Did you know English Courts have established a rule of law that a buyer cannot get a refund from a seller, if what is sold is unfit for its ordinary purpose?
There are very few exceptions to this rule which occur only where there has been fraud commited, false statements made or dishonesty - all of which will require a detailed examination of the case facts in court.
So if you're a buyer, you need to take great caution.
With private sales, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a buyer cannot get a refund from a seller, if what is sold is unfit for its ordinary purpose.
However, if you've purchased from an internet or magazine advertisement and you feel you have bought something not as described, you may be able to claim for “misrepresentation” and get some money back.
As we don't have a register of car owners in England and Wales, just a register of “keepers”, it is important to establish the person selling the Classic Car, is actually the owner. It is also important to check that they are not bankrupt and that the car is not owned by a finance house or bank, otherwise they will generally be unable to give ownership rights to the buyer.
Unlike private sales Classic Car sales by dealers are subject to consumer protection legislation, which can reduce the buyer’s risk.
In essence this provides a comprehensive code of conduct to avoid unfair business practices, which is enforced by the Trading Standards Service. This includes not:
- giving false information to or deceiving customers
- giving insufficient information, or hiding important information
- acting aggressively through sales techniques
- failing to act in accordance with the reasonable expectations/honest market practice good faith
In addition this legislation requires that certain contract terms apply, such as:
- the dealer has the right to sell the classic car
- that it is accurately described,
- is of satisfactory quality i.e. free from minor defects, safe and durable
- and fit for purpose and if identified the buyers specific purpose
Quite often the dealer will have their own sale contract and terms of business, so if any reference is made to them, you must first obtain a copy and read and understand them before completing a purchase.
If the dealer doesn't own the classic car and is selling it on behalf of the owner, the agreement may provide for the purchase monies to be paid to the owner and the dealer.
What happens if you are not happy with your purchase? Learn more about Litigation and Mediation.