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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 68705
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I bought a land rover with 12 months MOT but Im in the process

Resolved Question:

I bought a land rover with 12 months MOT but I'm in the process of appealing to VOSA to get the MOT looked into as it clearly shouldn't have passed. There are a total of 13 failures my local mot centre have found with the vehicle, two of them being so bad they have advised me not to drive it. The main reason I bought the vehicle was because of the 12 months MOT, which I am certain VOSA will revoke. It is less than 28 days since the MOT, although five of the failures are on the chassis which I have 3 months to appeal anyway.
If I make a claim to get my money back from the seller, would I stand a good chance, or would I have to pursue the MOT testing station?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Sorry for the delay. There are site problems.

Was this a private sale or a dealer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, yes, unfortunately it was a private seller.
I believe that if I can get the MOT quashed, as such by VOSA, then, in theory at least, when I bought the car, it did in fact not have 12 months MOT, as stated and was therefore advertised incorrectly.

Also, if the appeal is upheld, the car would have been in an un roadworthy condition at the time of sale and, if I am correct, then the seller has committed an offence under the road traffic act.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Proceeding on the basis that it is a void MOT you could try to argue that this was an innocent misrepresentation but its not the best point if I'm wholly honest. The chances of actually getting your money back on the car are fairly low. What the court might do is order the diminution value between the price you paid and the price it was worth without an MOT.

Also, you can only recover your losses once so you may well be better off suing the MOT centre in negligence if they passed a car that should have failed.

Since you have to prove that the MOT was void anyway, you may as well sue the MOT testing centre.

This car may very well be inadequate to pass the MOT. That does not mean its unroadworthy. There is no specific definition of 'unroadworthy' vehicles in the RTA. Its a general impression given from certain failings. In a nutshell it is unroadworthy if its use would cause danger. That might be reached here but its not reached just because it should have failed its MOT. If you can show its unroadworthy then he would commit an offence under the RTA in selling it to you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the reply.

Two of the MOT failures that have been picked up are potentially dangerous, one being a problem with the suspension on the rear of the car, the other with one of the front wheels having seriously worn components. These points alone I believe are sufficient for him to have committed an offence under the RTA.

The seller in a phone conversation admitted to "tightening" this loose wheel, so knew of an underlying problem with the front wheel.

I am in the process of contacting the previous owner, the one the seller bought the car off only four months ago, to find out if at the time he bought the car, he was aware of any problems that were not fixed by him and simply covered over. This could give me more evidence that he sold me an un roadworthy car. If I can prove this, I believe I could also pursue him under the misrepresentation act which in turn, could result in any "contract" between us being undone.

I would much rather try and get my money back from the person I bought the car from, as I believe him to be a very dishonest person, however, I am more than willing to go after the MOT tester.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I was just thinking about this from a procedural point of view.

You would have to prove that the MOT was improper anyway. Its not likely to be admitted just for the asking by the testers. You may have to go into court to do that. If you are going into court anyway against them you may as well recover from them.

its quite likely they would settle as they will not want VOSA looking into this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Assuming when VOSA look at the car and deem the MOT was issued when, in fact it shouldn't have been, that would be enough proof for the courts.
It is I believe an offence to sell an un roadworthy vehicle and on this evidence I strongly believe that is exactly what occurred.

Whether or not the seller knew that or not again I believe is not important (ignorance of the law being no defence). The important point being that the offence was committed and I would be entitled to compensation.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, if VOSA are prepared to go that far then it would.

Sale of an unroadworthy car is an offence but bear in mind that isn't as simple as showing that it should have failed the MOT.

It is quite a high test to show that the car is unroadworthy.

The better claim is in misrepresentation on the basis that the MOT was void.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thank you. One last point, is it possible to put a claim in against both the seller for misrepresentation and the MOT centre for negligence? I'm not sure how the law works you see!!


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Oh yes, you can sue both of them but you can only claim compensation once for the actual losses sustained.

It depends what you want to achieve. If you want a full refund and to return the car then gather the evidence from VOSA, prove the car is unroadworthy and pursue the seller.

If you just want the cost of an MOT or the diminution value then pursue the MOT company.

It also depends on your evidence as to what you can prove.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 68705
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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