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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?

Zuto car finance provides lots of support if you have any problems with your car after purchase.

Zuto provides lots of support if you have any problems with your car after purchase.

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 with a dedicated aftercare team in place.

Our Customer Care Team at Zuto aims to provide impartial advice and support wherever we can. A car is a lifeline 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 you if you’re not happy with your car purchase. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) 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 any issues 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.

Should you buy a car privately or from a dealer?

When you buy a car from a dealership, you receive better consumer protection than when you buy from a car privately. When buying a car privately, there are just a few car consumer rights that cover the sale:

· The seller must have the right to sell the car

· The vehicle must match the description given by the seller

· The car must be roadworthy

However, when buying a car from a dealership, much more responsibility is placed on the seller:

· The car must be as described

· The car must be of satisfactory quality

· The car must be fit for purpose

Whether you choose to buy a car privately or through a dealership, make sure you’re aware of your consumer rights.

What are your consumer rights when buying a car

If you’re not happy with a new car, the key thing is to act quickly. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 for cars dictates, where there is a mechanical failing rendering the vehicle unfit for purpose, the customer has the right to reject for a full refund.

Reporting a fault within 30 days of buying a car

If you report to your dealer that you’re not happy with a car purchase within 30 days, you have the right to reject and ask for a full refund.

Reporting a fault within six months of buying a car

If you find a fault with your car after 30 days, but within six months of purchase, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, used car or new car sellers needs to rectify a problem if it’s not in any way associated with wear and tear or a serviceable item.

Always contact your dealer as your first port of call, and in no circumstances pay for the remedy without the dealer knowing or agreeing to pay the cost in writing.

Reporting a fault more than six months after buying a car

If you find a fault six months or more after buying a car, you are still entitled to request a repair, refund, or replacement, but the law falls in favour of the seller. It’s up to you to prove that the fault was there when you bought the vehicle, which can be tricky.

If you successfully prove there was a problem with the car when you bought it, the dealer has an obligation to repair the problem. If they can’t fix the problem at the first attempt, you are entitled to a full refund unless you agree to give them more time to fix it.

Used car consumer rights: is the customer always right?

Occasionally, customers simply choose the wrong car for their needs, which may cause 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.

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. However, new and used car consumer rights mean you can generally reject the vehicle for a full refund within 30 days if you’re dissatisfied.

What if the dealer doesn’t agree that there’s a problem with the car?

If the dealer doesn’t agree there was a problem when the car was sold to you, remember they will have to prove this is the case if you report it within six months of buying. If it’s after six months, the onus is on you.

If you’re having an issue with a dealer, the motor ombudsman is an independent organisation that could help to resolve the problem without having to go to court. If the dealership is part of the Motor Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice, you and the dealer will receive free advice and dispute resolution. This is always worth asking before you buy from a dealer.

How can customer avoid any post purchase dissatisfaction when buying a vehicle?

To ensure you’re going to be happy with your car purchase, our top tips are…

  1. 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.
  2. It’s worthwhile reviewing all the documents available with the sale of the vehicle, to give you as clear an idea as you can of the car’s history. Here at Zuto, we conduct a free vehicle history and valuation check on any vehicle you’re looking at. By checking the service history, you can make sure everything is as described in the sale advert.
  3. 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.
  4. If you’re going to pay the car dealer a holding fee or deposit, find out what the terms and conditions of this are.
  5. Determine your most essential features, and consider these during the purchase process. You might also want to consider things like resale value and vehicle reliability, as well as whether you’d rather buy a petrol, diesel, or electric car on finance.

What can I do if I’m not happy with my car on finance?

If you’re not happy with your car on finance, talk to your lender and see what they can suggest; but you MUST continue to make repayments unless your lender has agreed to postpone them 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, which could cause you problems in the future when applying for other forms of finance.

One more thing: keep up with your insurance payments too, because, even though you might not be able to drive the car, your 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 sell on the vehicle and start again?

If the vehicle just isn’t for you, and you’ve entered into a HP finance or PCP car finance agreement, you’ll need to settle the finance before selling the car. Otherwise, all vehicle history checks on your registration 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 vehicle, regardless of ownership. Naturally, this may lead the new owner to pursue legal action against you.

Generally, 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 on hand to help, so get in touch between Mon – Fri 9.00 am – 6pm, or you can contact us via email at: customercare@zuto.com. Alternatively, we’ve much more help and advice articles from our experienced experts.

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