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AIBU to ask for a bit of legal advice here...seriously panicking!

(60 Posts)
spg1983 Fri 22-Mar-13 08:42:06


I recently had my first child (she's 3 weeks old). Before I had her, I had a small 'runaround' car, 13 years old, reliable little runner but quite a bit of cosmetic damage. Anyway, DH and I decided it was too small to put baby's car seat and pram in so we advertised it to be sold. We checked the going price and given the damage (which had rusted) plus the fact it only had 1 month mot, we reduced the advised price - the car in 'poor' condition was worth £780 according to this site, we advertised it for £450 to allow a buyer to potentially still have money to sort the rust.

Anyway, I bought a new car and a young lad bought my old car. I was quite emotional as I'd had the car for 9 years. I was a bit nosey and decided to 'look up' the new owner on Facebook/twitter cos (this sounds silly, sorry!) I still wanted to be able to check on my beloved car! I found him, but was a bit gutted to see he'd given the car a really derogatory nickname and was taking the mickey out of loads of its features, i.e. tape player etc.

Anyway, I soon forgot about that as 3 hours later I went into labour. I had a spare couple of minutes this morning and looked at his profile again, only to find that the car has failed its MOT and by the sound of it he doesn't want to pay to fix it and has decided to scrap the car. There's some pretty mean comments about me on there and his friends are all suggesting he takes legal action against me if I don't refund him. He's not got in touch...yet, but I'm thinking he probably will.

When he looked at the car, he couldn't drive it as he wasn't insured but I took him for a drive in it. I was 100% honest about the damage, the advert had close-up pictures of it and he looked at it when he saw the car and still decided to buy it.

What happens now? If he gets in touch am I obliged to refund the money? Help please!!

spg1983 Fri 22-Mar-13 09:17:52

Well I honestly had no idea it had a problem - if I did then I certainly wouldn't have been driving around in it at 9 months pregnant... sad

dollywobbles Fri 22-Mar-13 09:19:43

When you sell something privately, as you did here, the buyer doesn't have the same rights they would have under the Sale of Goods Act if they'd bought from a business.
All they have, in effect, is the right to expect that 1) you had title to the car (ie it was yours to sell) and 2) that it was 'as described'. As you say, you were clear on the condition, you described it as poor and priced it accordingly.

Your buyer has no 'right' to expect the usual: satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose etc. His rights are limited as this was a private sale.

The 6 months thing is not completely accurate (CAB are fairly bad at consumer advice to be honest). It can apply in private sales, but I wouldn't worry about it here.

As an aside 'sold as seen' carries no weight, legally. Sold as described would be more appropriate.

I really wouldn't worry about this.

mayorquimby Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:22

"OK verbally you indicated it might pass an MOT but that's just conversation, not a contract"

Oral representations are just as much a part of the contact as any other terms.
Wouldn't appear to alter the op's position based on her version of events but just wanted to address that point in case she wants to think of anything else she may have said

Catsdontcare Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:41

Stop stalking him on facebook (honestly it makes you look a tad unhinged!) if you hadn't read it on there you would know nothing of it unless he contacted you in person, which he hasn't. So until he does (and I doubt he will) assume it's not your problem.

Sorry but checking up on your car is weird!

wibblyjelly Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:49

I bought a car, took it for a trust drive etc, and bought it from a friend of a friend. Mot a couple of weeks later, and it turned out the head gasket had gone. I just paid for the repairs, it didn't even cross my mind to go back to the seller, as it was sold as soon. It was my fault for not taking a mechanic with me when I went to look at the car. Try not to worry about it! Congratulations on the new baby!

WorraLiberty Fri 22-Mar-13 09:25:01

For goodness sake, you're working yourself up into a state here due to your bizarre facebook stalking.

Just let go and move on.

If he contacts you then take it from there but working yourself up in this way is not healthy.

BalloonSlayer Fri 22-Mar-13 09:26:43

Cars fail MOTs all the time. Most people have to pay money for repairs to get their car through: the older the car the more the faults, and the greater the expense.

This new owner just doesn't want to pay for his car to pass. That's his problem.

I used to have a "classic" car and every year there was welding to get it through the MOT. What do you expect with an old car?

This year I had to spend £300 on my much newer car for new tyres to get it to pass. £300 was bad enough in any case, but if I had only paid £450 for the car it would seem ridiculous. But tough. That's what running a car is like. I suspect that MeLaddo hasn't taken into account that keeping a car on the road is expensive and genuinely thought that having parted with the princely sum of £450. all he would ever have to cough up for would be petrol. grin

Most stuff that the MOT checks, someone with a reasonable amount of knowledge can check for themselves.

I had a car once that had rusted so much that it couldn't be made to pass the MOT and I had to scrap it. I was gutted. I loved that car. I might understand someone being pissed off if they had bought a car that was declared only fit for scrap at its next MOT, but that is not the case here. Ask yourself: if you still had it, what would you have done? I expect you would have paid the repair bill, moaned about it, but accepted it as one of the hazards of being a car owner.

In a nutshell - tough shit.

If he wanted to know whether it would pass the MOT before he bought it he should have arranged for someone with a bit of knowledge to look at it.

Do you have the MOT papers from last year? They usually have warnings on them of things that may be going to cause trouble. You could dig that out if you want to reassure yourself that you are not in the wrong.

But you aren't in the wrong.

OhDearieDearieMe Fri 22-Mar-13 09:30:04

Are you basing all this stress on what you're reading on someone else's FB? Someone who hasn't even got in touch with you?
Seriously? This is not good for you. Step away from the FB! If and when he gets in touch with you - which he won't - then stress a little, but not much, because as every single person has told you - you have nothing to worry about.

OhDearieDearieMe Fri 22-Mar-13 09:30:46

And <<<<snap>>>> with worra


FryOneFatManic Fri 22-Mar-13 09:32:05

MistyB Fri
No 9 year old car gets through it's MOT without work being required.

Mine does.

spg1983 Fri 22-Mar-13 09:33:32

Ok thanks...yeah I admit it is very weird that I wanted to check my car was being looked after - guess I was a bit too attached to it!

I definitely didn't say it'd pass an mot, I said it'd had no major issues in the past but I'm not a mechanic so wouldn't be able to say yes or no. I made 100% sure not to say yes or even say I 'thought' it would pass.

WorraLiberty Fri 22-Mar-13 09:33:44

Dearie grin

This is tantamount to pressing your ear against a teenager's bedroom door and eavesdropping on their silly conversations with their friends.

Of course you're not going to like what you hear, but it's your own fault for doing it...

spg1983 Fri 22-Mar-13 09:34:39

Ok and the stressing stops NOW! Thank you all for making me feel better.

FakePlasticLobsters Fri 22-Mar-13 09:35:31

OP why don't you look on the CAB website, that way you will see exactly what his friends did, not just the bits they picked out and quoted.

Could you tell when the car failed the MOT? That might help set your mind at rest because if it was a week ago or something, and he hasn't been in touch then he's probably not going to be.

If it was this morning, he might listen to his friends and try to speak to you so it will help if you know everything CAB have said on their website about selling cars and can speak to him fully aware of the facts.

But from what you say, you have been honest about everything to him and he will know that. He might have sounded off to his mates about not being told but that could just be face-saving in front of them and he really knows full well that he can't complain to you that you were not honest.

plantsitter Fri 22-Mar-13 09:37:58

He is allowed to vent on Facebook to his mates about it, even though he's talking bollocks. Just hide him on Facebook and stop worrying about it.

Sparklingbrook Fri 22-Mar-13 09:39:13

If he wasn't on FB you wouldn't even know about any of this.

oldraver Fri 22-Mar-13 09:40:21

The chance of a 13 year old car passing the MOT first time would be slim I think. I have a car the same age and it has passed the last two years but only because it had work done on it prior to MOT.

He is going to need to spend money on it, had it of had say 9 months MOT i dont think he would be kicking up as much fuss, it just seems unfair to him as he has only had it a month

spg1983 Fri 22-Mar-13 09:41:52

I know - I'm an idiot for looking him up! The mot was yesterday. The CAB website basically says he only has a leg to stand on if the car was deliberately misrepresented. It also advises buyers that they probably shouldn't take legal action over private sales as they'd be so unlikely to win.

hopefloats Fri 22-Mar-13 09:45:22

This is what you get for stalking him on FB. If you had minded you own business, you wouldn't be in a worried pickle now. Remind me not to buy a pram from you smile

Catsdontcare Fri 22-Mar-13 09:48:40

He's just venting and his mates are geeing him along because that's what mates do, tell you your right even when your not.

Catsdontcare Fri 22-Mar-13 09:49:20

If he posted on mumsnet we would all put him straight! As you can see!

Sparklingbrook Fri 22-Mar-13 09:50:56

You could post in legal on here if you want a more informed legal opinion?

FakePlasticLobsters Fri 22-Mar-13 09:57:05

"The CAB website basically says he only has a leg to stand on if the car was deliberately misrepresented. It also advises buyers that they probably shouldn't take legal action over private sales as they'd be so unlikely to win."

Has seeing that on the CAB site set your mind at rest?

You know you did a fair representation and you've seen the advise not to take legal action, none of which his friends bothered to report back to him on Facebook.

It sounds like a lot of posturing and moaning, but I don't think he will come back to you.

Gingersstuff Fri 22-Mar-13 10:00:02

We bought a car for £750 a couple of years ago from a private seller much like yourself. Not even three weeks later the head gasket blew along with something else and, well, the car was a write-off and we got £140 scrap for it :-( It was a bitter pill to swallow but it didn't even occur to us to go back to the seller...he would no more have known it was about to happen than we would have! The fact is if you're going to buy an old banger, you take your chances. The laddie hasn't got a leg to stand on despite what his pals tell him... but I do agree that stalking him on FB is just plain weird!

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Mar-13 13:20:48

Hi there,

We have moved this thread from AIBU to legal.

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