Can we reject a car because the dealer lied about the service history?
My son has just purchased a Volkswagen Scirroco from a 'dealer'. We checked the service record book before purchase and the last service filled in the book did not have a garage stamp, but it was completed only a few days before. I asked about it but he shrugged his shoulders and said they must have forgotten to stamp it. When we arrived home I examined the book again along with the hand written receipt he gave us on purchasing the car. I realised then that he had filled it in himself. We had also asked if the cam belt had been done and he said he thought it probably had been. I then phoned the last garage that had done a real service in June 2016. They told me that they had advised the owner that a new cam belt should be fitted at the next service. Of course it looks like it hasn't been serviced at all. We have thirty days from purchase as a guarantee. Is there anything we can do about what the dealer has done?
Yes, you avail yourself of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and reject the car immediately for a full cash refund. If he tries to wriggle out of this, hold over him a threat of criminal prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These contain a general prohibition against unfair commercial practices and, in particular prohibitions against misleading actions, misleading omissions and aggressive commercial practices. The Regulations are enforceable through the civil and criminal courts. These create an offence of "misleading omissions" which would not previously have been an offence if the consumer had not asked the right questions. So if a salesman knows a car has, for example, been badly damaged and repaired and does not tell the customer, he could later be held liable if the customer subsequently discovered that the car had been damaged and repaired. More on your rights in general here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ If you simply use the County Courts to make a Small Claim against him he might find all kinds of ways to wriggle out of paying, especially if he claims to have no assets.
Answered by Honest John on