Q&A Can we demand a refund for faulty campervan from private seller?

Q:      Two weeks ago, we bought a second-hand campervan from a private seller. We checked everything visually and accepted the seller’s confirmation that the vehicle was in good working order and had no problems. However, we went away in it for a long weekend as soon as we got it and had problems with the electrics.

We ended up having to stay in a hotel for three nights whilst repairs were carried out, then it broke down again twice on the way home. We contacted the seller, but he did not want to know. He said he had never had any problems with it, yet the place that carried out the repairs said it was clearly an old problem. Where do we stand legally regarding returning the van and getting a refund?

A:       Whilst the Consumer Rights Act covers sales from businesses and car dealerships to private individuals it does not apply to private sales.  However, if the private seller told you there had been no problems with the vehicle previously, and your repairers can provide written evidence that the problem had occurred before, you may still have the basis on which to bring a claim against them. 

When purchasing goods from private sellers, the phrase 'buyer beware' is often heard. With limited consumer rights, it is important to shop carefully and heed caution. It is best practice to view the vehicle in person and take it for a test drive if possible.

It may be the case that a letter from a solicitor will do the trick to effect a refund without any further upset. Either way, you should seek legal advice.

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.  In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

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James Denton

James Denton


Solicitor in our Civil Litigation team in the Oswestry and Wrexham offices.