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Sold a used car - possible comeback, please help!(24 Posts)
Hi, I posted this elsewhere but have been advised to try here...
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!!
I cannot see how you're liable. I wouldn't worry about it.
It had a months MOT and cars are generally sold as seen , its not your problem .
You are not obliged, I think you sold the car in good faith. There is an onus on private sellers to sell something that meets reasonable expectations and isn't a death trap, but you did not sell it promising that it would pass MOT. Think you're in the clear.
Well, thats what happens when you buy a car with no or little MOT - It is not like you said it had an MOT when it didn't. Tough shit - on him. You sold the car honestly, let him take legal advice, they will laugh in his face.
Cars are NOT sold as seen, whatever the seller might think. However, as you are a private seller the buyer has very few rights. If you were a dealer the car would have to be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. As you are not a dealer you are exempt from these requirements. As long as you described the car accurately and didn't misrepresent it you are not liable. If, for example, you said it had air conditioning but the air conditioning didn't work you would be liable for that.
On the information you have given he has no case.
Ok thank you. The only thing niggling me is what if there was an issue with the car which I didn't know about? Obviously I couldn't have told him about it but I definitely haven't held anything back that I knew about.
that's what ph47 is saying, you described it honestly, that's good enough.
Please phone Trading Standards if you want authoritative advice to reassure yourself that you are not liable.
Ok thanks. I was driving it about all through the pregnancy, up to the day before I gave birth so surely that's proof that I thought it was ok? I'd never have driven it if there had been big issues with it!
And this is why stalking people on Facebook is a bad idea
No, not at all, I'm normally really laid-back! Think the new baby hormones are playing a part in this plus the realisation I'm on maternity pay for a while and any unexpected bills wouldn't be great right now...!
Its perfectly reasonable what you have done - DP and I are struggling on wiht our old van and he is actually going to do some welding (i am going to have to be out when he does this, my nerves wont last!) to get it through its MOT. We bought it for £300 two years ago (maybe longer) and we had to do a fair amount of work on it when it went through its MOT. We bought it from a dealer but you know what, its an OLD car, of course you are not going to get perfection and things don't show up until a mechanic gets underneath the thing and has a look. The reason we are doing the work ourself is because we could only pay about the same again and in that price range, you do not expect not to have to do work and at least we know (fingers crossed) that there is nothing major wrong, but a car of that age - you could drive it down the end of the road and have the head gasket blow - dead car, but thats the chance you take at that price. I daresay the guys friends are young and immature and being fuckwits/.
Congratulations on your baby, enjoy
Buyer beware for the most part - and that would apply to you if you were buying a new car.
The guy's an idiot (please feel free to quote me on FB!).
I really, really hate people like this who try to take advantage. Your car was legal as it still was in MOT. You are not a mechanic so how would you know if a fault had developed since last MOT. It's required to pass at the testing station, but that doesn't mean to say that it would pass again a week later. You have not tried to misrepresent it. You have done what millions of others have done and do every day.
I know how you feel, though. I'm way too sentimental for my own good. My own 20 year old car has been SORN'd and is just sitting on my drive waiting for me to be brave enough to call a scrappie. I'm also in trouble because I haven't wanted OH to sell his old home so we were renting it out. It was the only house I've ever felt safe and been happy in. The shine is off now, though!
So, as lljkk says, contact Trading Standards to put your mind at ease, but please put the "what ifs" out of your mind. Even experienced mechanics could only take an educated guess at the things that "might" go wrong at any future point in a car's life.
He got his mum to call me tonight - she threatened me with court but luckily I'd looked up my rights on citizens advice etc. She was asking for £200 back as they'd get £200 scrap for it. She was very reasonable when I said I had no idea and I'd been driving it at 9 months pregnant. They'd been quoted £400 to get the car sorted which if you add to the £450 he paid for it does kind of bring it up to the amount a good car of that age and mileage is worth.
She also ended the call saying that her son hasn't told her I'd been honest about the rust and she was under the impression that I'd misled him. When I offered her a copy of the advert she got really angry with her son as he'd seen it and bought it anyway.
Just to cover myself as well I've taken screenshots of his Facebook which go on about how rusty the car was even before he'd gone to view it - he was obviously aware and can't pretend he wasn't...
That's funny about the lad's mum ringing you to threaten, how old is he, anyway?
21! I wasn't really surprised though, he wasn't the most verbose of creatures...
It sounds like a very typical example of a 13 year old car! What did he expect?!
Err...yes. What makes you ask that Macha? Problem with posting in a legal advice forum is I can't change details as I wouldn't then get an accurate answer from people...really hoping I've not been outed in RL!
My DS had a car he wantd to sell it was given to him by his cousin originally belonged to DH's late brother mechanically it was very sound but had a bash in the nearside passengers door. We advertised it in local paper was like the OP and were truthfull said it had damage to the door.
Advice from a friend of ours who used to sell quite a few of his cars we typed out a sale note and put on it Sold as Seen and got the buyer to sign both copies.
It was bought by a russian chap for his father who had just come to the country they were delighted with it and thanked us for being truthfull in the advert so didn't make an uncessary journey to our house.
Three years later I was in their area had just been to the dentist and was crossing a road and looked accross and to my amazement saw the old car waiting for the lights to change and think it was the father driving it.
Not been outed - don't worry. I guessed because Ford KA's are about the worst modern car for rusting to pieces - they're old skool like that - I've had two ...
Doesn't affect the OP's case but just to correct a couple of things...
Buying a car is NOT buyer beware, particularly if you are buying from a dealer. You have the same rights as you have when buying something from a shop regardless of whether it is a new car or a used car.
Having a sale note which says Sold as Seen has absolutely no effect, even if the buyer signs both copies. The buyer cannot sign away their legal rights under consumer legislation.
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