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Just over a month ago, I purchased a second hard car from a dealership. The car came with a 3 month warranty which stated that if anything goes wrong, it needs to be taken back to their workshop.

After the first week, the car broke down. I was unable to recover the car back to the dealers workshop as they are a 2 hour drive from my home. The dealership agreed for my local, experienced mechanic to fix the issue.

The car was returned and it broke down for a second time. Again, the dealership agreed for the same local mechanic to fix the issue.

The car has now broken down for a third time. This time I was closer to the dealership for it to be recovered to their workshop.

I have requested a refund from the dealership, but they are saying they never had a chance to look at the car and resolve the issue themselves. They have stated that they were relying on my judgement to choose a mechanic in my area. Based on this, they are refusing to refund me the money, but have instead offered a third repair.

In an email between us, they have also admitted that their workshop have diagnosed the same issue. They are also back tracking to say that the issue has happened a third time because my mechanic didn't do X, Y or Z. Both the dealership and local mechanic were in contact with each other during the two repairs.

The car has spent more than 14 days out of my possession. I have obviously lost trust in the car and I'm out of pocket (getting trains and taking time off from work etc).

As per the Consumer Rights Acts:

You don't have to accept a second repair if something goes wrong and you'd rather not keep the car. You can ask for your money back if: the repair hasn't solved the problem another problem has developed

Do my rights still stand even if the dealership haven't done the repairs themselves? Surely it's up to the dealership to do their own due diligence before agreeing to a repair by another mechanic?

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Although the local mechanic was suggested by you he was paid by the dealer, and hence was acting as the dealer's agent in the repair. If the dealer did not want to accept this then they could have simply insisted on doing the repair themselves. The dealer is responsible for the actions of their agent, and they cannot run out the clock on the warranty simply by failing to repair the fault.

You could write to the dealer saying that you will accept their third repair on the understanding that the fault and two attempts to repair it predate the expiration of the warranty and hence you retain the right to return the car if this third attempt at repair does not remedy the problem. Or you could simply insist on returning the car for a refund. If they won't take it, write a letter stating that either they agree to take it back or you will take action in the county court to recover your money. Most businesses will conceed at this point because spending time in court is expensive even if you win.

I say "write" because that means they can't deny agreeing later on. You can of course hand them the letter yourself rather than sending it by post.

  • Thank you Paul, I thought this might be the case. I'm now writing a detailed letter with a complete break down of dates and the action I intend to take should they not offer a refund. – Sam Jan 3 at 16:01

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