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Sale by AuctionBack

I have recently sold a car at auction but didn’t realise that it had been modified. The new owner is now having problem as he was a business and it doesn’t have a manufacturer’s warranty. Now he wants to cancel the contract.

At an auction sale the responsibility for a business is to accurately describe the vehicle. Your liability will depend on how detailed the description was. The first step therefore is always to obtain a copy of the auction catalogue along with any photos. This will be the rule book and the vehicle must meet this description.  Our advice is always keep any advertisements or auction descriptions, including the photos for at least 6 months and where possible 6 years.

Once you have a copy of the catalogue you should request that the purchaser puts their complaint in writing and details precisely how they believe you are in breach. This is important as it will ensure you get as accurate a picture as possible at the earliest opportunity. More importantly you will have fixed the complaint at the earliest opportunity and it will be much more difficult for the seller to change his story or his recollection as the case develops.

You can now review the complaint against the description provided. Do not forget photos are just as important if not more so, particularly where they establish blemishes or in this case non-standard parts.

Once you have reviewed the situation draft a response in writing. This helps you to organise your arguments mentally and logically. It is also a very good aid memoire for the case going forward and helps you keep your story straight… so to speak.

Once you have drafted this, give the purchaser a call and discuss the situation and follow up the conversation with a written response. If you cannot resolve the matter, remember any dispute can be referred to the RMI’s National Conciliation Service, whose details can be found on the RMI’s website.

This advice is general in nature and it will need to be tailored to any one particular situation. As an RMI member you have access to the RMI legal advice line, as well as a number of industry experts for your assistance. Should you find yourself in the situation above, contact us at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.

Motor Industry Legal Services

Motor Industry Legal Services (MILS Solicitors) provides fully comprehensive legal advice and representation to UK motor retailers for one annual fee. It is the only law firm in the UK

Posted by Sue Robinson on 20/10/2017