Why is this important?
You bought a car from a dealer posing as a private seller
Dealers sometimes pretend to be private sellers, by using the small ads or a private address and telephone number. They do this because you have fewer rights when you buy a car from a private seller than from a dealer. Posing as a private seller is a criminal offence.
This page explains your rights and options if you find out you bought a car from a dealer posing as a private seller.
You can avoid buying a car from a dealer posing as a private seller by looking out for these warning signs:
- adverts which give a mobile phone number or specify a time to call
- cars advertised for sale in car parks, roadsides or other public spaces
- the same phone number in several adverts for different cars
- when you phone about the car, the seller asks "Which one?"
- the seller doesn’t want you to go to their home to view the car
- you get to the seller’s home and there are a lot of cars for sale on the street
- the seller’s name isn’t on the registration certificate (V5C) as the last registered keeper.
If there is no problem with the car
If you buy a car from a dealer posing as a private seller, this does not cancel your purchase. If there is no problem with the car, you cannot make a claim against the dealer. However, the dealer has broken the law and you should report them to Trading Standards.
If there is a problem with the car
If you buy a car from a dealer posing as a private seller and there is a problem with the car, you still have the same rights as when you buy it from a dealer in the normal way. You can still make a claim for your money back, repair or replacement as appropriate.
The dealer has broken the law and you should report them to Trading Standards.
- Report a problem to Trading Standards
- What to do if the car you bought is faulty
- What to do if the car you bought doesn’t match its description
Is the dealer a member of a trade association?
Check if the dealer is a member of a trade association that follows a code of practice and use their complaints procedure. Trade associations include:
- Motor Codes
- Retail Motor Industry Federation
- Scottish Motor Trade Association
- Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.