Vehicle history dispute

The consumer’s issue:

“The retailer failed to advise me that the vehicle was ex-lease, and I was also refused access to the logbook. I was informed that there was only one previous owner, but I was not aware that it was not a private owner. I feel that I have therefore been mis-led by this omission, as it would have influenced my purchase decision, and I would not have bought this vehicle. I therefore requested the rejection of the car, but it was refused by the seller. To this end, I am now seeking a reduction off the price I paid for it.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • There was no request from the consumer to look at the V5C. This is stored on site, so they could have been given this information.
  • Our initial correspondence with the customer was around faults with the vehicle which have been put right.
  • Whilst it’s an ex-lease / contract hire vehicle, there was only ever one driver.
  • The previous owner would not have affected the value of the vehicle at any time.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The case was considered under clause 2.11 of the Vehicle Sales Code which states: “The accredited business will not withhold information about a vehicle’s service history or usage that may affect your decision to purchase the vehicle.”
  • The business accepts that the V5C was on site, and therefore, they were aware of the vehicle being ex-lease. This was, in the adjudicator’s opinion, information which was deemed critical to the consumer making a fully informed purchase decision.
  • As such, a 10% price reduction was awarded to the customer.
  • This adjudication outcome was accepted by the retailer and the consumer, and the case was closed.