I am planning to go to a small claims court about a Consumer Rights Act issue on a second-hand vehicle. The trader that sold the second-hand vehicle claims that it's the result of wear and tear. His mechanic had already a look allegedly. They are confident that is a timing chain issue. They say that when they had the car was fine. They request the consumer to pay for the repair.

The first indication of the error was only after two weeks of purchase. No damage was done to the car from the consumer or any other third party. It was driven solely for leisure purposes.

A couple of other independent mechanics (paid by the consumer) had a look at the car and each one of them has a different opinion on how to fix the car. One said to change the engine oil the other to change the solenoid.

The only thing sure is that it's P0014 error code which indeed it may be caused by a series of things (all the above claims from the various mechanics are not wrong). Allegedly the root cause of it which I found online is bad vehicle maintenance (not changing with good quality engine oil at the supposed time periods, this practice is reinforced by the fact that every wheel has a different brand tyre to save cost).

In the eyes of the judge does the wear and tear argument have any basis? Will more evidence be needed from either parties?

  • This honestly sounds more like a motor vehicle maintenance question than a legal one.
    – Ryan M
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 2:51
  • How much time has passed since the first indication? And how soon was the dealer contacted? Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 13:46
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere It was something more than 2 weeks when the first indication occurred. And the dealer was officially notified after 19 days with a report from an independent garage mentioning the error. (No refund was requested at that point)
    – 20-roso
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


The Consumer Rights Act gives you an initial 30 days to reject it, if it is faulty, and claim a full refund from the dealer that sold it to you. After that time your rights are pretty strong for at least 6 months. It is not completely clear to me what the exceptions are, but if it is the timing chain then there can be no case that this is "wear and tear" as they last something like 80,000 miles or 10 years.

Which and Citizen Advice have tools to determine your rights.

  • For the purposes of UK Consumer protections, would "they last something like 80,000 miles or 10 years" be relevant, or at least without knowing the age or milage of the car, seeing as this is a second hand car?
    – sharur
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 22:49
  • For context has 55 K mileage and is a 2012 model.
    – 20-roso
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 10:20
  • I think so, as it cannot have worn significantly in 2 weeks.
    – Dave
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 7:55

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