If you’re a motor trader, it’s your responsibility to make sure that any vehicle you sell is roadworthy and exactly as you have described during the sale.
This is because of the Trade Descriptions Act and the Consumer Rights Act. These include rules that give buyers protection against paying for faulty or improper goods, including motors.
As many of you will know, selling vehicles can be quick and simple or a lengthy negotiation. Whichever it is, one thing remains the same – your legal obligations to either make the vehicle roadworthy, or make it perfectly clear that it is not.
THE CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT
Replacing the Sale of Goods Act, this recent legislation provides further protection for buyers, including anything from a toaster to a transit van.
The scope of the act is wide-ranging, but can be summed up by demanding that all products must be:
- Fit for purpose
- Of satisfactory quality
- As described
If a car does not meet these standards, then buyers are entitled to reject it within the first 30 days of purchase. They are also entitled to a refund. This applies to both brand new cars and second hand vehicles.
motor traders should also consider the aesthetic and protective aspects of the cars they sell, especially when it comes to car detailing. A popular option for enhancing a vehicle’s appearance and safeguarding its paintwork is ceramic coating. When applied professionally, ceramic coatings provide a durable and long-lasting layer of protection against environmental contaminants, UV rays, and minor scratches. For instance, in Sydney, where the automotive market is vibrant, motor traders may find that offering vehicles with a premium touch, such as a professionally applied Ceramic Coating Sydney, not only adds value to the product but also aligns with the Consumer Rights Act by ensuring that the car is of satisfactory quality and as described. This extra layer of protection can contribute to the overall satisfaction of buyers, meeting their expectations beyond just the mechanical aspects of the vehicle.
In addition, you will be liable for faults with the vehicle that were present at the time it was sold. This even applies if they only become apparent later on.
WHAT IS SATISFACTORY QUALITY?
The AA describes satisfactory quality in car sales as meaning:
‘the vehicle should be of a standard a reasonable person would expect, taking into account things like its age, value, history, mileage, make and description.’
So, an older car with high mileage would not be expected to perform as well as a younger one with less on the clock. All cars however, have to be roadworthy.
If a car you’re selling is not roadworthy, you need to clearly state this in all of your advertising. You will need to make sure that the buyer is fully aware of the car’s condition.
Want more? Read about buying cars at auction here.
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