Your basic consumer rights (buying from a dealer)
When you buy a car from a car dealer (also known as traders), the car must be:
If a car doesn’t meet the above criteria you will usually have the right to one of the following:
Buying online or over the phone (from a dealer)
If you buy a car from a trader online or over the phone, you also have the right to a "cooling off" period. This gives you seven working days after the car has been delivered to cancel your order for any reason and get your money back.
Your rights when buying from a private seller
If you buy a car from a private seller you have fewer rights. The car only has to:
Some car traders try to use disclaimers such as "sold as seen", "trade sale only" or "no refund" to restrict your rights. This is against the law and you can report any trader that does this to Consumer Direct, the Government funded consumer advice service. The only exception to this is if the car is sold at auction, as described below.
Your rights when buying at auction
Sellers at auctions can restrict your rights by putting signs up around the car or including information in the auction catalogue such as:
The responsibility for checking a car at auction is yours. However, it is illegal for auction houses to put the wrong vehicle history in the auction catalogue, because this could result in you buying a stolen car. You can report any auction houses you suspect of doing this to Consumer Direct.
Returning a faulty car to a trader
If you discover a fault with a car you’ve bought from a trader, you should contact the trader immediately.
If the trader agrees to deal with the fault, what the trader will offer you will depend on:
The law here is complex and you may need to get advice about whether the trader should offer to repair, replace or refund the car.
Before you buy a car, you should carry out the following checks to reduce the risk of it being faulty or stolen:
Make sure you get a dated sales contract (or, if buying privately, a dated invoice) showing that you've completed the deal and paid the right money. Make sure that all relevant information is shown: your name and address, plus the full details of the car, the agreed purchase price, and any deposits or payments made.
For more information on your consumer rights or any other legal matter visit Dean’s website