Consumer Rights Act 2015...getting it right

Well done WMS for their proactive approach to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 however Lawgistics the legal firm to the motor trade feel that we must point out a couple of inaccuracies within their article.

Having consulted with our legal expert Nona Bowkis regarding this matter I must bring your attention to these following points.

WMS said “The durability of a vehicle is down to the manufacturer in the design and use of quality materials, and as such a second hand dealership does not have control over these issues.” While this is true, as ‘the seller’ the second hand dealership could well be liable for any issues, as the purchasers contract will be with them and not the manufacturer.

On being fit for purpose, “For example, if an electrician can carry all of his tools in a briefcase, a sports car with a small boot would be fit for that particular purpose.” If an electrician or tradesman is using the vehicle for business, then they are probably not a consumer and so the Act would not apply in this case.

On remedies WMS states

a) Short term right to reject (up to 30 days from the point of sale)
b) The right to repair or replacement (for six months following the point of sale)
c) The right to a price reduction

The right to repair does not end at 6 months. Technically, statute of limitations gives the consumer 6 years. We often see traders being approached by unhappy consumers with issues well after 6 months.

Point c) should read ‘the right to a price reduction or final right to reject’.

Regarding the issue of deductions for usage.

“The question here is how dealerships would assess this deduction. The obvious place to start would be the price that they would need to pay for a similar vehicle if they purchased it for stock on the day of the rejection, which could of course be significant and would need to be explained to the vehicle owner.”

The accompanying guidance from BIS makes clear that the trade price is not the way to go with this. The deduction has to be a genuine deduction for usage. Specifically it says:

Note that the deduction must be calculated based on the use that the consumer has had from the goods, and not the second-hand value of the goods.

We commend WMS for being proactive on this matter when many others within the industry have remained silent.

Should you have any issues, or further questions regarding the new legislation then please read the legal updates on our website that relate to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Lawgistics members can get advice on this or any other legal matter that affects their business by contacting the legal team.


Authors: Ian Gardner

Published: 09 Oct 2015


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