Claim for full refund on a £1000 vehicle – Case dismissed

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The judge’s finding was that he was not satisfied to the relevant standard of proof the car had failed to comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

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The Claimant purchased a 15-year-old vehicle for £1000 in December 2017.  Proceedings were issued for a full refund on 20th October 2020 after three years of ownership and use of over 8000 miles.

The judge asked the Claimant what remedy she was seeking, and it was the Claimant’s position she should not have been sold the car in the first place and she has had to spend more money on the car than expected.  The judge asked the Claimant what law she was relying on.  The Claimant said she wanted compensation.  The judge asked her to clarify if she were seeking damages and she said she wanted a refund.  The judge said, in that case, the car would need to be returned to the Defendant and the Claimant said she had scrapped the car at the end of 2020. 

The judge summarised the Claimant’s claim in the following synopsis by the representative: 

The Claimant does not dispute the vehicle was 15 years of age with around 94,000 miles on the clock when purchased for £1000.  The Claimant set out the issues that developed with the vehicle.  The first one being a spring that broke and was repaired under warranty.  Issues appeared with the engine managed light, an issue with the starter motor which was replaced as an expense she had to pay and the engine temperature gauge kept coming on, the cooler ball was empty and that persisted and eventually the engine was replaced by the Defendant at a cost of £500 to the Claimant.  Shortly after that she discovered the oil was empty and took it to a different garage for refill.  She says that there has been problem with the coolant and the oil with the vehicle which she had to top up.  There was an issue with the seatbelt which she says is on the passengers side, the MOT certificate says it was the offside.  She says there was a problem with the exhaust part that cracked and needed 4 screws.  She says there as an issue with the boot leaking and it was repaired in a bad way according to someone else who’s evidence, I don’t have.  The Claimant would have preferred to have kept her old vehicle. 

The Defendant’s evidence is set out in his witness statement.  Under cross examination the Defendant said he had replaced the engine to fix a problem in the most cost effective way for the Claimant.  He could not comment on the subsequent oil light illumination or leaks as he did not see the vehicle to inspect it. 

S19(14) and (15) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 create a rebuttable presumption that if goods fail within 6 months of purchase they were not of satisfactory quality.

The judge informed it was for the Claimant to prove on the balance of probabilities that it is more likely than not that the Defendant was in breach of contract and that she was entitled to the remedy sought.

The judge’s finding was that he was not satisfied to the relevant standard of proof the car had failed to comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015.  The Claimant’s evidence whilst, with the best of intention, lacked supporting material and the judge took into account the specifics of this type of contract which was the purchase of a vehicle for £1000 and a reconditioned engine. 

The case was dismissed.  

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