5 Laws Anyone Buying A Car Should Know

Thinking of getting financial help to buy your next car? Ok, then you may find this article interesting. 😃 Do you know about the important car finance laws and your legal rights when buying a car? 🤔 As a consumer, it would benefit you to become familiar with your rights, so that you will have a smooth and stress-free experience when making a big purchase like this. With the significant amount of money involved when buying a car, it’s a must that you know the laws that protect you as a consumer. 

And in the event that there are problems with the car that you just bought, you will have an idea of the steps you need to take so that you can get your money back. In this article, we’ll cover five of the most crucial car finance laws in the UK that you should look into before buying a car

The Consumer Rights Act

The Consumer Rights Act came into force in October 2015, and protects consumers for purchases made after that time. Formerly know as the Sale of Goods Act, it has some similarities. 

The car dealer should be able to sell you a vehicle that is of satisfactory quality. The car must also be as described, and fit for purpose. The buyer can expect that the vehicle is in good condition for its value, mileage, and age, as well as the description. 

The car you’re buying must be without any known flaws. The car dealer will be the one responsible if in case the car did have flaws when you bought it. This will still stand even if the flaws become apparent after you’ve bought the car and driven it home. To know more about your rights as a consumer, the Financial Ombudsman Service can help in sorting out issues between the seller and buyer.  

The car dealer won’t be liable, however, for the wear and tear of the vehicle through use. An example of this kind of wear and tear are worn-out tyres. And if the car dealer disclosed any problems with the car before you purchase, they will not be responsible for it if you still bought the car.  

Another legal obligation of the car dealer is that they should ensure that the vehicle is fit for purpose and suits your needs. For example, you asked for a car that you can use for a particular purpose but then the car got damaged because of this. The car dealer could be liable in this scenario because it’s their responsibility to sell you a vehicle that would be suitable for your specific use. 

These days, many reputable dealers may offer a 12 month warranty with the sale, so definitely worth the ask if they don't. Or if not, it's worth looking elsewhere.

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations

Car buyers should also expect fair practice when dealing with car sellers. With the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, car dealers are prevented from using unfair business practices. 

Some of these practices include providing false information, not giving all the necessary information, being too aggressive in doing business, not acting in ways that are reasonably expected, as well as banning a good number of specific practices outright. 

Distance Selling Regulations

When you make purchases online, there are also additional laws that provide protection to consumers. If you buy a car over the internet, the car dealers need to abide by the online sales law called Distance Selling Regulations. 

With this law, the buyer will have another seven days so they can cancel their order. Buyers can also expect a full refund to be given within 30 days. This rule applies even if you use the online deal of “buy it now.” The car dealer should also provide consumers with an accurate and specific description of the vehicle, as well as disclose additional costs when it comes to registration and delivery. 


You can usually get a full refund if the car you just bought develops a problem. You may reject it and then request the car dealer to return your payment. However, it is stated in the law that the car dealer may offer to do the necessary repairs on the vehicle . 

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that if the car does have any problems, you must reject it at the soonest time possible. If you have already driven the car for a thousand miles, it’s no longer reasonable to blame the car dealer for any problems with the vehicle. 

Private Car Sales

If you want to engage in private car sales, it’s necessary that the vehicle must be under your ownership. It shouldn’t be bound by any outstanding finance. If you buy a vehicle through financing, then this means that the car finance company or the lender is the one who owns the car. You are not entitled to sell it without getting permission from them. When buying privately you should ideally perform an Hire Purchase Investigation (HPI) check. You can do this online via a number of companies for under £10.

As a seller, you also need to provide an accurate description of the car, and of course, it has to be in good condition and roadworthy. If it’s not, then you have to include that in the description. This is important because you don’t want the buyer to have expectations which the car will not be able to meet. 

While the buyer has their respective rights, they must also be careful when making a big purchase such as buying a car. The buyer has the responsibility of doing a history check, as well as inspecting the vehicle thoroughly. They must also check that the documents relating to the car are correct and authentic. 

Ideally, the seller’s name should be the same as what’s found on the V5C registration document. If it’s not, then you as the buyer would have to take extra caution because you might buy a stolen vehicle. 


These are some of the most useful laws relating to car buying that you should get to know. Since buying a car involves a significant amount of money, you should know what your rights are as a car buyer. 

If you’re not sure about a car dealer or a car financing company, do a quick check by reading reviews of previous customers online. With the help of the internet, you can get an idea of how they conduct their business and whether their customers had a good experience. 

For more car buying tips, be sure to check out Carmoola’s blog!