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Automotive technology solutions provider, HPI urges dealers to ready themselves for the major changes in consumer law, which come into force on 1st October. The Sale of Goods Act will be replaced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, allowing consumers to ask for a full refund in the first 30 days of buying any product that subsequently turns out to be faulty – including cars. Conducting a pre-sale vehicle history and mileage check, along with a mileage investigation, will help dealers operate due diligence and avoid the potential pitfalls that the new Consumer Rights Act presents for retailers.
Known as the ‘early right to reject’, this new legislation replaces the previous rule, which said retailers only need to repair or replace a faulty item or part. If a defect is found after 30 days (but within six months) used car buyers are then entitled to a repair or replacement. However, the new legislation stipulates that dealers will have only one chance at repair or replacement. If they fail, could face having to give a full or partial refund.
“As the new rules come into play, dealers buying stock or part exchanging vehicles need to ensure cars are checked for faults, but they need to place equal importance on verifying the vehicle’s provenance,” explains Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI. “The new Consumer Rights Act clearly puts the onus on dealers to ensure their stock is everything it should be. This means the risk of buying and selling a clocked car is more serious than ever, as a dodgy mileage could be hiding excessive wear and tear, which could come back to haunt dealers.”
Crucially, HPI runs the National Mileage Register (NMR), the largest independent database of vehicle mileages in the UK. By conducting a check against the National Mileage Register (NMR) dealers can quickly establish if there is a mileage discrepancy on the car they are looking to part exchange or buy.”
“Dealers may also request a full mileage investigation to correctly validate the vehicle’s mileage, giving them absolute confidence in the quality and status of its stock,” continues Neil Hodson. “A sound mileage investigation strategy where previous owners are contacted to verify mileages is not only best practice but can provide a sound legal defence for a dealer’s business.”
Now with more than 200 million mileage records, including readings for vehicles less than three years of age, HPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) collates and stores mileage data for over 18 years, from a number of sources, including the DVLA, covering vehicles of all ages.
Neil Hodson concludes, “With only days to go before the changes come in, we recommend that dealers review their buying processes. When buying stock or part exchanging vehicles for resale, dealers must protect themselves by operating thorough checks. Motor retailers who fail to spot problems before selling a vehicle could find themselves out of pocket, not to mention the damage to their good reputation.”