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.