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ACT Gumtree - Bought Used Car - Any Recourse If It's Badly Damaged?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Kusum, 23 February 2015.

  1. Kusum

    Kusum Member

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    I bought a used car from a person privately. He has advertised the car in Gumtree and has mentioned that it has only a dent and scratches and only external damages. We went to see the car , yes it had dents the seller was very friendly and told many thing about the car (now I realise all are lies) why it has this and that. we do not know much about cars and fully trusted him because he told that he is also a car sales person in a car dealership shop in Canberra. I paid $3000 and brought the car home. Went for roadworthy check - failed.

    So I went to see the seller and told what happened then he told that he does not know any internal damages of the car and said he can't help any more.I got some repairs done worth of about another $600. Went for second roadworthy check and then I was asked to go to Canberra connect Dickson for identity check. There the inspector found that the car had a major accident and front of the car chassy has bent and also air bag was replaced. And I was told that the repairs may cost a lot. Car registration expired today. I do not have money to repair and I thought I could drive the car once I bought it and no more to do.

    I am very frustrated, angry and unbelievable how these people earn easy money by cheating us and our hard working earning.

    What should I do to get this cheater - sue and get my money back?

    Thank you
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kusum,

    To a large extent, once you have purchased a car from a private seller, you are on your own as such purchases are not protected by either the Australian Consumer Law or the Second Hand Motor Vehicle Dealer's legislation.

    When you buy privately, you must ensure that you ask the right questions and obtain written proof of the vehicle’s service and repair history. Without this it is difficult that you have been lied to or deceived by the seller.

    If you can prove that the seller did lie to you about the car or lead you to believe wrong facts you may be able to rescind (or reverse) the contract on the basis of common law misrepresentation. You may be able to establish misrepresentation where you can demonstrate that the seller has made a 'false representation' (orally, in writing or by conduct), that the representation was one of fact (rather than a statement of opinion or a prediction about the future), it must have been made to you personally and it must have induced (or persuaded) you to enter the contract.

    The remedy for this at law is rescission of the contract - basically a reversal of the contract. You get your money back and seller gets the car back. Damages may be available unless the misrepresentation is also fraudulent or negligent.

    I would write a letter to the seller advising him of all these matters (what you have subsequently learned about the car, how that differed from what he told you about the car and that misrepresentations were therefore made about the vehicle (if applicable) and that you are entitled to rescind the contract at law, but that you are willing to settle the matter with him on a without prejudice basis for the cost of the repairs or some other figure that you are happy with. You can also say that if you receive no response, or if you do not settle on this basis then you will institute proceedings to recover your money. Doing this it may get you something - without having to go through the rigmarole of instituting proceedings, seeing a lawyer etc.
     
  3. Kusum

    Kusum Member

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    Thank you very much. I am going to write him and see.
     

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