The Law is Broken...

Hi all. Letting off steam and keen for any constructive advice. 

I bought a used car for £13.5k. Within three weeks of buying it there was a fault and I attempted to reject it. I have legal advice, which says I have a very, very strong case that the seller should have accepted my request for full refund. For the sake of arguement here, let's just assume my case is cast iron. 

My solicitor advised that due to the legal system, even with a cast iron case, I might end up paying £5-£20k in legal costs, and if I win I might get 60% back from the other side. That might leave me with a bill of £2k - £8k...how can that be right if I am the "victim" here...???

I can't use the Small Claims Court as the value is too high, but the next option is so complex that it forces me to seek legal support and potentially running up this massive bill that I won't get back. All options to resolve with the seller have failed so solicitor is saying either risk going to court, or let it go. 

How can any of this be fair for the consumer? If I have been wronged, surely the law should protect people like me and put me back in the financial position I was in before I bought the faulty item. Including refunding me any necessary legal costs. 

I am placed in a seriously risky position where I could win a case but spend thousands doing so, and surely this discourages consumers from taking on cases...? 

Really keen to hear from anyone in a similar position, what did you do and was it worth it? 





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Comments

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,229
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    Starting a claim for £13500 should cost £675.

    If you're on a low income you can get remission or part-remission of the fee
  • What method of payment did you use?
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,412
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    m22kk56_2 said:
    Hi all. Letting off steam and keen for any constructive advice. 

    I bought a used car for £13.5k. Within three weeks of buying it there was a fault and I attempted to reject it. I have legal advice, which says I have a very, very strong case that the seller should have accepted my request for full refund. For the sake of arguement here, let's just assume my case is cast iron. 

    My solicitor advised that due to the legal system, even with a cast iron case, I might end up paying £5-£20k in legal costs, and if I win I might get 60% back from the other side. That might leave me with a bill of £2k - £8k...how can that be right if I am the "victim" here...???

    I can't use the Small Claims Court as the value is too high, but the next option is so complex that it forces me to seek legal support and potentially running up this massive bill that I won't get back. All options to resolve with the seller have failed so solicitor is saying either risk going to court, or let it go. 

    How can any of this be fair for the consumer? If I have been wronged, surely the law should protect people like me and put me back in the financial position I was in before I bought the faulty item. Including refunding me any necessary legal costs. 

    I am placed in a seriously risky position where I could win a case but spend thousands doing so, and surely this discourages consumers from taking on cases...? 

    Really keen to hear from anyone in a similar position, what did you do and was it worth it? 





    You have taken legal advice and I would expect that the Solicitor would have explained alternative routes for seeking a resolution before pursuing legal action.  No-one in an internet forum can give more advice, certainly not more specific and appropriate advice, than the Solicitor who has far more detail on the case.

    There is far too little information for us to comment - all we have from the post is that you bought a car for £13.5k, the car has a fault and you attempted to reject the car.  If we are to try to assist, can you give more information:
    1. What type of car plus how old and mileage?
    2. What is the fault?  Not every fault on a used car is grounds for 
    3. Who did you buy the car from?  Private / back-street Dealer, Supermarket, Franchise Dealer?
    4. Did the car have a warranty?
    5. Has the Dealer attempted to fix the fault?
    6. Why has the rejection been refused?
    7. How did you pay for the car?  Deposit?  Final payment?  Finance?
    8. When did you buy the car?  Have you had use of the car in that time?
    9. Before considering legal action, what would you actual losses be if you sold the car today to WBAC?
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,093
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 9:16PM
    fatbelly said:
    Starting a claim for £13500 should cost £675.

    If you're on a low income you can get remission or part-remission of the fee
    Normally over £10k there is a different process on how the court handles the claim.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,229
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    If over 10k and you are applying for remission you can't use mcol. Fee is still 5% though, which starts the process


  • Right to reject is one option, other is seeking a price reduction or damages.

    How much would it cost to fix the fault? 
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,795
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    I can only assume your case isn't cast iron, or even very very strong.  Why would there be a legal bill of £5k to £2Ok for such a strong case?  And why might you only get 60% back on a car rejected within three weeks of purchase?   I'm sure your solicitor is far more knowledgeable than me, but it doesn't sound right.
  • k12479
    k12479 Posts: 701
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    m22kk56_2 said:
    I bought a used car for £13.5k. Within three weeks of buying it there was a fault and I attempted to reject it....How can any of this be fair for the consumer?
    Because the alternative - people entitled to a full refund due to anything and everything that might crop up after a sale, regardless of cause or age or condition of the goods, would result in higher prices for everyone.
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    would one option be to get the car repaired so there is no longer a fault and then claim using the small claims procedure for the cost of the repair which hopefully will be less than 10K?
  • Thanks for all the comments, but you have all missed the point I am trying to make. Ignore the car, and ignore the purchase price for a minute. I'm asking a much more general question. 

    Let me ask it another way. If you have exhausted all resolution options and your solicitor advises you that court action is now the only solution. They are extremely confident we will win, but they advise it will cost £5k - £20k in court costs and solicitor fees. The range provided depends on how vigorously the other side attempt to defend their position, which could see our costs nearer the £20k estimate. They reckon the most people get awarded by the courts (if they win their case) is around 60% of this...

    So I wanted to ask why we live in a world where consumers are faced with being seriously out of pocket (win or lose) if a seller decides to ignore consumer law. To my simple mind, the court should insist on putting the consumer back to the position they were in before buying the faulty item so ALL costs should be covered. My question is about fairness in our right to redress (where small claims or money claim service cannot be used)


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