I bought a used camper van and it needs a new gearbox - what are my rights?

I bought a camper van paid in a private sale for around £8000. On getting it home and driving it to Wales I find it crunches in 2nd gear and the clutch slips and the revs stay high. I have taken it to my local mechanic who tells me it needs a new gearbox. What are my options and rights as I have owned it for two weeks?

Asked on 12 September 2019 by Daniel Yates

Answered by Dan Powell
I'm afraid you do not get the same level of legal protection as you would when buying a van from a trader or dealer. But the van must match the seller's description and be road legal.

If a fault develops within the first 30 days you may be covered under the Misrepresentation Act. For example, if the seller told you the van was in excellent mechanical condition, you may be able to make a claim for damages. But this would require legal action and proof the seller misled you into buying the van.

In the first instance, the best course of action is to approach the seller and (politely) point out the problem with the gearbox and reach an amicable solution. A trustworthy seller may offer to contribute towards the cost of the repair or refund your money so they can fix the gearbox themselves before reselling. Obviously, if the seller refuses to acknowledge the problem or contribute anything towards the cost of the gearbox repairs, you'll need to get legal advice to see if it's worth pursuing through the small claims court.
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