Rejecting cars on finance is a problem I see virtually every day. This is an interesting case that came to my attention given the various consumer laws it spans.
A customer rejected a car on finance after 3 months under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, only to find afterwards that she owed thousands of pounds to the finance company. She couldn’t understand this as the car dealership has e-mails and phone calls to support her case in rejecting the vehicle.
CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015
First of all, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that all product should be;
- Satisfactory quality
- Fit for purpose
- As described
- Lasts a reasonable length of time
If you discover any faults within 6 months of ownership, the presumption is that the fault was there from the outset unless the retailer can prove otherwise.
REJECTING CARS ON FINANCE
The car is on finance so it’s not your problem as it belongs to the finance company. The finance company is jointly and severally liable with the dealership for the car which has failed to meet the criteria set under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This liability is covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
MISREPRESENTATION ACT 1967
The vehicle clearly had inherent faults since inception and was misrepresented at the point of sale. The legislation that covers this is the Misrepresentation Act 1967.
The onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time you purchased the product. This is called the reverse burden of proof.
This popular blog covers a similar scenario.
Given that the car has already been rejected and it would appear that it has been accepted, the customer should be taking the fight to the finance company and stating that she has made payments for a car (which belongs to them) that is clearly not fit for purpose.
Any question of negative equity can be discounted on that basis. I would also be seeking a refund of payments made and to be restored to the original position before I entered in to the contract.
It’s important to note at this point that you need to keep an eye on your credit file in case any adverse reports are lodged by the dealership and / or finance company.
DATA SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST
The question of not being able to understand how this has happened given that the dealership has e-mails and phone calls to support her case can be addressed by submitting a Data Subject Access Request under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act 2018.
The dealership would have to disclose all e-mails, recorded phone calls, CCTV records and much more within 1 month otherwise they would be in breach and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could prosecute the dealership.
Have you had problems rejecting cars on finance?