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Purchasing a car, whether new or second-hand, is a significant investment for many individuals in the UK. However, the excitement of acquiring a vehicle can quickly turn into frustration when issues arise, particularly if you’ve taken a car out of trade. From problems with car repairs to the daunting process of reporting to Trading Standards, this comprehensive guide aims to empower you with the knowledge and tools to effectively address and resolve these challenges.

Understanding the Basics of Car Trade

When you take a car out of trade, it means purchasing a vehicle that has been part of a business’s operations, such as a dealership’s stock or a company car. While these vehicles can offer value for money, they sometimes come with hidden problems that can surface after purchase.

Identifying Common Problems

Problems with a car repair are among the most frequent issues faced by consumers. These can range from substandard workmanship to the use of inferior parts, leading to further complications down the line. Recognizing these problems early can save you time and money.

How can I ensure a fair resolution if my recently purchased car has repair issues?

Know Your Rights and Protections

The UK law provides robust protections for consumers, including those purchasing vehicles. Familiarizing yourself with these laws is the first step in resolving any issues that arise.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015

This act is a cornerstone of consumer protection, offering clear rights when it comes to goods and services, including cars. It states that any vehicle sold must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.

The Road Traffic Act 1988

This legislation requires that all vehicles on the road are safe and roadworthy. If your issue pertains to the safety or roadworthiness of a vehicle taken out of trade, this act provides a basis for your complaints.

Is my vehicle issue covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or the Road Traffic Act 1988?
Consumer: take a car out of trade

Steps to Resolve Car Trade Issues

Resolving issues with a vehicle can seem daunting, but by following a structured approach, you can navigate the process more smoothly.

Communicate with the Seller

The first step should always be to contact the seller directly. In many cases, reputable traders will be willing to address and resolve any issues to maintain their reputation.

Document Everything

Keep a detailed record of all communications, repairs, and any other relevant information. This documentation will be invaluable if the issue escalates.

Seek a Second Opinion

If you’re not satisfied with the response from the seller, consider getting an independent assessment of the vehicle. This can provide an unbiased perspective on the issues.

Use our online form – you can use this form from 5pm on Fridays to 9am on Mondays

What should I do if the seller refuses to resolve my car issue?

Reporting to Trading Standards

When direct resolution attempts fail, reporting the issue to Trading Standards can be an effective next step. Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws and can take action against businesses that breach these regulations.

When to Report

  • If you believe the seller has acted illegally or unethically.
  • If the vehicle is unsafe or not roadworthy.
  • If you feel your consumer rights have been violated.

How to Report

You can report issues to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service. They will assess your complaint and, if necessary, pass it on to Trading Standards for further action.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, contact Consumerline.

How can I effectively report my issue to Trading Standards?

Contend: Your Partner in Legal Guidance

At Contend, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to tackle legal issues related to car trades. Our AI legal experts are here to provide you with guidance, helping you understand your rights and the steps you can take to resolve your problems. Chat with our AI legal assistant for clear answers to your legal questions, all in 5 minutes or less.

What are my rights when trading in my car?


Problems with car trades can be frustrating, but they don’t have to be insurmountable. By understanding your rights, taking proactive steps to address issues, and knowing when to seek further assistance, you can navigate these challenges effectively. Remember, Contend is always here to offer legal guidance and support, ensuring you’re not alone in resolving your car trade issues.

Take action today and chat with Contend’s legal expert to understand more about your situation and explore the best course of action. Empower yourself with knowledge and support, and take the first step towards resolving your car trade problems with confidence.

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This material is for general information only and does not constitute
tax, legal or any other form of advice. You should not rely on any
information contained herein to make (or refrain from making) any
decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your
own particular situation. Contend Inc is not regulated by the
Solicitor’s Regulation Authority.