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Sale of private car

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  • Sale of private car

    Just wondering if somebody could help me?
    my boyfriend sold a car last month on eBay and a man came down from Scotland to buy it. My boyfriend let him test drive the car and gave him the opportunity to look over the car but the male refused and said it was fine. He then drove 300 miles back home with no issue. However the next day the man text my boyfriend saying the car was rusty underneath and went to take it for another MOT (even though my boyfriend had paid for an MOT the month prior and also paid £400 for welding to the chassis of the vehicle which he disclosed to the Man at the time)
    the man got the MOT redone by the DVSA to which it failed and we are being accused of knowing of this at the time. My boyfriend is not a mechanic and sold the car as it was with the MOT under the impression the car was fine.
    we received lots of abusive messages and threats to pay the money back An eventually we blocked the number after trying to help him out. We received a solicitors letter through the post stating we have 7 days to reimburse the man or we will be taken to court.
    Just want advice on where we stand?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi and welcome
    The solicitor is acting on behalf of his client, and although he will know his client is very unlikely to win in court, he will issue letters for a fee hoping the threat of court action will force a refund.

    The sale was private and the buyer saw the vehicle prior to purchase.
    He has no rights to now reject the vehicle.

    Has your boyfriend checked to see why DVSA failed the car, or is it just the report from the buyer (https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history).
    It is an offence to sell a car in an unroadworthy condition (RTA 1988 sec 75 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/75) but this a criminal matter and not a civil matter. you might find the solicitor referring to it just to ratchet up the pressure..

    I would respond very briefly to the solicitor pointing out his client saw the vehicle and test drove it and declined the invitation to carry out further inspections prior to purchasing it.. This was a private sale and the principle of caveat emptor applies.
    Under the circumstances you do not admit any liability to his client and you will not be responding to any further demands they might make.


    • #3
      Hi thanks for your reply. Yes the man sent a copy of the DVSA report to us. He has also tried to resell the car on Facebook knowing it is not road legal.
      Does the responsibility lie with the MOT garage as they passed it?


      • #4
        Did the report actually state the vehicle was unroadworthy?
        any possibility you could post up a copy?

        What was the description given on eBay?
        There is a possibility that the buyer could claim misrepresentation if materially misdescribed and that description led the person to purchase the vehicle.


        • #5
          Yes I think so, I havenít got it to hand at the minute. The description my boyfriend gave was what he thought the car was after he has the valid MOT so as far as he was aware the car was road worthy.

          If heís had the car checked by dvsa an the car has failed surely that is not his fault as He advertised the car for what He thought it was and got it moted an it passed so I havenít misled him. The defects heís saying it has my boyfriend offered him a torch to look under the car, if heíd of checked it heíd of seen the supposed rust.



          • #6


            • #7
              well there is certainly a conflict as a vehicle which is given a clean bill of health should not be showing all those corrosion areas a month later.
              One or the other of those MOTs is wrong.

              Can you post up the description as it appeared on eBay?
              And also a copy of the solicitors letter (suitably redacted)?

              It seems they may be looking at misrepresentation (albeit innocent) which could end up with recission of the sale (ie you both return to the position prior to the sale) or there is a monetary adjustment to take the misrepresentation into account..
              If that is their aim. the exact wording of that advert will be crucial.


              • #8

                tried to upload pic of solicitors letter but isnít letting me. The description was
                I'll start by saying abit of info about the jeep, this has been my personal car for 2 years i bought it totally standard, and over the time i built it to what it is today. I've drove a lot of these jeeps and this drives like a car. engine is perfect starts first time doesn't use any oil. The gearbox is also perfect, the gear stick sits centrally and selects every gear fine. i mainly built it like this for the looks! i did do the odd green lane but nothing extreme, in total its probably been off road 5 times. everything works as it should.

                12 Months MOT
                Full Service History (last service 137k 09/17)
                EGR Delete
                Straight through exhaust system
                Rear Dislocation Cones
                The last picture is with the second option tyres I use for road use which are currently fitted now.
                4 inch suspension lift. 2 inch Old Man Emu lift kit. 2 inch terrafirma suspension blocks
                upgraded race intercooler
                3 previous owners
                extended terrafirma brake lines
                engine remap
                custom made rear off road bumper (£250 less than 3 months old)
                front winch bumper
                upgraded radio usb and bluetooth
                winch (winchmax £320 month old got a receipt of proof)
                diff oils changed and gearbox
                off road Tyres set 1 ( 4x 275/70/18s Cooper STT PROS about 5 months old still have the little bits of rub on tyres, cost £700 brand new)
                road Tyres set 2 ( 4x 285/75/16s Genral grabbers loads of tread left.
                No sunroofs! no leaks
                brake pads all round 2weeks ago.
                7 seater
                log book in my name in the last picture
                Could do with a new tank strap seem rusty or ether a tank guard £80 they are. never bothered me
                no expense has been spared on this jeep, it drives really well has tones of power and drives like a car ill be sad to see it go.


                • #9
                  Big question is why the first MOT failed to spot the problems something dodgy here I'm afraid to say


                  • #10
                    We donít know, thatís our point.. we sold the car under the impression it was fine! he has been to citizens advice this morning An got further advice! Thanks for your help


                    • #11
                      That description is just fine.
                      Nowhere does it mention the condition of the vehicle, or say how brilliant it is.
                      I see no way in which they can claim misrepresentation so back to square ! ie the solicitor is trying to frighten you into refunding.
                      The principle of caveat emptor applies'
                      The buyer should have examined the car prior to purchase.

                      What was the advice from CAB?


                      • #12
                        They just said that the only thing we could be taken to court on is misleading in the advert and selling an unroadworthy car, however we didnít know it was not road legal and didnít feel we were misleading in the ad.. just described the car as we perceived it to be.


                        • #13
                          So CAB agree with what was mentioned earlier, only they call it "misleading" when the correct term is "misrepresentation"

                          However there is nothing in the advert which refers to the items listed as reason for failure in the latest MOT., hence there was no misrepresentation, neither deliberate, negligent nor innocent.
                          So he has no claim there!

                          Regarding the sale of unroadworthy vehicles....yes it is illegal, but it is of no use to the buyer trying to rescind a contract.
                          Look at item (7) of sec 75 of RTA 1988 "Nothing in the preceding provisions of this section shall affect the validity of a contract or any rights arising under a contract."
                          So he has no claim there!

                          As said before the solicitor is trying pressure tactics to get a result for his client.

                          On another tack, did you check the online records.
                          I'm surprised that two MOTs so close can show such differences and I wonder if buyer is up too some sort of scam


                          • #14
                            I was just about to ask have you used the link in #2 https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history & put the registration in? Just to make sure what the buyer has sent you is from the same car? But des8 beat me to it, I would also go see the garage that passed it along with the 'new' failsheet & ask if they can remember testing it.

                            On saying this it's just for information only I don't think the buyer has a leg to stand on, but something is not right
                            Sorry i'm just thinking out loud, it might be irrelevant, I am not employed in anyway in the legal profession, please ensure you research any advice I give before using it I have been known to be wrong on multiple occasions.


                            • #15
                              We sent a reply saying we were accepting no liability for the faults on the car and explained about the MOT and how the advert was not misleading. Just awaiting a response..

                              yes i think we need to look into how there are so many differences and why thatís happened.

                              Thanks for all the advice and information it has been really useful and is appreciated.


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