Used motor vehicles - consumer rights

When you buy a used motor vehicle from a trader, you enter into a legally binding contract. You are entitled to expect that the vehicle is of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described. An older vehicle with high mileage may not be as good as a newer vehicle with low mileage, but it should still be fit for use on the road and in a condition that reflects its age and price.

Traders must not mislead consumers by using phrases such as 'sold as seen' or 'no refunds'. If you buy a used vehicle from a trader online, you have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. You do not have the same legal rights if you buy a vehicle from a private seller or from an auction.

If the used vehicle is faulty, you have a short time after buying it to reject it for a full refund. You may have other remedies such as repair or replacement. You should write to trader you bought it from, confirm the details of your complaint and the remedy you are seeking and keep copies of all correspondence. As a last resort, you may need to consider taking court action. Bear in mind that used vehicles may have some faults, but they should not be excessive. Fair wear and tear is not considered to be a fault.

In the guide
The law
Private sales
Internet sales
Online auctions
Credit and other payment methods
Insurance claims
Action to take


Enter your postcode in the field below to see if your local trading standards service has the full version of this leaflet on its website.