Can I Demand a Refund from Car Dealer?

2 Replies

My husband bought a second hand car a few weeks ago from a registered dealer. He left our old car with the dealer to sell  (he would not do part exchange).   During the first few days, a couple of times, there was no response when we tried to start the new car.  We thought it might be something to do with the key and immobiliser and as it started after a few attempts we assumed it was just something we needed to check out and were not unduly worried.  A couple of weeks later we drove the car to Spain for a short break, taking our my elderly mother-in-law who lives with us.  On the second morning, the car would not start and after repeated attempts, we contacted the garage who advised us to contact our insurance company and get the car taken to the nearest VW garage.  This was done only for us to be told by the VW garage that they couldn't even look at it for 10 days!!  Eventually we got the seller to come and collect the car and bring our trusty old car back to us.  We had to get a taxi to the garage (half an hour and 30€ away).   Having used the insurance recovery allowance for the initial trip, we were not covered for the car's recovery back to France. This all happened nearly a month ago.  In spite of there being a three-month guarantee on the car, the dealer has tried to say it was an 'act of God' (small storm the night before the car wouldn't start!) and we have had to argue the case.  Now he is saying that he has to wait for a second hand part to come in (or we could pay an additional 2,000€ for a new part.)  We are absolutely disgusted with the level of "service" - the dealer asked my husband to come and see him (45 mins drive from our home) and he was met by the dealer's father who tried to wriggle out of any responsibility.  He never rings us to keep us updated and seems to be completely indifferent to us.  We now just want our money back and nothing more to do with these people but are not sure if we have a legal right to demand a refund.  Does anyone know??

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Replies

Melou 1478112370

Can you clarify a couple of points, katemac? First - car insurance cover is fairly generous in France, and I would have expected that you have breakdown cover which includes the provision of a courtesy car while your own is being seen to. Do you have this cover - have you checked? And, if so, why didn't you leave the car with the VW dealer, and use their courtesy car for as long as it took to get yours repaired?

Secondly - if I read your account correctly, the garage that sold you the car drove down to Spain to bring it back; then has identified that it needs a replacement part. Q1. Why are they supplying "a second hand part"? This will have no warranty.
Q2. What is the part required? They have asked you for €2,000 for a warranted new part - what is it? This will determine what the problem is with your car.
Q3. 3-month guarantees are very limited in their scope - do you understand that the repair is being carried out under warranty? (even if it is only with a 2nd-hand part).
If this is so, it would appear that the garage is taking responsibility for selling you a roadworthy vehicle - and if they do that, you have no reason to expect a refund, surely? 

Melou 1478114233

katemac - please disregard my first comment - you obviously would not have been entitled to a courtesy car just for a breakdown call!

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