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What consumer rights does a buyer have when purchasing a classic car from a dealer?

What consumer rights does a buyer have when purchasing an older, or classic, vehicle from a dealer? For example, if the advertisement states that the car has been fitted with new or reconditioned parts, can a buyer expect any recourse against the dealer should one of those parts fail within a reasonable length of time?

Asked on 22 February 2018 by srm66

Answered by Keith Moody
When purchasing a classic car from a dealer, you are covered by the consumer rights act. This means your purchase must of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described. However, this is a very grey area - but if you are paying over the odds for a car described as being 'in concours condition' then you can reasonably expect it to be better than a restoration project for sale at a third of the price. To be 'fit for purpose' is perhaps easier to apply to a classic racing car than, say, a Morris Minor. However, be careful of the small print here - like auctions, some dealer transactions do require the purchaser to waive their rights to the consumer rights act. Most problems arise from a car being 'as described'. This is where you'll need to dig into the detail - find out what parts were fitted, when, and by who. Classic cars generally cover low mileages and we've seen a lot of variation in parts quality over the past decade. A part fitted to a car five years ago that's only covered 2000 miles might still be going strong, while that same part fitted to a car covering 8000 miles a year, may have failed already. In our experience, a reputable dealer will often work with the customer to reach a satisfactory solution. Or, if you've already spotted potential problems, you could work with the dealer to find a solution before you take the vehicle home. Under the act, you will be able to reject a car within 30 days - and you don't have to give the dealer an opportunity to fix the problem. After 30 days, the dealer has one chance to fix the problem before the seller can ask for a discount or return the car. However, this isn't often practical. Discussing the consumer rights act with the dealer before the sale is agreed will give you a good indicator of their attitudes towards customer satisfaction. Ask as many questions as you can and get the answers in writing.
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