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Old 06 May 2010, 03:40   #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, 03:58   #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, 04:09   #3
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Old 06 May 2010, 04:16   #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, 04:26   #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, 04:27   #6
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whats his ebay reputation like
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Old 06 May 2010, 04:28   #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, 04:35   #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, 04:43   #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, 04:47   #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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Old 06 May 2010, 04:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave View Post
whats his ebay reputation like
Not as good as it could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
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.
I think your right. Even if it was sold as seen it was in good working order when it was bought.

Did you buy the Landy as part of your business ie its insured for towing, the company paid for it etc.
If so then your rights change. Best bet is to ring trading standards and see what they say.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:22   #12
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Have you got an invoice etc and how is it worded?
You inspected it and paid, so to use your own words you were happy
Did you get any other independent inspection AA RAC ?


Also he could claim that you did the damage by driving it with a water leak etc, which happened after he sold it to you and he's only prepared to pay for the initial water leak as it was your continued driving that caused further damage

Barristers, Solicitors, Accountants allegedly

First meeting your 100% in the right
Second well things could be more difficult
Third it'll be 50/50
Fourth here's my bill and I'd do a deal with them if I was you
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:37   #13
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Barristers, Solicitors, Accountants allegedly

First meeting your 100% in the right
Second well things could be more difficult
Third it'll be 50/50
Fourth here's my bill and I'd do a deal with them if I was you
Jim, you'll not go far in this world if you've only managed to bill for 4 meetings!

I think you make a very valid point about the water level, and I'd hazard a guess that none of us check it as frequently as the owners manual recommends and that will be his get out.
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Old 06 May 2010, 05:45   #14
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Jim, you'll not go far in this world if you've only managed to bill for 4 meetings!

I think you make a very valid point about the water level, and I'd hazard a guess that none of us check it as frequently as the owners manual recommends and that will be his get out.
No he only billed me for 4 meetings
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Old 06 May 2010, 07:27   #15
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Ask for money back, threaten Trading Standards. Don't accept a repair. If he's trade in anyway you have 3mnths warranty. If it were a trade sale, it should've been clearly stated on the invoice.
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Old 06 May 2010, 07:39   #16
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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.
Depends if a receipt states as tried and tested.
been there before .............or sold as seen tried and tested.
the courts at the time when this happened to me said within 24 hours I could have returned the goods......no joy after that.
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Old 06 May 2010, 10:27   #17
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The dealer cannot contract out of the Sale of Goods Act (1979). There is an implied warranty in the act that the goods should be free from minor defects (unless stated), be fit for the purpose intended, and various other implied terms.

'Sold as seen', 'tried and tested' are not a defence and the Small Claims Court would find in Tim's favour (if it's a dealer).

He should alert the vendor quickly to the problem though, the sooner the better.
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Old 06 May 2010, 11:24   #18
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Neil the court will also bear in mind the age and mileage of the car, and the fact that Tim drove nearly 500 miles on it before a fault emerged. I don't think its as clear cut as you would like it to be. I'd also expect them to take into account any claimed service history and what servicing the new owner did to prevent mechanical failure.
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Old 06 May 2010, 11:29   #19
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The dealer cannot contract out of the Sale of Goods Act (1979). There is an implied warranty in the act that the goods should be free from minor defects (unless stated), be fit for the purpose intended, and various other implied terms.

'Sold as seen', 'tried and tested' are not a defence and the Small Claims Court would find in Tim's favour (if it's a dealer).

He should alert the vendor quickly to the problem though, the sooner the better.
The dealer can contract out of Sales of good act if he put "Sold as spares" on the invoice/receipt like one dealer did on a cheap runaround for me.

I suspect Tim that you'll end up going around in circles if the seller doesn't play ball.

Have you contacted him yet? what did he say? He could be a genuine chap just trying to run his business. You won't know till you've contacted him.

Tim, Play on his sympathies if he has any. The most you can expect is a repair or replacement engine. You've driven the car for 440 miles that's about 6 hrs of running and it was fine. This is what he'll say, I doubt you'll get your money back easily.
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Old 06 May 2010, 12:02   #20
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Just being nosey, what mileage has the motor done?
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