Q: My daughter bought a second-hand car from a garage in July this year. She paid £8,500 for it, which included the trade-in of her old car. Since getting it, she has had to take it back twice because the front footwells keep filling with water after a heavy downpour of rain. Both times the garage said they could find nothing wrong, and it must be because she doesn’t clear the leaves out of the windscreen gutter. Now it has happened again, and they say they can do nothing more. Can she return the car and demand a refund?
A: The Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers cars purchased after 1st October 2015. If your daughter believes her car is of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose, or not as described, she has a right to return the vehicle and get a full refund. However, this is a short-term right only, limited to 30 days from the date of purchase.
After 30 days, the seller legally has one opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle if there is a problem with it. If the fault appears within the first six months after the purchase date, the law presumes the fault was there at the time of purchase and it is for the seller to prove this was not the case. If the fault develops after the first six months, it is the buyer’s legal obligation to prove it was there at the point of sale.
If the same fault persists and the seller is unable to repair it, or a new inherent fault develops, then a buyer is entitled to ask for their money back, or for a partial refund if they want to keep the car. However, the seller is entitled to deduct for mileage that has been added if the claim is after 30 days from the purchase date.
If the seller refuses to accept responsibility, your daughter should seek help from a solicitor.
This question has been answered by James Denton, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194