Buying a car on finance: What are your consumer rights?
It doesn’t matter if it comes fresh from the factory via a shiny forecourt or from a man in the pub in exchange for a fist full of £20s – there are certain rights
you always have when buying a car.
Complaints about new and especially used motor vehicles tops the complaints charts every year. If you end up buying a dodgy car your rights are clearly set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, buy what happens if you purchased the vehicle on finance?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Your basic rights
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says goods must be:
- Of satisfactory quality
- As described in the advert
- Fit for purpose
Most disputes fall within whether the satisfactory quality section and involve used vehicles. In this regard, it is important to remember that a used car will have suffered from wear and tear and the price of the vehicle is expected to take account of this. The problem will, therefore, need to be more than simply wear and tear, unless the trader said the vehicle was in perfect pristine condition.
2. Finance agreements
The normal finance arrangements for purchasing a vehicle are:
- Payment by credit card or a fixed term loan – if you pay with your card or via a fixed-term loan and something goes wrong with the vehicle you can make a section 75
claim to your card provider/finance company. If successful they will refund your money and take up the fight against the dealer.
- Hire purchase – you can go to the finance company and say that the vehicle is not of satisfactory quality which is a breach of the finance agreement – which will
say that the vehicle is of satisfactory quality. The finance company should then refund you.
3. If your claim is rejected
If you make a section 75 claim or claim against the hire purchase finance provider and they reject the claim your next port of call is to complain to the Financial Ombudsman service. To be successful you will need to supply:
- A copy of the loan or hire purchase agreement
- Full details of the vehicle
- Any documentation you have in relation to the vehicle
- A copy of any mechanic’s report obtained
- Any other evidence to support the specific complaint (internet research etc).
Dean Dunham – Sunday Mirror
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