Lawgistics client wins court case over private sale


The customer sought to reject under the Consumer Rights Act.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 5 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.

One of our clients sold a car which he correctly told the intending purchaser was a vehicle owned by him and his wife.  The customer was interested and bought the vehicle with a receipt signed by them both acknowledging that it was a private sale.

A problem occurred and the customer sought to reject under the Consumer Rights Act.  His rationale for making out that it was a business sale and not a private sale were:

1.    The transaction was concluded on the seller’s garage premises (although the buyer happened to work a short distance away and was done there for mutual convenience)

2.    The car was insured in the name of the garage (so that any employee could drive it if necessary)

3.    He found a very old advert for that car for sale by that garage.

4.    Trading Standards – we are told – confirmed that it was not a private sale.

In evidence the client was able to show the finance agreement that his wife had for the car, bank statements showing her making monthly repayments and paying off the finance at the time of the onward sale.  These were clearly influential.  The advertisement for the car predated the client’s wife becoming the registered keeper of it.

The court ruled that – not surprisingly in our opinion – that this was clearly a private sale and that the buyer knew of this before agreeing to buy it.  The “buyer beware” rule applied and no damages could be awarded to the buyer/claimant.

Interestingly, the court also held that the failures within the vehicle were not present at the point of sale.  The buyer had caused damage by allowing the car to be driven until it was devoid of fuel.

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

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