Where do I stand if a used car fails five weeks after buying?

I purchased a car 5 weeks ago. It drove fine at that time. Its performance reduced over the following weeks and it was loosing water but with no obvious leaks. Then its head gasket blew. The AA recovery guys suggested that the garage that sold it may have known of the problem and performed a temporary fix to sell it. The garage claim there is no warranty. The car is 2006. Where do I stand?

Asked by Connor

The absence of a warranty isn’t relevant here. Under the Sale of Goods Act, anything bought from a trader, including used cars must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.

Satisfactory quality means that the vehicle should be of a standard a reasonable person would expect and the dealer is legally obliged to sort out the problem if it fails to meet these basic requirements.

Faults that come to light within the first six months are presumed to have been present at the time of the sale and you are entitled to repair, replacement or a full or partial refund.

If the dealer continues to be difficult you could draw his attention to these guidelines published by the OFT.

Your local Trading standards department may be interested and your local CAB should be able to advise you how to proceed if the dealer still denies responsibility.


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