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Buying a used car
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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 fewer legal rights when buying a used car in a private sale. There’s no legal requirement for the car to 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 provide 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.

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Meet your experts
Ian Hawkins Ian began advising in the legal expenses industry and joined the Which? Legal team in 2016. See profile
Evgeni Hristov Evgeni joined Which? Legal in December 2017 as a consumer law adviser. Evgeni graduated law at the University of the West of England in 2014. See profile
Sanchia Pereira Sanchia joined Which? Legal in 2018 and is a qualified solicitor. Sanchia has worked in private practice, specialising in criminal litigation. See profile