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Vehicle found to be non road legal

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  • Vehicle found to be non road legal

    Hi . New here and checking we're on the right track.
    Car purchased from a trusted ( AA approved ) dealer. The dealer is also highly rated on Autotrader.
    All communication done via email and WhatsApp as it was a distance purchase ( 30O miles) and during COVID lockdown.
    Contactless collection
    Car is Stage 3 tuned with modifications to air intake and exhaust and more BHP and torque than as standard

    Paid for part bank transfer and part finance ( but not via dealer as interest rates were too high)
    No problems with the car until it was taken for MOT and failed due to lack of catalytic converter and emissions just outside the 6 month period.
    MOT station (KWIK FIT) stated it has never had a Cat since the exhaust was modified.
    Quite an easy car to track on social media as the dealer advertised who did the modifications ( well respected London company )

    Informed dealer that we'd be looking for them to pay for fitting of a sports cat' (because car has been tuned it can't run with an ordinary cat ) They didn't even try to deny that they knew it didn't. have a cat and stated that the car was sold and advertised as a TRACK CAR, but they might consider helping out with cost of fitting a second hand cat, because it's a used car

    We rejected this, and once we had a quote to fit one , spoke to them again and asked them to pay the £ 1200 cost of fitting a sports cat.

    They refused and again reiterated that it was advertised and sold as a Track car

    Had to get the cat fitted ASAP as person using it at time of the MOT was away from home on a 6 week training course with early morning starts and weekends and not able to use public transport .

    We've been back and forth and after a letter where we laid out the facts
    1.Car was advertised with number plates in situ in numerous places
    2. Videos of it been driven on the roads
    3. The words TRACK CAR were never mentioned in ANY adverts we've been able to retrieve, and in any case , it's a legally meaningless phrase
    4 .The car was sold with a current MOT ( they actually provided the 2 certificates prior to the current one, one of which was with under the dealers ownership and the other with the previous owner.
    5. At no point did the person buying it ever suggest that he was looking to buy a car that he wouldn't be legally able to drive on the road. He got the train down there and left driving the car.

    The only place Track car is mentioned is on the invoice habdwritten before the vehicle make and model and registration number.

    Anyway, after our second letter , they told us they'd referred it to "their legal team"

    Letter arrives from a probably well known company who represent a lot of car dealers ( LD)
    Reiterating their clients position that it was sold as a Track car, plus the comment " we can see the vehicle has since passed its MOT"
    We wrote back and said they sold a non road legal vehicle which didn't meet our needs etc etc
    Offered to go to mediation which they refused.

    Next comes back a letter which includes a very poor copy of text which was included in some of the adverts for the car , and they now state that we knew the car didn't have a cat at the time of purchase.
    The text that was included in the ad was obviously originally written as a promotional ad or SM post by the company who carried out the modifications and tuning as their name is at the beginning of the first sentence!
    Its plain to see by anyone who's not trying to wriggle out of knowingly selling a non roadworthy car
    ​​​that it doesn't specifically refer to the car being sold .
    Its a description of what they offer at the various stages of tuning and modification.
    In reference to the cat at Stage 2 it says " at this stage we address the restrictive exhaust system. We remove the first cat completely and then either replace the 2nd cat with a sports cat or remove it completely"

    They've also sent a copy of a WhatsApp message they sent where they burble on about offering to reduce the power of the car to a more road legal limit., whatever that means They don't include the message sent in reply, which was that we would see how the power was once we'd owned it for a while , and then make a decision whether we wanted to reduce the level of engine tune.

    If they're suggesting that this was them telling us that the car was non road legal , then I think our reply showed that the penny hadn't dropped. Additionally, the removal of both cats would have only given the car an extra maybe 20 bhp, so removing both cats has very little to do with increasing power but more about the noise the car makes. It makes not a blind bit of difference to the power whether it has no cat or a sport cat .

    We sent a LBA and the reply from the solicitor included words to the effect that their client would have legal representation if it went to court and the costs would be considerable and they would claim their costs
    We were under the impression that claimable costs in the SCC didn't include legal representation costs ?

    We did pay for some legal advice and purely by coincidence, he happened to be an avid car enthusiast. He seemed to think the dealer didn't have a leg to stand on , but , having read some of the other threads on here and having spoken to the AA we're not sure if the burden of proof regarding the cat being absent at purchase lies with us. They've obviously never tried to deny that it didn't have a cat when they sold it.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    We're working our way through the guides and document templates re small claims court.

    Tags: None

  • #2

    You have sent an LBA... well follow through.

    Small claims track fixed costs (very small) set out in CPR 45 (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...costs#rule45.4)

    Your welcome to post up your claim for checking before you submit it.

    Re proof of no cat when purchased Consumer Rights Act 2015 deems the fault was present when purchased when raising a claim in the first 6 months after delivery date (and it seems they have more or less admitted this anyway!)


    • #3
      Thanks DES8. The date of the failed MOT was just outside the 6 months unfortunately, but as you say, they've not denied that it didn't have a cat at the time of sale.
      They're saying they advertised and sold it as a TRACK car, ie only suitable for use on a track, but from our understanding from looking at VOSA "Matters of testing", even if a vehicle is a competition rally car ( in which case it would have to have been radically modified eg roll bar, fire extinguisher, back seats removed etc) it would still have had to pass the emissions test at MOT.
      https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk › ... When is a modified vehicle a rally car? - Matters of Testing

      What we can't find is anything that says if/ when a car has to be de- registered when it becomes a track competition car.



      • #4
        OK, so no protection under CRA 2015, but you still have 6 years from date of delivery in which to make a claim for breach of implied terms.

        You have copies of adverts which make no mention of the lack of a cat, so the fact that they may have issued other adverts which mention the modification doesn't mean you have seen them and is no defence

        Seem to recall from years back that once a vehicle has been used bearing an allocated registration number that vehicle cannot be deregistered.


        • #5
          Trying to look at these guides
          https://legalbeagles.info/forums/for...t-of-templates but the links don't work.


          • #6
            Don't know why they aren't working... did you click on the "Help" box at foot of non working page?


            • #7
              It says they've been removed


              • #8
                OK Just tagged Admin to see what has happened


                • #9
                  Deleted duplicate


                  • #10
                    Thanks DES8. How's this ?

                    At the material time the defendant was abc trading as xyz
                    On 10th March, 2021 the claimant purchased a vehicle: make, model and reg for £££'s

                    On 24th September, 2021 the vehicle failed its MOT as it had no catalytic converter present, and consequently failed the emissions test

                    The defendant was in breach of implied terms of contract as the vehicle was not fit for purpose, being sold contrary to Section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988

                    The claimant has paid £1,000 for the supply and installation of a new catalytic converter in order to make the vehicle road legal.

                    The defendant has refused all requests for reimbursement

                    The defendant has ignored the claimant’s proposal of arbitration

                    Accordingly the claimant claims:

                    The sum of £1,000

                    Additional expenses of £25

                    Interest pursuant to section 69 County Courts Act at such rate and for such periods as the court deems just

                    Court costs


                    • #11
                      Just thinking back and I'm sure we were told that the vehicle wasn't on their " forecourt" , but being kept at another location. This may have been for security reasons , but performance cars are the name of their game so it seems more likely that it was because dealers aren't allowed to have a non road legal vehicle on the premises.


                      • #12
                        Hi. Would anyone like to comment on the claim wording please?


                        • #13
                          haven't forgotten you... will do so soon, but do have interests & duties outside LB!


                          • #14
                            Was the trader a limited company or a sole trader?
                            If a limited company, that is who you name as defendant

                            add that the claimant was a consumer

                            you need to show this is a claim for breach of contract as per CRA 2015
                            The car was not fit for purpose which was for road use.
                            You discovered at its MoT that it lacked a catalytic convertor.
                            That caused the vehicle to fail the MoT and meant the vehicle could not be used legally on the road.
                            You realised, and were confirmed in this by engineers, that no catalytic convertor was present when the car was purchased.
                            The trader did not disclose the lack of this essential item when he knew you required it for road use.(in fact and contrary to RTA 1988 sec75 he supplied this car and allowed you to drive from his premises)
                            This is also a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act 2008 (see sec 6 (1)a)

                            The two acts referred to actually create criminal offences, and your claim is of course civil


                            • #15
                              A track car can also be road legal and many are as most are driven to the track . If it was a race car then they may have a case. . If they did have the wording track car and they were selling as a non road legal track car they would need to say something like “this vehicle is a track car and is not road legal .

                              If it was not meant to be driven on the road they would have had to SORN the vehicle as there would be no intention to tax, Mot or insured it.


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