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I bought a car from an auction, but it isn't as described - do I have any recourse?

I recently bought an Austin Seven in Coys Auction. I was unable to view the car so went very much on Coys' description and placed a commission bid. The description read as follows:
'The Austin Ruby 7 on offer is presented in Garret maroon over a matching leather interior, as part of a private collection the car has been meticulously looked after including a no expense spared £12,000 renovation and is now in very presentable condition. The paint and body work are in good order with no major blemishes, as is the interior which presents very well. Offered with a V5C UK Registration document and period buff logbook.'

From the description I assumed that the car would at least be in reasonable condition. However, when we got it home we found that the engine was in very worn condition, it was knocking, blowing smoke and steam from the exaust, and had bubbles coming up in the radiator. I've now realised that I paid far too much for the car. Do you think I have any claim based on being misled by the description?

Asked on 19 January 2018 by Will Hatchard

Answered by Keith Moody
The 1979 Sale of Goods Act means that when you buy something it must match its description, be of satisfactory quality, and fit for its purpose. If you buy a classic car at auction, you still have these rights and have every right to return them for repair or refund. However, if you were told that the Sales of Goods Act didn't apply, then you lose your rights.

In its terms and conditions, Coys states: '12.4. No warranty is given by Coys as to the accuracy of the description of any Lot in any Catalogue or as to the age, authenticity, suitability, provenance, attribution, origin, condition, fitness for purpose, merchantable or satisfactory quality of any Lot or roadworthiness of any Motor Vehicle, and any warranties or conditions that would otherwise be implied by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 in relation to the foregoing are hereby expressly excluded.'

Start by contacting the auction house and see if they are willing to try and find a solution to this problem. If that fails, Citizens' Advice Bureau should be your next port of call.
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