RAC Cars News


Car Buyers To Benefit From New Consumer Rights Act

By raccars Published

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This autumn brings into force a new Consumer Rights Act, which should see car buyers get more rights and will change the way the salvage process works. Parliament passed the legislation earlier in the year and the regulations come into place on 1st October.

The changes to legislation mean the car buyers will have the right to reject vehicles and ask for a replacement or a refund, if they are dissatisfied with their purchase. Dealerships and garages have received guidance from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), on how the new law affects them and what they need to do to comply with the regulations. The CTSI has also issued new information on handling cases involving used cars with false mileage, safety legislation on part worn tyres, aggressive sales techniques and the different ways disputes can be resolved.

The CTSI says it is keen to help businesses understand how they can follow the law and avoid civil or possibly even criminal proceedings being launched against them.

This essentially gives consumers the right to reject a purchase within 30 days, if a fault is discovered and the power to reject the vehicle and demand a replacement or a refund, if a repair attempt is unsuccessful. There is no current regulation on the subject but the industry standard is to allow three attempts at repair in cases where a consumer believes they have bought a faulty car.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) along with Motor Codes, the arbitrary body to handle motorist complaints, believe this last change is unworkable. It claims that motor mechanics is not an exact science and that it can take time to identify some issues, and also that one repair can provoke other problems.

The new legislation also encompasses digital products for the first time, so if new software is installed which provokes a system fault, it is the responsibility of the seller to repair the damage caused. This could include smartphone apps and sat nav updates.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) believes that new legislation surrounding car scrappage will be detrimental to consumer rights in favour of insurers. From October there will no longer be an obligation to pass a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC), to allow a previously written off car back on the road after repairs have been effected. This is the result of changes to the Disposal of Motor Salvage code, which the NAB believes could see write offs being repaired and sold outside of regulations, potentially putting road users in danger.

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