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Any consumer rights on private purchase?

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FlorayG
FlorayG Posts: 109 Forumite
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Just curious, really. If a person buys a car (or anything else) from a private individual and it has faults which were present but not seen by purchaser, do they actually have any rights regarding that, or is it clearly caveat emptor?
I've bought a few things in the past that turned out to be duds (thankfully, none were massively costly) and just shrugged my shoulders and fixed or binned them
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  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
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    Hello OP

    For a private sale the goods need to match their description but the seller isn't required to point out any issues.

    So "car" could mean anything, "like new car" that implodes 2 miles down the road you may have come back. "4 good tyres" and they are all bald again you may have come back.

    Cars should also be "roadworthy" when sold but I'm not sure what that entails exactly, others may advise better. 
    In the game of chess you can never let your adversary see your pieces
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,998 Forumite
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    Consumer rights laws apply specifically to contracts between a trader and a consumer. Both terms are defined in the legislation.
    A trader does not have to be a company. A private individual is a trader if the goods or services they are selling are within the scope of their trade or profession. The test of a seller is often whether he is selling his own personal goods which he no longer wants or is buying stock specifically to sell on.

    Even with a genuinely private sale the buyer does have contractual rights. For example, the seller must have good title to the goods (you can't sell stuff as yours which are owned by someone else such as things you have hired or not fully paid for) and the goods or services must be as described.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,719 Forumite
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    Would the faults have been obvious to the vendor assuming they were not a trained mechanic?  I've had advisories at MOT with various cars over the years and when they refer to anything more technical than the tyres I wouldn't have the faintest idea what or where the part is, or what effect it may have on the car when driven.  Therefore I could sell the car months later believing everything is OK, having genuinely forgotten the 'advisory'.  A potential purchaser can see the MOT history anyway and could raise questions if they wished.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,998 Forumite
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    edited 11 July at 12:32PM
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    Cars should also be "roadworthy" when sold but I'm not sure what that entails exactly, others may advise better. 
    Good point.

    But it's not consumer rights law, it's the Road Traffic Act.

    Section 75 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence for anyone – a dealer or a private seller – to supply a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,353 Forumite
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    FlorayG said:
    Just curious, really. If a person buys a car (or anything else) from a private individual and it has faults which were present but not seen by purchaser, do they actually have any rights regarding that, or is it clearly caveat emptor?
    I've bought a few things in the past that turned out to be duds (thankfully, none were massively costly) and just shrugged my shoulders and fixed or binned them
    It is mostly "caveat emptor" and the exceptions are hard to pursue in a private sale / purchase.

    Irrespective of rights, the age and price of the car purchased is relevant because expectations have to be matched to the nature of the car purchased.
  • FlorayG
    FlorayG Posts: 109 Forumite
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    I'm not talking specifically about cars only, although obviously cars are the worst...just consumer rights generally. 
    I mean for genuine private sales of something that belongs to the vendor and they no longer want, not any kind of trader
  • stu12345_2
    stu12345_2 Posts: 1,165 Forumite
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    edited 11 July at 2:33PM
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    they must be as described, eg a blue coat must be blue, not red when you get it, a car must be 2000 not 2001 model.when you get it 


    it must also perform as expected, eg you buy a lawnmower to cut grass, you get it home and it won't cut properly, hence it isnt performing as expected 

    I was told if you are selling a car privately , do not state , eg starts first time,, no leaks, rattles or  noises cos the buyer can hold you to that.
    just state, year, make, model, colour and length of mot.
    pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
  • Okell
    Okell Posts: 1,132 Forumite
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    ... it must also perform as expected, eg you buy a lawnmower to cut grass, you get it home and it won't cut properly, hence it isnt performing as expected...
    Is that true of private sales?  Or is it up to the buyer to enquire of the seller?
  • Arunmor
    Arunmor Posts: 211 Forumite
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    I was told if you are selling a car privately , do not state , eg starts first time,, no leaks, rattles or  noises cos the buyer can hold you to that.
    just state, year, make, model, colour and length of mot.
    If you only give the minimum information don't expect buyers to be flocking to your door and don't expect a decent price either.  If you are selling something you want the best price and to do that you must make the offer enticing.  Just don't lie.
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,449 Forumite
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    Alderbank said:

    Cars should also be "roadworthy" when sold but I'm not sure what that entails exactly, others may advise better. 
    Good point.

    But it's not consumer rights law, it's the Road Traffic Act.

    Section 75 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence for anyone – a dealer or a private seller – to supply a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition.

    Unless the seller makes it clear to the buyer that it's not roadworthy, and the buyer shouldn't attempt to drive it away.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
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