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The future of motoring and what this means for the consumer

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In November 2020 the UK government announced its plans in relation to the future of motoring. They confirmed that by 2030, just 9 short years from now, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will come to an end. Of course their reasons for doing this are going to be beneficial to all, with climate change being a major issue in today’s world, this small step will reduce the UK’s contribution to this and help our future generations grow up in a greener world. But what does this mean for the consumer and their rights?

Currently the law relating to the sale of vehicles to consumers is covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which provides consumers with certain rights and protection when purchasing a vehicle from a business.  The 2015 Act sets out that any goods purchased by a consumer (including vehicles) must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.  Therefore, whether the vehicle you are buying is powered by petrol, diesel, a hybrid vehicle or an electric vehicle, these provisions will apply.

The technology used in electric cars is fairly new and as with anything new, there is more possibility of mistakes being made or things failing unexpectedly.  This means that it is important that consumers are aware of their rights when purchasing a new vehicle.  There have already been a number of recalls in relation to electric cars in many countries, including in the UK.  Just last year a major car manufacturer recalled one of their new plug-in hybrid vehicles because the batteries were over-heating, meaning that they were a fire risk.  Whilst only a handful of these vehicles actually set on fire, the recall shows that issues can arise unexpectedly with even modern vehicles.  If your vehicle is recalled it is important that you take it back to the manufacturer as soon as possible, whatever type of vehicle it is.

Unfortunately, some vehicles can have issues with them which are not subject to a recall.  If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle, which means that it is not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, and the seller is refusing to do anything to assist you, then you may decide to take legal action against them.  It is important that you act quickly once you have had the seller’s final response because there are strict time limits in place when it comes to bringing these types of claims.

If you require any assistance with a claim relating to issues you are having with your vehicle then do not hesitate to contact us.  We have a team that specialises in these types of case that may be able to assist.

By Alysia Leigh, dispute resolution team