Customer ordered to pay our client’s court costs in mileage dispute

legal updates

A mileage disclaimer sticker was also displayed on dashboard at the time of sale, advising that the mileage must be deemed incorrect unless otherwise stated in writing.

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.

A Lawgistics member recently succeeded in defending civil and criminal claims concerning a vehicle sold with alleged mileage discrepancies. 

The Claimant (customer) asserted the vehicle sold by our client had two mileage discrepancies and therefore, had been misdescribed, in breach of Section 11 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or Section 13 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 in the alternative. As such, the Claimant sought a full refund of the purchase price in addition to hire car costs.

The Claimant relied on one MOT entry from February 2015 which recorded the mileage as 89,000 miles. A significant mileage for a three-year-old car! The mileage was then recorded as 10,000 miles in July 2015 and increased incrementally yearly, as one would expect.

The Claimant also relied on one repair invoice which recorded the mileage as 122,000 miles in early 2019 but the vehicle was sold later that year with a mileage of 92,000 miles. 

Our client stated the above discrepancies were both simply the result of clerical error and could be easily rectified. Indeed, our client contacted the repair garage who admitted they had incorrectly entered the mileage amount in 2019 and issued a corrected invoice.

Our client further relied on maintenance invoices carried out prior to sale and rental agreements which were consistent with the mileage advertised at the point of sale.

A mileage disclaimer sticker was also displayed on dashboard at the time of sale, advising that the mileage must be deemed incorrect unless otherwise stated in writing.

The Claimant contacted Trading Standards who proceeded to prosecute our client through the criminal courts for breach of the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.

The criminal trial was held before the civil trial and resulted in a not guilty verdict. 

Despite this outcome, the Claimant continued to pursue their claim through the civil courts.

Wearewood Services LtdMotor Trade Web Specialists

We offer an all-encompassing web, digital & design service specially tailored to the Motor Industry.

At the civil hearing, the judge reminded the parties that it was the Claimant’s responsibility to establish his case on balance of probability that the mileage had been tampered with and vehicle had been misdescribed.

The judge agreed that the MOT mileage of 89,000 miles was completely wrong and was most likely the result of “a slip of the finger”. The correct mileage should have been 8,000 or 9,000 miles.

The Claimant’s case, therefore, predominately relied on one repair document, which our client had shown was the result of a clerical error and had already been corrected by the repairing garage.

In light of all the evidence produced, the judge concluded that it would be perverse to uphold the Claimant’s allegations based on one invoice. Accordingly, the Claimant’s case was dismissed.

The judge further commented that, in any event, the mileage did not form a central part of the sale and the mileage disclaimer sticker further protected our client. 

The judge also questioned why the Claimant continued their claim despite Trading Standards failing to provide any evidence of a breach. As a result, the Claimant was ordered to pay our client’s costs of court attendance and witness expenses.

This was a great outcome for our client and should serve as a reminder that the courts expect all parties to act reasonably.

Katie PlemonsSolicitorRead More by this author

Related Legal Updates

SHOCK & HORROR! A finance company seeks to influence an expert opinion!

Any finance house thinking of or seeking to emulate such unconscionable conduct, risks not only judicial ire and sanction but also being named and shamed.

Petty Grievances

Dealers can rest assured that the courts still take a very dim view of petty grievances blown out of proportion.

Default Judgments & Set Aside Applications – When is late too late?

This article explores the complexities and urgent timing needed to set aside default judgments in County Court, highlighting the importance of prompt legal action.

Why a good defence is essential

Delays are never helpful, and the sooner we get the claim form, the sooner we can get to work on your defence.

It pays to take professional advice on a court claim

Experience remarkable savings and expert legal support for your motor trade business with our competitively priced services.

Proceed with caution: legal pitfalls in caravan and motorhome deals

Curious if one of these vehicles is in your possession? Verify your stock and arm yourself with essential legal knowledge to navigate any potential challenges.

How to win a court claim from the outset

A poorly prepared or non-compliant claim could result in the case being thrown out and/or not everything being awarded to you.

Get in touch

Complete the form to get in touch or via our details below:

Phone
01480 455500
Address

Vinpenta House
High Causeway
Whittlesey
Peterborough
PE7 1AE

By submitting this quote you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.