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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Bought a 2nd hand car advertised on EBay the car was advertised

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Bought a 2nd hand car advertised on EBay the car was advertised as being 1 owner, company owned, the car was advertised as having a fault i.e. 'Sloppy gearbox possibly selector problem which I accepted as a fault. The seller described the car as being sold on behalf of the 1 company owner. I asked the seller if the car is/has been damaged or been subject to insurance claim the seller responded that the car had not been damaged and had not been subject to insurance claim.

The car being 1 company owner from new and being sold on behalf of the company gave me the confidence that the car was right, I made an offer of £1750 for the car that was accepted, I collected the car, checked out the described fault with the gearbox, the seller had the complete V5C with the 1 owner company still named as the registered keeper, the seller informed me he worked for the company and it was a part of his role to sell on the companies used vehicles and I accepted this as the V5C had not been sold to the seller the V5C was still 100% intact, I drove that car home, on arriving home the car had a very bad oil and coolant leak, I did not dare use the car further and a few days later I had the car checked out by a mechanic who found the car's engine oil and coolant fluids had been overfilled beyond the manufacturers recommended maximums, the mechanic then checked the engine for possible areas of leak and found on the underside of the engine block to have 2 large clumps of epoxy resin stuck to the engine very near to the sump (in the mechanic's opinion the car had major damage and the resin had been used to disguise/temporary repair cracks in the cars engine block) this damage had not been detailed in the cars sale description.

I informed the seller within 4 days of arriving home and wrote to the 1 owner company MD informing them of the oil & coolant leak and informing them of the findings of the mechanic and that I felt they had deceived me regarding the car state and that the car had major damage they had attempted to disguise. I informed them that I wished to reject the car and required my money back and for the deceit I required £300 compensation or because I had received the new V5C I was prepared to keep the car if they refunded me £1500 in cash back because at this stage I have no idea if the cracked engine can be repaired and if it can be repaired how much it will cost and if the cost of the repair is so high the car will have to be scrapped.

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

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi, want to tAke the matter further and respond to company who clearly in my opinion


knew the car was badly damaged yet sold it on privately to deliberately decive.


So how can I help with this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you advise my case and if they continue to deny what chance i have making small claim?

Sorry if I'm missing the point but why do you seek £300 in compensation? What loss have you suffered amounting to £300?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

compensation because they deliberately deceived, loss of use, parts bought, time cleaning interior took me 4 days, disress to me and my family.

I am really sorry but you cannot claim compensation for distress in the UK. You do not have a claim for £300.

On the misrepresentation point, how was the condition of the car actually described?

In fairness, this is a fault that may not have been caused by damage or anything giving rise to an insurance claim. What did he say about the general condition of the car?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok accept cannot claim compensation. When I collected the car the full service history was not with the car and I was informed it would be sent to me but it has not yet been received, I have received bills for repairs to car this year.


Car advertisement:


Selling on behalf of our Company had this from New

Just spent over £3000 this year on new turbo and Service all bills will be provided

Gearbox but is a bit sloppy might be a quick fix or new box we have had a price of £225 plus fitting so £575 in total if it is the gearbox still ok to drive.

78421 miles from new all round in good order

Open to offers.

Good cheap car welcome to view'



Was any part of that untrue?

If not, did he say anything during your negotiations that was untrue or misleading?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

this part is untrue 'all round in good order', there was no mention of the major damage to engine block.


I asked by message: if the car is has not been damaged or subject to an insurance write off!


seller replied by message:Car has not been damage and it is taxed and tested. Loads of paper work for this car.


It has later transpired despite the seller informing me he worked for the company and knew about the company, the seller text me after I complained to him and informed me he does not work for the company and bought the car off the company to sell on! but he had the whole of the cars registration document V5C so I had no reason to suspect otherwise.


But surely there isn't evidence that it was damaged? This is just a fault?

Thats not to say there aren't other options.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the evidence I and the mechanic felt is the epoxy resin stuck to the engine block to seal the cracks next to the new oil sump that was replaced in March 2013 according to one of the invoices they gave me refers to 'sump badly dented' and a new sump fitted.

What other options do I have?


You can sue in misrepresentation but you will have to rely on the use of the words 'all round good order'.

The fact that he said there was no 'damage' isn't necessarily misleading. That is not the same thing as saying there was no fault unless you can show that this particular fault was caused by damage. I suppose you could try to argue there was an implication. Its always easier to bring this claim with overt statements rather than implications though.

'All round good order' might assist you though. Obviously that doesn't mean that the car must be entirely problem free but it does imply that it will not have any major faults at the time of sale.

If you went to court over this you could claim recession of the contract and a refund in full.

The Court may decide to award only the dimunition value between the sum the car would have ben worth with this fault and and the sum that you paid although, in fairness, you only had it for a short time before this became apparent so thats not likely.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does it help my case - this company is selling its vehicles off using this seller (sellers EBay account refers to at least 1 other vehicle he has sold on behalf of this company, I have copy of advert), the company did not in this case and others I suspect legally comply with the law in that they failing to notify DVLA of transfer ownership, I only purchased the car because it was company owned and maintained and had it been advertised by private seller or motor dealer I would not have touched it? so are they a willing party to deceive?

It doesn't really go to that point but you could try to argue that they are really commercial sellers trying to hide behind the protection of caveat emptor by pretending to be a private seller.

If you succeeded the advantage of that would be that the Sale of Goods Act would apply.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What should I do re further action should I write to them any advise how I should word any letter to the company?
I wouldn't worry too much about what you say to the company. Whatever you say they are never going to agree.

Just write to them asking for a refund on grounds of misrepresentation and making the point that you believe them to be bound by the SGA. Give them 28 days to pay and make clear you will sue if they do not.

They will not.

If they do not, sue them here

You might as well try to argue the SGA applies as an insurance option if misrep fails.
Jo C. and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jo, letter appears to have worked and they have offered me full refund but want me to take car back (170 miles), but I honestly do not feel the car is safe to drive, am I legally able to request they come to pick up the car?
Thats fantastic.

You could ask them to collect. If the breach is theirs then they should collect really.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Jo, will get back in touch and inform them to collect as soon as possible as I am out of the country on holiday after the 15/9 and want rid before that.
No problem.

All the best.