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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, My girlfriend bought a used car from a big dealer 4

Customer Question


My girlfriend bought a used car from a big dealer 4 months ago, the car cost £5000 and the car isn't too old maybe 4 years old, Last weekend the car broke down due to there being an oil leak from inside the engine, my girlfriend discovered this after the stop light came on, she immediate called the dealer as she has a 6 month warrenty, she had the car towed to back to the dealer for be fixed, today she had a call from the dealer saying she would have to pay £480 to get the car fixed!! is this right under the sale of goods act?? they say it is fair wear and tear but i don't see how £480 worth of damage can be fair wear and tear after just 4 months of use.


Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Hi Stu,


No, it's not right and you should not have to pay it.


The law states that up until 6 months after the sale of the vehicle, it's up to the dealer to prove that the fault wasn't there when he sold it to the purchaser. This is called the "Reversed Burden of Proof". They will know this (or should) and you can cite it to them if they claim "it's your fault"


If you have bought from a dealer in the course of his business then the Sale of Goods Act 1979 implies certain terms in to your contract with the dealer for the purchase of the car.


Go back to them, state that the car is not of a satisfactory quality under s14(2) of Sale of Goods Act 1979 and that she is entitled to ask for it to be repaired at their cost, not hers


If they are not compliant you should also tell them you will contact Trading Standards,, and Retail Motor Industry Federation (if they are a member,


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Thomas and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks Tom :)

although when I got home my girlfriend told me she has already told them to start work as they'd stripped the car down! argh! and she is afraid they will keep hold of her car if she kicks up a fuss.

is there anything we can do now that the work is being done?


Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Hi Stu,


That's not really a huge problem - her rights still subsist. She can just state that she was not aware of her rights. She should refer them to the above immediately and state that if they disagre then they should cease the work until the issue is resolved.


Thanks for your kind accept.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Tom,

Just an update, she went back - they had already completed the work. I had given her a letter with everything on it saying about the Sale of Goods Act etc.. and how she wanted a free repair or we'll pursue it further, well they dropped their fee down to £100 which she paid to get her car back. so i guess that's something.

not sure if we should continue or just leave it now.

anyway just an update.


Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Hi Stu.


Well, you could still sue citing that she was flustered etc etc in to accepting the money off. It's not something that you should instruct a solicitor over obviously - you can do it very easily through


It can be time-consuming though and I personally would write it off (and I'm a solicitor)unless you consider there's any great principle at stake.


Treat it as a learning experience - always take advice before doing anything in consumer issues.


Kind regards