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When someone buys a new or used car, they might choose to spread out the cost with a finance arrangement. They might use a "hire purchase" or "conditional sale" agreement, a "personal contract purchase", a lease or a loan. Or they might put the car - or the deposit - on their credit card.

By law, the businesses involved in car finance have certain responsibilities. We hear from people having problems with their car - who are unhappy that the business won't put things right. Some people tell us they're having trouble with the finance itself - for example, that they can't afford the repayments.

need to know

  • First of all, it might be practical to see if the garage or dealership can help. But if someone's unhappy with the quality of a car they've bought on finance, it's actually the finance provider who's responsible.
  • Even though there may be some wear and tear, used cars still need to be of satisfactory quality. If someone's unhappy with their car, we'll look at the evidence about its quality - taking into account the age and mileage, as well as what the dealer said about it.
  • Some people tell us they didn't know they'd be charged for driving over a certain amount of miles each year. The garage or dealership may be responsible for these types of problems - but in some cases, it may be the finance provider. We can explain how things stand and move things forward.
  • If we agree that a car isn't good enough - or there's a problem with the finance - we'll find a fair, pragmatic way to put things right. Depending on what's happened, we might tell the finance provider to pay for repairs, replace the car, or to change or cancel the finance arrangement and take back the car. We may also award compensation if someone's been inconvenienced, left out of pocket or treated unfairly.

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need help?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here - or you’d like to talk to someone - give us a call ...

consumer helpline - 0800 023 4567
our technical advice desk (for businesses and consumer advisers) - 020 7964 1400

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