocked the price down another hundred pounds. Total sale of the car was £300 - with all faults fully disclosed and the buyer test drove it.

Anyway, an hour or so later he gets a message from the buyer with a 5 second video of the car pulled over, saying the clutch broke on the way home. He wants my partner to give him money back towards the cost of recovery, saying "it should at least have got me home", or to return the car for a refund.

My partner has refused to refund or give any money back, as the car was sold as seen and test driven, and knocked down £200 in price (and what does anyone expect form a £300 car?). The car has now been out of our sight, so we have no guarantee that the buyer hasn't done something else to it. Full DVLA registration to the new owner was done at the point of sale, when the buyer drove the car away. So can the buyer request money back from the seller?

Anyway, we are now worried because although the car was sold on an adjacent road, the buyer obviously has our address from the log book. They sent messages saying they would come round and talk to my partner about it. Then messages saying they would come in the evening. A message at nearly 11pm asking if he is at home. It is all a bit unnerving.




  • prowla
    prowla Posts: 13,098
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    The buyer took a big risk at £300 - that's pretty much scrap value.
  • For £300 the buyers of the car can expect nothing.  And realistically, they won't. It's probably a fake claim anyhow.  But they may try it on with your husband.  Legally, they haven't got a leg to stand on. If you feel threatened, call the police - and tell the buyers you've called them.  
    "There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O S Nock
  • boxosox
    boxosox Posts: 61
    First Post
    edited 9 October 2023 at 8:52AM
    Legal Hour on LBC get a lot of calls about this sort of thing.

    They have no rights - if you described the car accurately and made them aware of all faults (that you knew of) you've done all you can.

    All they can do now is take you to small claims court which a) they wouldn't bother over £300 and b) a judgement would be made in your favour anyway.

    Ignore them.  Even if the car broke down 10ft from your house, the money was exchanged, contract completed, it's their problem now.
  • Sauropod8
    Sauropod8 Posts: 18
    First Post First Anniversary
    edited 9 October 2023 at 9:09AM
    Thankyou for the replies, I think legally we are okay in terms of the sale but your replies are reassuring. It is quite intimidating knowing that the buyer knows where we live (he is still messaging today). My partner is ignoring his messages, but it's also like... if he blocks the buyer he is worried that he will turn up at our house. I just hadn't seen other posts talk about the implications of our personal details being on the log book.
  • Herzlos
    Herzlos Posts: 14,620
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I don't think the New Keeper slip on the V5 has the previous owners details on it any more due to GDPR. Is that all you gave them?

    The buyer is just trying his luck. If you feel intimidated by it then go talk to the police and get a crime reference number. You can inform the buyer of this if you want. 

    The police won't do anything at this stage and nothing is likely to happen. If the buyer turns up at your house then call 999 immediately and have the police remove them.

  • littleboo
    littleboo Posts: 1,469
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Have you clearly articulated to them you position on the matter? Whilst its unfortunate that the clutch failed, you were made fully aware of the clutch issue and decided to proceed with the purchase in that knowledge. We wont be entering into any further discussion on this matter, please do not visit our home. 
  • Stubod
    Stubod Posts: 2,138
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    ..not sure wht people expect if they only spend £300 on a car....that's probably what the scrap value is.
    Stay stong, they have no "rights", just explain the facts to them then block their calls...
    .."It's everybody's fault but mine...."
  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,316
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Bake Off Boss!
    £300 is no money, some of the Banger boys pay a lot more than that just to smash it up on the track.

    I would ignore them
  • If the clutch had lasted another 500 miles do you think the buyer would have paid you the money he negotiated off the price? Of course not, and neither should you entertain any complaints or threats.  
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