A dealer lied about the condition of a car I bought. What do I do?

When I bought a used car recently, I asked about the MOT and was told it was done on the 7 October. I then asked about advisories and was told it had none. The car is three years old with 9750 miles and described "LIKE NEW CONDITION". However, I've found out the car has two advisories for pitting and scoring of the brake discs. I asked the dealer, without success, if he will bring the car up to an acceptable standard with a clean MOT. Do I have a strong enough case to push this matter further?

Asked on 28 October 2020 by pet1

Answered by Georgia Petrie
If you were told the car had no MoT advisories and it did, that's misselling. Your consumer rights mean that you have what's called the 'early right to reject'. This states that you have a legal right to reject a vehicle that doesn't meet the specified standards within 30 days, however, the advisories you mention are unlikely to fall under this category. Under the Consumer Rights Act, cosmetic issues or minor faults aren't usually reasons to reject a vehicle. These sorts of issues should be dealt with under warranty if you have one. My advice would be to firstly escalate the issue as high as you can in hopes it gets resolved so you can avoid any legal action. Legal action is costly, time-consuming and stressful with no guarantee you'll win.

Write to both the dealer principal and send your letter by Post Office Special Delivery so you get receipts for them and your letters become matters of record - which can't be denied.

In addition, I don't personally think that's worth the hassle and money of rejecting a vehicle - but that's your choice, you'll have to take into account how much the process could cost you in comparison to paying for fixing the issue(s) yourself. My advice would be to remain civil with the supplying dealer. If they refuse to fix the issue free of cost, I would potentially threaten to reject the vehicle. Also, get in touch with Trading Standards and/or the Motor Ombudsman about the issue.

If the dealer refuses to budge still, you either have to cut your losses or escalate the situation even further. If you were to take this further via a legal route, the best chance of winning a case would be to have the original advert describing the condition falsely, as well as the dealer saying the car had no advisories in writing. Be very clear about what's wrong and what your ideal outcome would be. Verbal promises are worthless because you have no proof of anything. A judge wouldn’t simply accept your word over a dealer’s and would ask you to present evidence to back up your claim. If I were in your position, I would speak to Citizen's Advice about how to pursue the matter further, they'll be able to offer advice about next steps.

Here are your full consumer rights: www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-cons...s
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