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Proboematic Jaguar S-Type

I recently bought a Jaguar S-Type on an internet auction site from a trader with no reserve. The car looked good in the pictures, but only had a few months left on its MoT.

Unfortunately I didn’t take it for a test drive, parted with the cash and signed the invoice receipt when I collected the car. When I got in the car and started the engine a total of five warning lights were illuminated including a message of ABS fault DSC unavailable. I started to move the car forward where there was a very noticeable squeak/screech from the OSF wheel. I immediately stopped the car and got out, as I hadn’t even left the trader premises.

After speaking to the seller and explaining the noise and subsequent warning lights, he replied that the ABS fault had been stated in the advert, which it hadn’t and I proceeded to show them the advert on my iPhone which clearly showed there was no mention of any warning lights/faults, had it done so I simply would not have placed a bid or proceeded with the sale.

After being provided with a receipt that an ABS sensor had been purchased in December I agreed, albeit it reluctantly to accept this and left the premises. I managed to drive the car home, however, by the time I got home not only was the screeching bad but the speedometer had also stopped working.

I had the car inspected at a local garage and been quoted £600 to fix it – I only paid £1400. After contacting the trader to explain the issues he has basically stated that the problems were not there when it left him and that the car is valued at far more than the price I paid for it, and has offered me a "without prejudice £100 goodwill gesture".

I personally see this as a convenient quick way out for him which will go nowhere near the cost of works needed to put the car back to a legal condition. Would you be able to offer any advice as to the best way forward?

Asked on 13 January 2014 by Steve Williams

Answered by Honest John
When you buy a car that originally cost £32,000 for £1400 you cannot expect a £32,000 car. It is inevitable that things will be wrong with it. With the £100 the trader has offered you can legalise the rear tyres by buying 2nd hand or cheap tyres. Or you could go the whole hog and take the matter to the small claims track of the county court. With only £1400 to spend and no spare cash for repairs you shouldn't have been looking at a Jag. You should have gone for a Fiesta.
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