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Sold my van, now problems with the buyer


owain
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What’s your opinion on this folks?

I sold my old van on Facebook market place last week. It was a rough old Fiat Ducato, 55 reg, 100k on the clock, 6 months test but starting to rot round the back wheel arches.

I stuck it on for £1100 with the view to being knocked down a couple of hundred or so.

Had loads of messages, and a lad came to view it at 7.30 on Thursday morning. I gave him the keys, he took it round the block, I showed him the rear arches. He wanted to buy it and gave me the full asking price. 

All good.

Until Monday morning, he text saying the turbo had gone, that I must have known about it and he wanted to return the van or wanted some money to get it fixed. 
I sent a polite text back explaining that I had no idea that the turbo was on the way out and that I was genuinely sorry but it was one of those things.

He started going on that because I had given him no receipt and because the advert didn’t state “sold as seen” that I was in some way liable for some of the responsibility to get it fixed.

I started getting a bit angry at this point and asked which garage the van was at as I wanted to go and see for myself this blown turbo. He replied that it wasn’t at a garage, but he knew the turbo was faulty, and if I gave him £300 I wouldn’t hear from him again.

I refused, and told him not to text me asking for money when he had no idea what was actually wrong with the van.

He text later on saying it was actually the clutch that had gone and that there had been a burning smell and smoke from under the bonnet as he was pulling away on a hill, and that a clutch was going to be £500.

I said, so you’ve probably had it in 3rd rather than first on the hill (they were fairly close together on that van) done a hill start and burnt the clutch out.

Hes now saying this is how I’ve sold him it, despite admitting there was smoke and a burning smell coming from under the bonnet while he was driving. And him having test drove it before purchase.

I’ve blocked him on Facebook and have stopped replying to his text messages. I’m thinking of waiting for the next text demanding money then going to the police with the texts and putting in a complaint of harassment against him. Do you think this is the right course of action?

I don’t want him showing up at the house when I’m at work (shifts) or doing something stupid like sticking a brick through the window. 
 

What’s your thoughts on this?

Cheers. 

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He has absolutely NO comeback as he bought privately, the only way he could take you to court is if you deliberately described something that you knew was untrue, he would have to prove so which is very difficult unless you actually stated it in writing in the Ad, verbally it's your word against his. 

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There's nothing he can do, turbo and clutch very different, both faults potentially could be identified before the sale, clutch could be due to his driving style or what he has put in the van, he clearly needed a van to sort some stuff or an illegal job?

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I would ignore him it's a sub 1100 pound tired rotten van as you pointed out he was happy to pay you the full asking price so in my mind he was happy with the condition of it. He had a test drive & must of been happy how it ran mechanically just tell him to jog on . If you gave him any money back I'm fairly sure you would see it back on facebook marketplace for the same price you sold it & he would be making a quick buck after having use of it. Facebook marketplace is full of these chancers sadly

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I sold a 30 year old vehicle recently that was a partly completed restoration. I was completely honest about its condition and sold it as an on going project. The chap who turned up to buy it was a youngish lad who paid the full asking price, I was concerned as to whether he knew what he was buying and explained it was an on going project and was in no way a reliable daily driver. He was still very happy with that and bought it after taking it for over an hour test drive and 3hrs examining it. I got a text 3hrs later, he lived several hrs drive away, that he had broken down near his home. It turned out at the garage it was a minor fault, electrical connection had worked loose and on stopping, it hadn't restarted. I told him to get it to a garage and let me know, he sent me a photo of the receipt and with recovery it came to about £300,which I paid, as he was a nice lad and it had happened on his way home.

Think you need to weigh it up, you probably have no legal need to pay a penny and decide what the moraley correct thing to do is, was it worth what you sold it for, did you fairly represent it, is it a genuine fault that would have happened to you if you hadn't sold it, did he in anyway cause it and even is he a decent chap. Only you can answer all those questions. 

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1 hour ago, bruno22rf said:

He has absolutely NO comeback as he bought privately, the only way he could take you to court is if you deliberately described something that you knew was untrue, he would have to prove so which is very difficult unless you actually stated it in writing in the Ad, verbally it's your word against his. 

You are correct had this been a sale from a business it would be a different tale. 

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Hi, I think the problem is or could be how you described it in the advert, if he bought what he believed to be a van in 'good running order' then under the law if it had a major problem which only came to light after he had driven it a few miles it would come under the 'not fit for purpose' regulations, I do a lot of distance selling on line and am always getting 'difficult' people claiming items are faulty,

I usually just give them a partial or full refund on return of the item as this works best for me and reduces stress and unpleasantness.

However your buyer came to test drive the van and was satisfied it was as described, at that point it was his responsibility to bring a mechanic with him to inspect it or ask for it to be inspected by a local garage at his cost, you were honest with the declaration of its faults and it sounds like you did what was required to get a fair deal.

So the only claim he would have now is to take it to a garage and get a full report on the faults and the likely causes, once this is done it would be up to you both to come to an agreement over any compensation. With proof of fault and your failure to declare at the point of sale he can take it to a small claims court to recover compensation for repairs, (been there and suffered the very unfair consequences of British law in action),  If he refuses to pay for a full garage report then he is on the make and just trying it on, in that case you say nothing, admit nothing, offer nothing, but don't get into a confrontation with him, and if he persist's in his claims then you must report it to the local police as harassment, keep all emails , and as much printed information from the time you advertised it to the present and any messages and be  polite in your replies before it escalates into something much worse.

Best of luck, 

3 minutes ago, The Heron said:

You are correct had this been a sale from a business it would be a different tale. 

Under the law it does not matter if its a private sale of through a business, if you sell anything which you know to be faulty or dangerous and fail to declare it you are guilty of obtaining money by deception, even if the police will not prosecute the buyer can go to the small claims court which is always biased in the buyers favour.  

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5 minutes ago, lakeside1000 said:

Hi, I think the problem is or could be how you described it in the advert, if he bought what he believed to be a van in 'good running order' then under the law if it had a major problem which only came to light after he had driven it a few miles it would come under the 'not fit for purpose' regulations, I do a lot of distance selling on line and am always getting 'difficult' people claiming items are faulty,

I usually just give them a partial or full refund on return of the item as this works best for me and reduces stress and unpleasantness.

However your buyer came to test drive the van and was satisfied it was as described, at that point it was his responsibility to bring a mechanic with him to inspect it or ask for it to be inspected by a local garage at his cost, you were honest with the declaration of its faults and it sounds like you did what was required to get a fair deal.

So the only claim he would have now is to take it to a garage and get a full report on the faults and the likely causes, once this is done it would be up to you both to come to an agreement over any compensation. With proof of fault and your failure to declare at the point of sale he can take it to a small claims court to recover compensation for repairs, (been there and suffered the very unfair consequences of British law in action),  If he refuses to pay for a full garage report then he is on the make and just trying it on, in that case you say nothing, admit nothing, offer nothing, but don't get into a confrontation with him, and if he persist's in his claims then you must report it to the local police as harassment, keep all emails , and as much printed information from the time you advertised it to the present and any messages and be  polite in your replies before it escalates into something much worse.

Best of luck, 

Under the law it does not matter if its a private sale of through a business, if you sell anything which you know to be faulty or dangerous and fail to declare it you are guilty of obtaining money by deception, even if the police will not prosecute the buyer can go to the small claims court which is always biased in the buyers favour.  

And there's the rub proving that the seller new it was faulty. 

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3 minutes ago, The Heron said:

And there's the rub proving that the seller new it was faulty. 

I understand what you say but my personal experience with the small claims courts showed me if its your word against the buyers , they will take the buyers every time and in most cases so will eBay who I deal with on a daily basis and will almost never support the seller.

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I agree with the majority, tell him to do one! (Or more simply, block his number and forget about it)

It's very likely that there is nothing wrong with the van and he's trying it on for a partial refund.

It could also be said that if the lad is not mechanically competent enough to spot a badly worn clutch or failing turbo on a test drive then perhaps he's better off sourcing a main dealer supplied and warrantied van.

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Unfit for purpose is for a trade seller not private. 
 

I would just ignore him tbh, as long as you can honestly hold you hand up and say it was ok when you sold it. 
 

 

I sold a 125 Van Van motorbike, blokes test drove it, was all fine. He drove it off after paying me, got about 2 miles down the road and a sprocket or something came off. 
 

They messaged, I went down picked them up, and I felt so awful I gave them a full refund (although I am aware I didn’t have to). 
 

I got the bike fixed, it sat in the garage another 6 months and when I got round to selling it the prices had boomed and I think I got an extra £100

for it anyway. 

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Cheers for the replies guys.
The van was in running order and had been in daily use until I bought a new one 2 weeks ago. I replaced the clutch myself 2 years ago and it was faultless.

I actually said in one of my replies, “if you’d text and said the vans blown up and I need it for work” we could have 100% worked something out.

it’s the fact he’s gone straight in accusing me of knowingly selling him a knackered van that really gets me.

What’s going to be next? Cam belt goes and he’s going to blame me for that also? 

14 minutes ago, London Best said:

I always give a private buyer a receipt reading: ‘sold as seen, tried and approved’. 
No good anyone coming back then.

I’ll be doing that from now on. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by owain
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firstly I wouldn't respond to his texts or calls, but more importantly, is there  actually anything wrong with the van? it sounds to me like he's a chancer who is after money back. whats to say there is anything wrong with the van? you haven't said you have seen it since selling it. it starts off with the turbo then its the clutch as well? whats the chances of that happening?

my son bought a car and the seller accused him of paying for the car with £3000 cash that the seller had left in the car during the test drive. 10 out of 10 for trying!!

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27 minutes ago, stu64 said:

firstly I wouldn't respond to his texts or calls, but more importantly, is there  actually anything wrong with the van? it sounds to me like he's a chancer who is after money back. whats to say there is anything wrong with the van? you haven't said you have seen it since selling it. it starts off with the turbo then its the clutch as well? whats the chances of that happening?

my son bought a car and the seller accused him of paying for the car with £3000 cash that the seller had left in the car during the test drive. 10 out of 10 for trying!!

No I haven’t seen it since I sold it. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is nothing wrong with it and he just wants a bit of cash back. 
He told me he had insured it before he picked it up, but it’s still showing as no tax or insurance.

That’s a really sneaky trick to play on your boy, some people really have got the face for anything. 

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I had a similar experience with chap who bough a car from me again on an auction site.  He tried to extort money for a clutch he said had failed as a result of his "spirited" driving (the car was a performance import).

When he told me his Sister who worked for a solicitor said he had a good case I knew he was was trying it on.  Private sales are not bound by "merchantable quality" " fit for purpose " or any other such laws so he was told to go away as he had broke it himself that was the end of that.

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Over fifty years ago I had a Mk.1 Sprite with a worn engine. I bought a factory reconditioned engine. When I had fitted the new engine I advertised the old one as worn and a bit smokey, in need of a rebuild. A chap came round and said it was just what he wanted but before he could rebuild it it had to get him from Derbyshire to London and back once for one term at college. Five pounds changed hands for the engine and away he went to fit it in his vehicle. Two days later he was on the phone demanding his money back because he had decided to go to London in his father’s car after all, so had stripped the engine I had sold him as worn and found, guess what, it was worn and needed a rebuild. I told him he would not be getting a refund and after a heated exchange he said he would bring it round and dump it on my drive, which he did. So I promptly advertised it again and sold it for six pounds the second time.

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This is why when i scrapped my truck i sold it to we buy any car i took a hit off them as i still reckon i could of sold it for double what they gave me , but now its there problem and nobody will be calling me or coming to the door 

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