The Motor Ombudsman continues to support consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. New and Used Car Sales
  4. Can I return my car within 14 days of buying it?

Can I return my car within 14 days of buying it?

Your ability to request a refund within 14 days will be affected by the method used to buy the car, and also whether the sale was made at a distance (e.g. over the phone or online), or whilst at physical premises (e.g. car dealership).

“Off-premises” / distance sale – The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, defines a distance sale to be a contract where the purchase of the goods is conducted “off-premises”, such as an online purchase. In an “off-premises”/distance sale, the customer has 14 days after delivery of the goods to cancel the order. If the business does not inform the consumer of their 14-day right to cancel, then the consumer will have up to 12 months after delivery of the goods to cancel the order. Additionally the consumer does not need to provide a reason for cancelling.

“On-premises” sale – If the car purchase is made on the premises of the business (e.g. an independent garage or car dealership), you will only be able to request a refund for the car if there is a problem with it. Under the Limitation Act 1980, s5, you have up to 6 years from the point of sale to make a claim for breach of the sales contract.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, if the vehicle is found to be defective, based on your first tier of rights, you may request within the first 30 days of purchase;

  • The rejection of the vehicle in return for a full purchase refund; or
  • For the trader to repair the vehicle; or
  • For the trader to replace the car like-for-like.

However, if the vehicle is found to be defective outside the first 30 days of purchase, you may request:

  • A rejection of the vehicle if the trader has exhausted their “one shot” at repair ( the seller would be entitled to make a reasonable deduction for your use of the vehicle);
  • To keep the vehicle in its defective state, in exchange for an appropriate price reduction, if the trader has exhausted their one shot at repair; or
  • To be awarded a like-for-like replacement vehicle.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles