NSW Defective car purchased from private seller.

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30 January 2020
Last Saturday (25/01) I bought a car from a private seller. The ad said that the car was in perfect condition, had all the logbooks and there was no issue with it. I went to the seller's house (which she said was selling the car on behalf of her sister who was traveling abroad, but the vehicle was in her name) and looked at the whole car, took a test drive and at first it seemed that the car was in fact in good condition. I drove to my house (about 40km or so) and stopped the car in my spot. On Monday morning when trying to use the car to go to work, I noticed that the automatic transmission of the car was failing a lot, to the point that I didn't even move the car inside my garage (unfortunately I ended up losing the day's work). Immediately I sent messages to the seller asking if there was something wrong with the car they had hidden, she simply took 2 days to respond and when she replied she informed that the car was in perfect condition (which is a lie). Today I received a quote from my mechanic, stating that the problem is an internal component of the automatic transmission. The repair, if done with a new part will cost around $ 5000 (I paid $ 4500 for the car), and if done with second hand parts it will cost around $ 2000 (however the parts only have 3 months warranty , and he cannot guarantee that it will work perfectly). With that I sent messages to the buyer, attaching the budget, and informing that I would like my money back, since he sold me something defective (of which he was aware) lying in perfect condition of use.
I would like to know, if he does not respond to my messages and does not return my money, what legal actions can I take to resolve this situation. I need my money back, because in 1 month and a half I will change state to start my university and I definitely cannot have this type of loss now, a loss that even I am not to blame.
Thank you very much for your help.

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
As ageneral thing, if a seller knew, or reasonably should have known,
that something was amiss with the car,*
and they concealed** that during the sale,
then it can be a fraud by them on the purchaser.

The doctrine of "buyer beware" is not a defence to fraud,
and does not operate to enable a seller to pull a trick on a buyer.

What you do next is - bring a small claim action aganist the seller personally.
The seller will come out with the name of the sister soon enough, in which case, join them in the action.

* even if they are not themselves technical or mechanical enough to understand what that fault is
** either by making a false statement, or by omission
30 January 2020
Thanks a lot for reply me Tim.
I tried in all friendly ways to get the money back, but the person doesn't even answer me now. What can I do now? I am thinking of using the Small Claims Court to try to get my money back. If you are a lawyer and can help me with this legally, give me your contacts, I would like to use your services for this. Thank you.