CAR BUYERS will be able to change their mind up to 14 days after placing an online order for a vehicle under new rules designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous dealers. The existing cooling-off period is one week. The new “no-quibble return” guarantee is one of several rule changes to come into force this weekend under a beefed-up consumer rights directive from the EU.
Other changes include forcing the dealer to offer a refund within 14 days of the order being cancelled. The directive is the precursor to the new UK Consumer Rights Act, which is due to come into force later this year. It will give car buyers the right to reject a car within 30 days of ownership should the vehicle develop a fault. Currently the law states only that owners must reject faulty goods within a “reasonable” period. The bill will also allow owners to reject a faulty car within the first six months of ownership after just one failed repair — currently there is no limit on the number of repairs a dealer can undertake before it accepts a rejection.
The changes are aimed at strengthening the consumer’s hand when it comes to car buying. According to consumer watchdogs, cars usually top lists of most-complained-about purchases.