If you are buying a car in Scotland you should be aware of the Guidance for second hand car dealers that was published recently by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) – have a look for more information at motors.co.uk/. This is a set of requirements for used car dealers to ensure that they comply with ˜The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and ˜The Sale of Goods Act.
Essentially these guidelines state the level of service you should reasonably expect to receive from your car dealer. It is beyond the scope of this article to delve very deeply into these guidelines, but here are a few of the more salient features.
Car dealers must not give false information or insufficient information to their customers and they must not use overly aggressive sales techniques. Practices which are considered to be unfair are those that are likely to make a car buyer make a decision that is different from what they would otherwise have done. Examples of these are: viewing a car they wouldn’t have viewed; buying a car that they wouldn’t have; pay more money that they wished to; not make a valid complaint. These apply to pre-sales, during the sale, and after sales; they also apply to purchases made by the dealer as well as sales.
Under the Sales of Goods Act it is a requirement that the dealer ensures that the car is of a reasonable quality which means that is should fairly reflect a reasonable quality anticipated by its age, its value, its history, its mileage, the use for which it is intended, the manufacturer, the durability of that model, safety, and that is as described.
The dealer is also required to ensure that he has the right to sell the car. This means that he must carry out checks that the car is not subject to any finance arrangement such as HP.
If you buy a car from a dealer in Scotland who is in breach of any of the above there are a number of remedies that you can take. In Scotland these remedies are possible for any car purchased in the last 5 years (though in England and Wales it is 6 years) though you will need to show that the fault existed at the time of purchase.