I have just bought a second hand car from a second hand car dealer. Paid the full amount with direct debit. UK based.

The car developed a fault (check engine light which wasn't present when viewing it, and even went through an MOT just fine, diagnostics codes indicate a non-trivial problem).

Am I able to ask the dealer for a refund? The consumer rights act says you can reject a car within 30 days if a fault develops and renders it unsatisfactory.

Can I get the refund straight away or do I have to give them a chance to repair first? I'd rather just get the refund if I can.

  • 3
    Your case here, read it. which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/…
    – DumbCoder
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:21
  • I'm wary of it not being that simple, though. Is it really that straightforward?
    – MKHC
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:23
  • What makes you think that Which is lying or dishing out incorrect information ?
    – DumbCoder
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:24
  • Which isn't the issue, I just want to make sure I've definitely got a case and that it fully applies to me.
    – MKHC
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:25
  • 1
    As far as we can tell from the information given, you do. Note that the dealer may well try to claim you aren't entitled to a refund or they might try and offer various alternatives - you do not have to accept these. I would recommend bringing a hard copy print out of the article with the relevant points highlighted, and if necessary a friend / advocate who will encourage you to stick to your guns. If you do encounter any trouble just keep assertively (not aggressively) stating your case and what you expect.
    – Vicky
    Jan 18, 2017 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Dumb Coder has already given you a link to a website that explains your rights. The only thing that remains is how to execute the return without getting more grief from the dealer.

Though the legal aspects are different, I believe the principle is the same. I had a case where I had to rescind the sale of a vehicle in the US. I was within my legal rights to do so, but I knew that when I returned to the dealership they would not be pleased with my decision.

I executed my plan by writing a letter announcing my intention to return the vehicle siting the relevant laws involved with a space at the bottom of the letter for the sales person to acknowledge receipt of the letter and indicate that there was no visible damage to the car when the vehicle was returned. I printed two copies of the letter, one for them to keep, and one for me to keep with the signed acknowledgement of receipt.

As expected, they asked me to meet with the finance manager who told me that I wouldn't be able to return the car. I thanked him for meeting with me and told him that I would be happy to meet in court if I didn't receive a check within 7 days. (That was his obligation under the local laws that applied.)

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