Denying the customer their consumer rights

legal updates

People buying vehicles to use as a taxi or for their work as a self employed plumber are unlikely to be seen by the law as a consumer.

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.

The new Consumer Rights Act 2015 has made it clearer as to who constitutes a consumer and therefore who attracts the full range of consumer rights. The definition of consumer is:

“an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession.”

This means people buying vehicles to use as a taxi or for their work as a self employed plumber are unlikely to be seen by the law as a consumer.

Special rules also apply to customers buying from a public live auction where the normal rules are ‘sold as seen’.

In most other transactions with a dealer, the individual customer will be entitled to their consumer rights and any attempt to deny the customers those rights are likely to not end well for the dealer. We know some dealers will sell a vehicle for a reduced price in return for a “no warranty” sale. However, warranty or not, that customer will still be entitled to rely on the provisions set out  in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and so any discount given could end up being just the starting point for a reduction in profit on that sale. 

A recent reported case in Cornwall demonstrates how it can go really wrong. A dealer (not one of our members of course!) was selling cars he’d purchased as ‘trade/spares and repairs’ on to customers while posing as a private seller in a deliberate effort to try and deny the customers their rights and so avoid any comeback. Trading Standards got involved and the case ended with the Magistrates dishing out a 13 week suspended sentence in addition to an order to pay compensation to two customers to the value of £1671.50 plus an £80 victim surcharge and prosecution costs of £2500.

The above really demonstrates the consequences of getting it wrong as it can not only cost money but can also lead to a criminal record.

If you have any concerns about consumer rights or are the subject of a Trading Standards investigation, do get in contact as the legal team have former consumer rights advisers and ex Trading Standard officers who will be able to provide tailored help and advice. Lawgistics Small Business package and Professional package members get unlimited telephone access to the legal team included within their annual subscription.

Profit BoxDevelop your people like your business depends on it

What most people don’t know is that talent development doesn’t have to be complicated, high risk or expensive. Once they integrate key development stages, the results can be remarkable. Empower your team. Lead your industry. We’re your strategic learning partner, driving performance by moving skills forward.

Nona BowkisLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

Related Legal Updates

How would you like to pay: cash, card, or crypto?

Crypto is a virtually unregulated payment method and does not have any statutory backing, unlike the S75 Consumer Credit Act 1974. Consumers will be unable to request an “undo” on the transaction and rely entirely on the seller to willingly provide a refund.

Why bother with Pre-Delivery Inspection Forms (PDI)?

It is easy to go around a vehicle, giving everything a cursory glance and just ticking the boxes to say you have looked at it.

A reasonable price to be paid for a service

The defendant paid only a portion of the invoice, promising to pay the remainder in good time, and took the vehicle.

Can an entire family bring court proceedings for an alleged defective car?

Luckily the Ruffles’ family dog didn’t turn up either as no doubt Pooch would have been allowed a woof on the witness stand too!

Car Dealers and Consumers – A Modern Day Tale

Ambulance chasers and chancer consumers are two pet hates of the legal team and we relish dealing with their issues here at Lawgistics.

The real difference between claims under and over £10k

Litigation isn’t always just about having a strong argument, there are many factors that can help you win a case and reduce your risk.

Warranty or Statutory Rights

We all regularly hear comments that a warranty covers consumer rights and there is a cut off of those rights once the warranty expires.

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.