Faulty Used Car

Hi All,

recently bought a used car from a dealership, was told it had been serviced and there was 0 faults on the car. After buying it, I’ve so far found out the handbrake doesn’t work at all & that there is a locking wheel but which I don’t have the key too. I spoke to the dealer I purchased it off (100 miles away) and he’s saying he will pay for the key to be replaced by the manufacturer but the brakes aren’t his problem. In this instance, would I be in my rights to reclaim the money through the small claims court for the work needed to the car?


Which has a handy guide to your rights here;


It doesn’t really matter as you’ll win this battle anyway, but how did you pay?

Car dealers have very strict rules that are very favourable to the buyer.

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It was through a debit card payment.

It doesn’t help you as such, but it is a criminal offence to sell an unroadworthy car (unless for scrap), so you could let their local Trading Standards department know.

As they have already acknowledged that the fault exists, I’d have thought a repair would be cheaper than a fine (up to £5,000).

Your rights depend in part on how long ago ‘recently’ is, though.

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They knew about the fault in march, when they had it serviced at the local kwik fit but I’ve got a copy of the service report and it looks like all works were refused by them.

If you bought the car within the last 30 days you have a right to return it for a full refund. If the trader doesn’t play ball, the best first course of action would be to ask your card provider for a chargeback.

If you bought the car between 30 days and six months ago you’ll need to give the trader one opportunity to repair the car. If they can’t or won’t repair the car then you are entitled to return it for a full refund minus a reasonable charge for the use you’ve had of the car.


Trading standards are the best bet here, presume it didn’t come with any kind of warranty.

You can also take it further with them if you have offered the chance for them to rectify this once and they still haven’t.

Not sure how it passed its MOT with a faulty handbrake though.

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He tried to say no warranty, I then showed him a message from his colleague who said 3 months and he wrote it on the receipt. Would I not be able to pursue a small claims court case to recover costs of the repairs needed to fix the faults? I like the car it’s just the braking system which needs repair.


I bought the car on Thursday evening, 14th April.

Two days ago? I’d go with the advice earlier to return it for a full refund. Because, if they’re going to play silly buggers already, I wouldn’t trust them to do the right thing if any further issues crop up over the next few months.


You can if you want. I’d say that, given the dealer’s attitude so far, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t more wrong with the car and you just haven’t spotted it yet.

If the dealer refuses to put the fault right, you can take it somewhere to get it fixed, then send the dealer a letter before action (use Google for templates) telling them what you want them to do, and by when (7 days would be more than enough in my view). If they don’t pay up, then go to Money Claim Online and start an action there.

I’m still advising returning the car, though. Traders know what they are doing and know that they are breaking the law by selling an unroadworthy vehicle. They should be bending over backwards trying to put this right, not putting obstacles in your way.

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