When you purchase a car or vehicle from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that it should be of satisfactory quality.
For a used vehicle, this means it should be in the condition expected of a car of its age and the price you paid, including it having all relevant documents such as the log book and the service history or MOT documents.
The vehicle should also be the same as any sample or model that you were shown, match the sellers description, and be fit for any purpose you made known to the trader. For example, if you asked for a car that can tow a trailer, but the connection does not work properly then you could argue that the car is not fit for purpose.
What can I do?
Less than 30 days – If it has been thirty days or less since you bought the vehicle and you do not believe that it was of satisfactory quality at the time of purchase, then you could be entitled to return it to the trader for a full refund. This is called your ‘short-term right to reject’.
You may have to prove to them that the vehicle wasn’t of satisfactory quality at the time of sale. You should be refunded within 14 days of the vehicle being returned to the trader and by the same method that you paid, for example if you paid in cash then you should normally expect a cash refund.
More than 30 days – If more than thirty days have passed since the purchase, you can also ask the trader to repair the vehicle or provide you with a like-for-like replacement, and they should do this within a reasonable period, without causing you any significant inconvenience.
If it is not possible for the trader to repair or replace the vehicle, then you can decide to keep it and ask for a discount, or return it to the trader for a refund. If you ask the trader for a repair or replacement within the first six months of purchasing the vehicle, then it falls to the trader to prove that it was not faulty when they sold it to you.
After this 6-month period, it falls to the you to prove otherwise. You are only required to give the trader one opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle.
If a repair by the trader fails, or you discover that the replacement vehicle is also faulty then you can decide whether to give the trader another opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle, or whether you want to return it for a refund. This is called your ‘final right to reject’.
Again, in this instance, you should be refunded within 14 days of the vehicle being returned to the trader and by the same method that you paid.
Most reputable car dealerships will understand your consumer rights and should work with you to resolve the issue.
consumeradvice.scot provide free, practical, and impartial advice and information to Scottish citizens on a range of consumer-related topics, including your next steps if the car dealership does not address your concerns.
For more information, you can visit www.consumeradvice.scot or call 0808 164 6000 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).