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bought a dud car - how to get money back?

in Motoring
19 replies 2.2K views
ali-tali-t Forumite
3.8K Posts
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Hi, my partner bought a second hand car at the weekend that has turned into a death trap and are now trying to get our money back.

It was advertised online by a car dealer although we didn't buy it from his business premises as he had the car at his house so met him in a neutral venue to view the car etc. We got a handwritten receipt from him, signed off on a compliments slip from his business so it was a business sale rather than a private sale and was advertised as a business seller online (I have a print off of the online advert).

It seemed ok and test drove ok but neither of us are car experts and things started to go wrong on the drive home. The engine management light came on and we took it to a local garage who said that there are lots of problems with it and ran diagnostics on it to establish what they are - not good.

The man we bought it from is now being difficult and refusing a refund saying he will fix the car - we don't want it fixed we want the money back and believe we are entitled to this as the car is neither roadworthy or fit for purpose.

I have looked at trading standards and CAB and will contact them tomorrow. I have also drafted a letter to send to him outlining our concerns and the outcome we want and will get that posted (recorded delivery?) tomorrow.

We returned the car today but he wasn't at the garage (his mechanic was there who was expecting us to drop the car off so he could have a look at it :mad:) and I have since done a bit of research on the owner who has lots of previous (jail sentence and community service) for ripping off car buyers with substandard cars. Trading standards are aware of him and he seems to go under different names and businesses to avoid detection.

In addition to writing to request a refund, anything else I can do? I am in Scotland if it makes a difference so would go through the sherrif court rather than county court to follow this through.

I would prefer legal options but if anyone has any entertaining suggestions I am open to hearing them as we could do with a smile ....
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
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Replies

  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
    31.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Its normal for engine light to come on with top secret spy cars. Nothing death trap about that.

    Its easy to get a long list of faults on the ECU by having a weak battery.

    Why is it a death trap? Whats wrong with the seller fixing the car?

    What car is it??? Age, Mileage and price?
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • TimayTimay Forumite
    103 Posts
    I thought with it being a dealer sale I believe they are with in their rights to try and fix your car.

    Although to be it seems to be a pretty dodgy deal in the first place. if he is a dealer and its a good car why wouldnt he sell it at his dealership
    Debt
    Barclaycard (0% for 29 months) = £2500
    Barclaycard (0% until September 14) =£476.93
    Barclaycard (0% until October 14) = £390.82
    Barclaycard (0% until May 16) = £105.58
    TOTAL DEBT = 10364 (aim to clear June 16)
  • What's actually wrong with it? You can't tell much from a diagnostic.
  • ali-tali-t Forumite
    3.8K Posts
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    It is badly misfiring, there's noises from the engine that are not positive, the exhaust has a hole in it. It cuts out regularly when driven etc. I'm not car minded so didn't understand most of what the mechanic was explaining. Car was less than £1k and 11 years old. I'm not expecting perfect in a car that old but do expect it to work.

    He said the car wasn't at the dealer premises as his family were using it as a runaround so it was at his home which was where he was that day and closer to where we live.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • maninthestreetmaninthestreet Forumite
    16.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture
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    It does not follow that a car is a 'death trap' just because an engine warning management light is on. Surely at least one of the faults such as misfring, cutting out and strange noises from the engine was apparent when you test drove the vehicle?
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • Horizon81Horizon81 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Renault Clio by any chance? My friend recently p/ex'd one into the trade and was fully upfront about its electrical problems, and random cutting out hence the £150 (scrap value) he accepted for it. The dealer probably paid scrap prices for your car and sold it to you for 500% mark up.
  • ali-tali-t Forumite
    3.8K Posts
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    It does not follow that a car is a 'death trap' just because an engine warning management light is on. Surely at least one of the faults such as misfring, cutting out and strange noises from the engine was apparent when you test drove the vehicle?

    I didn't test drive it but wouldn't have picked up on the noises as being problematic, just assumed it was part of having an old car. It didn't cut out on the test drive - the only journey it has ever functioned well on!

    The faults were all picked up on by the garage we took it to. I wanted it checked out why light had come on before phoning the seller and asking him to rectify. The garage then told us how poor the car is.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • OddballJamieOddballJamie Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Is the garage that looked at it one you trust or just the closest one?
  • shaun_from_Africashaun_from_Africa Forumite
    12.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Timay wrote: »
    I thought with it being a dealer sale I believe they are with in their rights to try and fix your car.

    They can offer to repair the car but as the fault became apparent within such a short time from purchase, the OP has the legal right to reject it and get a full refund if this is what they wish to do.

    When buying anything from a retailer, you have a reasonable time from purchase to examine the items to make sure that they are as advertised and if they are not, you can tell the retailer that you are rejecting the goods and wish for the contract to be cancelled.
  • Horizon81Horizon81 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    So what's the make/model? I know where my money lies.
This discussion has been closed.
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