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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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I have been sold a van that dangerously and completely broke

Customer Question

I have been sold a van that dangerously and completely broke down. The guy selling was using trade plates but claiming a private sale. If that's not enough, through a little luck I have since found out he was in fact pretending to be the owner of the van and although this person and the actual owner clearly know each other he told me his name was the owners name and carried out the sale as this person. He even answered all my integral questions about the vehicle as if he was the owner when in fact he was an imposter. That makes the whole sale built on lies and if I'm not mistaken Fraud? Is this correct and how do I stand to move things forward in th UK please?

I can provide the letter I sent but also have the full contact details for both of the parties involved and 2 photos showing the trade plates, the facebook page pic with the van and even a voicemail recording from the man pretending to be the owner on receipt of my email.

The only reason I worked out that the seller wasn't the person he said he was is becasue I found the right person and called that number.  He knew all about the the van situation but accidently (whilst whispering to another party) said the name of the guy who left the voicemail.  IT was easy to pick up from there and the fact that he did not know about the voicemail left minutes earlier.

Submitted: 2 years ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, it doesn't make it fraud. It makes it a dealer sale which is covered by the sale of goods act. If the vehicle broke down then you would be covered by the SGA if he is a dealer. Proving that he is a dealer is not difficult. You seem able to do that. Your claim would depend on the nature of the fault. Given it broke down quickly within sale it is likely that it would be covered. You only have to show it is not fit for purpose. The remedy is either a refund, repair or exchange. You can choose which remedy unless the seller can prove that one remedy is disproportionately expensive. Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They are trying to maintain it's a private sale.


I can't find evidence of him being an actual vehicle dealer as such but the person conducting the sale has trade plates which belong to his Truckwash facility in Sheffield (presumably). That doesn't mean he doesn't shift vehicles on the quiet using his plates illegally. You can get trade plates if you are a garage or in the 'Motor Trade'. You can't use trade plates to conduct a sale unless you are an actual dealer however. I've read the VTL301 and been in contact with DVLA. They think it's a Police matter through Trading Standards but I don't know how that affects me.


They are now trying to get my home address from a separate email address as they have a warranty repair on the vehicle which has been towed to their garage. They are saying that they have to send me a letter from the garage that states if I do not want repair then I need to remove the vehicle. I know better than to send my details but they have basically ignored my letter.


I gave them a refund deadline of 30/4/15 in my letter.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry, without the full details I don't believe you can effectively help me with this and the above is what CAB in the UK has already suggested so I am already aware of this information.


For that reason I kindly request a refund and thank you for your time.