We get a lot of requests for us to review terms and conditions from dealers selling cars to the public.
However, unlike business to business transactions – such as agreements with finance companies, terms and conditions in consumer transactions are not really something to overly concern yourselves with. This is because the vast majority of rights are already set out in the various consumer legislation, predominantly the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Amendments) Regulations 2013 (CCR). As a dealer you can’t opt out of these and so if you comply with what is required in those, you are pretty much on the home straight.
Of course, paperwork is always good and so if you are using our order forms, sales invoices and PDI pads and have completed the relevant checklist to ensure you comply with the CCR you have probably got everything in writing which you need. In fact, I can’t even remember having an argument with a consumer over any terms and conditions. Most court cases that come to us are about the consumer rights set out in the CRA, most usually an argument over satisfactory quality. Unfortunately, some of the advice organisations only give an overview to consumers of their rights and so the subtleties and nuances are overlooked leaving the consumer with high and unrealistic expectations. It was for this reason that we wrote our Legal Rights Handbook which was updated when the CRA came into force last October. The booklet, which many of our dealers give to each customer, sets out the consumer rights in realistic terms as well as setting out a complaints process which is required under both the FCA regulations for those dealers who are FCA registered and also for all dealers under the CCR.