Buyer’s Rights Questioned When Buying Ex Demonstrator

Saturday, 26. July 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

For those that think that the days of scams in the motor industry are a thing of the past – think on! In the piece sent out last Friday I explained that I would happily buy an ex lease or ex daily rental car but avoid an ex demonstrator like the plague!

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Someone who probably agrees with me is John Quinn who bought an ex demonstrator Range Rover Vogue. As most of the Range Rovers dropping off the end of the production line at Land Rover are destined for the Middle East, China or Russia there was a long waiting list so as John couldn’t wait he paid the full retail price of a new car for a demonstrator.

The car was 6 months old with 3,000 miles on the clock when he bought it. The Range Rover was then sold on to a private buyer who complained to John that the heated and electric seats weren’t working. The car was returned by John to the supplying main dealer for them to fix the problem under the warranty.

However, they found that the seats had been swapped by the dealer with those fitted in a Vogue SE to satisfy a customer. They then found that the wiring of the seats in the SE was not compatible with a Vogue so the electrics would never work and as the seats were changed it invalidated the warranty on the seats.

The dealer refused to pay for the repair and Land Rover passed it straight back to the dealer – and rightly so. A big thing was made over the price that John had paid and he wouldn’t have paid full price if he had known that the seats would no longer function. First of all the price is totally irrelevant other than to maybe add a little weight to John’s argument but it isn’t material.

What is material is what he bought. Did he buy the car he was told he was buying? The change of seats was explained to John but it wasn’t mentioned that they weren’t working and never would. When buying a used car you buy it as seen so whilst a car may have an LX badge on the boot and say that it is an LX in the registration document it doesn’t have to conform to LX spec. as I’ve mentioned in the past.

This would change of course if the dealer selling you the car confirmed that the car matched the original manufacturers spec of the car. If the dealer knew the seats weren’t working they had an obligation to tell the buyer so he has a chance here as they ‘withheld material information about the car that could influence the buying decision’.

However, they have argued that they weren’t aware that the electrics weren’t working and common sense tells you if you know that the seats have been changed you would check that the electrics work OK – if it was likely to affect your buying decision. The argument continues between himself, the dealer and the manufacturer but yet again it raises some interesting questions, which, in this case, looks as though will only be resolved in court.

But the bottom line is that when you buy an ex demonstrator it could have been driven harder than a hire car and you are buying a used car that could hide all sorts of scary things that you should be, but often aren’t, made aware of. Buy or lease a new car from a reputable dealer or broker and you remove much of the risk.

Don’t go for the cheapest because you may be subject to a scam, the ex demonstrator that has been clocked by the dealer supplying a lease car via a dodgy broker (bucket shop). The new car that was intended for the daily rental market in ‘sub spec’ condition sold to a leasing company as a full spec brand new car. You know the rest as I bang on about it enough. By Graham Hill

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