Buying a used or second-hand car can be a long and drawn-out process where you have to check several different types and models of vehicles, make an assessment of each and every one, and find out as much as you can about its history, its mileage, its use, and more. But at the end of the day, when you have finally found the vehicle of your dreams, the feeling is great indeed.
However, what if the opposite happens? What if you purchase a second-hand car and then find out that it is not all that it is supposed to be? What if, upon purchasing, you find out that the car is no longer roadworthy, for instance, or is still technically owned by the finance firm and not the seller? When this happens, you will be happy to know that you still have options to take advantage of as a consumer.
If you have been sold a vehicle on false or misleading information: what to do
The first thing you should do when you find out that the car or vehicle you bought was sold to you under false pretenses is to contact or get in touch with the vehicle’s seller as soon as possible. Once you have reached them, ask them directly what their solution is for the problem, or what they are planning to do to address the problem. If the vehicle you have purchased is under a warranty, then you may also want to check its various terms and conditions in order to find out if there is anything stated about the obligations of the seller.
Find out if the seller is a member of the SIMI
If you have purchased a second-hand car through a dealer or trader, find out if this dealer or trader is a member of the SIMI, or the Society of Irish Motor Industry. This may mean that the contract or agreement you have signed as you purchased the vehicle gives you the right to make use of the complaints process set forth by the SIMI. What you should know about this process is that it deals with complaints and investigations that are related to the purchase of used cars from companies which are SIMI members, and the repairs or service of cars and other vehicles by companies which are SIMI members.
Make use of the law
If you have found out that the seller is not a member of the SIMI or if you have undergone the SIMI complaints process but are still not satisfied, your next best recourse is to make use of the law by taking legal action. The good news is that if your claim for the vehicle is not more than €2,000 you can instigate a small claims process or procedure, which is cheaper and faster and does not require the help of a solicitor.
However, keep in mind that if your vehicle was purchased from a private seller, you cannot make use of a small claims process because this process is only for businesses and not for private persons or consumers.
Seek help from a mechanic
In order to strengthen your case, especially in small claims court, you can also enlist a mechanic to perform a check on the vehicle and write a full and detailed report on the vehicle’s condition and whatever issue you may have with it. You can then use this report when making your claim.
If you really want to avoid these kinds of problems altogether, you should always make it a point to obtain a vehicle valuation and vehicle history checks, which can be performed by vehicle information specialists such as www.myvehicle.ie.
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