Can I get refund for a car without a service history?

I bought a second hand Fiat Abarth for £7,500 from a reputable dealer three months ago. The sales person assured me that the car had a full service history, spare key and manual and that they would send it to me by registered delivery over the next couple of days.

I chased it may times over 7 weeks, I was finally told that they had misplaced the documents, and that they had contacted the owner of the company they had purchased the vehicle from asking him to provide the information to be shared with me. I told them that if they didn’t provide me with the service history the car wouldn’t be as valuable and I would want to return it. They arranged for a spare key to be cut.

I have chased several times this year and was told yesterday that they cannot provide the service history. I suggested they refund me some of the value. The sales manager offered me £850, he said that the book price has gone down significantly since I bought the vehicle, and that if I returned the car they would sell it at auction for £5,000.

A friend said the book price hasn’t gone down and he thinks I should accept a minimum of £1,500. What is your advice?

Asked on 7 February 2022 by samk1970

Answered by Dan Powell
The dealer that sold you the car doesn't sound all that reputable to me.

It reads like the dealer has made a catalogue of serious mistakes with the pre-sale preparation of the car - and now it expects you to swallow the cost for their mistakes.

Given that the car clearly doesn't match the description you were given, I would argue that you have grounds to reject the vehicle under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act or ask for a part refund.

If you wish to reject the car for a full refund, the dealer is entitled to make a fair deduction for the usage you've already had from the vehicle. A dealer will usually judge this at 45p-per-mile, but I would negotiate this down to a fairer 25p rate.

Be firm but polite with the dealer. This is a mess of their own making and you shouldn't be expected to carry the cost.

For your consumer rights, see: www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-cons.../
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