Top Tip on the description – One previous owner

legal_updates

The use of the description by the motor trader is dangerous and open to prosecution by Trading Standards.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 12 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

Over the last few months we have had clients reporting customer complaints about the description – one previous (or former) owner (or two etc previous owners). 

It appears that many motor traders use this description because the Vehicle Registration Document V5 shows one (or two etc) former keeper(s).  The use of the description by the motor trader is dangerous and open to prosecution by Trading Standards.

Firstly, the word ‘owners’ is dangerous in its own right.  A large number of people and business’s may ‘own’ the vehicle and, of course the dealer him/herself is an owner.

Secondly, however, if we get the description involving ‘keepers’ then the problem arises because the dealer is forgetting it is him/her (the dealer) making the description and not what is included on the V5.

Take for example a car that was originally bought by the first keeper A.  A sells it in part exchange to a garage and the garage sell it to keeper B.  B sells it to you.  The V5 that B holds shows one previous keeper.  So when B sold it to you he/she could legitimately say ‘one previous keeper’.

However, when the car is on your forecourt, you would be mis-describing it by saying one previous keeper.  The car, let’s face it, has had two previous keepers A and B.

Motor dealers should be very wary in ensuring any description that they are using it totally correct

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.