What are my chances of claiming against the dealer who sold me a faulty Jaguar XJ?

I bought a 2012 Jaguar XJ for £15,500 from a small dealer and it had done 111,000 miles. Took it for a service and cam belt (which I knew it would need) and was advised it needed a new gearbox! There was also some contamination in the radiator - which was assumed by the specialist to be one or both of the EGR valves. So total bill to repair in the region of £6000. There was also a gearbox leak and the mechanic topped it up because it was so low. Now, not being too knowledgeable with what I should and shouldn't do, I had the service and cam belt done but left the other issues. I did drive the car for a few hundred miles, before I did enough research to think the dealer might be responsible to repair it and stopped driving it.

We had a bit of communication but the result is he has been to a solicitor (the letter is too good for him) and the crux of his argument is I have carried out works on the car - cam belt/oil top up - and I should have done nothing to it and called him. He also says as I have driven it for a little while knowing the issues that may have caused them/made them worse.

To complicate matters a little further, I part exchanged a car which had an oil leak, which the dealer knew about. However, he said there were other issues and it cost him £2000 to repair and he is going to counter sue.So, my question is really what are my chances in the small claims court, because that is where it looks like it is heading. If it was an older/cheaper car then I think I could stomach it, but for £15,000 I expect a bit more. Any help greatly appreciated.

Asked on 1 January 2017 by David Hagerty

Answered by Honest John
Yes, because the dealer could successfully blame the work you had done on the car for its other problems. And the dealer could argue that he was only ever liable to either fix the car or take it back and refund the money you paid him for it, and if he chose the refund route your case would exceed the Small Claims limit. I'm just telling you how it could pan out. I can't predict which way your case would go. There is a chance you would win.
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