Car Buyer Rights- Top tips to get the dealership to act
Is the dealership unwilling to help? Not sure of you rights or what to do?
The following guide will show your options from a legal perspective and more importantly top tips from our expert in getting the dealerships to resolve your issues without having to go through the stress of anything leal.
What are your rights as a car buyer?
If you buy a new or used car from a car dealership and experience problems with it, you have some statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
- The Consumer Rights Act 2015 clearly states that the car must be “of a satisfactory quality”, “fit for purpose” and “as described”. (For a used car, “satisfactory quality” takes into account the car’s age and mileage).
- You have the right to REJECT your car within 30 days it is faulty and request a refund. Please note after 30 days you lose your rights and can only request a repair, replacement or partial refund.
- You MUST prove the fault is not typical wear and tear and check your warranty agreement should you have one with the dealer. GET a second opinion from a 3rd party garage.
- What a dealership will do to help really depends who you buy from, this is why research and reviews pre purchase are so important
- You WONT be entitled to a refund if you were told about the fault prior to the purchase
- Check your sales invoice or advert. If it says "SOLD AS SEEN "you will have minimal rights if there are issues later on.
What are your options?
If your attempts to find an amicable agreeement with a dealership have failed then the below should outline what you can do next.
Carbuco top tips to get the dealerships to act
We recommend that these options should be taken up if you have hit a brick wall and have been unable to get the help of the dealership.
- Reject the car using the Consumer Rights Act in writing. Make sure this is dated.
- Get all contact and complaints in writing. Document any offers made the dealership.
- Go online and leave a review. Stick to the facts. Be honest. Share your story. Do not write anything defamatory or libellous.
- Check your sales pack. Contact the warranty company directly.
- Did you take out finance? If the answer is yes then contact them immediately. It is in their best interest to help you. They may leverage their relationship with a dealership to resolve your issue.
- Did you use your Credit Card during your purchase? If the answer & you paid all or part of the cost of your car by credit card, the card company and the trader might be jointly responsible for compensating you under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
- Try a new tool online that is recommend by The Ombudsman, they can help you reaise an official complaint. https://www.resolver.co.uk/complaints/motoring-complaints
- You could go to another garage to have your car repaired. You would then send the invoice to the dealership or warranty. WARNING. This is a high risk strategy as the dealership & warranty may reject settling the bill.
Citizens Advice. Online free advice helps you find a way forward, whatever the problem.
- Offer impartial advice
- Explain your options from a legal perspective
- Help you understand your next move
If you think a car dealership has broken the law or acted unfairly you maybe able to report them to Trading Standards. Examples below:
- Misled into buying a vehicle or related product
- Sold an unsafe or dangerous car
- Work carried out was unsafe or dangerous
- You were pressurised into your purchase
- Sold a car that was unroadworthy
The Motor Ombudsman is a government backed, self regulatory body for the motor industry.
- Check they are signed up
- Contact the dealership to offer the chance to resolve
- Visit Ombudsman knowledge base
- Download case creation to lodge complaint
What if the warranty company refuses to help
A warranty agreement provides cover for the unexpected failure of your car and is often on an initial 3 months term if provided by a dealership.
- If the warranty company are refusing to pay up to fix your car within the agreed term they maybe in breach of contract.
- You must be able to prove that the car was sold with the issues prior to purchase
- Send a letter in writing asking that they take action
- Dont let them run down the clock on your claim. Always date your letters from the start of your claim to each communication with the dealership or warranty company.
If all else fails
It's not for the faint hearted, but often taking a dealership to a small claims court maybe your best course of action. Be prepared as this maybe costly and time consuming.
- If you took out finance, this company or broker maybe able to support you making a claim
- Make sure you have kept a log of all conversations in writing with the dealership. It will help your case. Try to keep it in writing so there is an audit trail to avoid their word vs yours.
- When you have no option but to accept that a dealership will not resolve your issues then make sure you warn others. This maybe a review that you can share across your social media page. Remember to stick to the facts and do not leave any comments that could be seen as defamatory or libelous.