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  • 3rd party vent (private car sale)
  • Lummox
    Full Member

    Can’t really vent this at work already vented at home

    Sold a car to someone I know but not very close, a work colleague who is several positions senior in position to me.

    Car was mentioned by a third party and all conversation done via phone call or WhatsApp or in person, car was never formally listed.

    Car was good with only 2 known faults which I made the buyer aware of, buyers test drove and inspected and then negotiated a lower price to reflect servicing and cleaning they would like to undertake. £3600 from £4000 starting. I used the car before buying my new vehicle and parking it up to sell 2 weeks or so prior to the above. No faults present or known.

    Deal done, v5 sorted, car gone, happy whatsapp message that evening.

    Roll on 2 months with no contact and just had a WhatsApp message I was not expecting detailing the car has developed 2 major (clutch and air con) faults and they want a full refund because I misrepresented the sale. All accompanied by a very formal letter clearly following the citezen advice bureaus advice.

    Knowing I haven’t misled them, and that along with the car being tested and now sold for 2 months I feel comfortable after reading the same advice from the CAB and speaking to an advisor on the phone that whilst extremely unfortunate I actually have no obligation of any sort to refund or offer compensation to them. Additionally there’s no way I could without serious detriment to my family situation. Also CAB said doing so could be perceived as taking some form of liability for the reported faults.

    Additionally my character and integrity have been called into question which is very difficult to process as it’s something I put great emphasis on.

    So why do I feel so rotten and worried about possible future effects of telling them to go whistle (phrased appropriately) tomorrow?


    Full Member

    Private sale, 2 months later, **** off. You take the chance. It’s a cheap car…

    Full Member

    Arkell v Pressdram would be the correct response

    Full Member

    I’d tell them that you are in no way at fault and couldn’t have foreseen the issues, and basically that’s what happens in private vehicle sales. If they’d wanted some recourse they’d have bought from a dealer with some warranty. That’s life, got stung just like this when I was younger, they’ll just have to accept it, don’t give an inch else you’ll be giving grounds for liability on prior knowledge (which you clearly didn’t have).

    Full Member

    Agree with the above, just really feel rubbish and now had an awful weekend since being informed, initial feeling was to try and fix the issue but wife quickly reeled me in and after seeking the advice I’m glad she did.

    Gut feeling is after my response they will escalate to small claims as they indicate they can’t take the financial hit.

    That adage about selling to family and friends has now rung true.

    Full Member

    And test driven…. you do not know how the car was driven after purchase (we bought a cheap £2k Aygo in autumn, son drove it too hard and cracked a weld on the cat, hitting a bit pot hole = full new exhaust, manifold back. Cost us as we needed it on the road – exhaust was knackered and needed replacing, but not a cat. Given a bit of ‘time’ cost replacement would have been half on the drive…

    Full Member

    In the pantheon of stuff that goes wrong with cheap second hand cars a clutch and Aircon are not bad at all.

    Sounds like whoever has bought it is a walloper.

    Free Member

    3600 quid car in today’s market.

    Lucky the thing has a valid mot for more than 6 weeks.

    Full Member

    I’ve been there myself on both sides. He’ll be raging but you’re in the clear in my eyes.

    If he causes you any grief at work just share this thread around.

    Full Member

    Cheers all, whilst still feeling decidedly rubbish about the whole situation having a number of impartial viewpoints is helpful.

    I believe as they were discussing it that the vehicle was to be used for a trip to Switzerland possibly towing dinghies. But I have no way to evidence this as it was just a conversation and I’m not sure it took place due to various issues.

    standby with popcorn tomorrow

    Full Member

    Caveat Emptor

    2 months though… Discovered on the drive home he might have a point. 2 months later. Nah. At best he sounds like a chancer. At worse like he’s trying to exploit his senior position at work to bully you into something you’re not liable for. Block his number and ignore him unless specifically and exclusively work related.

    Full Member

    Sounds like no fault lies with you. Apart from breaking the rule of selling to someone you have a connection to – however tangential. Never. Never.

    I’d personally be having a quiet word with your line manager at work. Not making a big deal of this but if there is a flair up at work or things get vindictive, it would be good to have someone on your side and forewarned. Just a dispassionate explanation of the sale and maybe share the recent message.

    Full Member

    You have absolutely no obligation of any kind – legal, moral or financial – to do anything.
    Small claims court? They have no chance of success.
    You have the various whats app messages you refer to?
    The buyer is a work colleague several positions senior to you and is indicating they can’t take the financial hit?
    You dropped the price by 10% for servicing and cleaning they wanted done; you’ve already been done once.
    You don’t know how the car has been driven/used/abused in the two months since you sold it.
    The response to them is…NO.
    As an aside, can the buyer damage your career prospects?

    Full Member

    Ask them if they used the £400 you knocked off for it to be serviced and cleaned like they said they would.
    If yes then tell them to Go back to the garage,if they didn’t well that’s not your problem.

    Free Member

    Entirely his problem, the only awkward point being that they’re a senior colleague. Even if the problems were latent when he bought it, they didn’t spot them for 2 months, so can’t argue that you knew about them.

    I’d be passing a word back via the third party who put you in touch, pointing out that they have no evidence that you misrepresented it, and that any such suggestion to any of your colleagues would be slander. And, as above, they should go and look up Arkell v Pressdram.

    Free Member

    What were the two known faults ? And were they in any way related to the issues they are having ?

    Free Member

    I sold a car that caught fire as the guy was filling up at the petrol station on his drive home. He rang to question this and I explained that his warranty expired when he gave me the cash.

    He was reasonably amicable, shrugged and say it was a TVR so these things happen.

    **Slightly edited for effect. Still friends with the guy and have bought and sold car stuff with him since

    Full Member

    That has to be peak litigious USA! 😳

    Full Member

    I’d personally be having a quiet word with your line manager at work. Not making a big deal of this but if there is a flair up at work or things get vindictive, it would be good to have someone on your side and forewarned. Just a dispassionate explanation of the sale and maybe share the recent message.

    Is the buyer in a position to retaliate at work? Make sure every communication is via something you can keep (ie text-based).

    Legally he hasn’t got a leg to stand on, and if he really is several ranks above you in the company, I suspect he is in the position to take the financial consequences of buying a cheap used car. But possibly not ready for the consequences to his ego.

    Full Member

    Buyer sounds like a prize bozo, but like you I’d feel bad if I’d been the seller and would probably offer a full refund if it had been the day after sale but 2 months absolutely jog on mate.

    Free Member

    You haven’t mentioned it so I assume no sale receipt completed by both parties? Basically sold as seen/no guarantee templates can be found online, AA website has a good one I’ve used before. Either way he needs to be told to politely jog on.. bit awkward given he’s more senior than you at work but frankly he’s taking taking the piss. 3 and half grand car, 2 months in an he’s cracking on about clutch/AC?! Nah, wind ya neck in bonny lad. I mean AC could be anything FFS, my wifes old fiesta had a stone make a right mess of the condenser and was a fairly hefty bill to get it all sorted.

    Full Member

    2 months? He can jog on. No idea how big your employer is, but a word with HR might be worthwhile

    Free Member

    I’d be politely, but very firmly, advising your colleague they have absolutely no recourse.

    And it shouldn’t affect your working relationship if one exists. If so, inform HR of the situation.

    How someone can expect some kind of “warranty” from a private sale after two months beggars belief.

    Full Member

    Once the money changes hands & the receipt is written you’re off the hook. The vehicle has to be “as described”. It’s a private sale. I always write in block capitals on the receipt “Vehicle inspected by buyer prior to purchase, NO WARRANTY WRITTEN OR IMPLIED”

    After two months? They are having a giggle.

    Full Member

    I had this with my deceased FIL VW camper I sold on behalf of my MIL. Described with faults but it didn’t stop the **** ringing up wanting some money back a few days later.
    Told him I wouldn’t be entertaining any further conversation and to instruct his solicitor and court proceedings if he felt aggrieved.
    In other words tell him to FO and buy trade next time.

    Full Member

    Nope tell him to jog on !

    Full Member

    Don’t feel guilty, that’s an absolute joke. Officially no recourse anyway but to try it on after two months is mad.

    Clutch, you can scrub of years of life just through bad habits…or one botched attempt at recovering said dinghy.

    Aircon, he should have checked it was working on the test drive!

    What sort of employer do you have? One with some wellbeing support (being legal advice for various personal/family situations) I.e financial.

    Full Member

    Thanks again all

    To clarify, faults were a tatty re spray of the rear bumper by previous owner and a reverse sensor issue not investigated. They were happy to accept that.

    His position means yes at some point he could and probably will have some influence over my career. Whether he would or not I don’t honestly know but clearly I would hope that’s not something that will happen.

    All contact has and will now remain using WhatsApp as he’s already supplied the transcripts as evidence in his letter of my not telling him about the clutch or ac (which I wouldn’t as I didn’t know).

    In hindsight yes a form of receipt would have been useful as would not selling to a colleague but it originally looked to be a nice simple solution at a time where my time wasn’t in abundance.

    Free Member

    car has developed 2 major (clutch and air con) faults

    Key word here is developed. Faults were not there when sold but are there now. So when vehicle was purchased the air con worked and there were no signs of clutch issue.
    Things can go wrong 2 months after buying or 2 years after buying but if not there when sold then tough.
    Buyer most know that so yes they are being a chancer.

    Full Member

    Guys a dick.

    I’d have a quiet word with hr too

    Full Member

    Clutch is not usually covered in most of those dodgy warranty policies sold, or added by smaller traders. Its a wear and tear item. A very expensive one but still a consumerable part.
    Aircon slightly different as it could be one of many inter linked parts any one of which failing would cause the system to fail.
    All irrelevant as its buyer beware, caveat emptor on second hand cars.
    2 days in i would probably be inclined to mediate but 2 months, no chance.
    Tough luck for the new owners but that’s the dice roll in running second hand cars. At 3600 its probably 10 years old and most of the way through its design life.
    No idea what the CAB are doing writing letters, they should be saying suck it up, no recourse on used cars so ignore this.

    Tricky as its work related but you are going to have to be very firm and not give anything towards costs otherwise its a potential blank cheque for the new keeper. With ongoing liability, what if the exhaust needs replacing next week etc

    Full Member

    … evidence in his letter of my not telling him about the clutch or ac …

    That’s why you take the car for a test drive. These are things that would be immediately obvious if present at the time. Buyer’s responsibility to make a good purchase.

    There is an obligation on the seller to supply a roadworthy vehicle, and any description of the vehicle should be accurate. There is no obligation to warranty faults. Even if they were present at the time of sale, a private owner isn’t necessarily going to have the expertise to understand them – many people would be completely unaware of the symptoms of a clutch reaching the end of its life.

    Neither would you expect every fault to be listed on what is presumably an old car. Any buyer should expect it to come with some faults and maintenance costs. Any fault that develops after the sale is absolutely nothing to do with the seller.

    The guy is taking the piss and arguably abusing his position in the company.

    Free Member

    I would also guess at that price it is around 10 yrs old and higher mileage. After 2 months he is trying his luck.

    Is the ac a fault or does it just need regassing – did you get it done and have receipt?

    The clutch sounds like an already worn clutch, which is not a fault, has been finished off with excessive wear by towing a loaded trailer possibly with no mechanical sympathy.

    Edit- I have also seen stone damage to aircon. Fired off the back wheel of a rear wheel drive car through the grill and embedded in the radiator. This won’t go to court as he would have to prove you knew about these things.

    The money off for service would cover that.
    Clutch is not a warranty item so is non relevant – even if it is a fault you can’t be expected to strip the car down to check before sale.

    Inform your line manager and HR with the facts.

    Free Member

    This is exactly why I took the hit and shifted my last two cars through WBAC

    Full Member

    It’s all been said. Used, old car: things wear out. He got 2 months out of it before these faults developed! Must have been fine before then so ‘sorry dude, it worked fine when it left me. It looks like you broke it and that’s your problem to fix’

    Clutch is something that he could have checked by driving it.

    Aircon – fickle systems.

    Both are hardly ‘major’ faults. That’d be the CHG or some hideous belt or chain thing wrecking the engine.

    Full Member

    Hmmm, I’d offer a goodwill gesture of a few quid towards the clutch,and explain both clutches and and aircon are pretty much consumables.

    Yes you shouldn’t but as it’s work related I’d do it to smooth it all over and tbh how you resolve issues can make a very big difference.

    Full Member

    I’m 100% on the side of the OP

    So the buyer is claiming you sold a car with working AC and clutch. But that you knew they were both about to stop working. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Full Member

    Hmmm, I’d offer a goodwill gesture of a few quid towards the clutch,and explain both clutches and and aircon are pretty much consumables.


    Full Member


    This, only with frozen sausages. Bruneep had the right response here three posts in. It’s their car, WTF has it got to do with you?

    Gut feeling is after my response they will escalate to small claims as they indicate they can’t take the financial hit.

    Let them, they’ll get laughed out of the building.

    A person “several levels senior” has bought a cheap car and can’t take the financial hit? Do me a quaver.

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