When a member’s car became faulty after only a month since buying it used from a dealer, they turned to Which? Legal for help. Have you ever had issues with a used car’s warranty?
Which? Legal member Paul bought a used BMW for £8,350 in summer 2018. After only a month, the car began losing coolant, and the dealer identified that the issue was caused by a seal or O-ring leak.
However, during the time Paul was trying to arrange a repair with the dealer, the car overheated and needed to be towed to a different garage. Paul had to have his car fixed immediately to get back on the road, at a cost of £841.
Unfortunately this repair by a third party was not covered under the terms and conditions of his warranty, and he was stuck with the bill. He contacted us for advice.
The team advised Paul to contact the dealer and ask it for a contribution towards the repair that was carried out by the third-party garage. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, it’s the dealer’s responsibility to ensure that the cars it sells are of satisfactory quality.
Arguably, the car was not up to standard, as it suffered a coolant leak so soon after purchase. The dealer should have carried out the necessary repairs within a reasonable time, and without charge.
Paul was in a difficult position legally because the dealer had initially offered a repair, but this was carried out by a third party without its authorisation.
Considering the circumstances, the dealer offered Paul £504 towards the cost of repairing his car. Paul was willing to accept this amount in order to resolve the matter swiftly.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that if anything you’ve bought is not of satisfactory quality, then you’re entitled to have it repaired or replaced.
It’s advisable to give the supplier the opportunity to do this first, before taking the matter further.
By accepting the dealer’s offer towards the cost of his repair, Paul avoided the time and expense of going to court.
It can prejudice a claim if a repair is done without the trader’s knowledge, so accepting the offer also avoided the risk of litigation.
Have you ever had issues with a used car? If so, did the dealer deal with the problems in a satisfactory way? Let us know your experiences.