There are two possibilities:-

Private sale, Consumer to Consumer

Very little you can do. It is very much down to the buyer to fully inspect the vehicle and do any required research.

  • Check with DVLA to see if it is stolen or a write off.
  • Run an HPI check.
  • See if the seller will agree to an independent check by AA or RAC.
  • Ask to see all receipts for work done.
  • Ask for full service history.

If you discover having bought the vehicle that the seller has blatantly lied or failed to divulge something, this can be very hard to prove as it is essentially his word against yours.

Business to Consumer

This area of law is covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 Part 5A.

You can require the seller to:

  • Replace the goods.
  • Repair the goods.
        Within a reasonable period.
        At a reasonable cost
  • Require the seller to reduce the price.

Or you can rescind the contract. It still makes sense to run the same checks as in a private sale and ask for the same documentation.

Most dealers and businesses will be aware of their obligations and the remedies available to the consumer.

  • Try some gentle persuasion.
  • Try renegotiating.
  • Get a copy of your complaint in writing.
  • Paying by credit card may give extra remedies such as insurance.
  • Paying by cheque may allow you to cancel the cheque if the goods are released before the cheque clears.

A business cannot insert a clause in a contract refusing to repair or replace goods it has supplied. See generally Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 Part II