When you purchase a car or vehicle from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that it should be of satisfactory quality. This means it should be in the condition expected of a car of its age and the price you paid.
If it has been 30 days or less since you bought the vehicle and you don’t believe it was of satisfactory quality at the time, then you could be entitled to return it to the trader for a full refund, this is called your ‘short term right to reject’.
You may have to prove that the vehicle wasn’t of satisfactory quality at them time of sale.
After the first 30 days, you can also ask the trader to repair the vehicle or provide you with a like for like replacement, and they should do this within a reasonable period, without causing you any significant inconvenience.
If it is not possible for the trader to repair or replace the vehicle, then you can decide whether to keep it and ask for a discount or return it to the trader for a refund.
If you ask the trader for a repair or replacement within the first six months of purchasing the vehicle, then it falls to the trader to prove they it was not faulty when sold to you – after this six-month period it falls to the you to prove otherwise.
You are only required to give the trader one opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle.
If a repair by the trader fails or you discover that the replacement vehicle is also faulty, then you can decide whether to give the trader another opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle, or whether to return it for a refund, this is called your ‘final right to reject’.
Regardless of the time that has passed, you should be refunded within 14 days of the vehicle being returned to the trader, and this should be by the same method that you paid.
It’s important to note that if you’ve had the vehicle for more than 30 days then the trader may be entitled to offer only a partial refund to account for any use and wear and tear.
So, what can I do?
If you haven’t already done so, then you should try to speak with the trader about your problem to see if you can come to an agreement. You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint.
It is best to send this by signed for mail, or via email with a read receipt which will allow you to check that it has been received. You should also give the trader a reasonable timescale to reply.
Advice Direct Scotland run consumeradvice.scot, Scotland’s national consumer advice service, offering information and support on a range of consumer-related matters.
For more information visit www.consumeradvice.scot, or call one of their specialist advisers on 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Throughout National Consumer Week Scotland, consumeradvice.scot are encouraging consumers to become ‘savvy spenders’ by making informed choices about the things we spend our money on and understanding what we can do when things don’t go to plan. For more information on the campaign, visit www.consumeradvice.scot/ncws22.