Faulty second hand car

My 76yr old dad purchased a car from a None brand car dealer in Birmingham. He drove down from Durham and paid £3295 cash for the car, it only just made it home as the gearbox went. The garage then said they would cover the cost of a repair done by a local garage. He bought the car 20th December 2023 and has just been told (26/03/2024) that a replacement gearbox has to be obtained from Italy and will be 2-3 weeks. He has had no use of the car since the day he bought it and has to reply on other people for hospital appointments, shopping etc and has lost his independence. 

The seller garage refuse to refund the car even though it was not fit for purpose and broke down on the day of purchase and insist that it be repaired via their warranty company. But clearly it’s been 5 weeks and by the time the gear box arrives he will have been without a car for 2 months.

what rights does he have and how would we enforce them given that it’s a independent garage rather than a company that sold the car? 


  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,675
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper

    Just to clarify, is the seller garage in contact with the fixer garage and has definitely authorised the purchase, shipping from Italy and installing the new gearbox?

    Your dad has agreed to a repair. I'm sure it is inconvenient for him but realistically that will probably get the quickest result overall, hopefully with the car fixed by mid February.

    Legally, he can't ask for a refund while the repair is under way unless it would cause him significant inconvenience, whatever that is. However the seller has said 'no', so the only way of enforcing that would be to take them to court. The courts have a delay of at least six months, and of course the seller will order all repair work to stop if a legal challenge is issued so the issue would not be resolved until after the summer!

    All independent garages are owned by somebody, either a limited company or a sole trader. Legally in terms of enforcement there is no difference, since you are dealing with a trader rather than a private seller your rights are the same and the legal process is the same. However there is a risk with all tiny businesses that if you win your case and they owe your dad thousands of pounds they simply won't have the money to pay.

    Another reason to get the car repaired rather than suing them.
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