Complying with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations

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In this article we look at the Office of Fair Trading guidance for Pre Sale Checks on vehicles and what is expected of you.

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In this article we look at the Office of Fair Trading guidance for Pre Sale Checks on vehicles and what is expected of you.

Roadworthiness and Safety: The guidance suggests that the general ‘pitch’ of the dealer can only have safe roadworthy cars displayed for sale.  Any vehicle that has not been checked to confirm it is safe and roadworthy should be marked (eg awaiting preparation) and removed from the sales pitch without any price displayed on it.  As has always been the case customers should not be given test drives in unroadworthy cars.

History/mileage checks:  The guidance suggests you are more likely to breach the CPRs if you display for sale or sell a car before completing presales history and mileage checks.  The CPRs now go considerably further in how you deal with a sale when the checks have not been completed.  Effectively the guidance is saying that, the customer can reject the vehicle if you sell the vehicle before results are received and the customer is unhappy when they find out those results.  All deposits should be returned.

THIS is a marked change which is taking civil and criminal law to a much higher standard of duty on sellers of used vehicles.  There is a duty on you as the retailer to fully check the history.

In the checklist provided the Office of Fair Trading suggest the checks should include:- 

–   Recorded stolen

–   Recorded on finance

–   Recorded as having had an accident

–   Evident of rental, taxi, driving school, ie multiple users but perhaps with a single keeper

–   Mileage

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–   (These checks should involve organisations like HPI, Experian, previous owners documentation ie service history, DVLA, VOSA, MOT checks)-   In the event of a mileage discrepancy the guidance suggests a full check for all registered keepers and you should be totally up front with the checks and the results to prospective customers.  Disclaimers are not seen as a substitute for checks.  

The guidance prohibits the type of ‘disclaimers’ that seek to reduce rights eg ‘sold as seen’, ‘Trade sale’, ‘Spares’.

In addition all vehicles should be checked by a qualified person prior to being offered for sale to ensure it is roadworthy and of satisfactory quality.  Merely relying on MOTs and service histories are deemed not acceptable.

The new system goes much further than has been the ‘norm’ in the past!  

Dennis ChapmanIn remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015Read More by this author

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