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First time caravanner.. bought a lemon.


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Good evening caravan Talk memebers.

 

I recently bought my first ever caravan. I know very little about caravans and as such decided it would be best for me to buy from a dealer. Someone who knows these things inside and out and would steer me in the right direction.

 

I chose a van, inspected it to the best of my knowledge, liked what I saw -  and did the deal.

 

I arranged also for it to be delivered to me as although I have a capable tow vehicle (van) I learned last minute that the combined max weights would require me to do my B+E test.  no problem. I have plenty of time to get that done after it is delivered to me.

 

SO, the van was delivered and here is really where my heartache began;  upon closer inspection and getting to know the van over the course of a few days I have noticed several quite serious defects.

 

After getting a ladder to re-attach the aerial that was snapped and hanging over the side on arrival (not a good start) I noticed that the top of the roof is totally caved in. There is a pond of water sat up there. It looks like it's been driven under a low bridge perhaps at some point in its life.

 

I've also noticed that inside the gas locker it is totally wet and rotten down both sides.

 

The air conditioner does not work.

 

It is leaking from the air conditioner, dripping inside.

 

The tyres are I believe original to the van and dry rotted, all cracked on the sides.

 

The electrics were dead, measuring the battery showed 1.7v.  Has not improved at all after charging. the battery is totally dead on arival.

 

It was delivered without a door key, the front windows were left ajar allowing spray from the sow vehicle to enter the front and soak the curtains.

 

It has a wheel lock, the type that attaches in place of a wheel bolt. the lock is on there, but has no key, stopping me from being able to remove the wheel to service the brakes or tyres.

 

I haven't even got gas hooked up yet or the 12v so I have no idea if there are futher issues there, but I'm not holding my breath at this point.

 

 

I haven't spoken with the dealer yet to see their response, but even if they were happy to try and rectify the smaller problems, there is just no way they are going to be able to tear it apart and make structural repairs to the roof, sides.

 

At this point I am not going to be committing to this van, kitting it out, buying awnings for it.

 

 

I'm really quite upset about the whole ordeal and I'm worried about contacting the dealer tomorrow to explain everything to them.... who know's, it might just be one that slipped through their net and they will understand by allowing me to return it for a refund. I will see when I contact them.

 

My question is, do you think I have the right to return the caravan and receive a refund? 

 

This was not the introduction to caravaning I was hoping for... :(

 

Thankyou in advance for any responses / replies / advice

 

Regards - JimBobJones

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You must write to them (signed for post) referring to your phone call and stated intention to reject the goods within 30 days for being not as described, unfit for it’s intended purpose and not of sat

Why spend his money on an unnecessary report? The caravan was purchased 2 weeks ago. The aim is to get shot of it for a full refund ASAP, not hang on to it for an engineer to turn up.   A re

Jim   Lots  of people have given you advice now, but Legal Eagle is the one you need to pay attention too. He knows his stuff (it is his job after all) follow his advice to the letter and ac

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Hi, how was the caravan described in the advert? Did it list all these issues? 

 

It sounds like an absolute shed. I would be doing everything possible to get my money back and running away from it. 

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Posted (edited)

I've just checked the advert, and I quote:                 "mint condition" and "everything working"

Edited by Jimbobjones
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First thing do do then is make sure you save a copy of that advert in any way you can before it’s taken down - photograph your computer screen if all else fails!

 

Then get back to the dealers to give them a chance to explain themselves.

 

Most dealers give you some sort of warranty, if only a few months - did you get any sort of cover?

 

Good luck, John.

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Having bought from a dealer you have an absolute right under the Consumer Rights Act to expect it to be fit for purpose and free from major defects, whatever the advert or warranty says.

Depending on what you mean by "recently" you have a right to reject it and demand a refund, or to expect the dealer to fix it, and if he can't to then refund.

Start by sending a letter or email saying that you "reject" it and get some legal advice.

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42 minutes ago, Johnaldo said:

First thing do do then is make sure you save a copy of that advert in any way you can before it’s taken down - photograph your computer screen if all else fails!

 

Then get back to the dealers to give them a chance to explain themselves.

 

Most dealers give you some sort of warranty, if only a few months - did you get any sort of cover?

 

Good luck, John.

 

But, before contacting the dealer, go around the van meticulously again, be really picky, check in every cupboard, under seat areas,every nook and cranny, test the cooker, fridge, water heater, space heater, water system, toilet, see if the floor appears springy, check all cupboard doors, drawers work OK, all windows open, close and lock correctly, all external locker doors work and lock correctly  etc. for things  you may have missed , taking good photographs of everything and itemising everything, the more arrows you have in your quiver the better

 

Then go armed with copies, not the originals of your your photo's and lists.

 

Finally and most important, take someone with you who can witness what is said and don't be afraid to take notes of the conversation.

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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3 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

But, before contacting the dealer, go around the van meticulously again, be really picky, check in every cupboard, under seat areas,every nook and cranny, test the cooker, fridge, water heater, space heater, water system, toilet, see if the floor appears springy, check all cupboard doors, drawers work OK, all windows open, close and lock correctly, all external locker doors work and lock correctly  etc. for things  you may have missed , taking good photographs of everything and itemising everything, the more arrows you have in your quiver the better

 

Then go armed with copies, not the originals of your your photo's and lists.

 

Finally and most important, take someone with you who can witness what is said and don't be afraid to take notes of the conversation.

The "short term right to reject" under the CRA only lasts for 30 days, whatever you do do not let this time limit pass without formally rejecting it!

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Whilst agreeing with pretty much everything said above; it would be interesting to know the make and model of the van, how old it is and how much it cost.

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If purchased from a dealer then any fault that comes to light within 6 months of the purchase, is deemed, in law, to have been present at the time of sale. So the dealer is legally required to rectify it.

My advise would be to contact the dealer (in writing, DONT do it verbally) detailing, as precisely as possible, all of the defects and advise them that you give them 14 days to detail how, and when, they propose rectifying all of the faults to your satisfaction. Offer the alternative of them collecting the caravan and refunding you the full purchase price, which by the sounds of it, is the best outcome for you.

 

From this point on ALL of your communications with the dealer need to be in writing. Email is good because it shows what was written and proof of delivery.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Andy

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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1 hour ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Also was it a reputable dealership .........

 

Not by the sounds of things. Our local dealer would have had that van straight to the breakers yard, as I guess would most. It does sound a bit funny, the list of defects is so long and some of them so obvious that it is hard to imagine how they could all have been missed at the time of initial inspection. 

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What initial inspection?-there was no mention of this by the OP,they only mentioned "they liked what they saw"

Only through experience of what we have learnt about caravans do we know that it makes sense to have all the systems working and explained to us prior to paying over any money!

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8 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

What initial inspection?

 

11 hours ago, Jimbobjones said:

I chose a van, inspected it to the best of my knowledge

 

 

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3 minutes ago, PMW said:

 

 

 

I agree and did read the OP's initial thread.

A novice wouldnt generally know whether damp was present for example.

It also stated they know very little about caravans hence why i added my comment.

What it doesn't state is if the caravan was set up during the viewing-it does state that the advert said mint condition...everything working.

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I'm finding it hard to reconcile "mint condition" and "inspected it to the best of my knowledge, liked what I saw" with "gas locker it is totally wet and rotten down both sides",  "tyres - dry rotted, all cracked on the sides", "aerial that was snapped", "air conditioner does not work. It is leaking from the air conditioner, dripping inside" etc. once the van is delivered.

I have every sympathy for a novice buyer but this does seem naïve in the extreme.

Whatever, giving this poor soul the benefit of doubt just do as suggested in previous posts and reject the van - quickly!  And learn from the experience.

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17 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

I agree and did read the OP's initial thread.

A novice wouldnt generally know whether damp was present for example.

It also stated they know very little about caravans hence why i added my comment.

What it doesn't state is if the caravan was set up during the viewing-it does state that the advert said mint condition...everything working.

What the advert says is of no relevance to the CRA rights! Unless sold "for spares or repair only" it must be fit for purpose and free from major defects.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Stevan said:

What the advert says is of no relevance to the CRA rights! Unless sold "for spares or repair only" it must be fit for purpose and free from major defects.

 

 

Once again..yes I know that!- I wasnt quoting it in the context of CRA anyway.

Unfortunately it is the OP who requires your knowledge/ information not me.

Edited by charlieboy2608
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Did they deliver the same van that you looked around !! 

You have every right to reject van as it is not fit for the purpose that you have obviously bought it for, as previously stated the only exception to this would be if the van was sold for spares or repair only, unless of course the faults were pointed out by the dealer at the time of inspection and it was sold as seen

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25 minutes ago, Arrand said:

Did they deliver the same van that you looked around !! 

You have every right to reject van as it is not fit for the purpose that you have obviously bought it for, as previously stated the only exception to this would be if the van was sold for spares or repair only, unless of course the faults were pointed out by the dealer at the time of inspection and it was sold as seen

Even pointing out the faults does not get the dealer out of his CRA obligations, nor does "sold as seen".  It still has to be "fit for purpose" and free from major defects. The only way out of the CRA obligations for a dealer is to specify that it is sold for the purpose of being used "for spares or repair". The old "sold as seen" claim now only covers minor defects such as reasonable wear and tear.

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Get it rejected and don't be afraid to play hardball, they will have known exactly what they were doing when dealing with you. They may well be expecting trouble so as Mr Plodd says get everything in writing.

 

Don't let this experience put you off (easily said I know) but there are a lot a good caravans out there and some  fair dealerships.    Most of us have bought things and somehow regretted it, its's just a shame that this happens to be your first van 

 

good luck

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I can see a worrying trend developing with  many people looking to caravanning because of the travel restrictions and buying unsound vans out of ignorance. Must be manna from heaven for less scrupulous traders. There’s been three or four postings similar to this over the last couple of days amongst what seems to be an upsurge in people joining this forum. 
All we can hope is that people considering buying used vans come here for a heads up before parting with their hard earned. 

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When buying anything second hand/used of any appreciable value (such as cars/caravans etc) It seems blindingly obvious to me to carry out a fair bit of research to find out the possible problems before even looking, let alone parting with money.

 

Andy

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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47 minutes ago, Tuningdrew said:

I can see a worrying trend developing with  many people looking to caravanning because of the travel restrictions and buying unsound vans out of ignorance. Must be manna from heaven for less scrupulous traders. There’s been three or four postings similar to this over the last couple of days amongst what seems to be an upsurge in people joining this forum. 
All we can hope is that people considering buying used vans come here for a heads up before parting with their hard earned. 

 

There's an eBay dealer not far from me that buys caravans from the local auction house at Measham, cleans them and advertises them at significant prices.  There are some good ones but there's some absolute rubbish as well, all sold on with tempting adverts and "goodies" thrown in t make it look attractive.

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Posted (edited)

Hello all, firstly I would just like to say I have been blown away by all of the helpful responses. I feel a little less like I am alone in this. - thankyou!

 

The purchase occurred within the last 2 weeks.

 

The van was sold with a warranty of 4 weeks and after querying what was and was not included in the warranty they explained that everything apart from the brakes were covered. Fair enough I thought, it allowed me to buy with confidence knowing I had some cover.

 

I rang and spoke to the director of the dealership today.

 

I firstly thanked them for the prompt delivery, and then proceeded to outline the fact that I had found a number of issues and listed them and explained that I was quite concerned. .....

 

......to cut a long story short, I was told that not only were they not prepared to do anything to rectify any of the issues, but went so far as to state that I have no warranty whatsoever on the van. He absolutely refused to accept a return.

 

Great!

 

Unfortunately this leaves me between a rock and a hard place,

 

I either suck it up and accept the van with it's "features" or I have to press the issue formally rejecting it and going through some sort of legal process... Which I have no doubt will have a lingering negative effect on myself as it all plays out (even though I know I would have no issue with any ruling being in my favor)

 

After guaging their response I feel I could be in for some 'trouble' if I pursue my legal rights.

 

Does anyone want to buy a caravan?  mint condition

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jimbobjones
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You must write to them (signed for post) referring to your phone call and stated intention to reject the goods within 30 days for being not as described, unfit for it’s intended purpose and not of satisfactory  quality for a full refund in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You should remind them that under the legislation they are not permitted to deduct any costs from the amount paid and that the full refund must be made within a reasonable time which you consider to be no more than 10 working days from the date of your correspondence. You should also advise them what arrangements you wish to make for them to collect the caravan (there is no obligation in the legislation for you to take the caravan back to them).

You should also report it to your local trading standards officer at the local authority. You can do that via Citizens Advice. Details on their website. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

Edited by Legal Eagle
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