2nd Hand Freelander - what is the law if things go dramatically wrong?

Urgent advice please.

A good friend bought a Second hand Freelander for Euro 1300 cash and within a few weeks it broke down, needed a new clutch etc, cost Euro 800+

The vendor blamed my friend for driving it hard, did not want to know!

Yesterday the car stuttered, stopped and smoke erupted, all the family got out quickly and then the car burst into flames, all electrics burnt, etc, towed to the garage.

The Insurer has been contacted but as it is most likely to be treated as a write off, undoubtedly not much compensation?

We are all aware of Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware, but there was no
professional inspection of the Freelander before collection.

The garage where the Euro 800+ work was carried out now refuse to
inspect the car to find out what caused it to burst into flames !! (The garage is still owed 600 Euros, tough say I.

Any helpful advice please.

many thanks,
Don Duckworth

I will keep you posted Vic and hopefully the Expert the Insurer sends to inspect the Freelander

will shed light on this problem.

I really feel sorry for the lady concerned but these things seem to happen to people who can least afford


An update on the Freelander which caught fire.

The garage where the car was taken following the fire was NOT the garage who fitted the new clutch and this garage has agreed to inspect the Freelander and to contact then Insurer to get an expert down to assist.

They expressed surprise that the fire had occurred so soon after a new clutch was fitted.

I have advised my friend NOT to pay the garage the remaining amount due till all the facts are known.

Many thanks for all your comments

Don Duckworth

We haven't bought a cheap car for a long time, and i wouldn't expect very much at all for 1300 euro's, so no surprise really that it broke down. I always like the warranty of buying from a garage to take it back to in case of problems.

Obviously it's a shame for your friend but it's certainly not the fault of the garage that replaced their clutch, why shouldn't they be paid?

I recently sold a car, the purchaser took it away and called me the following day having broken down on the motorway, the radiator had sprung a leak. He demanded a refund and after a lot of hassle I was told to refund him by his 'expert'.

The law does err on the side of the purchaser. In you friends case as the fault occurred weeks later I doubt he would have any recourse, but if he wishes to pursue it the first course of action is to contact his insurer, if he has 'protection juridique' cover on his insurance policy he will be able to have an independent expert determine what happened and why and if he has a case for compensation.

Why do you think he should not pay for the clutch replacement by the way?