Refunds under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – deductions for use by customer


Under the short-term right to reject, the customer appears to be entitled to a full refund.

Author: Nona Bowkis
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 7 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.

As we have been advising, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a customer has two types of rights with regard to refunds if there is a fault with the vehicle. The first is the 30 day ‘short-term right to reject’ and the second is the ‘final right to reject’ – more on that next time.

Under the short-term right to reject, the customer appears to be entitled to a full refund or as the Act says “the consumer is entitled to receive back the same amount of money”.

So under the short term right to reject, even if the customer has had the vehicle for 29 days of the 30 day period, they appear to be entitled to a full refund.

Interestingly, car dealers do get a special mention with regard to refunds under the final right to reject.  Normally, a retailer cannot deduct any amount for the use the consumer has made of a product if the refund is made in the first six months. However, in the case of a motor vehicle, a deduction can be made for the use the customer has had of the car. Now not to get too excited, this does not automatically mean that the customer only has to accept the trade value at the time of the refund but, there is certainly room to negotiate although any final decision would be up to the courts to decide if necessary.  

As a couple of points, refunds should be made “without undue delay” and certainly no more than 14 days after the agreement to refund and they should be made using the same means of payment as the customer used so a credit payment = a credit card refund. And no, you cannot impose a fee for the refund on the consumer.

If you want to learn more on the Consumer Rights Act, you can listen to our recent three part special which is now available in one podcast as Episode 33 of the Car Dealer Podcast.

Nona Bowkis

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.