The Sale of Goods Act ‘6 months’ rule explained (briefly!)


I could write chapter and verse on this topic but I will save you the pain and simply say this.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 9 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.

Time and time again we get them.  Template letters stating that a consumer wants to get all their money back on a car purchase and that because something has gone wrong within the first 6 months then it is to be assumed to have been defective from the point of sale and that it is on you the trade seller to prove that it was not so.

Now, believe me, I could write chapter and verse on this topic but I will save you the pain and simply say this.  When the first thing that a private customer of yours does is demand a refund of the purchase price (i.e. he is trying to ‘reject’ the vehicle) then this 6 month rule simply cannot apply.  

It can only ever apply if that buyer firstly asks you to repair or indeed to replace the vehicle in the first instance.  If they go straight for rejection it is for them and not you to have to show that the cause of failure was a) due to a defect (and not wear and tear) and b) was inherently present at the time of purchase even if it didn’t manifest itself until some-time later.

I can understand why customers may interpret the law wrongly but feel that it is simply unacceptable that so called ‘professional’ advisers repeatedly fail to grasp this fundamental concept of current consumer law.

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.