We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

More hassle for distance buyers

29 October 2004

Motorists buying products or services over the telephone or via the internet could face added inconvenience under new rules being introduced next April.

Changes will affect those who buy over the phone

Motorists buying products or services over the telephone or via the internet could face added inconvenience under new rules being introduced next April.

Amendments to the so-called Distance Selling Regulations mean consumers will no longer have to be given important written information until a service or product is provided – whether it is a rental vehicle or a new car from an internet broker.

The Department for Trade and Industry is making the changes. It claims they do not affect consumers, who will retain the right to end any agreement seven days after they receive the written details.

However, potentially not having this information until a car is delivered could waste buyers’ time.

What Car?’s editor, David Motton, said: ‘We recommend buyers insist that they get important written information as soon as possible so they can check all the details.

‘If consumers wait until their car turns up for written details, they might find they don’t tally with what they were expecting, which could put them back to square one.’

Currently businesses have to provide all key details in writing before they can offer a service. This requirement can easily be fulfilled by sending the customer an e-mail, but the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association complained it was costing them £29 million a year and asked the DTI to change the rules.

Under the Distance Selling Regulations consumers have the right to cancel an agreement after seven days without explanation. This means anyone who purchases a new car unseen over the internet, by fax, or over the telephone has a week in which they can return the car and insist on having their money back.

Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014