Buying cars online: new two-week trial period introduced


Martin Saarinen

2017-10-20 10:20

Law requires cooling off period if you buy a car online, meaning vehicles can be returned within 14 days


Car buyers who purchase their vehicle online will have up to two weeks to decide if they like the vehicle before they can hand it back with no questions asked, thanks to a set of consumer laws relating to goods purchased online.
The revelation comes as a growing number of manufacturers look to establish digital dealerships where cars can be ordered and bought entirely online.
Speaking to Auto Express, Marcus Hodgkinson, founder of Sophus3, a web analytics firm working with many of the UKs car manufacturers, said: BMW already has a digital avenue in place, and Vauxhall is working on one in Germany [via Opel]. There isnt a single manufacturer that isnt seriously looking into it.
Some independent digital car dealerships are, of course, already offering a 14-day return period on new and used cars, including , which is owned by Dennis Publishing, the company behind Auto Express.
Is internet shopping the future for car buyers?
While vehicles and other goods bought at retailers fall under the Consumer Rights Act, goods purchased online fall under an additional set of laws. The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 give online buyers a 14-day cooling-off period to decide whether or not they want to keep the goods. Within the 14 days they can hand back the product with no questions asked.
Consumer rights lawyer Joanne Lezemore said: The [14-day] time starts the day after the goods are received, in which to cancel the contract and obtain a full refund of the goods and delivery costs. Within the trial period buyers are still liable for any damage and diminished value for the goods.
Lezemore added that guidance published by the Directorate-General for Justice states that buyers wont be able to extensively test products during the two-week period, meaning lots of mileage will probably result in depreciation penalties.
However, Auto Express understands online retailers allow a mileage limit of around 100 miles before charging for depreciation. Any car, despite the mileage and condition, can be handed back after two weeks, but buyers will likely face penalty fees. Manufacturers will also have to be transparent about the trial period, as Lezemore says that if buyers arent made aware of their rights, the trial period is extended to 12 months. They could use the car for up to 12 months and then return it, and the seller could not charge for the consumers use during that period, she said.
QAwithJoanne Lezemore
Solicitor at
We asked legal expert Joanne Lezemore about some of the finer points of the rules.
Q: Do the new rules apply to both new and used cars bought online?
A: The law applies equally to both new and used cars. All goods sold have to be of satisfactory quality and be durable; this means that they should last a period of time that can be reasonably expected, and the quality of the goods takes into account the age of the goods and the price paid.
How and where to buy a new car
Q: What if Ive driven several hundred miles in two weeks. Can I still hand back the car?
A: Yes. However, the 14-day period exists only so that you can establish the nature, functioning and characteristics of the goods. If you go beyond that, the seller can claim the diminished value of the goods. This can include the loss of income to the trader that will be incurred as a result of having to sell a new car as second-hand.
Q: What happens if Ive bought the car online but collect it from a dealer?
A: If the contract was entered online, then the same rights apply. You still have 14 days to make up your mind. It doesnt matter if you collected the car from a dealer.
Would you ever buy a car online? Let us know in the comments section below

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Buying cars online: new two-week trial period introduced
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Buying cars online: new two-week trial period introduced
3 years ago

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/101422/buying-cars-online-new-two-week-trial-period-introduced
Martin Saarinen

2017-10-20 10:20

Law requires cooling off period if you buy a car online, meaning vehicles can be returned within 14 days


Car buyers who purchase their vehicle online will have up to two weeks to decide if they like the vehicle before they can hand it back with no questions asked, thanks to a set of consumer laws relating to goods purchased online.
The revelation comes as a growing number of manufacturers look to establish digital dealerships where cars can be ordered and bought entirely online.
Speaking to Auto Express, Marcus Hodgkinson, founder of Sophus3, a web analytics firm working with many of the UKs car manufacturers, said: BMW already has a digital avenue in place, and Vauxhall is working on one in Germany [via Opel]. There isnt a single manufacturer that isnt seriously looking into it.
Some independent digital car dealerships are, of course, already offering a 14-day return period on new and used cars, including BuyaCar.co.uk, which is owned by Dennis Publishing, the company behind Auto Express.
Is internet shopping the future for car buyers?
While vehicles and other goods bought at retailers fall under the Consumer Rights Act, goods purchased online fall under an additional set of laws. The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 give online buyers a 14-day cooling-off period to decide whether or not they want to keep the goods. Within the 14 days they can hand back the product with no questions asked.
Consumer rights lawyer Joanne Lezemore said: The [14-day] time starts the day after the goods are received, in which to cancel the contract and obtain a full refund of the goods and delivery costs. Within the trial period buyers are still liable for any damage and diminished value for the goods.
Lezemore added that guidance published by the Directorate-General for Justice states that buyers wont be able to extensively test products during the two-week period, meaning lots of mileage will probably result in depreciation penalties.
However, Auto Express understands online retailers allow a mileage limit of around 100 miles before charging for depreciation. Any car, despite the mileage and condition, can be handed back after two weeks, but buyers will likely face penalty fees. Manufacturers will also have to be transparent about the trial period, as Lezemore says that if buyers arent made aware of their rights, the trial period is extended to 12 months. They could use the car for up to 12 months and then return it, and the seller could not charge for the consumers use during that period, she said.
QAwithJoanne Lezemore
Solicitor at www.consumer-genie.co.uk
We asked legal expert Joanne Lezemore about some of the finer points of the rules.
Q: Do the new rules apply to both new and used cars bought online?
A: The law applies equally to both new and used cars. All goods sold have to be of satisfactory quality and be durable; this means that they should last a period of time that can be reasonably expected, and the quality of the goods takes into account the age of the goods and the price paid.
How and where to buy a new car
Q: What if Ive driven several hundred miles in two weeks. Can I still hand back the car?
A: Yes. However, the 14-day period exists only so that you can establish the nature, functioning and characteristics of the goods. If you go beyond that, the seller can claim the diminished value of the goods. This can include the loss of income to the trader that will be incurred as a result of having to sell a new car as second-hand.
Q: What happens if Ive bought the car online but collect it from a dealer?
A: If the contract was entered online, then the same rights apply. You still have 14 days to make up your mind. It doesnt matter if you collected the car from a dealer.
Would you ever buy a car online? Let us know in the comments section below

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