Broken second hand car - how to return it?
My partner and I traded in my old Corsa last October for an 05 plate Astra that we are paying off over 3 years. However ever since the very day we picked up the car we have had problems. On the day we were driving it home from the garage the engine management light came on and the revs wouldn't go very high at all. It was returned and supposedly fixed. However since then its been back to the garage 3 times. On the last occasion we couldnt even drive it to the garage as the car wasn't even starting. It has all been engine problems, either breaking down, the engine management light coming on and we are getting fed up with it all.
We have been in contact with Consumer Direct and Trading Standards. Both of whom told us we had a case to fight, talked us through sending the letter of complaint and to consult a solicitor if we failed to get a reply. We received one letter from the finance company basically telling us that the garage had fixed the car again (even though we asked them not to because we wanted a refund) and that the car was now "fit for purpose" and we had to collect it. After contacting a solicitor they told us the same thing.
We think this is extremely unfair as we started complaining when the car was broken but both the garage and the finance company wouldn't discuss the matter. The car is now outwith its warranty as we have been refusing to pick it up and we don't want it back in case it breaks again (which going by experience it probably will!) Neither the garage or the finance company have offered to extend the warranty, it feels like we are trapped into taking back a dodgy car.
Does anyone have any suggestions where to go next? Should we start demanding for an extended warranty instead or is there still a case to fight to get our money back?
I would talk again to consumer direct; you need to clarify your situation, as I see it your complaint is with the garage not the finance company. I also think you probably have two options, one is to attempt to sell the car back to the dealer (probably at a loss) or two, collect the car and see if it is now OK, if not the garage should repair it under the warranty on their repair/s. I would check the latter with consumer direct/solicitor. As it stands, you have not reached the end of a legal process.
Thanks for the reply.
Our complaint is with the finance company at the moment. We did originally complain to the garage but then we found out since we are paying off the car over a few years then the finance company technically own the car. So we were told to complain to the finance company instead.
I shall try calling Consumer Direct again, however last time they just passed us onto Trading Standards who then said we should get a solicitor. We seem to have gone through all the possible options with no one really offering to take on the situation and have no idea who to contact next if a solicitor isn't even hopeful.
These things take time, there are clear legal steps required; you are part of the way, hence the suggestion to go back to consumer direct/trading standards for the next step. I think you can only return the car if it is not fit for purpose and they (the garage) refuse to make it so. The garage will be in their rights to charge rent, if you leave the car there long after it is repaired.
Last edited by wagolynn; 27-01-11 at 17:43.
You seem to have gone through the complete system, but have you tried contacting an Ombudsman?
He might be able to help you sort it all out, good luck.