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A buyer's rights

Words ByWill Nightingale

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**Q: I have just bought a second-hand car from a private seller for 800. After test-driving the car for 10 minutes, everything seemed fine and he said there was nothing wrong with the car.

He did say, however, that on a hot day the engine would overheat. As I drove the car home, it overheated and broke down.

I took it to a mechanic who said that, besides the cooling problem, the engine was badly damaged and had been for quite a while, and it would cost more to fix it than the car was worth.

It wasn't mentioned at any point that the car was sold 'as seen'. I have asked the seller for a refund or to fix the car, but he won't do either. What are my rights?**

A: Unfortunately, in a private sale, a key principle is 'buyer beware'. It appears that the seller allowed you to inspect the vehicle, including a test drive, so it was arguably up to you to satisfy yourself with its condition.

That said, if the seller made false promises or assertions, which you relied on, you might have a claim to return the car and reclaim the purchase price, or to claim damages for the amount of the repairs.

However, given the 'buyer beware' principle and that the seller seems to have drawn your attention to at least part of the problem, it may be difficult to succeed with this claim. Also weigh up the potential costs of legal proceedings.