Owners of luxury cars in the UK might want to pay attention to this sage advice from Lemon & Co Solicitors.
It was certainly illuminating for me…..
The first of September marked the first day of the `58` registration plates and as people up and down the country drive their new cars around, the last thing that they will be expecting is to discover a fault with their new vehicle. For some this will unfortunately be the case and Lemon & Co Solicitors is warning purchasers to be aware of their legal rights should something go wrong.
The purchase of a new car is covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), which states that the purchase must be `fit for purpose` of `satisfactory quality` and `as described`. Therefore, under the Act, the customer would be entitled to a remedy if this is not the case.
Marianne Johns, Associate for Lemon&Co, says:
`A new car is a major investment for most people and a breakdown or fault soon after buying the vehicle can be disappointing and frustrating. However, problems do occur and it is important that car buyers are aware of their rights so that they can remedy the situation quickly and satisfactorily.`
Since 2003 consumers, have had much greater protection than they have in the past. Under the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations the onus is now on the supplier of goods rather than the purchaser to prove that there was no fault when the goods were supplied – if the fault occurs within six months there is a presumption that the fault existed at the time of supply.
Lemon & Co has drawn up a five-point plan for car buyers to follow if the worst does happen:
1. Act quickly – as soon as you notice a fault or problem with the vehicle make contact with the company to alert them and ask what they are going to do
2. Put your case in writing – clearly specify your reasons for rejecting the car in a letter to the dealer or garage. Keep a copy of all correspondence and specify the time limit in which you would like a response
3. If you have bought the car under a hire purchase or finance plan it is also advisable to write to the finance company to let them know
4. Stay calm – it may be tempting to rant and rave at the person who sold you the car but this is not likely to help your case
5. Consult a solicitor – if you are not getting anywhere speak to you solicitor who will be able to advise and represent you
`Prompt action is essential, as soon as you notice any problem or fault go back to the garage or dealer immediately. The protection offered by the Sale of Goods Act is in addition to any manufacturer`s warranty, so if the company sold you the car tries to pass you on to the manufacturer, stand your ground. As the seller they are responsible for addressing your concerns. `
The Sale of Goods Act also covers second hand cars as well, but only those bought from dealers. Vehicles bought from a private seller or under auction are not specifically covered, but there may still be remedies available depending on the circumstances.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
To see our full Disclosure Policy please click here.