Used Volkswagen

New law gives car buyers 30 days to demand a full refund on faulty cars

Used VolkswagenMotorists now have 30 days to demand a full refund if they buy a car that’s faulty as the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force.

7 new laws drivers need to know

However, the RAC has revealed just 1 in 20 motorists are actually aware of this new full-refund ‘right to reject’ provision – and only 3 in 10 of those who did know about it were aware it goes live today (1 October).

Previously, car dealers were obliged simply to repair the car by replacing a faulty part.

RAC Cars spokesman Pete Williams said: “Car buyers have long felt they are at the mercy of unscrupulous car traders, but the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act could finally turn the tables in their favour.

“Any licensed dealer must now refund the sale price in full if a buyer returns a faulty used car within the 30-day period.” And this, he said, should begin to squeeze dishonest car dealers out of business.

New law to boost used car prices?

Williams also believes the new law could boost the used car marketplace. “Those dealers who take the most care over their vehicles stand to gain, and we could see average used car prices increase as a result.

“What is clear is that the new law should have the very welcome effect of driving up standards among dealers, giving motorists much more confidence in their purchases.”

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 includes extra rights for car buyers once the initial 30-day period is up too, but Williams says these may be harder to enforce.

Up to six months from the sale date, dealers are still obliged to replace or repair faulty parts – and are given just one opportunity to fix the problem.

If it doesn’t work, owners can, says the RAC, “demand a reduced price or exercise their ‘final right to reject’ and demand full or partial repayment.”

However, the responsibility for proving this is on the consumer, says Williams, “so the responsibility will lie with them if they are to benefit from the new law.

“This is likely to lead to some difficult disputes between dealers and buyers.”

A ban on smoking in cars if anyone under 18 is present also goes live today – but again, motorists are unaware of it, reveals Kwik-Fit.

Smoking in cars with children banned from TODAY

Smoking in cars with children is now BANNED

Smoking in cars with children banned from TODAY

The law banning anyone from lighting up in a vehicle containing passengers aged under 18 comes is now in force – despite concerns that 3.1 million smokers are unaware of the ban.

A survey by Kwik Fit Insurance has found that 22 percent of smokers don’t realise the new law is being introduced, putting them at risk of £50 on-the-spot fines.

The research has found that more than 9 million smokers admit to previously smoking in a car containing children – meaning a whopping £458 million in fines could be raked in if they continue.

But research by the RAC has found that the majority of motorists don’t have enough confidence in the police to enforce the new laws.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Nine in 10 motorists have concerns about the extent to which the new law is likely to be enforced. This is perhaps well-founded as traffic police officer numbers have fallen by nearly a quarter (23 percent) between 2010 and 2014 across forces in England and Wales, so it is hard to see how people flouting the law are going to be caught.

“The new ban joins a raft of other laws that have been introduced in recent years, such as making it illegal to undertake or hog the middle lane of a motorway. But without sufficient enforcement, there is a real danger that these laws will quickly be forgotten by a large proportion of the motoring population.”

Kwik Fit’s research found the majority of drivers support the ban – both smokers (80 percent) and non-smokers (87 percent). But they disagree about the £50 fines, with more than a quarter of smokers finding it too harsh, while one in five non-smokers claim it’s too lenient.

Stewart Barnett, Marketing Director at Kwik Fit Insurance Services said: “While there are a few differences in opinion on the ins and outs of the new law, it appears that the majority of people, whether they smoke or not, are in agreement that protecting the health of the nation’s children is the most important factor in these new rules.

“Cutting back on smoking has obvious long-term health benefits for all car passengers, not just children. Drivers need to make sure they are fully aware of the new rules in order to make sure they stay on the right side of the law. The added benefit is that the dangerous practice of driving with the distraction of smoking will also be limited.”

The survey also found that many smokers think there should be some leniency around the punishment, with 50 percent saying fines shouldn’t be issued if windows are left open, and 36% thinking having the air-con on should allow them to dodge the penalty.

Interestingly, more than a third of those surveyed – smokers and non-smokers – said they’d report a driver or passenger they saw smoking in the car.