Who has What Car? helped this month?

Readers contact our helpdesk every day with questions and appeals for help with car-related problems. Here are their latest stories...

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Claire Evans
25 July 2018

Who has What Car? helped this month?

We want to reject our leaky Peugeot

Couple seek replacement for new car with a hole in the roof

We took delivery of a new Peugeot 308 GT Line from Wilsons of Epsom on a sunny, dry day in June 2017. After leaving the car exposed to the British summer in a Gatwick Airport car park while we were on holiday a month later, we discovered that its boot was wet.

We took the car to our local Peugeot dealer, Hughes of Beaconsfield, which replaced a faulty rubber grommet. However, the problem persisted, so we took the car back and were told that there was faulty welding on a roof seam. The proposed solution is to weld and respray a large section of the car. We believe that doing so much on a new car that has done just 1200 miles is wholly unacceptable, so we tried to reject the car.

However, Peugeot Customer Care has stated that it will not accept the rejection because the claim is outside the 30-day period for automatic acceptance. We feel we’re being penalised because of the good June weather.

Our experience of customer care from Peugeot has been extremely poor. We’ve found it close to impossible to speak to anyone with the authority to say anything aside from carefully scripted responses.

When we reached a stalemate with Customer Care, we wrote to Peugeot UK’s CEO. We received a disappointing response from his senior customer care manager stating: “As the manufacturer, we reserve the right to repair the vehicle.” It went on to explain that Peugeot expects the repair work to fix the problem, so it can’t support our rejection.

We understand that after 30 days the dealer should be given one attempt to repair the fault. We gave them the chance to do this, but their repair didn’t work.

We no longer have confidence in the car and want to reject it because it’s not of satisfactory quality. We’re very disappointed that Peugeot won’t agree and admit that it’s morally obliged to accept our case. It should stop hiding behind the Consumer Rights Act.

Jeff and Jane Roberts

What Car? says…

We agree that Jeff and Jane have the right to reject their 308, so we contacted Peugeot on their behalf to ask the company to reconsider.

We received the following response: “We’re sorry to hear Mr and Mrs Roberts have had an issue with their vehicle. We appreciate that this can be frustrating and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Due to the circumstances surrounding this case and given that Mr Roberts has been a loyal customer of Peugeot for many years, we’ve agreed to support his dealer to accept rejection.

“Mr Roberts is considering the purchase of an additional car from us, and we have also offered a gesture of goodwill to help him achieve this.”

When Jeff heard about Peugeot’s change of heart, he said: “I’m glad Peugeot has finally exercised the discretion it should have done some considerable time ago. We’ve been car-less for more than five months at no small inconvenience while the situation was being resolved, including having to wait for the manufacture of the replacement car.”

The new car arrived on 8 June. It’s a like-for-like model with two additions: heated leather seats, courtesy of Peugeot, and a five-year service plan from Wilsons of Epsom.

Upon receiving the car, Jeff said: “We’re very happy with it and with the support from Hughes of Beaconsfield and Wilsons of Epsom. Wilsons’ aftersales director was outstanding; his determination not to resell the faulty car to a Wilsons customer was commendable.

“In my opinion, Peugeot Customer Care needs to more readily support customers and dealerships in finding solutions to unfortunate circumstances.”

Who has What Car? helped this month?

What is your Target Price discount?

Reader wants to know how to get the best deal on a new car

Where does What Car? get its Target Prices from and how I can get a new car for that price? I’m considering buying a new Ford Fiesta ST-Line, taking up Ford’s scrappage trade-in offer of £2000 for my 15-year-old BMW 3 Series Compact.

Can I negotiate a discount on the new car on top of the part-exchange offer? I’m also considering a Volkswagen Up GTI, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get such a good trade-in price from a Volkswagen dealer. What should I do, and which car is better?

Stan Loizou

What Car? says…

Target Price is a discount on the list price of a new car, based on research carried out at showrooms by What Car?’s team of mystery shoppers. You might be able to negotiate a bigger discount, but Target Price is what we believe is fair for both you and the dealer.

Buying at Target Price is simple: just enter the details of the car you’re after at whatcar.com/new-car-deals, along with your postcode, and you’ll get a list of the discounts local dealers are offering.

At present, we have 17 dealers offering the Target Price discount of 7.1% on a Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line – a saving of £1275. This is unlikely to be offered on top of the scrappage saving. We’ve estimated that a part-exchange figure for your car will be around £500, so your total saving will be around £1775.

If you trade in your car on the scrappage scheme instead, you’ll get £2000 for it, but you’ll have to pay list price for the new car. Those prices are pretty close, so we’d suggest you talk to some of our approved dealers and see which will offer the best deal overall.

Who has What Car? helped this month?

With regard to choosing between the Fiesta ST-Line and Up GTI, while we like the Up, the Fiesta gets our full five stars because it’s more fun to drive and more practical.

In addition, Volkswagen has discontinued its scrappage scheme, so you’re likely to get a maximum of only £500 for your trade-in from a Volkswagen dealer. And discounts on the Up GTI are smaller than those on the Fiesta; our Target Price saving is 2.8% and the biggest dealer discount on our New Car Buying website is 6.1% – a saving of £863.

Who has What Car? helped this month?

I need a small car with a quick-clear windscreen

Reader needs help finding model with the right equipment

Which small cars have a quick-clear windscreen and a four-cylinder engine? I tried to find this out three years ago by visiting various dealerships, but as you can imagine, it was a very long-winded task. In the end, I bought a Vauxhall Corsa that had these features.

However, I want to change my car in September, so I need to decide soon which model to go for. Although I can’t fault the Corsa, I’m a bit wary of getting another Vauxhall because of its planned dealer network reduction. Could you please provide me with this information?

Julie Bell

What Car? says…

Few small cars offer quick-clear windscreens, but one is the latest Ford Fiesta. It’s worthy of top spot on your shortlist because it’s great to drive, has a well-appointed interior and comes with plenty of kit; all trims levels except for the most basic Style come with a heated windscreen.

Who has What Car? helped this month?

Other options include the Kia Rio and Renault Clio, which can both be had with a quick demist button if you get a model with climate control.

Most small cars now have turbocharged three-cylinder engines, which are usually lighter on fuel yet just as powerful as naturally aspirated four-cylinder units, so we’d suggest you test drive some of these before making your choice.

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