Why is it so hard to return a car that has clear issues?

I purchased a secondhand Toyota Yaris hybrid from a Toyota dealer. I was encouraged to take a different Yaris on a test drive due to the car I was buying being trapped at the back of the lot. I agreed to buy the trapped car but after buying it I discovered the cars cosmetic appearance was poor with scratches and the back bumper not clipped onto the car's body. I returned the car and after a lot of negotiations I signed up to buy a Toyota Auris. I signed all the paperwork and paid the difference between the two cars. The dealer wouldn’t just take the car back and I lost money on the deal. Should this main dealer have taken the car back as it was sold in an unsatisfactory condition and given me the full sale price back against the Auris?

Asked on 1 September 2020 by Ian Wright

Answered by Andrew Brady
Unfortunately, the dealer will argue that you should have fully inspected the car's bodywork ahead of buying it (even if that was difficult). The Consumer Rights Act gives you a right to reject the car within the first 30 days if you can prove that it had a significant fault that was present when you bought it. The word 'significant' is key here - a few scratches and an unclipped bumper won't cut it. It costs a dealer a lot of money to take a car back (not only in lost profit but also the cost of preparing it for the forecourt again and it'll be worth less with an extra owner on the V5). This shouldn't necessarily be your issue, but it might explain their reluctance to give you a full refund.

As for the Auris, the 30 days thing sounds odd. If you liked the Yaris so much you wanted to buy another for your partner, would they refuse to sell it to you? I wonder if the salesperson is trying to push it back so it contributes to next month's targets or something. Try taking it up with someone higher up at the dealership.
Tags: dealers refund
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