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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can I get some guidance please about a used car we bought on

Customer Question

Hi, can I get some guidance please about a used car we bought on Monday?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We bought the car privately after it was advertised online. I viewed the car and agreed a price. The seller did not indicate that the car had been in any kind of accident other than to say his wife had hit the kerb and damaged the wheel trim and the wheel itself, he offered to have a new wheel and tyre fitted. The car was advertised as immaculate and very well looked after.The car was then delivered (thought that was odd) and he only presented the back portion of the V5 to us and signed the vehicle over online.We have now received the new V5 and it transpires that the car is a category c vehicle. I have called him tonight to ask why he didn't disclose and formally request my money back, he claims not to have known it was cat c despite the fact that this was applied to the car in July this year, he claims to have had the car for 3 years yet the V5 shows it changing hands just a month ago.Can you please help! What can I do, this was meant to be a car ultimately for my daughter (first car) and we are very naive about the law etc surrounding this situation.Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Did you specifically ask the seller if it had been in an accident, or was there simply no mention of this at any point?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, there was no mention at all. I admit to being naive and I just didn't ask. He maintains that he didn't know about it at all, but I fail to see how he couldn't know, after all he would have received a settlement from his insurance company for the car and I assume would have had to buy the car back from them to get it repaired ( assuming he really was the owner at the time)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

When a person buys a second-hand vehicle from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a dealer.

In general, there is no legal requirement for the vehicle to be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. Therefore, the buyer will only have rights in the following situations:
• If the vehicle did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions. This would amount to breach of contract or misrepresentation. So the key here is whether the car was advised as having never been on an accident or if you had asked them this question and they confirmed that it hadn't been involved in an accident. Failure to mention anything about this would not be unlawful because the seller would not have made any claims about this issue so it is not like they can be accused of misrepresenting the position
• If the seller broke a specific contractual term – e.g. if they fail to do something they specifically agreed to, for example, fix certain faults or provide an MOT. This is also going to be a breach of contract
• If the seller was actually a dealer posing as a private seller - this is an unfair commercial practice and can even be a criminal offence
• If the vehicle is unroadworthy – this occurs if its brakes, tyres, steering or construction make it unfit for the road. This will also be a criminal offence.

In the first instance, any issues with the vehicle should be resolved directly with the seller. You can also use threats of legal action as a negotiating tool, although I would only recommend formal legal action if you have valid grounds where you can show your situation falls within one of the circumstances listed above.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you must follow if you decide to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.