The car I bought is not what I expected, what are my rights?

The car I bought is not what I expected, what are my rights?

The rights you have if buying a faulty car depends on where you bought it from and how it was described. When buying a car from a recognised trader instead of a private seller or at auction you have more legal protection over your rights if the vehicle ends up being faulty.

'My fault occurred within 30 days of purchase'

On 1 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act was enacted by Parliament to protect consumers in the event that a product is faulty or damaged. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives consumers the right to ask for a full refund within the first 30 days after buying any product that proves to be faulty, including new and used cars. The law allows protection for servicing and repair work that leaves your car faulty. If your car returns to you after having repair work and there is a fault, you can ask for a refund or for the work to be redone.

The law states that the vehicle must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, as described and safe and durable. This means that at the time of purchase, the vehicle must not have any faults or breakages and it must be of the standard expected by a reasonable person. The vehicle must fit the purpose for which it has been supplied; including any specific purpose you tell the seller before completing the purchase. If the car does not meet any one of these requirements, you are entitled to return the vehicle and receive a full refund.

What happens after 30 days?

After 30 days have passed, your rights to refund are limited. If a fault arises within 6 months of purchasing the vehicle, you can request a repair or a replacement vehicle. The onus is on the seller to prove that the fault was not there when the car was sold. You are required to give the seller at least one chance to repair the fault. If the repair fails, you are entitled to a refund. You are not, however, entitled to a full refund as the usage of the vehicle following the purchase will be considered and the refund will be adjusted accordingly.

What happens after 6 months?

If a fault arises 6 months after the purchase of the vehicle, the onus is on you as the consumer to prove that the fault was there at the time of purchase. If a fault occurs, photos and a detailed record of the events leading up the fault together with an expert report will likely be required.

At Clapham & Collinge we have a dedicated team of experts who are able to provide a full range of legal services for businesses, families and individuals. The personal legal services we offer include conveyancing, family law including separation and divorce, personal injury, clinical negligence, employment law, wills, trusts, lasting powers of attorney and probate. Legal services for businesses include debt recovery, litigation and disputes, landlord and tenant services, employment law and commercial property.

If you would like to seek advice on consumer rights, or any other issue, please contact our dedicated Client Relations team on 01603 693510 or email us

*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.