Can I be found liable if I part-exchange a car that I suspect has faults?

I'm part-exchanging my car for a new one (to a garage). He turned the car on and back off and said his checks were done, but I think there's an issue with the EGR. However, I'm not a mechanic. Do I need to make him aware of that? If I sign the V5 for the new car, he takes my old one as part of the exchange and I drive away — is the deal done? Or can the garage ring me afterwards and say there are issues with the car and they don't want it anymore? Would I then have to give the new car back and take my old one home? Thanks.

Asked on 16 June 2021 by Andrew

Answered by Andrew Brady
In the eyes of the law, it's a private sale (from you to the dealer) – so it's 'sold as seen' and the dealer will have no comeback. That's assuming you haven't deliberately misled the dealer – i.e. by saying it drives without fault when it clearly has an issue. Morally, you might feel better about telling the dealer, and you might get a more positive response if you have to book your new car in for warranty work further down the line (although, as you're buying it from a dealer, you have more rights than he does). Is the car you're trading in the kind of car that the dealer will want on his forecourt? If not, it's probably going straight to auction and he won't be fussed about any faults (although will use it as a reason to chip you on price if you tell him). Ultimately, it's a moral decision.
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