I bought a 2003 Range Rover that's not fit for purpose. Why is my only option to go to court?

Three weeks back, I purchased a 2003 Range Rover with a new MoT. Advisories were a slight leak on transfer box and mileage unreadable through failing pixels. The dealer 200 miles away refused to communicate by telephone or emails. I sent him a recorded letter supplying all faults and a not fit for purpose complaint. Citizens Advice and Trading Standards can only recommend I refer the case to the Small Claims Court - which means I must present the case in legal jargon plus a £400 upfront fee. Does the public have no recourse to these overwhelming numbers of dodgy car dealers?

Asked on 26 October 2020 by Bruce Dibben

Answered by Georgia Petrie
Rejecting a car for a full refund should be a last resort as it's s a time-consuming, stressful, expensive process - and the dealer is unlikely to want to do this so stay civil with them if you can. If they won't respond to you, or they do but still can't fix it, it'll make a stronger case in the long run if you do go via a legal route to get your money back.

Onto the rejection, if the dealer refuses to accept your rejection of the car, then consider contacting the Motor Ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman. If you've already contacted Citizen's Advice and Trading Standards then, unfortunately, the final route is court - but it can be very costly and there's no guarantee you will win even with a solicitor. But if all else fails, that's the option you're left with.

You also have to bear in mind the car you bought is 17 years old, so it will also depend on whether you bought the car knowing that it had these advisories.
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