Im unhappy with my new car. Can I reject it and ask for a replacement?
The wholesale replacement of a car will often be considered a disproportionate solution, because it may impose unreasonable costs on the seller compared with, say, repair and compensation.
However, the more problems there are, and the more significant they are, the easier it is to reject a new car under the Sale of Goods acts. These say that goods should be of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose.
If something extreme happens, such as the engine falls out when you turn the key in the ignition, or 99% of the paintwork is flaking off, then youre on firm ground.
If the engine doesnt idle properly, or theres a small patch of dodgy paintwork, then giving the dealer a chance to put it right is usually the way to go.
A court of law would use
a reasonable person to judge which faults are serious enough, but this is open to interpretation and could lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle.
The speed with which you need to reject the car is also open to debate. You need time to properly try out something as complex as a car, but keep it too long and a court may feel youve accepted it, leaving you with just the chance of repair and compensation.
Reject the car at the earliest opportunity, then, and do it in writing. Agreeing to repairs as a potential solution is not considered as acceptance of the car, so you can still reject it if these attempts to fix the problem dont work.