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Anyone successfully returned a second hand car

  • 27-09-2021 7:53am
    Registered Users Posts: 19 Dave3030

    Hi all

    We recently (end of Jun 21) bought a 2015 car from a small independent dealer. It was approx a 10k trade in plus 6k cash so no finance.

    Since then we have brought it back 3 times due to the engine warning light appearing, and the car not running right (limp mode). Each time the garage claims to have fixed it the same issues appear within a few of weeks.

    After the third time we brought it in I made it clear that we had no confidence in the car and we would like to return it but the salesman became a quite combative (no surprise) and just insisted that they would fix it. With 3 months left on the warranty i didnt want to burn my bridges with him so i gave them the benefit of the doubt, accepted that and he was very apologetic etc.

    The car again is not running right-no power after about 3000rpm, although no engine light on at this stage. At this point, i think the car is a dud and that the garage knows it, but is trying to do a patch job until the 6month warranty is up, and then we will be stuck with it.

    Now, im trying to decide the best approach, I know if i go back and push for the refund-he is unlikely to agree, (i have also spoken to the owner who is even less agreeable).

    Should i imply legal action? Should i speak to a solicitor? Would a letter from a solicitor be more likely to get a better outcome? If we have to go down the legal route-how likely is it that we get a result?

    Has anyone been in a similar situation?



  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭ Whatwicklow

    Hi, just returned a a6 to a small independent, the car had gearbox issues (mecatronic) got an offer to settle but it wasn't near the potential repair cost so, i clearly requested refund and with no great quibble I returned the car for 100% refund.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Dave3030

    Thanks for the info, do you mind me asking if you had a solicitor involved in order to get the offer to settle? And if so, at what stage did you involve them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭ Whatwicklow

    No, I didn't need to go down that road, my gearbox specialist was able to give me a vcds print to show that the car had had its codes cleared a few times before the sale.

    That was enough to show that it was a known and undeclared fault and let me in a solid position.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭ Andrea B.

    If i was you, with 3 months left on warranty, record every date, name and conversation and get to a solicitor.

    At that point it will be clearly timestamped that issues arose and were flagged during warranty period.

  • Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭ Zylias

    I returned a car to a main dealer it was 5 years old at the time issues with it starting constantly gave them one chance to fix it and it happened again and I went straight back down.

    Went in and explained to the manager I wanted my money back as with my consumer rights I've given them an opportunity to fix the vehicle and it was unroadworthy and not fit for purpose as per my contract with them.

    Id go in and have a chat with them and be polite and give them an opportunity to refund you, if they refuse I'd send a solicitor letter in

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  • Registered Users Posts: 50,203 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26

    There is no one size fits all answer to this question. It really depends on how good or bad the dealer in question actually is. Some will accept it back after failing to resolve the issue while others will fight you tooth n nail or just stone wall you until you give up and go away. If the dealer is the latter then you can expect a long drawn out battle with them as it's probably not the first time they have been down that road. It then becomes a measure of how much time and money you want to invest in legally forcing them to take the car back versus getting the car fixed properly at your own expense or just selling it on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭ Zylias

    Just to build on what Baz said, the dealer can really dig their heels in so I wouldn't recommend snotty emails or phone calls, the best way to deal with it is turn up with all of the documentation for the car such as the logbook for them to be able to sign it and you can post it back.

    When your sold a car it must be roadworthy and fit for purpose in line with its age and mileage.

    Go in and explain you've lost faith on the vehicle and that you've given them the opportunity for repairing the problem which has not rectified the issue and it has been in multiple times.

    Then you want to see if there's something that can be done with your returning the car. You won't get your full money back as you've had it three months. If they refuse again your only other options are a legal letter or I've read of other posts here having success going on Google and social media and leaving bad reviews.

    Theres no right or wrong way to deal with this, you want to try and give the car back and cover your loss as best as possible.

    OP we really do need more information on posts like this, what's the make and model of the car and what's the mileage? Has it had an NCT? If so when? Any main dealer service history? Is it a UK import? We really need more info to advise any potential fixes or if it's a known issue etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,948 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    It's interesting you say no engine light this time.

    Is it coming on with the ignition and then going off or have the garage done away with it altogether.

    Is this a diesel?

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,948 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    A family member returned a car a few years back. Dpf faults and all dealer was doing was resetting fault and giving it a blast down the road.

    Dealer wouldn't spend a penny on it. After returning it's it was still sitting out the back of his lot 3 years later and it was a 7k car at the time.