The Sale of Goods Act “6 months” rule explained (briefly!)

Time and time again we get them.  Template letters stating that a consumer wants to get all their money back on a car purchase and that because something has gone wrong within the first 6 months then it is to be assumed to have been defective from the point of sale and that it is on you the trade seller to prove that it was not so.

Now, believe me, I could write chapter and verse on this topic but I will save you the pain and simply say this.  When the first thing that a private customer of yours does is demand a refund of the purchase price (i.e. he is trying to “reject” the vehicle) then this 6 month rule simply cannot apply.  

It can only ever apply if that buyer firstly asks you to repair or indeed to replace the vehicle in the first instance.  If they go straight for rejection it is for them and not you to have to show that the cause of failure was a) due to a defect (and not wear and tear) and b) was inherently present at the time of purchase even if it didn’t manifest itself until some-time later.

I can understand why customers may interpret the law wrongly but feel that it is simply unacceptable that so called “professional” advisers repeatedly fail to grasp this fundamental concept of current consumer law.

Published: 23 Jul 2013

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