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What is the Consumer Rights Act, and how does it affect my vehicle purchase?

If you bought your car after 01 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies. This means that, when you buy the vehicle, it has to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.


Within the first 30 days, if there’s a problem that means your car doesn’t meet these standards, it develops a serious fault or you find that it isn’t what was advertised to you, you can raise this with the seller and ask for your money back. In this instance, you will be entitled to a full refund.


If you report the problem outside of the first 30 days, you have to give the selling dealership or garage one opportunity to repair or replace your car, with repair normally being the best option.


If this fails because the same fault persists, or a new inherent fault has developed, you’ve then got two options: a price reduction, meaning you keep the vehicle and get back some of the money you paid for it or, to exercise your final right of rejection – where you will be entitled to a refund of what you paid for the car minus a deduction for any usage you’ve had. This is usually calculated by looking at how many miles you’ve added to the vehicle, and charging a certain amount of pence for each mile driven.


It’s worth bearing in mind that, if the issue occurs in the first six months after buying the car, it’s up to the selling dealership or garage to prove that it was of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described when they sold it to you. However, if you want to reject your car for a full refund within the first 30 days, or the problem happens six months or more after you bought the vehicle, you – the consumer, needs to be able to prove that the car was not of satisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described when you bought it. This will normally be through either a diagnosis from a garage or dealership, or an independent technical report. You can find more information about independent technical reports here.


If something does go wrong, the best thing to do is to let the business who sold you the vehicle know, and give them the chance to look into what’s happened. You can get in touch with the manufacturer if you like, but please remember that it isn’t the manufacturer who sold you the vehicle, so the Consumer Rights Act 2015 doesn’t apply to them in this situation. We’d always recommend contacting the selling dealership or garage and making sure they’re involved in the process of finding a resolution.



How to submit a dispute to The Motor Ombudsman

The Motor Ombudsman is a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider who can assist with disputes that arise between consumers and Code-accredited businesses.

Before you submit a dispute to us, firstly please ensure you have taken a look at the information about our process on the resolve a dispute page.

Submit a dispute


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