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Where do i stand? ripped off with a van.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jimster_s, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1

    where do i stand on this?

    ive just bought a van. i bought it from a trader.
    this guy has a legit business selling car tuning parts which he sells from his unit and on ebay, he also seems to do other stuff to do with car audio etc.

    this guy also sells vans. he said he and his partner do the vans between them. his partner buys vans from fleet and travels up and down the country, he puts them on his lot and takes a cut of the sale price. he said he is just a broker for the vans.

    everything seemed fine with the van and his business, he gave me a receipt stating this he was selling the van as a broker.

    ive checked out his business details and all seems to be registered in the name he gave me etc etc.

    the bad part comes with the van.
    the van had no history with it. it had an 11 month mot on the van. i asked about the history and he said that there isnt any because its from a company fleet and they keep the receipts to claim back the costs and so thats why there isnt any.

    vans go through the auctions like this all the time, with no history etc and i didnt really think anything of it.

    the van seemed ok, bodywork ok, mechanics ok, drove ok etc etc. the guy had lots of adverts in the autotrader and had just sold 2 vans before i bought mine, and had another left for sale after i left.

    i got the van for a good price and i was happy with my purchase. only after getting it home under the light of a garage did i notice than i could still see the previous details of the previous owner on the van. i phoned them and asked about the van and they said they sold it with over double the miles on than what the new MOT and the van had on it now.

    the van is a 2003 model and so should have had a previous mot. i didnt have any previous history as ive said and a local dealer told me to go onto the website on the back of the mot certificate and put in the details and you can get the previous mot. the previous mot that i didnt get states a much higher milage than it has now. the van was sold with high miles, it was then clocked back and went through another mot with lower miles and sold with lower miles.

    i dont want to go into the ins and outs of what i should have checked for etc etc, but the van has obviously been clocked back.

    i phoned the guy up in under 24 hours and explained this and he seemed genuinely concerned and said he would need to speak to his partner because its his partners money and as he said he just sells and takes a cut. he fobbed me off for a day then came back and said the guy who owned it wont refund it and i should take it up with him. he gave me what is probably a fake name and a mobile number to ring.

    i explained to both of them that i just wanted a refund, and if not i would have to get trading standards and the police into this. they both didnt seem bothered at all, and after letting this guy know that i had done some homework and investigated it a bit he said the best he would do is give me 10% back and in return he didnt want to hear anything more about it. i either got nothing or accepted 10%. he claims he bought the van a week ago and knew nothing about it.

    there is more details to go with it but im trying to cut a long story short.

    the guy i bought it off who says he is a broker and claims that its nothing to do with him and he hasnt done anything wrong. he never claimed it was the correct millage and he didnt know anything about it. the guy i got on the phone claims he didnt know anything about it and only had the van a week and the dealer he bought it off must have scammed him.

    i want to know where i stand here. is there anything i can do or dont i have a leg to stand on? if i get trading standards or the police in on it will that get is sorted? are they actually at fault or can they claim that they didnt know the van had been clocked back and so not get in trouble?

    there is lots more to the story, and as far as im concerned after finding out more info on this there is no way they couldnt have know the van had been clocked back. the guy i bought it off seems to think he has covered himself by stating his is just a broker and the van was sold as seen on the invoice.

    it seems to me that either these were the ones who actually clocked it back, or if they didnt do it themselves they did know it was incorrect milage when they sold it and pretended they didnt.

    are they actually breaking the law?
    do i have a clear case if i take it to trading standards/police?
    am i actually entitled to my money back?

    thanks for your help.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  2. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 29,665 Likes: 6,596
    Hi You probably have a case for getting a full refund,after a lot of work with trading standards e.t.c.

    You say you got it cheap and it drives OK and they are offering you 10% back.

    how many miles has it been clocked by and what van is it ?

    You may still have got a bargain and it may be better and less hassle to take the 10% if you are happy with the van apart from the milage issue.

    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  3. cjd

    cjd UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 15,112 Likes: 2,972
    My guess would be that it doesn't matter whether they clocked it themselves or not, they sold you a good as one thing and it turned out to be something else. So long as you bought it from a dealer rather than privately I think you're covered by the Trade Descriptions Act

    However, there may be exemptions for second hand items or cars in particular - you'd need to ask a pro.

    Clocking is fraud and a criminal offense so you could take that up seperately with the police if you had a mind to.

    Depending on the outcome of the TDA - you might be best advised to take the discount then report the clocking.

    btw - if they are saying we'll give you 10% back if you don't report it, that too could be a criminal act.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: cjd Member since: Nov 23, 2005
  4. Astaroth

    Astaroth UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,077 Likes: 280
    Was looking for something else and found: http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/Directory/Bu....asp?classification=Eng;Busi;Adv;FT&id=122658

    Ok, so you are saying the previous owner says that it had double the mileage when they sold it to your broker? Given how little impact mileage would have on a second hand commercial vehicle and the fact that they still sold it to you for what you think is a very good price (ie meaning it would be a good price with correct mileage) makes this story seem very odd.

    If the previous owner was a company that runs a fleet who did you speak to? How did you track down the person that happened to know about one particular vehicle in the fleet?
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: Astaroth Member since: Aug 24, 2005
  5. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    thanks for the link, good reading and makes him 100% at fault. he told me that because he didnt guanrantee the milage and put on the invoice "sold as seen" he is not in the wrong. he obviously knew full well how many miles it had.

    he advertised it in the autotrader but didnt put the millage on it. when i rang him he told me it had 85000 but no history. there was an 11 month MOT with it with a similar millage on it.

    when i got it home, i could see the previous owners name and address sort of burnt into the paint work where they had removed the stickers. you could just make it out under the lights in my garage. i rang them and they said they sold it a few months back with nearly trippe miles on the clock. they are willing to let me have all the information on the vehicle i need.

    i got hold of the MOT from the year before and it had over 100,000 more miles on it than it does now, and when it was sold it had over 150,000 more miles than it does now.

    ive spoke many times to the trader and he actually told me too much about his business when i bought the van (although it could have been lies) and spoke to the guy who is meant to have been the guy who was selling it.
    the guy who was meant to be selling it claims he only had it a week.

    the MOT i have is actually a duplicate which was got (duplicate date is on the mot) 4 days ago. i told the guy selling it that he must have got the duplicate and so obviously knew the millage. he then back tracked and said he bought it on the day of the duplicate mot and he didnt get it.

    its all very fishy, and from the link provided above he is completely in the wrong. he told me the millage on the phone, said there was no history because the old company kept receipts for tax reasons, didnt mention the millage might be wrong at all, even described it as a cheap van for the miles (ive got an independant witness who came with me) and sold it on that basis. if he had even hinted that the miles were higher i wouldnt have bought it.

    it is also very easy to obtain the old MOT as i found out from my local garage. they said that neither the broker or the seller could claim that they didnt know how to check the old MOT because they are car dealers and its so easy to do, so they must have at least known about it, and it was probably them who did it anyway, although they are claiming they knew nothing about it and only just bought it. as trade sellers, or brokers they are required to do as the link says and cant act innocent. it would be so obvious to a dealer, just maybe not the public like me.

    as its weekend i havent yet had chance to speak to trading standards, but i will phone anonymously on monday and see what they say.

    i cant afford to have my van taken off me if an investigation takes place and i dont want to be out of pocket.

    the link says they can be fined a maximum of 5000 for a first offense, who would this go to? the customer or just a fine?

    i think i have a very strong case especially because i have an independent witness who came with me and its not just my word against his.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  6. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    just to clear the millage up, i bought it with 85000, it was sold a few months ago with over 210,000 on it. not sure what its done in the months between but it got parking tickets and speeding fines sent to the previous owner.

    its a 2003 transit
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  7. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    it was cheap for 85000 miles, its expensive for over 210000 miles, been told its worth about half what i paid by two dealers. the original company also sold it for a lot less than half what i paid for it. again that is a long story......

    i dont want to really write too much, but it looks like they are at it all the time, and maybe jypoes are involved. ive been told by quite a few people that if i go to collect the money
    i might get filled in.

    by offering the money it seems to me they have sort of admitted liability, but they did say i cant collect it until next week and that i will have to sign something.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  8. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    about tracking down the person at the fleet. the person who answered the phone knew exactly which van it was
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  9. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 29,665 Likes: 6,596
    with that sort of milage you want your money back,go for it and good luck.

    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  10. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    yes im going to speak to trading standards/police on monday and see what they say. i just dont want it to be spun out ages and me be out of pocket in the mean time. i would hope that i would be compensated for it too for all out of pocket expenses/loss of earnings and i cant really afford for trading standards or the police to take my van off me either.

    thanks for the replies
    Posted: Sep 30, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  11. mumsbiz

    mumsbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 477 Likes: 6

    Sorry to jump in your post but a friend of mine has had similar and worse dealings when they bought second hand car privately.

    How did you go with trading standard/police?

    My friend bought an old MG two seater, secondhand from private owner. They never checked the car or its history thoroughly and now when they took it to a local dealer for part exchange the dealer did a check found out that the car is category C or something, it's been in an accident and could be a write-off, took it to another dealer they said the same thing.

    Now they don't know what to do, who they should contact, could he report that guy to the police?

    Sorry for cutting in your post I just thought since you're going through contacting trading standard etc maybe you could pass on some info.
    Posted: Oct 1, 2007 By: mumsbiz Member since: May 21, 2006
  12. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 29,665 Likes: 6,596
    As the guy was a private seller the onus is on you to check the car out.

    Posted: Oct 1, 2007 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  13. fenton

    fenton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 318 Likes: 3
    As for the milege on your van jimster. It is correct that its a criminal offence to clock vehicles milege. Im guessing they may have got a duplicate MOT from someone they new to hide the original miles on the previous MOT. It would also flash up milege incorrection on the MOT computer and any dealer would have wanted to know why it had a lower miles. Even if it had a clock change they would have added it to the previous milege. Just be careful with these people who sold you the car because there usually work in bigger groups and will not let one person wreck there business illegal or not.

    Hope this helps.

    Posted: Oct 1, 2007 By: fenton Member since: Aug 6, 2007
  14. jimster_s

    jimster_s UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 34 Likes: 1
    hi, yes im aware of the fact that these people sound dodgy and probably do this all the time and make a lot of money. thats what has me in sort of two minds what to do. id like them caught but i dont want anything coming back to me.

    i spoke to the police who said they will look into it and that i have to speak to trading standards. i spoke to trading standards who will also look into it but i have to take him to small claims court myself. spoke to a solicitor and they said that its too costly for solicitors to get into small claims.

    ive probably got a strong case and will probably win but if they guy can show he has no spare income or earns nothing he will be able to pay in small amounts like £5 a week and then if he stops paying ill have to take him back to court.

    I phoned both the police and trading standards anonymously today just to see where i stand on this and they both want the traders details. the police are meant to be contacting me back shortly.
    Posted: Oct 1, 2007 By: jimster_s Member since: Sep 30, 2007
  15. Guest

    Posts: 0 Likes: 0
    Category C, is an extensively damaged vehicle which the insurer has decided not to repair (beyond econemical repair), but which could be repaired and returned to the road.
    Vehicles categorised as A, B or C require a VIC test before the DVLA will issue a new registration document. This will then be noted on the V5C

    Extensively damaged vehicles that have been put back on the road should be disclosed by the seller.
    Posted: Oct 1, 2007 By: Member since: Jan 1, 1970
  16. mumsbiz

    mumsbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 477 Likes: 6

    Thank you for your reply FPB. Much appreciated. I'll leave this thread now as this belongs to jimster.

    Posted: Oct 2, 2007 By: mumsbiz Member since: May 21, 2006
  17. Hire4

    Hire4 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 56 Likes: 0

    I too have had a problem with a dodgy van that I bought off Ebay through someone in Bedford. Low miles, new MOT, new clutch etc for £2K yet broke down on way home and discovered that it needs £6K worth of repairs. Don't ask !!!!

    I initially tried to deal with the MOT centre who wanted to keep it all quiet but they simply delayed me so I ended up making a claim against the Ebay seller via the on-line small claims website, they eventually responded on the last day via a solicitor so it ended up being transferred to a local court.

    I completed the questionnaire, paid the additional monies and provided a good amount of evidence. Recently found out that I have won by default as the defendent did not provide sufficient documentation which the judge had requested.

    I am now formally waiting to here and then proceed from there ..... It does take a while but sdoner you get started the sooner you get it sorted out. ie: my costs also included van hire charges, insurance and mechanical inspection, recovery costs etc.

    Section 13 & 14 are the important section of the Sale of Goods Act. I printed the ebay details off along with the print-outs of another 5 vehicles that person was selling. This helped me to build a case that the 'private seller' was indeed a trader which should be beneficial in your situation.

    Good luck ....
    Posted: Oct 7, 2007 By: Hire4 Member since: Apr 27, 2007
  18. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 14,861 Likes: 2,117
    In the US, there's a service that everyone uses called Carfax. For anyone interested, here's the website: http://www.carfax.com/ . By entering a vehicle's ID number, you get a complete history of the vehicle. This reveals any accidents and the mileage at certain key times in its history. It's a very useful way to prevent this kind of situation.

    Is there a service like this in Britain? If so, it's worth the 20 pounds or so it's likely to cost. In fact, it's worthwhile insisting that the dealer pull the Carfax report as part of the sale. In fact, the report would point immediately to the guilty party.
    Posted: Oct 7, 2007 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
  19. lockie

    lockie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1,386 Likes: 313
    Over here you can HPI check a vehicle and to buy something without doing that is crazy. Our current vehicle was written off but its been repaired properly so its not a big deal. Its only a big deal id the repairs are dodgy. Most of the time they are written off because of the labour required to repair it but if you can do the labour yourself its worth buying cars like this to make a profit. My friend does this sort of work all the time and a lot of the cars were well maintained before the accident.I may only take a small dink on an older car to write it off but could be a quick cheap repair if you have the ability to do it.
    Posted: Oct 9, 2007 By: lockie Member since: May 4, 2007
  20. Bill66

    Bill66 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 19 Likes: 0
    If you do an HPI check (you can do this on ebay) it will tell you if the mileage is inconsistent with previous mots.

    Clocking a car is a criminal offence and signing the document "sold as seen" will not protect them because they have deliberately misled you.ie they have committed fraudulent misrepresentation.

    I would write to them and state that you will give them 7 days to return your money in full or you will go to the police/trading standards.

    You could take them to the County Court and get a ccj against them. This will wreck their ability to get credit. You can enforce the Courts decision by sending the baliffs around to take their possessions or confiscate their bank accounts or apply for an attachment of earnings order.

    I recently took someone to court for a similar problem and won.The individual that conned me was a private seller but you dealt with a trader which gives you even greater rights.
    Posted: Oct 23, 2007 By: Bill66 Member since: Oct 23, 2007