Skip to the page Primary Navigation Skip to the page content Skip to page Footer
The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.

Know your consumer rights when buying a used car

Know your consumer rights when buying a used car

Don't be caught out when buying a used car, make sure you know what your legal rights are. 

For further information about buying a car visit Citizens Advice 

Visit our YouTube channel to access all videos. There is also a free campaign leaflet (pdf 1.03Mb) you can order by calling 0800 389 3158 and quoting 1383.

Buying a used car

Video transcript

MVO: So, you're buying a used car… The dealer tells you it's a good little runner… One careful owner…with all the mod cons…CD player, air conditioning… AND it won't let you down…sounds perfect.

But as soon as you get home it's a different story… When he said 'Air Con' he must have meant 'windows'. The 'CD player' only plays tapes. And the 'perfectly normal' oil patch is actually a leak.

Well, here's some good news.

You may have parted with your hard earned cash, but as soon as you've entered into a contract with the seller you have rights.

The Sale of Goods Act states that any item you buy from a trader - someone selling goods as a business such as a shop or online shop - must be:

  • Of satisfactory quality
  • Fit for purpose
  • And as described

If it isn't, the item is faulty and you should contact the trader as soon as possible, because you can usually get a repair, replacement or refund.

So, next time you buy a used car, don't get caught out. Get any agreements in writing and make sure you ask all the right questions…

  • What mechanical and mileage checks are there?
  • How many owners has the car had? Is the full service history available?
  • Has the car been modified? Or been involved in an accident?

And most importantly, know your legal rights. So you can have confidence when you buy.

Find out more at

See also

On this site...

Recently viewed pages

This feature requires Javascript and Cookies to be enabled on your browser

Email alerts

Register for email alerts or amend your existing account details here.