Consumer Rights
Second Hand Cars

Consumer Rights and Dodgy Second-hand Car Dealers in England...

So, we had a client who was having a tough time with a second-hand car dealer not honouring their warranty claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Our client had traded in their old two-seater sports car for a larger, second-hand family car, as they had just had a baby and needed more space. Unfortunately, the car broke down within the first few days, with very little mileage on it.

The dealer collected and repaired the car, but it broke down again after just a few hundred more miles. At this point, the dealer started giving our client the run-around, offering to buy the car back but making excessive deductions for wear and tear. They even tried to claim our client's mileage was too high, which was pretty ridiculous considering the miles included the trip from the showroom to their home and the future mileage for recovering the car back to the dealership.

Our client was getting frustrated with the dealership's dodging and ducking, so they reached out to us for help. We were pretty upset about how unprofessional the dealership was being, so we decided to take on the case pro-bono.

We drafted a letter for our client to send to the dealership, reminding them of our client's statutory rights as a customer. The letter had some effect, but the dealership was still arguing about fair wear and tear. They even tried to claim that too much time had elapsed, but that wasn't true since they had attempted a repair in the first seven days.

So, we contacted the dealer principal and started making some reasonable headway in negotiations. However, when it came time to close the situation, the dealer principal became almost irrational in how he handled matters. They put forward an offer that ignored the part exchange vehicle entirely, attempted to reduce the value of the car based on excess mileage, and tried to charge for unseen wear and tear.

The dealership was outright lying about the circumstances of our client's vehicle return, and we couldn't help but wonder how many other customers they had conned over the years. We quickly prepared a letter before action, and once the dealership received it, they suddenly became much more agreeable.

Due to the way they had treated our client, we went for the jugular in regards to the settlement. We managed to settle the case at the top value in Glasses Guide (Blue Book equivalent) less a small mileage fee and the cash price our client paid for the vehicle. The dealership even agreed to collect the vehicle from our client's home, which they had previously refused to do.

Our client was ecstatic with the outcome and even sent us a lovely fruit basket as a thank you gift. It was definitely a win for everyone involved, except for the shady dealership. You can learn more about our how we provide consumer rights assistance by going to Consumer Rights or emailing