What can I do if I’m not happy with my new car?
What can I do if I’m not happy with my new car?
Post purchase dissatisfaction. Is there anything worse? And is that dissatisfaction greater when the price tag is more expensive?
Buying a car is such a big decision so if it isn’t what you thought, the task of trying to resolve the issues can sometimes feel insurmountable. Here at Zuto we want you to have peace of mind about the car you’ve purchased and have a dedicated aftercare team in place.
Michelle Delap has worked at Zuto for three years and heads up this team. Across this time, she’s handled many different cases where customers have been unhappy with their vehicles and the good news is the majority of these are fixable.
Michelle explains, “The Customer Care Team at Zuto aims to provide impartial advice and support wherever we can. A car is a life line to most households so we aim to add value by helping customers find a resolution quickly, negotiating with the relevant third parties on your behalf.”
What support is available for car buyers after purchase?
First of all, be reassured. “There’s very clear legislation in place to help the customer,” Michelle explains, “The Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015 may protect you if you’ve not received the goods as advertised or you experience a mechanical failing with the vehicle within the first six months of purchase and have bought your car from a garage or dealership.
“Crucially, every business has to abide by this legislation. Sometimes, if you’ve been sold the car with a warranty, a dealer will suggest you resolve through this channel, however the warranty cannot be provided by the dealer as a replacement for their obligation under the CRA and there are set guidelines setting out if or when they would have to fix a problem for you.”
Although the CRA is designed to help the customer, is there anything car buyers should be aware of?
Michelle warns, “The key thing is to act quickly. The consumer rights act dictates, where there is a mechanical failing rendering the vehicle unfit for purpose, the customer has a 30 day right to reject for a full refund. Meanwhile, the seller needs to rectify a problem if it is presented to them within six months of purchase, if the problem is not in any way associated with wear and tear or a serviceable item.” “Always make your first port of call the dealer and in no circumstances pay for the remedy without the dealer knowing or agreeing to pay the cost in writing.”
Is the customer always right?
Michelle concedes, “Occasionally, we do see that customers have simply chosen the wrong car for their needs and this may be causing performance issues.
“For example cars fitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) aren’t suitable for drivers who only use their car to make short journeys. While the buying decision might have been made because they’re better for the environment, the DPF gradually becomes blocked.
“This can be avoided if the sooty deposits are turned into ash as the exhaust heats up but slow, short journeys means the exhaust temperatures don't get hot enough to do this. A fix could cost around £100 or a replacement around £1,000. And if the car isn’t getting those frequent, long, journeys it will just happen again.”
How can customer avoid any post purchase dissatisfaction when buying a vehicle?
Michelle’s top tips are…
Always take a test drive. Check the interior and the exterior of the car and see how the car performs on any road you’re likely to be travelling on, just to see if you’re happy with the performance on standard journeys you’ll be making. For more top tips for your test drive, take a look at our two minute video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=BmiizTau-LE
It’s worthwhile to review all the documents available with the sale of the vehicle to have as clear idea as you can of the vehicle’s history. Here at Zuto, we conduct a free vehicle history and valuation check on any vehicle you’re looking at and by checking the service history, you can make sure everything is as described in the sale advert.
Do some research to see if the make and model of the car you’re interested in has been subject to a manufacturer recall. If it has, make sure the car you’re interested in has had the remedial work and ask for the paperwork to prove it.
Lastly, if you’re going to pay the dealer a deposit, find out what the terms and conditions of this are. We have some great advice from Zuto Director, Ryan Dignan, here: https://www.zuto.com/blog/do-i-have-to-pay-any-money-upfront-to-the-dealer
What can I do about the finance if I’m not happy with the car?
Michelle is very clear. “Talk to your lender and see what they can suggest but you MUST continue to make repayments unless your lender has agreed to postpone these until the situation is resolved. “Of course, it’s very tempting to stop paying if the car you’ve bought isn’t running properly and you haven’t got the goods you thought you’d been promised but a missed payment, or defaulting on a finance agreement, will impact your credit score and this could cause you problems in the future when applying for other forms of finance.
One more thing, keep up your with your insurance payments too because as Michelle explains, “Just because you might not be able to drive the car, you car could still be in an accident when parked somewhere or worse still, stolen. Without insurance, these costs could be incredibly expensive as you would still be responsible for settling the finance.”
Can I just sell on the vehicle and start again?
If the vehicle just isn’t for you and you’ve entered into a hire purchase, personal contract plan or conditional sale agreement, you’ll need to settle the finance before selling the car. Otherwise, all vehicle history checks on your reg plate will confirm the car is still on finance. This will be a red flag to future buyers because they cannot guarantee you’re going to continue to pay the finance once you’ve got rid of the car and then the lender may have the right to repossess the car, regardless of ownership. Naturally, this would lead the new owner to pursue legal action against you.
Michelle concludes, “The best advice is to undertake your research before you buy. At Zuto we can help you with every part of the car buying journey and if you’re unsure, just ask – no question is a stupid question when you’re paying the high price tags that cars demand.” Zuto’s Customer Care Team is available Mon – Fri 9.00 am – 6pm. You can contact them via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more about the Consumer Rights Act?
Have a look at our easy explanation in this blog here https://www.zuto.com/blog/how-does-the-consumer-rights-act-2015-protect-me-as-a-car-buyer/