Your responsibilities as a car dealer

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.

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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