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If a car was registered to someone before me - can I reject the car and have my deposit back?

I put down a deposit on a car from a main dealer, but he now says I have to wait a few weeks for the logbook to arrive. Can I have my deposit returned?

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Yes, if the vehicle was registered to someone else before you, this is an illegal sale and there is actually a County Court ruling:

The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, is derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003. This reverses the burden of proof so that if goods go faulty within six months after purchase it is deemed they were faulty at the time of purchase and the trader has the onus of proving that the item is not defective due to a manufacturing defect. See: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023045.htm/ This gives more teeth to the judgement in Bowes v J Richardson & Son

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations May 2008 (CPRs) incorporate The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 and contain a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices and, in particular prohibitions against misleading actions, misleading omissions and aggressive commercial practices. The Regulations are enforceable through the civil and criminal courts. See These create an offence of misleading omissions which would not previously have been an offence if the consumer had not asked the right questions. So if a salesman knows a car has, for example, been badly damaged and repaired and does not tell the customer, he could later be held liable if the customer subsequently discovered that the car had been damaged and repaired.

A recent case precedent over Misleading Omissions under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008/1378 was Regina (House of Cars) v Derby Car and Van Contacts Ltd, Derby Crown Court before HHJ Burgess on 12-6-2012, covered here: Regina (House of Cars) v Derby Car and Van Contacts Ltd In this case the purchaser had been sold a car as new when it had been pre-registered to a fleet, and remained registered to that fleet, putting the purchaser in breach of Section 43c of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 because he was using the car on the road but was not the registered keeper.
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