Consumer rights act benefits car buyers

On 1st October 2015, some of the biggest changes ever in consumer law will take place and, HPI, is urging used car buyers to be aware of their new rights.

The Sale of Goods Act is set to be replaced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This crucially allows consumers to ask for a full refund in the first 30 days of buying any product that subsequently turns out to be faulty – including cars. Known as the ‘early right to reject’, this new legislation replaces the previous rule, which said retailers only need to repair or replace a faulty item or part.

If a defect is found after 30 days (but within six months) used car buyers are then entitled to a repair or replacement.  However, the new legislation stipulates that dealers will have only one chance at repair or replacement. If they fail, consumers are entitled to a full or partial refund.

Neil Hodson, managing director for HPI, commented, ‘The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives more power to those consumers who are dissatisfied with a purchase, giving them the right to reject faulty used cars and ask for a replacement or refund. However, consumers still need to do their homework before handing over their hard-earned money, ensuring they make a clever purchase, rather than one they regret.  1 in 3 vehicles checked by HPI are found to have a hidden history, confirming the importance of understanding the provenance of a car before you buy it.’

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings, including readings for vehicles less than three years of age. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

If buying from a dealership, HPI recommends that consumers ask to see the history and mileage checks for any vehicles.  It is also important to check that the dealer belongs to an organisation such as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) or that they have signed up to the government-backed Motor Codes scheme; both demand that dealers abide by a strict code of practice. If buying from a reputable dealer, a consumer’s rights are comparable with buying from any other retail outlet.

Neil Hodson, managing director for HPI, concluded, ‘Although the new consumer laws offer greater protection after a purchase has been made, if you arm yourself with as many facts before you buy, you could reduce the risk of buying a lemon in the first place.’