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Old 06 May 2010, 04:40   #1
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Buyers rights on buying a used car

Last week I bought a used Discovery 300tdi. The car was advertised on ebay and was located in Essex. I drove up there on Saturday evening and had a look over it and it seemed fine. Paid the man the money and off I went. It drove fine the 150 miles back to Portsmouth. I drove it again about 40 miles on Monday, then about 250 miles on Tuesday. That's when it all went wrong! Somewhere on the M1 "up north" I broke down. Lots of steam, engine very hot, not good. 3 1/2 hours later (strongly worded letter to recovery company in progress) the car was recovered and taken back to Portsmouth. Under the advice of Pete7 I had it towed up to Crazy John yesterday afternoon. John has just informed me that the engine is basically buggered. The head gasket has gone, causing all manner of other terrible things to happen (pistons 2 and 3 have "picked up" apparently, whatever that means!). The engine apparently is beyond economical repair.

I'm now wondering what rights I have from the seller. It's a bit tricky because I'm not sure "legally" whether hes a trader or not. I suspect he is based on the following:
He has numerous vehicle for sale on ebay
He has a small yard full of vehicles
He told me that buying and selling vehicles is what he does
He has a traders insurance policy with Aviva (7 days free insurance was included. The paperwork from Aviva has "traders name: xxxxx" on the paperwork)
He gave me his card which clearly states the name of his business which is clearly to do with the motor trade.

What we we think - is he a trader or not? If he is, I assume (based on the fact the engine is completely knackered after three days of ownership) that I have some sort of rights here. Someone has told me that legally all traders have to give you a minimum of three months warranty on a car.

Any clarification/advice on the points above would be much appreciated. As you can imagine I'm not very happy at the moment
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Old 06 May 2010, 04:58   #2
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From what I remember traders can give you warranty for free but don't have to, they can't insist you buy the warranty although how you prove they haven't just added to the price is a different matter?

As for comeback on the trader I'm not sure, he seems pretty open in the advert about having the car inspected.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:09   #3
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You'll appreciate this thread brings me great joy!
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:16   #4
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I should also add this bloke is registered on ebay as a business seller. Further reinforcing my thoughts on him being a trader
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:26   #5
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Tricky one. If the vendor was an agent, trader, garage etc, then your rights are pretty solid under the Sale of Goods act. (That being goods being fit for purpose etc).

However, the vendor could be guilty of misrepresentation - either under fraud or negligence. You should probably contact the vendor fairly quickly and it may be worth having a natter with a lawyer beforehand just to check precisely what your rights are in this situation.

I suspect you'll need an independent garage to give you a report on the engine.

What did the advertisement say? Did he use the 'sold as seen' wording?

Establish if the vendor is a trader first of all. If he is, you should be OK....

Hope this helps a little.....
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:27   #6
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whats his ebay reputation like
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:28   #7
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He's a trader without a doubt but if the car was sold without warranty then I believe it only has to be fit for the road when he sells it, ie brakes etc work.
He could have sold it in good faith and hanging an Atlantic off the back has finished it off.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:35   #8
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The Sale of Goods Act should come to your rescue - the car has to be fit for purpose, it clearly wasn't.

Can you have a mate ping him an innocent mail asking if he's a trader? If he confirms by email that he is, then it's another hook to hang him from were you to take it to the Small Claims Court.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:43   #9
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Tim:

Phone consumer direct 08454 04 05 06.

They will know (1) what constitutes a trader and what constituted an enthusiast with a high turn over of cars (2) what rights you have if he is a trader.

My gut feel though is that even if you have rights, you probably will not be able to enforce them easily and will waste a lot of time and effort trying.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:47   #10
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Thanks for the replies chaps.

I've just spoken to a friend of mine is who is training as a barrister and he says its a cut and dry case if this bloke is a trader: if he is, the car clearly isn't fit for purpose and I am entitled to a refund.

Just need to prove he is!
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