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Used cars

It’s a common misapprehension that should your just-bought used car break down, there’s no chance of a refund, repair or compensation. But whether you’ve bought from a dealer or a private seller, you may have more rights than you expect.

Buying a used car from a dealer

Although buying a used car from a dealer can be more expensive than buying privately, you do have more legal protection if things go wrong.

When you buy a used car from a dealer, you can expect under the Sale of Goods Act for the car to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

The quality you can expect will depend on how old the car is – and you should expect a degree of wear and tear, which may also include some measure of cosmetic damage.  

Buying a used car in a private sale

You have less legal rights when buying a used car in a private sale. There’s no legal requirement for the car be of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. However, the car must match the seller’s description. If the seller simply stated the make, model, age and mileage, you may have no comeback if the car develops a problem soon after you paid for it. 

Which? Legal can help

Our specialist advisers provides expert legal advice on your rights when buying used cars.

From misleading descriptions to claims on second-hand warranties, we can guide you step by step through making a complaint and getting your money back.

The Which? Legal lawyers and specialist advisers will give you individual, jargon-free legal advice and help to win your case.

Why Which? Legal?

We're not on the clock. Our legal team will help you every step of the way, for a simple monthly fee.

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