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I've bought a faulty Hyundai Coupe privately - do I have any consumer protection?

I bought a 2003 Hyundai Coupe 2.7 privately. The car was described as having an occasional misfire but still driving fine. When I collected the car all seemed well, the seller agreed to meet me at the railway station with the car and when I got there the car was cold, and had obviously stood there overnight. On starting the car ran perfectly and the seller ensured me the car was perfect and the misfire fault had not appeared when he used the car a day earlier. He also said that the fault had never been more than a slight judder at 3000rpm, and he had just used it anyway. I checked the engine, there were no warning lights or anything else to worry about. The car had passed an MOT with no advisories three weeks earlier, so I was happy with its condition.

I paid the seller in cash but got no receipt, and he gave me the V5c which is in his name and with his address. He then quickly left. I had started the car and left it running for about 15 mins, and when I drove away the car managed 250 yards and became undriveable. It misfired all the time and would not pull at all, then died. I rang the seller straight away but his phone just rang and rang. I then left a message for him, then two more and a text message, so he then turned the phone off and refused to speak to me.

We called breakdown recovery and five hours later arrived home. The recovery driver confirmed the car had an ECU or fuel system fault, that the car would drive fine when cold, but once at temp, the car would not drive. I have some emails from the seller which state the car is fine, and I also have the advert. I know he has ripped me off, and deliberately hidden the fault, but do I have any come back against him?

Asked on 16 August 2010 by elijahthedragon

Answered by Lucy
If this was a private sale the rule of Caveat Emptor - buyer beware - nearly always applies. It is up to you to thoroughly check the vehicle and satisfy yourself as to its condition. If it was a trade sale and/or the person concerned can be shown to be a regular (if part time) dealer in motor vehicles then you may have a legitimate claim against him.
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