Another court win against a consumer with unrealistic expectations of a used car

One of our clients found themselves dealing with a rather persistent consumer whose list of alleged issues kept on growing. Despite disputing the issues, the client took a commercial decision to offer a refund just to draw a line under the matter as it was clear this was a consumer who was not going to go away. However, the consumer did not want to return their lovely 10 year old convertible BMW, they wanted money and so many backs and forths later, they issued a claim against our client for over £7200 – £700 more than the sale price.

In response we drafted a defence and collated all the relevant information including the MOT records which showed not only a first time pass but that the consumer had driven almost 6000 miles in his first year of ownership. Hardly then indicative of a car of unsatisfactory quality.

Our final witness statement which we wrote for the client in response to the expert report ran to 5 pages, such was the level of alleged issues.

To be frank, this case was probably one of the most labour intensive small claims we have dealt with but, the effort was all worth it as the almost £7.5k claim was reduced by the court to just £135. Given that it had cost the consumer £745 to bring the claim (issue fee of £410 plus hearing fee of £335) and the court only awarded him £50 in costs (what it would have cost him to issue a claim for the £135 he ‘won’), it ended up costing the consumer dearly.

Agreeing with the points made in our defence, the judge stated that the vehicle was not of unsatisfactory quality given its age and price paid. The judge further noted that the vehicle could be driven satisfactorily and safely and was structurally sound and he found that the defects were not sufficiently serious to warrant a rejection and refund. Job done.


Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 26 May 2017


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