Audi A1 doesn't match the brochure

* Audi A1 arrives and doesn't have what the buyer thought was standard equipment * Turns out the car he has been sold was old stock * Dealer orders a new A1 from Audi and offers a free se...

Audi A1 doesn't match the brochure

An attractively priced Audi A1 S line wrapped up Shaun Martin-Brand’s online car research nicely. He’d been interested in Sport trim, but at just £17,550 this brand-new and unregistered car looked like the perfect buy.

He hotfooted it down to Stafford Audi to see why the car was so reasonably priced. He was told it had been advertised incorrectly on the website (it was actually on sale for £19,165) and he was then given a brochure dated April 2012.

He read the brochure and, still liking what he saw, renegotiated the price down to £18,100, including some extras.

The following morning, he noticed the door mirrors were fogged up. At least the nifty mirror heater would soon clear things up. If only he could work out how to switch it on; the manual didn’t appear to relate to his car’s set-up.

He called Stafford Audi and was told where to find the switch. However, it remained elusive. He headed back to the dealer and it transpired his car didn’t have it.

Despite the brochure listing heated mirrors as standard equipment, Shaun’s car didn’t have them. Further questioning revealed the A1 he’d been sold was old stock – it had been built in February 2012. The dealer’s offer to look into retro-fitting the heating element didn’t appease him, and he later discovered there is no retro-fit solution anyway.

Meanwhile, Audi Customer Services maintained the car had not been mis-sold and the dealer wasn’t obliged to buy it back. Shaun was unimpressed; he wouldn’t have bought the car if he’d known it wasn’t the latest model; he would have gone for the cheaper Sport version.

He contacted Helpdesk and we got on to Audi and Stafford Audi. It was clear Shaun’s A1 wasn’t the car he thought he’d bought; the price quoted in the showroom, the assurance there was nothing wrong with the car, and being handed the latest model brochure all served to preserve his belief that this was the latest model.

A few days later, Stafford offered to swap Shaun’s old-model A1 for his choice of similar available
cars. However, none came in his preferred colour (Cumulus Blue), so the dealer agreed to place a factory order. Shaun was happy to chip in £200 (the price of the metallic paint), because ‘the dealer was so reasonable’.

Relationship back on track, Shaun’s looking forward to the arrival of his new A1 2.0 TDI 143 S line complete with heated mirrors, and is more than happy to continue doing business with Stafford Audi.

What if this happens to you?

  • Always inspect the car at the dealer before signing paperwork.
  • If you notice something later, take photographs of any defects and let your dealer know immediately that you want to reject the car.
  • Return the car with a letter confirming your rejection, and send copies to the manufacturer and finance company, if necessary.

We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here