It’s normal to be slightly nervous about purchasing a pre-owned car – after all, the UK’s major breakdown and recovery providers suggest over 50% of cars have some kind of hidden history.
With that in mind, you might be curious to know whether or not a Car.co.uk vehicle inspection comes with any kind of guarantee about the condition of the vehicle or problems that occur after purchase. Here, we’ll explore these things in a little more detail.
Do you guarantee the condition of the vehicle?
Offering any kind of guarantee about a vehicle is difficult – since we have no control over how the vehicle is looked after or used.
For example, a vehicle inspection could be carried out, giving the car a clean bill of health. Then, when the inspector leaves, the owner of the vehicle could reverse the car into their garage wall as they put the car away. Clearly, the condition of the car when the inspection was carried out might not seem accurate now there’s a dent in the bumper.
It might sound like a light-hearted example, but it’s a way of illustrating something that frequently happens in the motor industry. Since cars are often used daily, there’s no way anyone can account for problems that occur after the inspection has taken place.
An official MOT is similar. An MOT confirms that your car met road an environmental safety standards when it was tested – but it does not confirm that the car is roadworthy until the certificate expires. Again, there’s no way of knowing or predicting what will happen to the car when it leaves the testing station.
As such, you can probably see why it would be impossible to guarantee the condition of the car after the inspection. Your inspection gives you an accurate snapshot of the vehicle’s health – and lets you base your decision to purchase it on this.
What happens if something goes wrong with the car after purchase?
So, what happens if you buy a car and something goes wrong shortly afterwards?
The answer will really depend on who you bought the car from.
Buying from a dealer
If you bought your car from a dealer, you’re protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. A car is covered by the same law as anything you buy from a shop – that’s to say, it has to be “fit for purpose”, “of a satisfactory quality”, and “as described”.
The “as described” part can sometimes be tricky to prove. For instance, when a dealer says a car is “tidy for its age”, this is very much an opinion – and your standards might be different from those of the dealer. However, things like the car’s mileage and service history are not open to interpretation – these must be accurate.
Within 30 days of buying a car from a dealer, you’re very well protected against problems. If it turns out the car is faulty, you have the right to reject it, and the law says you’re entitled to a full refund. Beyond these 30 days, your rights are reduced – but you may still be entitled to a part refund or a repair.
If your car’s from a dealer and you’ve used a finance package or credit card to fund the purchase, you have even more protection. The Consumer Credit Act 1974 covers very similar criteria to the Consumer Rights Act, and the finance or credit provider become legally responsible for any problems that crop up.
While buying from a trader comes with plenty of protection, buying privately is slightly riskier. Quite simply, the seller must ensure the car matches their description (again, this will only usually cover mileage and service history) and be roadworthy – but there’s little protection beyond that.
This doesn’t mean you should panic or avoid a private sale though. Although pre-purchase inspections only give a snapshot of the car’s health, they’re carried out by highly experienced motor industry professionals who know exactly what they’re looking for. If an inspection matches the condition that the seller describes, there’s very little reason to believe there will be any problem with the vehicle.
Do you need a guarantee for an inspection?
At Car.co.uk, every inspection that’s arranged by us is carried out by a professional inspector with years of experience working on vehicles in the motor industry. What’s more, they’re completely independent too – so you can be sure they’re working with your best interests at the forefront of everything they do.
You can trust a Car.co.uk inspection to give you a completely accurate picture of the car you’re hoping to buy. With the information, you can decide whether or not that car’s going to be right for you – and, if you are alerted to any problems, whether or not you should ask for a discount from the seller.